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Old 02-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
thelock
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Shower pan replacement

We are trying to replace the shower pan in our shower. The house was built in early 1980's. We began by cutting the grout line one tile above floor and removed a few tiles. We hit a problem when we found that the tile is attached to some sort of 1/2 inch or more plaster with a wire mesh backing. What is the best method to cut the plaster and can we then use cement board to replace the plaster we cut out? How do we get a good seal between the plaster and cement board to prevent water damage in future?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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Have you got any pictures?

Sounds like you are describing a mud shower. It is possible to replace just the pan, but many times you are better off starting over.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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Hi Suzanne, welcome. Like Nate said, you can do just the shower pan liner but your concern is the very reason it's not done very often. There will be what we call a cold joint where the new section meets the old and that joint is hard to seal well. Another thing, I always would go about 10 to 12 inches up from the floor, where ever the closest joint is. If your tiles are 4 inches, one tile isn't high enough. You'll end up nailing holes thru your new liner no matter what you nail back there. The correct way is to remove the tile about 12 inches high and only put nails across the top of the area and let the floor mud hold the bottom section in place without nails. Ideally, having a couple inches of mud wall exposed lower than the tile will give you a surface to use a paint on membrane to bridge over that cold joint. This is a lot of work and the old mud would have to be cleaned well with all the thinset gone.

Many times, we can tearout the whole shower faster than trying to take out just part of it. Of course matching the old tile is usually impossible too.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
thelock
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Thanks for the info

Thanks for the advice. I was afraid you all would tell me that I would need to replace the whole thing (as you have). The shower pan leaks into the celing of the kitchen so we can't use it currently. The shower is about 30 x 32. I have attached a picture of the shower floor (yes, that is the ironing board). We did not want to spend a lot of money on this because we want to remodel the bathroom in a few years but would like to use it until then.

How do you recommend getting the thin set off the mud? It seems almost impossible to remove.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:43 AM   #5
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A grinder with a diamond blade or cup wheel works well but is very dusty. Hold a vacuum hose close to the blade to pick up most of the dust. Save any tiles that come off without breaking. Just in case you have to replace any chipped ones along the cold joint.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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Thanks Davy

Thanks for the tool recommendations

We tried chiping the tile off wall with a hammer and chisel but it is slow and it just destroys the tiles. It is easier to just use a hammer and bang in the tile and mud wall together. Is there an easier way without distroying the tile? How do I get a straight line on the mud wall after all the demolition?

What do you recommend we use to replace the portion of the mud wall we removed. Is it easier to use mud again? I don't see how we could line up Kerdi board or cement board.

Good news! We have located the pan and it is made of gray vinyl.

If the walls are any indication of how well this shower is built, removing the tile floor and concrete layers is going to be challenging.

Did I say this is my 1st major home improvement project?

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Using a grinder with a 5 inch diamond blade, cut a line in the 3 rd grout joint up from the floor. Just cut it thru the tile and not the mud at this point, about 1/4 inch deep. I would bust the floor out first any way you want to, renting an electric chipping hammer from HD is well worth the money. Once the floor is out down to the pan, take the tiles off the wall leaving the mud. After you have removed the wall tiles up to your cut, cut another groove around the shower thru the mud 2 to 3 inches below the edge of the tile. Draw a line on the mud so you can follow it with the saw. This will leave a couple inches of mud exposed.

I'm a mud guy so I would mud it back. You will ned to study up on it and ask some questions. Post more pictures as you go along.
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