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Unread 01-17-2020, 11:26 AM   #1
sd6000
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DIY first shower

I will be doing my first shower as part of a bath remodeling project. I have done tile floors, counters and walls before but never done a shower.
I want to make sure to do it right and not have problems later... Especially leaks.
What is the best pan and water proofing methods for a DIY person? From what I can tell so far it looks like the kerdi foam pan with kerdi system may be the way to go?
Thoughts?
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Unread 01-17-2020, 11:55 AM   #2
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I am doing my first shower right now. I planned on using the kerdi pan, but have now decided on a deck mud bed with kerdi membrane and the kerdi drain. My shower floor would have required me to cut the pan on one side. The pan is dish shaped, so the cut edge would have been concave and not level on that edge, plus i subconsciously wanted to do the dry pack mud anyway. Check out my thread for some good advice from some great people. I still have a long way to go due to lack of time, but it hasn't been too bad.

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Unread 01-17-2020, 12:18 PM   #3
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Welcome back, Bryan. I'm gonna suggest again that you add a geographic location to your User Profile.

Best method? Depends a great deal upon who you ask and what your goals are and what's common in your area.

You can have hot-mop out there, which I think is one of the lesser methods and certainly not a DIY project. In some parts of the country lead and copper are used and in at least one area fiberglass in the method de jure. None of them would even fall into the category of good in my mind, and certainly far from best. If you plan a traditional mud/liner/mud shower receptor, I would want PVC or CPE liner material with an approved three-part clamping drain.

If you plan a direct bonded waterproofing membrane type receptor construction, I think the USG Durock Shower System membrane is the best in that category.

I would not recommend a foam shower tray regardless what else you might decide upon, favoring a sloped floor made of deck mud to precisely fit your shower footprint and drain location. The drain should be an approved bonding flange type.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
sd6000
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This project is finally getting going. I am in the process of gutting the bathroom.
Shower will be roughly 4'x5' and the wife wants a bench on one side. Your advice has convinced me to use a liner and mortar bed. What are the suggestions for the walls? The shower I tore out had aquabar paper and mortar walls. Do I want 4 mil plastic, CBU, covered by red guard or kerdi? Or is there I better way?
What about the bench? Slope the top and waterproof like the walls?

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Unread 05-06-2020, 11:48 AM   #5
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Bad contractor floor failure

Previous homeowner had a crappy general contractor do work on my house prior to selling it. Within months of moving in the tile floors started sounding hollow and crunchy as the tile got loose. Grout has cracked and my wife keeps sucking out grout when she vacuums.
I plan to replace it correctly now. I have ripped out the tile in the bath to find he tiled directly to the subfloor. The tile came off easy and no thinset was adhered to the tile. Thinset was cracked at every subfloor joint.
I checked my joist span with the deflectometer and it passed for tile. My subfloor looks to be 3/4 ply over 2x6 on 16" centers, house built in 2001.
If I use 1/4 hardibacker under my tile, should I expect a successful install that will last?

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Unread 05-06-2020, 11:53 AM   #6
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Welcome back, Bryan,

While plastic behind CBU is a little old school, it does work. But, since you're doing a bench and it needs to be waterproofed also (as well as having the top sloped towards the drain), a waterproof membrane is a solid choice.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 11:55 AM   #7
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Is there something more preferred to plastic behind the cbu?
I'm open to any suggestions.

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Unread 05-06-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
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Need to know what the free span of those 2X6's are first Bryan.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan
Is there something more preferred to plastic behind the cbu?
Depends on how you ask, but most people now days would agree that preventing the tiling substrate (CBU) from getting wet at all is a good thing.

A membrane, like Kerdi, or even a roll on liquid membrane like RedGard, will do just that; keep the substrate from getting wet.

You might also consider using a single, sloped mud bed on the floor and cover it with Kerdi. Doing so will allow you to tie the wall water proofing into the floor water proofing.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 12:23 PM   #10
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Sorry, I misunderstood.
I totally agree about waterproofing the front side of the backer. I thought plastic sheeting was also desired between the studs and cbu.

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Unread 05-06-2020, 12:49 PM   #11
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Plastic is used behind CBU to prevent any moisture that makes its way through the tile, grout, and CBU from reaching the studs (and insulation if there is any). So if you apply some kind of water proofing to the front you don't need anything behind, that water proofing stops the moisture from ever reaching the CBU/wall board.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 12:50 PM   #12
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Assuming your 2x6 joists aren't overspanned as Dan has alluded to, that linear crack gives me some pause. Something in the substrate is moving differentially to cause that.

We can help, but need more info.
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Unread 05-06-2020, 12:58 PM   #13
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I don't recall the exact length, I'll have to check tonight. When I put it in the deflectolater it passed.
The crack you can see is at a plywood joint, thinset directly on plywood. Much of the plywood was painted so adhesion to the subfloor was also minimal.

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Unread 05-06-2020, 01:18 PM   #14
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Is the plywood tongue and groove?
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Unread 05-06-2020, 01:59 PM   #15
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Welcome, Bryan.

In addition to the other questions, are those cracks parallel to the floor joists or perpendicular to them?

While bonding directly to plywood is an acceptable method in the ceramic tile industry, one of the absolute requirements is that you have a double layer of plywood subflooring, each being properly and differently installed. That would appear to be your most basic problem with your current installation.

Can you use a CBU over your existing subfloor if, and that's a large if, you can get the existing mortar sufficiently removed for such an installation and if your existing subfloor is adequate.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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