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Unread 11-02-2021, 09:59 AM   #1
wwinters
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Condo 32x32 Shower Replacement

Well, it's been quite a few years since you walked me through my successful shower remodel. I've done a few other projects with your help with the assistance of the search function and I'm grateful for that help as well.

We took over my parent's condo last year only to have it flood from the unit above a few weeks later, then again when they turned the water back on before finding the leak. Then a stack pipe burst after that damage was torn out, then... I'll stop there as it's too painful to remember. 9 months later we are in the home stretch drying out and rebuilding but the more I think about it the 32 x32 1970's plastic shower pan in the 2nd bathroom is a leak waiting to happen (if not leaking already). I admit I was going to throw in a prefab synthetic stone pan/ laminate wall panels and call it a day. Sadly, decent shower pans don't come in center drain 32x32 option.

So it looks like I'm taking on another shower tile job, this time condo style. I don't have it in me to do another mud floor right now, therefore I'm looking at the Kerdi kit.

My first question is: Is it possible to attach a Kerdi drain (no below access) to cast iron plumbing? Cast iron is code here in So Cal for condos.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 10:39 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Wendy.

Without a good bit more information, and some photos, I'd hafta say probably not. But you hafta have some kind of drain other than what's there for a pre-fabricated fiberglass receptor.

Making a mud bed would probably improve your drain connection options, but let's see what you've got, first.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 11:10 AM   #3
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These are all I have right now since all my doors are stacked in the bathroom while I finish the wood floors in the next day or two.

The drain photos are of condo shower above ours (another leak now fixed) but I assume ours looks the same.

Shower pan photo is from water was coming up the drain (HOA says problem is now fixed).

Wall photo is stack pipe after replacement and back of shower stall wall.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 11:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy
My first question is: Is it possible to attach a Kerdi drain (no below access) to cast iron plumbing?
Mmmmm, looks like rather convenient "below access" to me, Wendy. What am I missing?
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Unread 11-02-2021, 11:34 AM   #5
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That is the condo above ours in the photo and has has now been drywalled over. In theory, we could ask to tear out the ceiling of the unit below ours but they have also gone through the year of floods as well as our 9 months of construction noise and are extremely unlikely to allow us that option.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 11:44 AM   #6
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Well, then, we'd need to see what you've got under your existing receptor.

I would suggest you might wanna tell your downstairs neighbor that a controlled cut into their ceiling might be better than an unplanned flood if your more difficult drain connection were to fail.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 01:47 PM   #7
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It appears that you have nohub cast iron fittings. It looks like if you removed the clamp to the p-trap and the riser, you have enough height to build it back up to mate with one of their drains (page 122 of the current product catalog). https://sccpublic.s3-external-1.amaz...List%20USA.pdf

Schluter does make a stainless steel drain with a 2" threaded outlet, and 2 and 3" nohub stainless versions. You may be able to make that fireproof connection after cutting some of the subflooring away to make the connection, adding some blocking, then installing new subflooring over it. If your drain would end up properly centered for use with one of their foam pans, you could make that work and avoid having to make a mud pan. That only works if the new subflooring would be flat, level, and has the drain centered where you need it to be, or you can adjust the location of the walls, etc. to make it centered. The foam pans can be cut, but that will mean the perimeter height will be lower where you cut it...if it's not much (only 1/4" per foot), you'd never notice it. Laticrete will custom mill a foam pan to any size, with the drain where you need it. Deck mud is cheaper and more flexible in exactly where things need to be.

Where I live, any plumbing must be done by a licensed plumbing contractor when working in a multifamily dwelling, so that may be an issue where you live, too.
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Unread 07-29-2022, 10:53 AM   #8
wwinters
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I decided to postpone this job, overwhelmed with the entire condo issues. Sadly the plumbing gods seem to have other ideas on the subject. Yes, our upstairs neighbor had another leak- or actually, it looks like last year's leak wasn't fixed, and his shower drain water has been dripping down the drywall behind my fiberglass shower.

We've torn out the drywall and shower (I'll add photos later today). jadnashua, I think you're right about needing to hire a plumber for multifamily dwellings. If I hire out to install a shower pan does the plumber do that work or some other tradesperson? I think we are going to go with a tile floor and laminate walls.
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Unread 08-15-2022, 12:18 PM   #9
wwinters
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Photos

Here are photos of the shower so far. The studs near the ceiling are still drying and the neighbor upstairs will be tearing out their shower and replacing their subfloor in the next 2 weeks.

Do I need to wait until the studs dry before installing my shower floor?

Any ideas for how to remove the cement bed that my old fiberglass shower was sitting on without causing broken tiles in the bathroom below mine?
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Unread 08-16-2022, 06:08 AM   #10
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Just me, Wendy, but I'd probably try to wait until the neighbor above has finished all their demo before I started to rebuild my shower below.

From here it looks like there are 2X4's placed on top of the subfloor, and concrete - or something similar, was poured on top and around them. Regardless, going at it with just a hammer probably isn't such a hot idea as you've likely concluded, you'll need to be more surgical. A hammer, cold chisel, maybe a nail punch. You'll need to start close to an edge and use the chisel or nail punch to fracture the concrete, small pieces at a time.
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Unread 08-31-2022, 09:42 AM   #11
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They did it again!

Hard to believe but the job is on hold again. Someone upstairs turned on the water before they removed their shower surround. The only problem with that is if you look on the right side of the photo you'll see their P trap sitting on my shower floor courtesy of their plumber last month. My gutted shower area and bathroom floor are soaked... again. The good news is that the HOA's contractor deemed their entire shower subfloor rotten and must be replaced.

My laminate shower wall idea looks to be out also thanks to high shipping costs and minimum purchase requirements. I know tiling options have changed a lot since the shower with cement board install you walked me through years ago so I'll be reading up on that while I wait for everything to dry out again.

Other good news, the cement in my shower came out with just a crowbar.
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Unread 08-31-2022, 10:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendy
I know tiling options have changed a lot since the shower with cement board install you walked me through years ago...
Wendy, everything you learned on your 20-years-ago shower is just the same today if you intend to do a traditional shower receptor again this time.
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Unread 09-01-2022, 10:31 AM   #13
wwinters
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20 years! No wonder every time I go in there I think it looks outdated. As much as I'd like a fresh look, the shower is rock solid and waterproof.

I was considering using Keri kit for the condo because working space is limited, the unit is on the 2nd floor, and the entire condo including wood floors and drywall has just been replaced thanks to their previous leak.

After reading the old discussion and watching some videos I'm reconsidering this option. Learning a new product that can be compromised by mistakes that are hard to see seems like a risk with exponential consequences on a second-floor condo unit. Maybe I should go with the old way adding a layer of Redguard for backup. I dread the extra dust and carrying heavy materials up two flights of stairs since all cutting will have to be done in the basement but would hate even more to damage the unit downstairs.
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Unread 09-02-2022, 01:32 PM   #14
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The issue with any preformed pan is getting things level. If the subflooring isn't level, with a mud pan, it's fairly easy to overcome that, but with a preformed pan, you really need to start with a flat/level floor. That can take some work. It's nice if the walls are plumb, but it's not as critical.

Putting up Kerdi, or similar membranes, IMHO, is less risky than trying to get a liquid applied waterproofing to the proper thickness, without runs or pinholes. The sheet is inherently waterproof. Embedding the membrane is not hard if you have a quality thinset, predampen the surface, don't try to do huge sheets so the thinset starts to skin over before you can embed the stuff, and mix the thinset per the instructions. The quick test is to pull a corner back after you think it's good, and look. If you have good coverage, you're fine. If not, you did something wrong. If you can't figure it out immediately, you can pull the sheet off, wash away the thinset and scrape down the wall...all easy before it starts to set.
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Unread 09-03-2022, 02:49 PM   #15
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Just to clarify, I was thinking of putting Redguard on everything wood like the studs and subfloor then doing the primary waterproofing (wonder board, Kerid, Kerdiboard, etc). It would be a kind of second defense that should never be needed. Back when I did the last bathroom the consensus was less than comfortable with laymen using Kerdi membrane. It's reassuring to read that may have changed.

I looked at tiles this week. Since it is such a small space I was thinking of putting 34" (While the fiberglass shower was 32" the actual space is 35" with large shims to fit the smaller all-in-one unit) wide tiles to span each wall. That way there would be only small horizontal grout lines. I saw an example at the tile store. Are there any foreseeable problems with this concept?
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