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Unread 10-07-2015, 10:04 PM   #1
Aeromech
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Nick's Shower

Hey there gang,

I'm a new homeowner and tile rookie. This is my first go at it. I've been doing a fair amount of research on the interwebs over the past few weeks learning what I can about tile shower construction. What I've seen on these forums blows my mind! I also purchased John's Kerdi install book. I don't know any plumbers or tilers personally so I should try and make some new friends here

Meat and taters:
We're on a post-tension slab in TX. The house was built in 97. I'm going to do a Kerdi shower in the 60x40 space where the garden tub was with a 32" Kerdi-line drain against the wall where the old drain is. It'll have a bench in the back that will come up short of the curb so I can put I sliding door in. I'll build the mud bed with a single plane running into the line drain.

I'm going to hit it hard this weekend and I want to get it done as efficiently as possible since I don't have every weekend to work on it. There's so many steps it seems like for the prep work and I'm not sure on the correct order. This is what I have planned out in my head in this order:
1. Remove the concrete around the drain so that I can replace it with 2" PVC and move the pipe to the center position of the Kerdi-line drain. Should only have to move a few inches and stay within the builder's box.
2. While the concrete is drying around the drain repair I can build the bench and reinforce the wall studs to 12" spacing (currently 24" spacing). What do you all think of this? I hear 16" is good but I can't easily achieve that with what I already have.
3. I can also install the bottom layer of drywall while the slab dries. I want to have the drywall in before I do the mud bed. I don't know if this is a must or a preference but seems better this way.
4. If the slab patch is still not dry, I'll run the copper for the shower head and new mixing valve.
5. Once the slab is good and dry, I'll attempt the sloped mud bed. I'm still not sure on the best way to screed it. I understand the 1/4" for every 12" rule but do I put one end of the straight edge on the drain and the other in the back and go side to side or build two rails along the length of the shower and run the straight edge from front to back?
6. Shower curb... At what point do I need to start on this? Right before I start the mud bed process? I'm going to use bricks and cement them together and to the slab.

How does this plan of attack sound to you guys?


Also, If you look at the picture that looks strait down onto the drain and copper pipes, doesn't it seem that the cold line needs to be recessed back some? I won't be able to mount my drywall with it like that. It looks like there are sleeves on those lines so that the concrete won't bond to the copper during the slab pour right? so if I hammer out the concrete right next to them I can remove it and get the lines back into the base plate cutout?

Thank you guys so much for taking the time to help a greenhorn like me out!
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Unread 10-08-2015, 04:50 AM   #2
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Hello, Nick. Welcome to the forum.

I'd tweak just a couple of things on your plan, but there's no hard and fast rules about it. If something other than what I recommend works better for you, go for it.

I might be tempted to put some blocking between the studs every couple of feet rather than trying to add more studs, but either way will work. Next I'd hang the sheetrock, as long as you can work on the water lines and valve from the other side. You can do that at a later time.

Then I'd build the curb. The reason being, you can't really do the mud floor until the curb and sheetrock is in, and the curb would need to set overnight.

Once the curb is in place, you could work on the drain and get that spot filled with some fast-drying concrete if you have enough time to get the mud floor in the same day. If not, you could use regular concrete and mud the floor the next day.

I will confess, I know very little about post-tensioned concrete, other than I know not to go at it with a jackhammer. If you know where the cables are and can avoid them, that's great. If the area where you plan to work requires very little chipping away to move the drain, that's great too. I'd just steer clear of using any kind of jackhammer on that spot if possible.

What kind of bench are you planning on doing? I typically only do one of two types, either a framed bench from the floor up with plywood on the top and sheetrock, or a Better Bench. Either one installs fairly quickly, the Better Bench just leaves a bit more floor space open. A framed bench would be built before the mud goes in, I usually do the Better Bench the same day as the mud floor, since they get filled with the same deck mud.

Also, if I couldn't easily get the water line pushed back into the wall, I'd fur out the wall enough to cover it. Isn't that a 2x6 wall anyway? And they still couldn't get the water line inside?
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Unread 10-08-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
Aeromech
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Thanks Kevin,

At first I wanted to do a big bench that spanned the back width of the shower but I feel like it's going to take up too much room. I might just go with the Better Bench. I'll think about it tonight.

I'm going to start the work tomorrow morning.
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Unread 10-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #4
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Hi neighbor, I like the idea of adding more studs.
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Unread 10-08-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Welcome, Nick.

What Davy said.
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Unread 10-08-2015, 10:05 PM   #6
Aeromech
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Ten-four. I'm going shopping in the morning and I'll be sure to add 2x4s to the list. I'm busting up the concrete right now because I wont be able to sleep unless I know there's a 2" main close by
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Unread 10-09-2015, 03:41 AM   #7
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Should be right under that wall, or close by.
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Unread 10-09-2015, 11:47 AM   #8
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This hole is pretty deep! Is that the trap from the 1 1/2"? I hope it is
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Unread 10-09-2015, 11:56 AM   #9
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Talking

Also, what are these two rods in the hole?

I smashed one pretty good. I put a volt meter on them to see if they is continuity from them to any active water lines and it didnt appear they are part of the pressurized system. Still a little scary messing around with this stuff...
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Unread 10-09-2015, 01:55 PM   #10
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Nick, those are tension cables. Don't mess with them, there's a huge amount of tension on them.

I can't see enough of that drain at this point to tell you anything other than you're going to have to go down further. Apparently the trap is down there somewhere, and you'll have to get down there to it to see where the 1 1/2" connects to the main. I can't tell you what size the main will be, it might be 2" or 3".

Be careful around those post-tension cables.
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Unread 10-09-2015, 02:29 PM   #11
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She's all cleared out! Thats the 2" pipe I need to build off of.

I'm in a much better mood now.

I'm going to run up to HD and grap a coupling. Should a lay out a bed of sand for the trap to rest on and fill in the rest with fast dry quickrete?
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Unread 10-09-2015, 02:45 PM   #12
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Some gravel would work fine, build it up to about 4" below the top of the slab.
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Unread 10-09-2015, 03:10 PM   #13
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Ok i'll do that.

Thanks Kevin!
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Unread 10-09-2015, 03:22 PM   #14
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Hate it when they run the copper lines directly in the concrete like that.

Looks to me as though the two parallel lines are copper water lines, but I'm never good a sorting things out in the photos on here. I'd guess the lower line perpendicular to the copper is the sleeved PT cable, which, as Kevin points out, you wanna avoid damaging.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-09-2015, 04:35 PM   #15
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I know it's probably not a hard and fast rule, but typically how close do they run those cables?
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