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Unread 12-22-2021, 01:19 PM   #1
Cardozo
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Basement bathroom, new construction

Hello all, long time lurker- first time poster. I'm finishing off my basement, and part of that project includes a bathroom. I've been doing the planning for a long time, now almost done framing, so will be doing the tiling...well...soon.

Here are the details. Below-grade concrete slab, in good condition (house was built in 2019). Lav, toilet, shower were roughed-in prior to the basement floor being poured, so I've got PVC stubs coming up through the floor (2" shower, 4" toilet, 2" lav, 2" vent for shower/toilet). No box around the shower stub, but I've confirmed that there is a trap.

Planning a tiled shower that is 60" x 34". The 34" distance is dictated by maintaining the required 15" spacing to the toilet centerline. Doing a mud pan with bonding flange drain. Reason for the mud pan is that the drain location is fixed by the rough plumbing and is not exactly centered (splitting the 60" dimension into ~ 40"/20". Seems better to do a mud pan and get the perimeter at a constant level, vs. cutting a foam pan.

Flange is a Flo/FX, already purchased. Partly because they come highly recommended, and partly because it requires little/no concrete removal around the PVC stub. Setting the Flo/FX all the way down to the concrete gives a mud bed height at the flange of about 1.75". Other flanges would be much higher, requiring me to chip away concrete around the PVC stub to lower the flange.

Hydroban sheet membrane on the mud bed for waterproofing. Walls will be GoBoard (would have used HydroBan board, but can't find it available anywhere these days and GoBoard was readily available).

I bought a Hydroban foam curb, primarily because I don't like the idea of putting non-PT wood down onto the concrete and you knowledgeable folks say to avoid PT for the curb. Not sure yet what I'll do for the shower door, other than it will not rely on fasteners through the foam curb.

To finish off the waterproofing, I'm using other Hydroban products. My plan is as follows, in order of sequence:
1) walls with GoBoard, seal the seams/screws with GoBoard sealant.
2) curb, bonded to floor and to GoBoard walls with GoBoard sealant.
3) mud pan and drain, setting slope of pan to 1/4"/ft on long diagonal (which will end up making the short diagonal about 1/2"/ft).
4) Hydroban inside corners at the deck mud to GoBoard/curb inner corners.
5) Hydroban outside corners at the two inner top corners of the curb/GoBoard joints - maybe not necessary, but couldn't hurt, right?
6) Hydroban sealing tape to finish the horizontal to vertical joints.

Thoughts on the steps above are most welcome!

Anyone see any issues with using GoBoard sealant to bond a Hydroban curb to GoBoard?

Since I need about 15 sq. ft. of sheet membrane and it comes in a 100 sq. ft. roll, I'll have plenty left. Is it worthwhile to wrap a layer of it over the curb? The foam curb comes with a Hyroban surface already so it's probably not needed, right? Would it help? Hurt?

Haven't even looked at selecting tiles. I'm assuming that I don't need to know any tile specifics for purposes of waterproofing, correct?
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Unread 12-22-2021, 03:01 PM   #2
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Welcome, J,

The inside curb-to-floor joint is pretty critical I think, so I'd be very inclined to wrap the HB membrane up and over the curb or, at the very least, use the HB "sealing tape" (really just a narrow role of their membrane) to seal that joint.

Regarding the drain; your finished curb height must be 2" above the drain grate. If you chipped out the concrete around the riser, allowing you to lower the drain assembly, you could reduce the curb step-over height by the same amount. A worthwhile gain for the little work required. Well, to me anyway.

I don't have any idea on the compatibility of the GB and HB sealing tape.
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Unread 12-22-2021, 05:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Dan. Yes, the curb-to-deckmud joint was one of the horizontal to vertical joints that I was going to use the Hydroban sealing tape on. I could also overlap a U-shaped length of membrane over top of that, going up and over the curb and over the outward facing end of the curb. That's what I was thinking of maybe doing, although it seems like overkill.

With regard to lowering the drain, I guess it comes down to what is the ideal thickness of the deck mud underneath the drain flange? I think I recall reading 1" is minimum, but is there an ideal?
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Unread 12-23-2021, 09:15 AM   #4
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I'm not up on the "floFX" drain. How does the HydroBan connect to it?

As to mud thickness, over a concrete slab you can go down to practically nothing at the drain flange.
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Unread 12-23-2021, 10:34 AM   #5
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Thanks John, didn't realize that there was no minimum over concrete.
The FloFX drain was developed by a tile guy out in (I think) Utah, who was frustrated with some of the Kerdi drain shortcomings. The website is flofx.com. It's got a "woven anti-wicking fabric" that is compatible with Hydroban and other sheet membranes, bonded with thin-set mortar just like the membrane bonds to the deck mud. Found about it through some youtube videos by both Isaac Ostrom and Sal DiBlase, both of whom speak favorably about it and have used it successfully with HydroBan sheet membrane.

What really sold me on the FloFX drain for my application was the lower profile. Even if I do lower the drain, it's substantially less concrete that I need to remove. So now, here's the question, given John's comment: what height would you set the drain at? Lower is better in that it is less deck mud that needs to be mixed up, but more concrete to chip out. Is there an "ideal"?
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Unread 12-23-2021, 11:04 AM   #6
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Welcome, J.

While your FloFx drain doesn't appear to have any requirement (not any installation instructions at all that I could find) for the thickness of the mortar bed under the bonding flange, other such drain manufacturers do and the ANSI standards don't recognize anything thinner than 3/4" for any floor mortar for any application that I've ever found. Your decision what you want to use.

The drain manufacturer does recognize Hydroban as a compatible product. I doubt that Laticrete even acknowledges the existence of a FloFx drain.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-23-2021, 01:40 PM   #7
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I’m currently tiling my shower that I waterproofed somewhat similar to your description. It is on wood rather than concrete. I used approximately 1.5” of deck mud so I wasn’t trying to minimize the height as you are. I did use the FloFX bonded drain along with the Wedi subliner sheet. I put it over the shower floor, up the walls and up an over the curb as well. I used Hydro Ban liquid waterproofing with the reinforcing fabric in the corners to seal them and this worked well. It was only a slit that needed sealing in the membrane.

Much to my surprise the Wedi membrane wicked water up and over the curb during my water test. I noticed where I had applied the Hydro Ban or GoBoard sealant that there was no wicking. So I added a few coats to the entire length of the curb to prevent this wicking. I suspect once the curb is tiled and thinset applied to it that it wouldn’t wick. However, I had more Hydro Ban in the bucket so I used it.

I also applied Hydro Ban to the seam where the membrane met the drain to make sure there was no wicking through the thinset layer either.

I really like the FloFX drain. It was super simple to install for a first timer. I just finished tiling my walls and will be putting the floor tile in next. I’ll see if the remaining steps are as easy as they appear with the drain.

I saw it was mentioned about someone not finding instructions for the drain. Since you have the drain, I’m assuming you have the instructions that came with it. They are good details in it.
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Unread 12-23-2021, 01:48 PM   #8
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I cut some wood down and sloped the top piece to form the inside structure of my curb. I then screwed and glued concrete backer board to all three sides. I thinsetted over the concrete backer board and applied the membrane. The way I did it ended up being more layers than I’m describing but in the end it came out very solid and fully waterproofed. I’ve seen comments about not using wood or CBU for the curb but I think this only means when you are using a PVC liner requiring screwing through it to secure the wood/CBU for the curb. Using the bonding flange and membrane yielded a very solid and very waterproofed curb.
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Unread 01-25-2022, 12:31 PM   #9
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GoBoard fastener alternatives, and curb question

Getting cloer to starting the shower, and I have a couple more questions:

1) Since the offical JM Goboard screws are pretty much not to be found anywhere, what's the recommended alternative? I see that Laticrete screws are pretty widely available, is that what people have been using with GoBoard? Are they preferable to Durock/Hardiebacker screws (which apparently are prone to tearing up the GoBoard due to the ragged bottom of the head)?

2) I bought the Hydroban foam curb, since I did not want to deal with wood on a concrete subfloor. What's the best way to slope the top? I plan to wrap a layer of Hydroban sheet membrane over the top of the curb so I don't need to rely on the pre-applied coating on the curb. One thought I have is to rip a 2x4 with the proper angle on a table saw, then secure that to the top of the curb with adhesive. But then I would need to attache the sheet membrane to that wood (using thinset mortar presumably) and I'm not sure if that's a good bond. Thoughts?
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Unread 01-26-2022, 07:48 AM   #10
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...or, I suppose it's probably easier to just cut down the top of the foam curb with a 2 degree angle.
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Unread 01-26-2022, 09:26 AM   #11
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You don't need but an eighth of an inch slope for that curb top, J, so if you plan to put a waterproof layer over it, you could just use a cementitious patching compound of some sort to create the slope. One pass with the trowel would do it, eh? Some people might even use thinset mortar. That's not a recommended application for those products, but if that's what's handy........

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-26-2022, 10:42 AM   #12
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Thanks CX, that would certainly be the easiest of all (essentially accomplishing it with the thinset that bonds the Hydroban sheet membrane to the foam curb).
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Unread 02-09-2022, 02:37 PM   #13
Cardozo
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shower is ready for wall board

I'm getting ready to make some furthr progress on this basement bathroom, and figured I should post some pictures. I'll have questions as I work my way through the project, and visuals will probably help!

Basic three wall rectangular shower. This picture is from the bathroom doorway, so you walk in lokking right at the long (60") wall, with the plumbing on the right wall and the niche on the left wall.

The drain is fairly well centered on the short direction but is closer to the niche than the showerhead in the long direction (roughly 1/3 and 2/3 split). I figure this will work out ok, because the area where a showerer is standing will have the 1/4 per foot slope and the area where he/she is likely not to stand will have a 1/2" per foot slope.

I had extra 3/4" XPS foam board left over, so I filled the stud bays with 3" of foam board (except the bay where the plumbing is, that's only 1.5"). That gives me very good insulation without any concern over water getting in to fiberglass insulation.

Any comments, questions, criticism will be appreciated!
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Unread 02-10-2022, 08:44 AM   #14
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order of tiling

I'm planning the sequence of events for tiling (although it's still a few weeks away). As a reminder, waterproofing for this project is GoBoard walls (with their sealant at all joints and over screw heads), HydroBan sheet membrane over mud deck and foam curb, with hydroban sheet mebrane sealing tape and preformed corners at the deck/curb/wall joints.

Here's where I'd like some feedback, as I have not seen it done this way but it seems to make much more sense. I'm planning to first put up the wall tile starting from a ledger board about 8" (to top of ledger) from the concrete slab, thereby leaving out the bottom (to be cut) row of wall tile. Then, after the wall mortar is set, remove the ledger, install curb, build mud deck, and waterproof the deck and deck/curb/wall joints, as well as the holes from the ledger. After that, set the floor tile followed by the bottom course of wall tile.

Everything I've seen has people doing the wall tile after the mud deck and waterproofing, which means that you have to be on the deck (with a stepladder) to do the wall tile. I'm thinking that my approach will make it easier, since I won't have the risk of damaging the mud or membrane when doing the wall (which will be tiled to the ceiling, about 8'3" above slab).

Thoughts?
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Unread 02-10-2022, 08:54 AM   #15
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As I've posted many times here, J, when doing a direct bonded waterproofing membrane-type shower, I always tile ceiling and walls, except the bottom row of tiles, and sometimes grout (at least the ceiling) before ever installing the bonding flange drain. Works well.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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