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Old 07-03-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
Tile Nashville
Mike in Nashville
 
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Replacing Acrylic Shower with Kerdi Shower Set

Hi,

Been lurking like many for a while and really impressed by this forum and the people who contribute and make it great. I'm posting my first post here to outline my project and post some initial questions (which will likely grow as I move forward of course!). This is my first shower/tiling job but I'm a woodworker (hobby) and think I'm generally very handy .. we'll see how it works out!

I did first demolition - removed old acrylic shower walls, drywall backing and glass enclosure (it is a neo and I'm making it a square shower). Removing acrylic tray today and checking floor level under shower. Walls are pretty close to plumb and will sister to get to fully plumb. I plan on using CBU on the walls (even though I know I don't have to) and the Kerdi shower pan kit (48x48 cut down a bit to a square which fits my space -- approx 42x42). I know many suggest mud but I think my floor will be fine for just using the kerdi shower pan. We have a 1929 home so are doing a more traditional shower with 3x6 subway tile, thin black tile border at top and ceramic chair rail on very top. The shower will have two tiled walls and then glass enclosure installed after. And I did buy both the Tile Your World book and Kerdi e-book -- Thanks to John for sending so quick.

Plumbing. Today I plan on finishing the demo and rough in the plumbing. Question 1 is relates to the the valve and its plastic shroud. Given I'm using CBU and kerdi and then the tile, should the shroud sit proud of the CBU? By how much? I'm using a single handle valve unit (Danze brand).

Kerdi Tray. Second set of questions relates to the Kerdi Tray -- I believe that the floor is standard plywood on top of older tongue/groove flooring. I found Ditraset from a local supplier (unmodified mortar). I've read in some other posts that (after I ensure the floor is level -- either it is or I use self levelling mortar) I cannot use unmodified thinset on top of plywood, but I may not have read this right, can I do this? If I use self-leveling mortar/concrete to level the area, do i need to prime first? What self-leveling mortar/concrete should I use (I'm assuming pre-mixed is a no-no)? Can i use unmodifed thinset on top of the self leveling concret to embed the Kerdi Shower tray?

CBU / Hardibacker. Third set of questions relates to the hardibacker I have bought. When I do the walls, do I go to the floor or stop above the kerdi tray? Should I put CBU on top of the floor before I lay the kerdi tray? Do I lay the CBU before doing any self-leveling cement? I read about not filling in corner gaps or gaps in the boards (given they are 3x5 and my shower is about 42"x42" .. so there will be gaps) and letting the Ditraset and kerdi just do their job.. is that so?

Shower Curb. Last set of questions for now relates to the curb. Based on John's advice and our personal preferences, likely going to put a 2X4 as the curb (covered in CBU). Should I put the curb in after I set the Shower tray (my feeling is yes)? Is the 2x4 going to be high enough? I did get the curb with the Kerdi kit, but my thought is that screwing glass enclosure framing into polystyrene is likely not strong enough. So I may have a 48" shower curb for sale for an interested party...

Sorry for the volume of questions, but would appreciate any and all advice. I'm also cross-referencing the book and e-book, but not sure I am clearly seeing how to answer the above questions (and did search the forums too). I'm attaching before and after demo pictures and closeup of current valve (which I will remove). Any thoughts on apparent framing issues, etc. would be appreciated (not wanting to ask too much!) .

Mike in Nashville
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:54 PM   #2
chuck stevenson
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Welcome to the JB Forums. Sounds like you've got a plan.

In your third pic it looks like a drain stack in the corner. You are going to have to get solid framing there for the backerboard.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Welcome, Mike.

1. Should be instructions with that shower valve that tell you where they want the thing installed. Generally you'll want the plaster ring (that plastic shroud thingee) flush with the finished wall tile surface. You'll hafta decide where that is for your particular installation.

2. If your floor is not already sufficiently flat and level and the correct size for a Schluter Kerdi Tray, I'll lobby strongly for you to eliminate the tray and build a mud floor. By the time you've prepared the floor sufficiently, cut down the tray and installed it, I'll have done a mud floor over what you've got and taken my afternoon nap - and I'm slow.

I'll have saved a medium handful of dinero, too.

3. Your wallboard can go to the floor or stop short or whatever is convenient. I'd got to about a half from the floor just like hanging sheetrock. You'll need to seal it the same with the Kerdi in any case.

4. You absolutely don't want to make any penetrations in the top of your curb for any reason, so it doesn't really matter what the curb material is. Once again, I favor a custom-built curb to fit the situation and the desired tile installation rather than a pre-fab curb.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
Tile Nashville
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Kerdi Shower Tray Installation

Thanks for the thoughts. There is no drain in the corner and it already is reinforced with some extra studs.

I know the general thought is to not use the Kerdi Shower Tray, but I'd like to use it as my new shower is going to be square and it looked like the drain would only need to moved a bit to accomodate (I have a basement with full access below the bathroom so access is not an issue).

So, I would like to ask again about whether I can use unmodified thinset under the shower tray to attach to plywood underlayment? Assuming I'm committed to the tray (and yes I know mud is preferred and I've read the postes before), has anyone installed on a plywood floor and have some tips to offer? I haven't removed the existing acrylic tray yet but assuming there is a plywood underlayment, has anyone had to level the plywood first and then install the tray? I've read posts on this but most everyone chooses to mud ... Thanks ahead of time for the thoughts and tips.

Mike
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:29 AM   #5
Tile Nashville
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Looks like I will be playing with a mud pan

I thought I measured so that joists wouldn't be an issue with the Shluter shower tray, but live and learn - looks like I'll be building a mud tray/pan - should have listened to CX's posting in prior responses!

Given I'd like to leave the drain where it is (currently a neo shower with drain near corner), it's only about 18" from each wall... what kind of pre-slope do I need to build for something like this?

With the pan, given I'll be using Kerdi for the shower and Kerdi Drain, should I lay down CBU before building the mud pre-slope, etc.? If I do, do I need to put lath down or other underlayment under the mud?

Going to read the sections on this in Tile your world and the ebook .. but any advice / learnings would be appreciated -- things to watch out for, etc. Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:42 AM   #6
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Mike, Welcome to the forum. There is a great tile guy in your areaon the board here, Brad Denny. Im down the road in Manchester. Hammy
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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No need for any CBU under the shower, Mike. It's all covered in the eBook, I think. Just a moisture barrier over your plywood and staple down some 2.5lb metal lath.

And please go to the UserCP above, find Edit Signature onna left and add your first name there so's we don't gotta search for it, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:37 PM   #8
Brad Denny
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I wasn't much help to Mike when he PM'd me about finding DitraSet in Nashville (for the search function, they sell it at BPI, thanks Mike ). Have you already committed to the Kerdi ST by opening everything up, Mike?? I bet a small ad on the cork boards at local distributors (the three I mentioned) would get it sold. If not, I reckon the self-leveler process you mentioned in post #1 would be the way to go, and yes unmodified all the way for Schluter warranty. It might be a good idea to call Schluter directly to ask what SLC would be best to use if you are worried about the warranty, though. If you've read through other posts, you've seen that most pros like to use Versabond, me included . Lookin' at those pics, you might wanna ad some framing where that old window (?) once was. As for the plumbing, like cx says, figure to be flush with the finished tile with the plastic ring. In regards to curbs, you can't beat a brick curb. I like to use those big 12" dudes you see on commercial buildings. "Utilitiy" brick methinks they are called, 4"x4"x12". You could call on a commercial mason close by and see if he has eight you could have. In your case you can wrap the Kerdi right over, and a good glass guy could probably come up with a semi-frameless to avoid all penetrations in the curb.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:47 PM   #9
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Updated status and question on cutting existing tile and mud bed around shower

I think we decided to punt on the Kerdi Tray and play with some mud. Bought some lath and sand topper + all purpose sand and got some extra framing members (will be doing a niche so need to frame that in. I was planning on building a curb from 2x4 or 2x6 and I think for ease of destruction without affecting the surrounding tiles in the bathroom (we aren't re-doing the whole bathroom)... we are going to keep the neo shape or just make it a bit bigger than the exisiting neo and go square. Have a diamond saw and hoping it will cut the existing porcelin cleanly (its sitting on about an inch bed of mortar). Any suggestions on how to cut this cleanly would be appreciated!

Brad, will take your advice on putting for sale the tray (48x48) and 48" curb locally. Thanks.

We are working on the plumbing tonight and some framing. HOping to put up hardiboard tomorrow on the walls and then work to put up some kerdi, staple the lath on top of 30# tar paper and and extra 3/4" plywood. I'm sure I'll be asking other questions... but for right now I'm looking for any thoughts on cutting into the existing floor (porcelin) and mud bed as non-destructively as possible. I have a Bosch angle grinder with a diamond blade (4 1/2")... hoping this is the right tool.

Thanks ahead of time for any thoughts. I'm sure tomorrow will bring new questions and the need for beer.

Mike
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:42 PM   #10
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Shower wall framing questions

Hi,

Got the plumbing roughed in (will solder tomorrow) tonight and cut all framing to size. However once I got into looking at picking up the framing nailer to put in the framing ... I maybe overthought the idea of getting the framing vertically straight and the walls 90 degrees to one another. It's late so I'm likely just not putting it all together, but here are the questions:

1) Getting the framing verticaly correct. Here I'm using a 3 foot level and the wall framing components are mostly vertical ... off maybe 1/8 or so at bottom which I can sister 2x4's to correct. How do people generally get this done? Am I going about the right way?

2) Ensureing 90degreee walls. I have two walls that I'll be tiling in the shower. I know how to do this in woodworking but not sure how I do this with the framing for the two walls. My walls are each about 43" wide and we are likely going to do a neo shower (extending the footprint of the older acrylic neo shower). Any suggestions on how to do this? I don't want to nail in the framing members and have to remove later if I'm not doing the right thing.

Thanks ahead of time for any thoughts here... also any links to other places that descibe this... Happy belated Independance Day!

Mike
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #11
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1. Can't see how you're "going about it" from here, Mike. Wall framing is normally plumbed using a long level, the longer the better. Don't know what else to tell you.

2. Kinda like number 1. Wall framing corners are squared using a square or by calculating square using basic plane geometry methods (the "3, 4, 5 method" being the most common) and snapping chalk lines on the floor.

Plumb, square, and true to line are basic framing concepts. Applying them to remodel situations sometimes requires a little creativity, but the concepts are the same.

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Old 07-06-2008, 08:27 AM   #12
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Just a little geometry assistance for squaring up the short walls - at the 43-inch mark, each side, the diagonal will be 60-13/16".

If you have a caulk line, snapping blue lines on the floor for the bottom plates is how I like to layout the wall lines.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:05 AM   #13
Brad Denny
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Reckon you got some of the answers above, but I'll add that you can use tar paper folded and stapled/nailed behind the board to correct a bowed/out of plumb stud. Make sure that first stud coming out of the corner to the left is right, then the second one. Place short end of the square across those two and see how the wall on the right side matches up. It is much better for the walls to be flat than perfect 90 in the corner.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:43 AM   #14
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Mike in Nashville
 
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Updated status - more questions on floor, curb and plumbing...

Hi all,

Taken a bit more time than I thought for re-doing the plumbing (adding new valve, etc.) -- so far no leaks -- and re-framing given my walls (1929 house) were a bit out of plumb (and had no insulation). I plan on putting up CBU today and installing 3/4" plywood underlayment on the tongue and groove flooring. We decided to keep the neo size of the old shower (so we could doors locally quickly).

I'm adding pictures of the current status of the framing (note there will be two niches - one that is about 12" by 15" and the other about 12"x 6" (both under each other). The niche framing is cut and ready to drill in .. just need to cut hardibacker for behind the framing (as the walls are lath and plaster and I have a 3/8" gap behind the studs in the area where the niches are).

Questions for today relate to the floor and curb.

1) Floor. The floor is clearly not level, however my plan was the screw the 3/4" ply down and correct this using the mud tray. First question - is this a correct assumption? Second question here is whether, before I screw down the plywood, that I screw down the tongue/groove flooring (which is pretty sturdy now but can be screwed to the studs before the plywood is laid).

2) Curb. I have read in John's book and ebook about the curb being angled in at the top. I'm using two 2x4's for the curb... what is the common way people angle inward to the shower given I'm using an "off the shelf" Kohler neo shower door set (38"x38")?

3) Plumbing. I did the plumbing and no leaks so far. Question on the nipple end for the shower head. I'd like to put the shower head pipe on to replace the nipple before I enclose the wall to be sure there are no leaks there (me being paranoid about leaks). I assume most people leave the nipple end in until after tiling? What do you generally do or what should I do there regarding the shower head pipe? I don't want to add it too soon and then scratch it up, etc. but also would like to be sure there are no leaks there .... Any thoughts here would be appreciated!

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:54 AM   #15
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Hi Mike,

You can tilt the tiles on the curb top slightly by using a bit more thin set toward the outside. The tilt only needs to be a sixteenth to and eighth of an inch. This won't run the water off, but it will keep it from pooling along the inside of your shower enclosure.

You could also tile the top 2by4 slightly by inserting a long shim at the outside edge. You have to make sure what you end up with is solid, though -- no give at all.

You are correct on the mud floor. The subfloor does not have to be level. Your curb does have to be level, though.

Make up a temporary nipple from a piece of half-inch galvanized pipe and a and a female pipe cap. Screw it into the "L" and leave it there while the work is being done. Remove it after grouting and insert the finish shower head hardware.
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