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Old 06-03-2018, 05:34 PM   #1
makethatkerdistick
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Final bathroom tearout/redo

I do not know what possessed me but I decided to tear out my third and final bathroom even though I had sworn to myself to take a break after the last one.

You are looking at a 1968 shower that looks more like a layman's representation of a nuclear fallout shelter rather than a shower. The door opening of this is a measly 19 inches. Upon removing the curb and the floor, I found the insufficient waterproofing that had resulted in a musty smell. While the main walls are chicken-wire reinforced mud without waterproofing, the jamb areas and the outside cover of the curb are done in drywall.
This only doesn't look as bad as it could because this shower was apparently rarely used in all those 50 years. Had it seen regular use, it would have failed miserably a long time ago.

It is, as you can see, it is the old standard with nails piercing through the tiny section of waterproofing covering the of curb. Of course, there was no preslope either. The cast iron drain flange under the mud bed rises above the floor by half an inch, creating an environment in which water would have considerably pooled in the pan. Yucky altogether.

I will forsake the current shower location and add a 4x5 ft storage closet behind the shower to the bathroom and make it my new shower. This will free up much needed space in this tiny bathroom. My beefy Boschhammer already made short shrift of the shower floor today.

I am looking at another Kerdi shower, this time most likely with a linear drain.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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You sir, are a glutton for punishment. Iíll be watching your adventure and be glad itís not mine.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:22 PM   #3
makethatkerdistick
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I already hate myself for starting this. Removing this mud shower is a tremendous task. These walls are so sturdy. When I removed my last old mud shower, the walls came crashing down in one piece once I had pried them off from the studs. It is scary as they are very heavy. There really isn't a good way to remove this in sections. Pry bars and a pickaxe are my friends.
Having said this, I love the traditional mud shower construction method but it is worthless when the waterproofing is compromised.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:29 AM   #4
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Hi Wolfgang,

If you saw those walls into smaller sections you can pry them out without making so much of a mess.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:16 PM   #5
makethatkerdistick
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My trusty Boschhammer went through the shower walls really fast. In lieu of a saw, I demolished the walls in segments using a 2 in spade bit.

I got the entire gutting done and now have about 1000 lbs of debris in one corner of my driveway. I also prepared the floor for receiving the PVC drain connection which will connect to my Kerdi linear drain. I had to take out parts of a 2 in cast iron vent stack to get my new PVC section in. Cutting it with an angle grinder is nasty as can be. I am glad it's done. I'll be adding a window in this currently windowless bathroom.

Next is electrical (Panasonic bathroom fan, two airtight can lights).

I am decommissioning the old shower drain. It's 50 year old 1 1/2 in copper and was in remarkably good shape. Anyway, any suggestions as to what to stuff/pour into that drain to make it watertight in case of a water backup?
Hydraulic cement? Epoxy? What do the pros use?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:18 AM   #6
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Why not just sweat a cap onto the end of the 1-1/2" DWV copper?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-1-2-in...17-B/100172067

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:47 AM   #7
makethatkerdistick
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Wayne, this won't work unless I put much more effort into this like chiseling out the area of the foundation around the old drain so I can get a nice straight cut on the copper. Also, there was a 1 1/2 vent pipe (copper also) associated with that drain. I just cut that off flush with the floor and need to fill it as well.

I'm still hoping for an easier solution to this.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:38 AM   #8
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Just how bad is the cut on your copper pipe, Wolfgang? You can buy a Fernco (or similar) rubber cap that attaches with a hose clamp.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
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If your cuts are straight enough and not too rough, you could use a flexible external cap, this one is the right size for 1-1/2" copper (same model as for 1-1/4" pvc):

https://www.fernco.com/dimensional-drawings/qc-168

Or you could find a point downstream of both the vent and trap, dig up the pipe there, cut it properly, and cap it.

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:50 AM   #10
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I don't want to chisel out more concrete. One of the pipes is flush with the concrete floor (and needs to be, as I am putting a curb over it). The problem is that there are water lines running through the slab at that area, and I don't want to disturb them in any possible way.

CX and Wayne, the cut is pretty diagonal. I could maybe get it straight with a very small saw and use the Fernco cap. But this still leaves me with the other pipe penetration that is flush and cannot be traditionally capped.

Digging out the pipe is also not an option as I don't know where it ties in and as that would require a lot of exploratory chiseling of the foundation. I had thought it tied into my CI vent stack or my 4 in toilet drain but, alas, not so.

Are there no pourable solutions that cure in place? Or maybe a compression fit plug?
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:11 PM   #11
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Most compression plugs are marketed for temporary use as test plugs, not sure if it is appropriate to use one long term. You could contact the manufacturer of this one and see what they say:

https://www.amazon.com/Cherne-269891.../dp/B0078RYEYQ

And sure, you could fill up the pipe with some newspaper (to provide backing) and some pourable polyurethane foam (maybe even a product marketed as a water stop), but are you going to find a manufacturer who tells you their product is approved for plugging DWV pipes?

So if it were me, I'd chip out a bit more concrete and properly cap the pipes with an external copper or rubber cap so I could have confidence in result.

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:33 AM   #12
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I'll ruminate about this one a bit more but it seems a cap is the best solution after all. Not looking forward to the work, though.

On the upside, I put in and wired up two can lights yesterday, one in the shower area. Of course, it was exactly where the roof is coming down and so I had to crawl around in attic insulation. Yuck. Today's job is putting in and ducting the bathroom fan to the outside. That should complete my attic responsibilities (which I see as one of the most punishing parts of this job).

After spending 20 minutes on the phone with Schluter yesterday, I ordered my linear drain. Boy, is this thing expensive at approx. $600 altogether for channel body and drain grate. The good thing is that whenever I call Schluter, I always end up with an extremely knowledgeable associate who knows their products well. I suppose that's part of the price and should be appreciated.

To boot, the drain is made from SS 316L which contains 2-3% molybdenum for added corrosion resistance (over the regular SS 304). I don't think residential use will ever put this additional resistance to the test, but it's good to know anyway that this is rated for use in chlorinated environments such as swimming pools.

I opted for the closed grate assembly as I thought it looked the sleekest. Incidentally, the tileable grate is the cheapest as it uses the least amount of stainless steel. So, if you prefer that look, it will add some extra work but will save you about $100.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:04 PM   #13
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Fan is in and properly ducted to the soffit. There was a lot of cussing, though. Turns out that the framing in the area that needs to receive the fan didn't have the required 12 in joist spacing. That particular spot only had 10(!) inches. After the cussing was over I reframed that area and was finally able to place the fan. A two-hour job turned into a four-hour one.

Can lights work nicely and provide some good task lighting. My expensive Schluter Kerdi line is in the mail and will be here on Friday. 44 inches of linear draining goodness. Can't wait! Looking forward to building my mudbed as well. This should be very simple with just one plane to slope.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:44 AM   #14
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I feel your pain on several levels Wolfgang. As soon as I'm finished with the current master bath remodel it's directly onto the hall/guest bath.

Also with the recessed lighting. The insulation in my attic is loose fill so that all had to be shoveled out, a seriously dusty job, from a 7X14 area. Pulled down all the ceiling drywall, installed new drywall, then marked the locations for 8 4" cans. Drilled those holes from below, pre-wired the new work, ICAT cans together due to the same roof slope challenge you had, and glued them in. Of course one of the plumbing vent lines was in the way, because that's my luck, so had to re-route it first.

Attic work is no fun. At all.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:31 AM   #15
makethatkerdistick
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Dan, I put together two separate areas (former small bathroom and storage closet behind it) to form my new bathroom. The ceiling in these areas is of a different finish (both hideous, by the way). Instead of shoveling away the loose fill (at the bottom of which sits the original rock wool which has a lot of nasty dust in it) and replacing the ceiling, I decided to add another layer of fresh drywall underneath. I lose 1/2 height but that's a small price to pay in my view.

I picked cans that are rated IC and airtight. Of course, they aren't truly airtight, necessitating silicone treatment along all seams and small holes. Otherwise, they'll still leak.
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