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Unread 04-06-2020, 12:50 PM   #1
Hoggercap
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Recessed shower - no liner, no bueno

Good day

I've done several tile jobs that came out nicely, but never a redo of a shower floor. Realizing I was in uncharted territory, I found your most excellent forum while researching recessed showers with no liners. Lack of online acumen prevented me from joining up for a week or two, so I muddled along.

Well, the house was built 20 yrs ago with neither liner nor waterproofing in the shower. The plumber drilled weep-holes into the 2" drain.....and then covered them up with the concrete slab. The drywall extended all the way to the mud, and was tiled. There was what looked like uncured mastic stuffed between the drywall and mudbed.





No pics of the saturated curb or sill plate. Don't tell my wife, but I found two tiny mushrooms growing in the drywall behind the tile! So I broke out the jackhammer and started rattling the fillings in my teeth. Then I fixed the framing.



Now my quandary really began. Because there was no traditional pre-slope, liner, mud-bed, the drain was too high. In this pic the level is on the bathroom floor. 2.25" below it is the drain, which is 1.25" above the recessed slab - and below the slab are the weep holes.



Besides that the recessed slab is out of level by as much as 1 inch in places.



At this point I decided that the traditional method wouldn't work, and besides, I suck at concrete work....so I went looking for the Kerdi system that I kept reading about here. Couldn't find it locally, but I did find a Wedi dealer. More to come later......time for my son to see the new principal.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 01:57 PM   #2
jadnashua
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WEdi would work IF you replaced the drain AND made the area under the pan flat and level first.

Deck mud is sort of like working with wet beach sand...quite a bit different than working with concrete. You need to pack it and shape it, but once done, it works. It should be easier making it flat versus sloped. Set up some screeds, fill it in, screed it off, pack it and then leave it alone overnight. After you get the main part packed, take the screeds out and fill that area in while everything is still workable so you don't have a cold joint.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 03:16 PM   #3
Hoggercap
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I went down to Patriot Flooring in Vero Beach to buy something to make the recessed slab level. George (what a guy) inbetween selling pallets of thinset and Durock, took the time to explain the Wedi system he sells. I left with a bag of Ardex SD-P and instructions to take more measurements, specifically as to where the drain is located.

I got me a laaarge cocktail and went to work carefully chipping the concrete around the drain to expose the weep-holes. Then I mixed a batch of repair cement (Ardex) and attempted to level the recessed slab. I was pretty nervous about the job because I suck at concrete, Ardex costs $50 per bag, and I didn't want to break out the jackhammer again. Came out great - within 3/16 " of level all around. Well, great for me.

Then I took some more measurements and discovered that while the drain would need to be cut, it would be above the weep-holes. I was scared of chipping through the slab in order to fit a sleeve coupling in...... So I carefully cleaned out the weep-holes with acetone and mixed up some epoxy resin with cabosill thickener and filled the holes. Same epoxy I rebuilt my boat transom with 8 years ago. Sanded it down and the Wedi compression sleeve fit perfectly.

A couple of classes at U-Tube U, a million dry fits (good thing the Wedi pans are so light) and voila.





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Unread 04-06-2020, 03:45 PM   #4
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IT sounds like you have a misunderstanding...

Wedi stuff is a waterproof material when installed properly. It does NOT use a drain with weep holes. Weep holes are needed with a traditional liner method (yours may not have had a traditional liner, but it sounds like they used a drain designed for one).

The Wedi drain is bonded to the top of the Wedi shower tray, and needs just a standard riser and p-trap underneath. Unless I'm missing something that they may have added, it sounds like that part is not done right if you're using the Wedi tray.

Now, Schluter does have a standard clamping drain to their drain conversion. I've not heard of one for Wedi, but haven't looked recently. In either case, the old drain's weep holes are not used as the top clamping assembly that creates them is removed during the conversion, and you only attach to the bottom of the drain, making that path entirely waterproof.

If you're using Wedi, and left the clamping drain in there, the WEdi drain would have to connect beneath the area where the weep holes are.

So, I think there's a disconnect in your procedure or my understanding of what's going on.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 07:21 PM   #5
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"The Wedi drain is bonded to the top of the Wedi shower tray, and needs just a standard riser and p-trap underneath. Unless I'm missing something that they may have added, it sounds like that part is not done right if you're using the Wedi tray."

In my attempt at brevity I failed to convey my jist. The top of the drain needs to be flush with the Wedi's compression sleeve's beveled edge. The weep-holes were lower than that

I might need to do some more inside sanding to avoid all the hair hangups...



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Unread 04-06-2020, 09:52 PM   #6
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You said the original installer drilled weep holes below the slab. If they are below your new drain, it won't work right. From the top of the drain there can't be any holes into/under the slab.

If what you've done blocked those off so it is water tight, you're okay. If not, you'll have issues.

So, the question is, where are there any weep holes? The Wedi system doesn't use any, and won't work properly if there are any.
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Unread 04-07-2020, 07:04 AM   #7
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All weep-holes were filled with thickened epoxy and cabosil.

The drain frame here gets held in place with 4 dabs of sealant, allowing water that gets through the grout to drain. The frame is eventually held in place by the grout. There is a spacer to add height.





Not sure how to properly grout without smooshing grout under the drain frame?
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Unread 04-07-2020, 07:29 AM   #8
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And this where I'm at today.





I replaced the drywall ceiling with more drywall. The ceiling was the only part of the shower not completely saturated or rotten. I'm going to paint with Redgard. Thoughts?

If I decide to tile the ceiling, can I stick the tiles on with mastic? It'll be a poopshow fo sho if I tried thinset.

If I paint the Redgard ceiling, do I need to prime first? I have some Killz oil based primer somewhere in the garage.
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Unread 04-08-2020, 06:12 AM   #9
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Mastic will soften/dissolve in water, and probably quicker with warm water. Given that warm moist air will rise I would so not use mastic to affix tile to the ceiling of a shower. I wouldn't use mastic anywhere in a shower. Ever.

As for priming the drywall before the RG, I don't know, but the instructions may provide guidance, or a call to CBP's customer assistance line.
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Unread 04-08-2020, 10:08 AM   #10
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Lay out help needed

What do the Pro's use to stick tiles to the ceiling? Besides hard hats. What's the technique for avoiding sag? Bottle jack and a 2 x 4 for each tile?

Boss lady wants vertical brick pattern - sheez. Tiles are a nominal 12" x 24".
This way the edges get about 1" cut off each side. Top and bottom row will be 19" and 7".

When I think about how to lay the niches out I break out in beer flu symptoms. Definitely going to need help there.

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Unread 04-08-2020, 11:47 AM   #11
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Adam, I think if you'll read the installation instructions for the RedGard you'll find the manufacturer does not recommend the use of organic adhesive (mastic) on that product.

The RedGard on your walls looks a bit thin to me.

Adhering tiles to a ceiling is the same as setting them anywhere else except you need to be more careful to mix your mortar correctly and get very close to 100 percent mortar coverage on the back of each tile. You can prop them up there for a while if it makes you more comfortable, but if done correctly they should be happy to stay there on their own.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-08-2020, 12:43 PM   #12
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Thanks CX. Just been reading some bad stories about mastic on here - yikes! Ceiling might get some oil based primer and semi-gloss over the Redgard.

Redgard is 3 coats applied with a 3/8 nap roller, and 4 coats in corners and over seams?? Pinholes look filled up. Maybe it's the light in there plus the camera flash?
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Unread 04-08-2020, 01:04 PM   #13
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I would not recommend any solvent-based product over the RedGard. The manufacturer of the RedGard will have no recommendation at all for painting over the product, but I know for sure that water-based paints work just fine over it. See my warranty information below.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-14-2020, 07:53 AM   #14
Hoggercap
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Well, the shower is turning out like some of my old girlfriends. Nice from far, but ......... a couple things are far from nice.

From far:


Had a tile slide sideways on me, and when I tried to gently pry it off, I chipped the corner of it's neighbor. Aaargh!! I decided to leave it because it's near the floor in an inside corner which can only be seen when kneeling, and since I'm too old for trick-sex in the shower anymore, I'll never see it.
Besides I'll run out of tile.



This screwup comes from MUI - measuring under the influence. Somehow, my height is exactly 1 inch off and I only caught it yesterday! My eternal punishment will be having to look at it twice a day forever.



And finally to my question. The tile is 11.6875" wide, and the niche is 12" wide. As you can see from the pic, I need a 0.125" filler panel. Can thinset (versabond) be 0.375" thick? Ideas?

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Unread 04-15-2020, 09:04 AM   #15
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I have scrap pieces of 1/8" fiberglass I could glue (epoxy) to the wedi board. Pretty sure thinset will stick to fiberglass. Thoughts?

I have two pieces of stone lying around for 10 years. See pics, front and back. Can I use this for the curb-top? Too porous? I'll get a granite guy to make the cuts - if I can find an open shop.



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