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Unread 09-07-2003, 12:20 PM   #1
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Shower - in over my head

I think I goofed by crashing another thread with my questions below. It looks like its one-thread-per-project, so I'll start this thread. My apologies for my newbie mistake.

I've started a shower project, and I can see this forum is the place to come for much needed info and advice. I've removed everything down to studs and plywood subfloor. I opted to remove the fiberglass(?) base that the original builder put in the shower because I want to replace it with a tile floor. The shower is 48" by 32".

My first snag: it seems that the Oatey and Sioux Chief shower pan drains both have 2" drain pipe connecters. Problem is that the PVC drain pipe coming up from my trap is 2.5". Should I simply cut this pipe down and then find a connecter PVC pipe that reduces the 2.5" opening to a 2" opening to connect to the shower pan drain? Or is there anyone who makes a shower pan drain with a 2.5" drain pipe connecter?

Second snag: the builder cut a rectangular hole (6" X 9" inches) in the 3/4" plywood floor around the drain, probably for access while working. That was fine when the floor was covered by a fiberglass base. But since I'm tiling, I'm thinking that this hole around the drain is unacceptable. Besides lacking support, it means I have nothing against which to fasten the shower pan drain. My patch solution: if I just extend the size of this hole until I get to floor joists and then patch it with new 3/4" plywood (nailing into the revealed joints), will that cause any problems? I intend to seal the seam where the new plywood meets the old...is that necessary and what should I use?

Third snag: I've seen in many places on this forum that I will need to install 2x10" backing at the base of the wall studs to provide support for the pan liner. Problem is that in several places, the space bettwen the studs is obstructed with copper pipes and PVC vents. I think I can either 1) install as much backing as I can in the space available and hope that I've provided enough support for the pan liner, 2) build a inner wall around the perimeter of the shower using 2*2s for header and 2x4s turned sideways, giving me a clear space to install the backing but also slightly reducing the overall size of the shower, or 3) hire a plumber to move pipes and vents around to get them out of my way at the bottom of the walls. Any thoughts?

Thanks for any help. Not sure what I got myself on this project :-)

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Unread 09-07-2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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Your problems are minor, Ed, the solutions rather easy, so relax and enjoy the project.

Welcome aboard, by the way, you done good starting you own thread, just stay with it throughout the project so we can all keep up with what's going on.

Are you sure you have two and a half inch PVC pipe coming up for your drain? Those pipes are sized by inside diameter, a two inch pipe being about two and three eighths outside diameter. That what you got? If so, the standard Oatey drain will slide right on. Two and a half inch PVC isn't common unless it's grey in color, which means you have the electrical service conduit stubbed up in your shower.

As for the floor hole, just get the pipe the way you want it, then cut a couple pieces of 2x4 or strips of your 3/4 ply a little longer than the side of the hole (either direction, whichever is easiest), slide them down into the hole, hold them up against the bottom of the floor and screw them in place through the floor from the top, using holes you have pre-drilled. Then cut a piece of 3/4 ply the size and shape of the hole (needn't be all that accurate) with a hole in the middle for the drain pipe and screw that onto the cleats you have provided. If you've already installed the drain, just cut the patch in half and install the two pieces around the pipe. This all takes a little less time to do than to 'splain.

For the blocking in the walls for the pan liner, do the best you can. Frequently in the plumbing walls you can use some 3/4 plywood for the blocking in front of the pipes. Again, you might cut some cleats to nail against the sides of the studs to allow you to nail or screw the thinner blocking from the front. None of this has to be furniture quality construction, just a reasonably flat place to support the pan liner. If it looks really ugly, don't take no picher until the pan is installed.
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Unread 09-07-2003, 05:42 PM   #3
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Hi Ed,

What CX said.

The pipe is 2 in. It'll work.

The backing around the perimeter can be anything. All it does is give you something to tack the upper edges of the liner to. It doesn't have to be super strong, and it doesn't have to be continuous.
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Unread 09-07-2003, 06:12 PM   #4
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On the blocking issue, and getting around plumbing, I have used a kiln dried piece of 2x4, and using a jig saw, made cut outs for the pipes, so it can be slipped on from the front and tacked into place. All it needs to hold is a staple. But for saftey's sake, make sure you use plates over the supply lines in and around that blocking.

I've sprung a leak more than once......
"Sir, I May Be Drunk, But You're Crazy, and I'll Be Sober Tomorrow"
WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934
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Unread 09-07-2003, 07:46 PM   #5
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CX, John, Scooter,

Thanks much for the speedy replies! Suddenly it all seems so easy.

1. You're right on regarding the PVC: 2 3/8" OD. I'll order that Oatey with confidence.
2. The patch technique sound simple enough. Thanks.
3. I'll try these backing ideas and let you know how I make out.

Thanks again.
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Unread 09-07-2003, 10:08 PM   #6
Sonnie Layne
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Ed, you're gonna do so good on this job it'll surprise you. Anyone pays attention to detail in the beginning ends up with a well finished project.
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