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Unread 04-03-2021, 06:09 AM   #1
openhand
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Curbless shower questions bathroom 1

Hi All- I'm about to begin demo on a full bathroom remodel. First floor, full basement, 3/4 ply subfloor, 2x12 joists 16 o/c, span no more than 8ft. Customer wants curbless tile shower and linear drain. Also electric radiant floor heat under new surrounding tile floor. Shower will be approximately 40"x42". My plan is to locate the linear drain toward the back of the shower and to use a pre-sloped Wedi pan, Wedi panels on the shower walls, and Ditra heat decoupler on the surrounding floor so I can install the heat cable there. I'm sure I'll have many questions as this job unfolds, but for now I'm asking for general feedback regarding the materials I've chosen and I'm also wondering about the best way to join the Ditra Heat membrane with the shower pan to get a flat, durable, waterproof connection there. I looked for threads in this forum on building curbless showers but didn't do well finding anything I can use- can someone suggest threads on this forum that would be good to read? Youtube videos, etc?Thanks!
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Unread 04-03-2021, 06:45 AM   #2
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It's a ridiculously tedious read, Clark, but my own master bathroom curbless shower thread might provide some insights for you. https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin...d.php?t=124157
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Unread 04-03-2021, 07:00 AM   #3
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HI Clark

Not sure if a Wedi pan will work for the job you are speaking of. I know they make prefab pans that might work for a linear drain but it won't be barrier free. I try to steer people away from linear drains, for a barrier free shower you don't need them. Waste a money. Put the barrier free pan in, centre the drain and your golden.

I would use the Fundo Ligno pan for the barrier free application. They make a 4X5' if they had a 4X4' that would be better they are costly but it's the price a doing business. You would remove the 3/4" plywood in the shower area and the Fundo Ligno goes in place of it. Importantly you will have to sure up the floor underneath before setting the Wedi pan in. The Wedi pan measures 3/4" at the perimeter if its no but to fit, a little less if you cut it down.

When doing a barrier free drain I tell customers you can pay for my labor to drop the floor and mud the pan area or you can pay for the pan. A Fundo Ligno Wedi pan will run you about 800.00 for a 4X5. 4X4 less if they make em that size.

So you are using the ditra uncoupling membrane for the heat, this is a little thicker than normal ditra which is about 1/8". To connect the Wedi pan to ditra membrane for the barrier free transition, I would take the Wedi pan and raise it up the necessary height when you install it, doesn't have to sit directly on the ply you could raise it up as long as it's sound. By raising up the pan area, you now have room to put the ditra heat mat uncoupling membrane in the floor outside the shower and get it flush to the Wedi pan.

To make that transition waterproof I would use the kerdi band, or a liquid like Hydro Ban, or the Wedi Sealant since you are using Wedi on the walls. Most of us are doing Hybrid showers using the products we like they do work together it's just some need a certain color to feel good about their work. Warranties are great if an actual product is defective but in my career it's lack of detail of installing the product where a shower fails like maybe .0001 % of the time it's a product and takes a lot of time for the rep to actually locate the problem. When they do it's gonna be the installer who erred so you get nothing from the manufacturer rep but a good write up explaining so. So where did the warranty get them when the installer was the cause and won't call customer back, the cost of a new shower

In 20 years doing tile I haven't had a failure in a shower and I have always been local so believe you me, I would know. I sell shower systems not products.
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Unread 04-03-2021, 07:05 AM   #4
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Dan I just perused through your thread, very nicely done. How did you do the barrier free pan, I wan't clear. Clark you can see he used a 4" drain in center vs the line drain.
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Unread 04-03-2021, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thank, Jon. Though I could have done a better job on tile layout, overall it turned out pretty nice.

I did opt for a center drain. I could have done a linear drain but I'm just not a fan of the short, tapered edge between the flat floor and the sloped floor that my layout would have necessitated. It would have also been problematic given the combination of the pony wall and the glass panel.

The shower floor is foam, covered with membrane, and the membrane extends onto the flat floor by about 4", making the seam water tight.
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Unread 04-04-2021, 11:43 AM   #6
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Hi All- Thanks so much for the responses! Since these are very flexible customers I think I'll try to steer them away from a line drain. Barring that- has anyone used the laticrete shower pans? Are they pretty much the same thing as the exp Wed and Schluter ones? I'm taking some time online today before kicking things off tomorrow to see if someone makes a prefab tile-able pan with a linear drain at the back that will work in a 40" space. Looks like if I get a 48" unit and cut it I'm into the drain and that won't work. Doesn't look like anyone makes 36" units that are extendable.. Am I missing something? And I haven't floated a pan in years and doing so here wouldn't be second nature, and I want to keep this simple by dropping something in. As far as elevations, existing floor in this bath is tile and not sure what it's set on until I tear out tomorrow, but the nice thing about the house is it's framed really well, very level and strong, and I have full access from the basement. Is there any hope of finding a high quality single slope curbless shower pan with line drain in back? Or am I wasting time looking? Thanks so much, this forum has been a great resource for me over the years.
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Unread 04-04-2021, 01:38 PM   #7
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Hydroblock Shower floor questions

Hi Again! I'm doing some research and see the hydrolock linear drain system which can be cut to fit. I also see it could be placed at the entrance of the curbless shower and it's a blind drain, ie: no hardware shows and water falls between ungrouted tiles. I'm still looking for a video that shows how one would tile to this at the entrance. Does anyone have experience with the Hydroblock system? It looks like the same material as Wedi. I could get pan and drain shipped and purchase Wedi board locally if I went with it. Thoughts?
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Unread 04-04-2021, 01:43 PM   #8
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Floating Granite Shower Seat?

And one more question- Has anyone installed a floating shower seat in granite and how would I accomplish this in the context of a Wedi system? Customer is looking for an asymmetrical corner seat.
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Unread 04-04-2021, 04:48 PM   #9
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Welcome back, Clark.

I'm not at all familiar with the Hydro-Blok drain system.

One of the downsides of any of the foam shower tray systems is that your subfloor must be near perfectly level and flat for the installation to work properly. You can spend as much or more time leveling the substrate as you would have placing a mortar bed on whatever subfloor you currently have.

There is rarely an opportunity for "just dropping something in."

Not sure just what you might have in mind for your "asymmetrical corner seat," but if it's within reason in its size and shape, installation would be the same as with any other waterproofing system. You'd simply tile the seat into the tile installation. Major consideration would be finding a suitable stone piece for the seat. It will need to be very sound to satisfy the requirements of your application. Some liability involved there, too.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-05-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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Update on bathroom- tile set directly on subfloor?

thanks for the response, CX- I'm pretty sure I can use the Wedi pan- I'm in the midst of demolition and will soon know. Tomorrow I tackle existing tile floor removal. At first glance it looks like the floor tile was set directly on the 3/4 ply subfloor.. No cracking anywhere. I have no idea what I'm going to have left after getting it up with a stripping shovel.. I was expecting some kind of backer board. How do others remove tile from a plywood subfloor? Any suggestions? Thanks again!
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Unread 04-06-2021, 08:18 AM   #11
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Clark, the bathroom I recently demo'd had a mosaic tile set directly on plywood. I mostly used 2 different pry bars to tear it apart, a 12" flat one and a 36" long demo/crow bar.
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Unread 04-09-2021, 05:33 PM   #12
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Blocking and pony wall construction tips?

Hello! I have the walls open in my current bathroom remodel and I'm waiting for subs. I'm wondering about blocking and pony wall methods: First, how do others go about making sure a pony wall is strong? I have always screwed it together and to the floor and used premium PL on connections and coverings. What do others do? Blocking- I plan to install lots of blocking in this bathroom and wonder about the strength of 3/4" plywood? Does it provide the required 250 lbs of strength? Are there rules that require solid wood and prohibit plywood? Seems like plywood is strong and leaves space for insulation, but I'm not sure. Thanks in advance! BTW- for anyone following this thread, it turned out the tile floor I removed was set on 5/8 plywood underlayment and it was a LOT of work with a sledge hammer to chip the tile off with glancing blows and then unscrew the underlayment. Glad that's over! Thanks for all input so far!
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Unread 04-09-2021, 05:45 PM   #13
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Underlayment Questions

Can someone tell me a rule of thumb for picking the right underlayment at a lumber yard for applying Ditra and then tile to? CDX plywood? Avantec? etc. I still don't understand what the stamps on plywood mean. And can we keep it simple? I'm trying to upload an image of the stamp on the 5/8 ply this bathroom floor was set on. It had been there since the 80's and it was murder to get the tile off. No decoupling membrane yet no cracking anywhere. Also no evidence of moisture infiltration, but the radiant tubing under the subfloor may have been a player in keeping the materials dry over the years?
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Unread 04-09-2021, 08:00 PM   #14
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Clark, the plywood your previous tile was bonded to was an underlayment. The second layer of structural plywood you intend to install is a second layer of structural plywood. The Ditra will be your underlayment.

Depending upon your joist structure and what you have as a first layer of subflooring, you may not actually need the second layer. I think it's always a good idea, but all tile underlayment manufacturers accept a single layer plywood or OSB subfloor over joists space no wider than 16" on center. That presumes new construction, of course, and not the old, damaged plywood subfloor you currrently have.

The plywood in your photo is an interesting study. While the grade stamp clearly indicates CC plywood, plugged and sanded one side, but the stamp is on what is pretty clearly a D face. Dunno what to tell you about that.

What you need for a second layer is an exterior glue plywood with no face of grade lower than C. Usually nominal 1/2" is sufficient, but, depending upon your first layer you might well want that nominal 5/8ths" plywood.

As for your plywood wall backing material, the problem there is attaching it to the framing adequately. The pull-through of proper fasteners would be fine for your handrails/grab-bars and such, but you might wanna run that through your code compliance inspector before you commit. I've done it for towel racks, TP holders and such, but never for grab-bars.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-13-2021, 04:53 AM   #15
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Floor layout curbless shower and waterproofing transition

Thanks for the previous response regarding underlayment and grab blocking. I’m beginning to think about layout fot the floor of my curbless shower. I’m mixing Ditra Heat in order r to install a radiant floor heat cable, and a Wedi Fundo Ligno pan. I have decided with the customer against a linear drain configuration. This shower will have a custom glass door and I have a few concerns: 1. Where should the transition between floor tile and pan tile occur? Aesthetically, I’m thinking directly under the door? 2. If the outer floor is truly flat and level, does a sweep get installed on the glass door, does it then drag across the tile floor when opened? How does this detail work mechanically speaking? 3. I saw instructions for waterproofing the Ditra to pan connection and saw references to a 4 inch overlap with a membrane adhered with unmodified thinset but also using 100% silicone at the outer edge of the membrane to stop capillary action of thinset. Can others please tell me how they handle this critical area? Thanks!
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