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Unread 11-07-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
Neckbeard_Wookiee_420
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Noobs General Advice/Pre-Possession Planning

Hey everybody.
As the title suggests, I'm a newb here preparing to do my first bathroom job on my first home. I have already done a fair amount due diligence and started with loads of homework. I think I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done and once I gain possession of my first home (Nov 22) I will be able to actually take measurements and see what im working with to utilize the various calculators in the Library. For now, all I have is this trash picture.
1960 ranch in the suburbs of Chicago. This job will start in the winter and I've heard that weather does effect your planning when it comes to doing mud work or choosing waterproofing methods. Ideally, I want to go with Schluter products since there seems to be a wealth of information/videos for their products.
The vision as it stands now is to do a curbless shower, heated floors (not in the shower) using Ditra heat and Kerdi waterproofing after laying my own mud preslope. I assume my bathroom will have a wood subfloor and thats where I have my first specific question that I should have been able to find the answer for here but simply cant. User error for sure on my end. When doing a deck mud preslope on a wood subfloor, Ive seen some folks use garbage bags as a initial barrier between the deck mud and the floor, I've seen tar paper and I've seen nothing. Is there a general best practice for doing this or could somebody link me a thread where this is already discussed? I already know I have to get more info on my joists to punch into the Deflecto calculator to even see if I CAN do a deck mud preslope.
I've already been through a few threads and have been slowly coming to the realization that curbless showers are a bit risky and potentially frowned upon due to the potential for flooding. I also didnt know if there were specific codes pertaining to curbless showers being used next to heated floors. My city goes by 2009 International Residential Codes.
The basic plan thus far is to demo, get my measurements of stud distances/ materials, sub floor material, dimensions of the room ect so I can actually get some specific questions going on my project and use the various calculators here.
Depending on how mods seem best, I will start a new thread once I take possession and have some actual information for you guys to work off. I just wanted to introduce myself and get some conversation going
You all seem very helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 11-07-2019, 05:38 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Neckbeard, Give us a human name, will ya? Make one up if you want to.

Plastic trash bags are fine. Tar paper works. All we're doing is preventing the plywood from pre-maturely drawing the moisture from the mud.
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Unread 11-07-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
Neckbeard_Wookiee_420
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Zach is my name. I actually did see that somewhere in the noobs start here threads that folks like names I forgot to mention mine.
I do have in my notes to wipe down the subfloor with a damp sponge but its under the tiling portion and for thinset. I had seen that in one of the various youtube videos. So same logic but applied to the mud and the first preslope layer. Thanks John.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 07:22 AM   #4
ss3964spd
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Welcome aboard, Zach. No need to start another thread once you commence with your project, we rather like keeping everything related to one project on one thread as doing so provides history and context. We can change the name of your thread at anytime if you'd like.

Having just finished my own curbless shower centric bathroom overhaul I wholeheartedly endorse them (as well the heated floor). They are tough to pull off, though, at least for a novice like me. But, no pain no gain, right?

The biggest challenge is finished floor height, and that'll be especially true for you if you're planning to use mud. Mud needs to be about 3/4" thick at the drain and, depending on how large the shower is, could end up being 2" thick around the perimeter. That means you'd have to raise the rest of the floor by about the same amount, then tile on toppa that, which may become an issue at the threshold leading into the bathroom. You might be able to save some height by recessing the subfloor between the joists (as I did).

Lots of variables, most of which you won't know until you start to demo.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:11 AM   #5
Neckbeard_Wookiee_420
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Nice to hear some good news with the curbless. After initially watching any youtube video I could find on putting in a curbless, I was sold. But lurking here made me have some second guesses.
The part where I cant get any further information and continue more serious planning is the part thats killing me. I took a look at the inspection and the pictures that came with it to try to zoom and measure joists. Im desperate.
Il continue lurking here and if you know of any good threads other than the library threads that would be helpful to me or helpful to keep basic questions to a minimum Im happy to read through them. My notebook is starting to look pretty good and its mostly all from this forum and youtube.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:21 AM   #6
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don't try to preplan to much. I am happy with my curbless. my framed shower door did create a 1.5" dam if you will. my drain has no issues with 4 heads on at the same time.. possible 10 GPM I have 3 side heads and then can choose between rain head or hand held. This is a rental unit so I only tried out the Steam shower 2 times and love it. only tried out the tile heat once and at 82 degrees it felt so nice on bare feet. the energy usage showed it may cost 1$/day for my 25 sq foot 240 V system. But that is based on 20 hours from off position. I guess I should leave it on 2 days so I can see what day 2 energy usage would be.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:29 AM   #7
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Careful with those YouTube videos, Zach, lots of disinformation out there. The pros here are very, very good indeed.

Feel free to go through my thread here, but it is dreadfully, embarrassingly long.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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Any specific reason to go with the 240v system over the 120?
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:32 AM   #9
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Draws 1/2 the amps.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 09:56 AM   #10
Neckbeard_Wookiee_420
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Yea my notebook is almost exclusively stuff from with website and the codebook although I've found Sal Diblasi's videos to contain a lot of information that I see around here. Im looking into getting Johns books as well as a copy of the TCNA handbook to really beef up these notes and stream line this.
I probably will just stick with the Ditra kit which comes with the 120v. I have so many projects I want to do that I create unnecessary hurdles. Part of me feels like if im doing the bathroom, I might as well just pop in a new breaker, go 240v and run new wires since its a pretty short run to this bathroom. Then I go, well, if im popping in a new breaker I might as well put in the 200a service I eventually am going to put in with all new breakers. I just dont want to create more work for myself by poorly planning.
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Unread 11-08-2019, 11:05 AM   #11
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Zach!

Realize there’s no real cost savings with a 240v system to heat the floor, assuming both 120v and 240v systems are being sized identically in terms of watts.

On a 240v heating system, you use half the amps, but twice the voltage. On a 120v system, you use twice the amps, but half the voltage.

Without going crazy into detail....Since: Volts x Amps = Watts...it comes out the same for cost to heat the floor. The only advantage of using 240v is if your system is too large for a 120v circuit.

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Unread 11-08-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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once I gain possession of my first home
The best advice I received when I bought my first house was, unless something is unliveable/non-functional/dangerous, live in the house for 6 to 12 months before commencing any renovations to get a sense of what works and what doesn't. Sometimes the things you think you want at first will drastically change with how you actually live. Also, you're likely to discover some other hidden expense that you'll need to address.
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