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Unread 09-26-2021, 06:28 AM   #1
gcc
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Window and pipe

Hi all,

Had lots of help over the years from here. 4 bathroom renos…3 in my house and one at a friend’s house. That friend called and said a different shower in his house had tile file off the wall and asked if I would help him out with that one now. They had been thinking of redoing it anyway…So…on to bathroom number 5.

This one will be a little different for me as it has some challenges not in the other bathrooms I’ve done. Depending on how to handle these will determine the waterproofing method I use.

Just some background on the project…Florida home. This was a bathtub alcove but we took the tub. They want to convert it to a shower. I’m hoping you can help with a few questions.

1. A window - how is the best way to handle a window as far as waterproofing?



The wood over laps the edge of the block by about 1/2”.

2. The hot water supply line is actually coming out of the floor just on the outside of the wall IN the shower area. It didn’t matter with the tub but this would be a problem with the shower. It’s only an inch or two - could I just fur out that area of the wall from the floor up a few feet so it creates a sort of ledge? Or would it have to be the entire wall?

3. Due to the window, a niche, and small bench, I assume a direct bonded waterproof membrane will be best. I’ll probably move the drain and center it if I can (although that supply line may be in the way of me doing that). I wanted to try redguard for this one but I’m not sure how to handle the pan with redguard. I only want to do one mud bed. Can redguard be used in this application? Maybe use the same mesh tape on the change of plans and around the drain for the redguard as the tape used on the cbu? Or is Kerdi a better option?


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Unread 09-26-2021, 08:46 AM   #2
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Hi Greg,

If I were doing this I'd remove the wood on face of he block around the window opening and reinstall so that the edge is even with the edge of the block.

No reason I can see that you couldn't fur out that plumbing wall to clear the supply line, but if you are going to be breaking up the concrete to center the drain I'd definitely try to rework that copper so that it comes up into the stud bay.

I'd probably opt to use a combination of foam board on the walls and around the window, and a single mud bed with membrane and compatible drain assembly. Seal all the seams with membrane band.
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Unread 09-26-2021, 07:46 PM   #3
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Thanks. Just so I understand…


1. So take off that wood and put up new wood or - if I can take it off without destroying it, reuse it, but make sure it is even with the opening. I assume tapcons will work. I think they are nailed in now. Pressure treated furring strips, right?

2. When you say re-work the copper, do you mean cut it and solder on fittings below grade or is there a way to bend/move it into the stud bay?




3. Was hoping to finally try a project using redguard but seems like Kerdi board will have to be what we use I guess. How do you treat the window opening corners? And how do you treat the Kerdi board to the window frame itself?

Thanks!!
Greg


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Unread 09-30-2021, 06:32 AM   #4
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Yes, remove the framing around the window and reinstall so that the edge of the wood is flush with the edge of the block. You might need some at the bottom as well. Getting the framing even with the opening will allow you to cut and install a water proof foam board directly to the block and still without too much mortar thickness. You'd then run a bead of sealant around foam board that frames the opening and the vinyl window frame, seal the rest of the seams with membrane band.

Yes, cut the copper, sweat whatever combination of fittings you need to get that copper to come up in the stud cavity. I don't think you'll be able to manipulate that existing "flexible" copper pipe to where you need it.
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Unread 10-30-2021, 09:39 PM   #5
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Hey guys -

It’s been a while and I haven’t had time to work on this project much - but I was thinking of potential problems.

1. The furring strips on the concrete block are typical 3/4” strips of wood. Am I wrong in thinking the Kerdi screws are going to have an issue? I believe they are 1 5/8” long. If I do the math, that means there is only 1 1/4” of space from the face of the Kerdi board to the concrete block. Do I need to rip 1/2” plywood and fur out the concrete walls on top of the existing furring strips? Is this common?

2. When attaching Kerdi board directly to block around the window jamb area, do I thinset that to turn block?

Thanks!!

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Unread 10-31-2021, 12:29 AM   #6
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You can use thinset to attach the Kerdiboard directly to the blocks if you remove the firring strips entirely...no screws required. Otherwise, yes, screw it to the firring strips, but then, you'll have more holes to seal rather than just the seams. On the other walls, yes, you'd screw it to the stud wall.

Kerdifix will seal the Kerdiboard to the window frame, and, you could use it on the wall, but it's much more expensive than using thinset. Schluter has some videos on their website showing attaching Kerdiboard to concrete block.

Rigid copper isn't really meant to be bent...it's too easy to kink.

Unless you want to use a linear drain at the edge, you want to move the drain to the center. Linear drains tend to be expensive, but give you some different design choices, and a single flat slope might be easier, but it's not bad, regardless.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 05:24 AM   #7
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Thanks! So on the back wall with the window I can remove all of the furring strips and just thinset the Kerdi board to the wall. That’s a great idea. But on the right wall that Kerdi board will transition to drywall. That might be an issue. I may have to fur out the entire length of that wall to make that work. Or can I use really thick dollops of thinset to spot bond it to get it close? They’d have to be about 1” thick to compress down to 3/4”, but it would that be ok? Is that pushing the limits of thinset?

If I have fur out the walls, do I just rip 1/2” pieces of plywood and use a Brad nailer to attach to the pressure treated strips that are there? That would give me 1 1/4” of wood furring, plus the Kerdi board would be 1 3/4” for the 1 5/8” Kerdi screws

Thanks - bunch!

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Unread 10-31-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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I did the same thing, Greg, had to fur out an entire wall with rips of 1/2" ply to keep the drywall in the same plane as the foam board tub surround. Fortunately there were no window or door openings on that wall so was pretty straight forward.

If you do add furring strips I wouldn't rely on brads alone to attach them. Use some construction adhesive as well.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 09:04 AM   #9
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Ok - I can do that. I think the Kerdi screw going through when I attach the foam board would give it some more support as well, but I can use construction adhesive and fur out that wall. I think there is one light box on that wall I’d have to deal with and 5 water supply lines (2 sinks and a toilet). Hopefully I won’t have to mess with those.


I’m not sure about the window wall yet. I may just remove all the furring strings on that wall and around the window and thinset all that board to the block. I’ll have to see how hard it is to get those masonry nails out and remove the strips compared to tacking on rips of plywood.

Thanks guys!!

Greg


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Unread 10-31-2021, 09:45 AM   #10
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Here's a video on installing Kerdi Board over a concrete wall. Your block walls should be pretty plumb and flat but they let you spot bond also.

For the window, you might think about going with a thicker foam board instead of using the wood furring strips.

In fact, you might think about installing a foam pan in this space although you might be too wide with the furring strips.

I know foam pans are frowned upon over in these parts of the interwebs but your time is a resource and it would provide a bit of insulation over the concrete floor. And you wouldn't need to do a major relocation of your drain if you didn't want.

For the plumbing, I think you just need to get that hot water line in the bottom plate and in the wall? If you aren't comfortable soldering new copper in the wall you could go with a PEX crimp-on system for moving that.

The tools and parts might run $50 and it's a pretty simple job. And while you're doing that much plumbing you might as well change out the shower valve since you would have the tools to do it.
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Unread 10-31-2021, 11:20 AM   #11
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Window and pipe

I have the expansion pex tool and was thinking about converting that to pex. I’m Just nervous about soldering on a fitting for that at such a low place in the piping. I’ve soldered some before but I’m no expert. It’s so low that I’m afraid it would never stop dripping. And it’s next to impossible to find expansion pex fittings around here. Everything in our box stores seems to be crimp style pex. If I can find the fittings online I might be try soldering on that adapter and converting.

Thanks!!


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Unread 10-31-2021, 11:28 AM   #12
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Supplyhouse.com has all the expansion PEX fittings and also an affordable manual expanding tool (you have to do the rotation portion manually while you expand the fitting). Were I to use PEX, this would be my preferred choice (over the crimp style). Cheapest and arguably one of the most reliable ways, though, is soldering. Use the tinning flux, clean the fittings, debur etc. and you will never have an issue. Soldering would be my preferred choice, but many things will work.

Ooops, just saw you already have the expansion tool. All the better.
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Unread 11-01-2021, 12:12 PM   #13
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Window and pipe

Yes, I purchased my supplies for my bathroom Reno last year from there and have some Upunor Pex pipe left over. I think I found a Home Depot that has some Apollo and sharkbite Expension pex a fittings. Is it ok to mix the different brand fittings with the uponor brand pipe?

I was able to get the Milwaukee tool used and it works great - and seems like a very solid connection

Thanks!


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Unread 11-01-2021, 01:14 PM   #14
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The ID and OD of the tubing is compatible, so you should be able to use an expansion fitting with any expandable pex. Just don't try to use an expansion fitting on pex-b, or -c. You can also use a compression fitting on type -a, but then, you lose some of the advantages of the larger ID and less internal restrictions.
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Unread 11-06-2021, 08:55 AM   #15
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Ok - that’s good to know. If I need to run out and get something locally I’ll be able to use it.

A few more questions:

1) As many have suggested, I think I will try to rework that copper pipe so we don’t have to fur out that left wall where the pipe isn’t in the stud bay. I will convert it to Pex A at some point. Is it ok to do that below grade or should I keep all that copper? The less soldering the better, but I don’t know if Pex A can be buried even for that short length of pipe. I’ll know more once I dig that out and see what I am dealing with.

2) they want a bench in the shower. At this point, mainly because of the window, we are planning on using Kerdi board. It’s a cement slab. What would be the easiest/quickest way to accomplish this? They want a rectangular bench - so my first thought was to build it out of 2x4 (maybe put some visqueen/poly on the slab where the wood touches the slab) and tapcon it to the slab. Then put the Kerdi board up around it and the walls at the same time.

Is it easier to build it out of cinder blocks after I put the Kerdi on the walls and then just thinset more Kerdi board to the faces of the bench? I still think framing would be easier but wanted to know what you all thought as I’ve never done that before.

3) I am still thinking about that issue with the masonry walls only having 3/4” furring strips and the Kerdi screws being 1 5/8” long. On the right wall, where the Kerdi board will have to transition to drywall for the rest of the bathroom, I’ll have to fur out the entire length of wall outside the shower wall in order to get that to all line up. My thought is to rip 1/2” strips of plywood and use construction adhesive and some small 1” Brad nails to attach the rips of wood to the 3/4” strips that are there. If I do that, I may have to replace all the stub outs (2 sinks and a toilet). I don’t know for sure yet but I am thinking ahead.

Any other solutions to get that to line up without furring the entire wall. The only think I could think of was to remove the furring strips in the shower and thinset 2 layers of 3/8” Kerdi board to the masonry wall and then thinset the Kerdi 1/2” board that will receive the tile to that. But - that seems more expensive and probably harder to get things flat - and 3/8” Kerdi might be hard to find. But…any other thoughts?

Thanks!


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