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Unread 11-28-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
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Bathroom renovation questions


I'm in the planning (post-demo) stages of a bathroom remodel. The goal is to replace a tub/shower combo with a shower and replace floor tile. After removing the tile and tub, a few questions came up.

Original construction was in 1985. Joists are 2x8, 24" OC. The 30"x60" tub was on 3/4" plywood subfloor. The joists were notched to lower the floor under the remainder of the bathroom and a mud deck was poured on top of the subfloor to bring it level with the tub subfloor. The images below show the notched joist, the subfloor/mud deck transition, and the underside plumbing and joist arrangement. My questions are:

1. The original plan was to use a cast iron shower receptor to replace the tub. Is there any concern with placing a wider (32"or 34") receptor on the subfloor and mud deck? The mud deck appears in good condition, with no cracks.

2. It appears as though these receptors might be a couple of months out if we ordered today. What other options do we have for a shower considering our floor configuration?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Unread 11-28-2015, 12:44 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi Jordan, welcome.

A few questions before we take a fork in the road without knowing some stuff:

1) What's the span of those 2x8 joists?
2) Is there a single layer of 3/4" plywood pieced BETWEEN each of your 24" O.C. joists?
3) How thick is your mud bed?
4) Was the removal of old tile quite easy, or did it take a lot of sweat and prying and chipping?
5) Cracks in mud beds are very difficult to see. And they will likely lead to a much shorter service life out of your new tile floor. Therefore, I'd look for cracks very carefully. You may want to vacuum the floor very thoroughly to pull all the fine cement dust from any cracks that otherwise do an awesome job of hiding cracks in the first place. And follow up with using a very damp/wet rag to the floor. Wetness drawn into the cracks will take longer to dry than the rest of the surface and this darkness will make spotting any cracks easy.

As far as your second question, you can make a custom tileable mud pan from easily obtainable materials to any size you'd like and would cost a fraction of that cast iron pan.

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Unread 11-28-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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Tool Guy,

Thanks for your quick response. I dropped down into the crawl space and did some homework to get the answers to your questions.

1. The span of the joists is about 98". On closer examination there are three joists under the tub on 15" centers.

2. I can't see any plywood between the joists. The joists under the mud deck are 1 3/8" lower than the joists under the shower. The mud deck measures 1 1/8" thick. So it seems, without directly measuring, the plywood under the mud deck is 1".

3. The mud is 1 1/8".

4. I used an air hammer with a curved chisel to take up the tile. So it was hard to judge the effort required. A lot of it separated at the bond to the tile rather than the bond at the mud deck. I scraped the mud deck by hand with a scraper and some of it came off easily, with other areas pretty tough. There are a few patches in which the surface of the deck came up to about a depth of 1/8".

5. After cleaning and wetting, there is one crack by the door of about 1.5" long.

One other fact pertinent to the tile effort: There is a closet next to the tub alcove at the same level as the tub subfloor. Tile was mortared directly to the subfloor here.
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