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Unread 07-19-2018, 09:19 AM   #1
chemprof
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Brick shower curb and advice on remodel

I am having to re-do a shower that was remodeled in 2009 because apparently drywall was used behind the tile and water has gotten to it and it is a wet crumbly mess behind some tiles near the shower curb. I knew nothing about how to properly build a shower then. Thanks to you guys, I know a lot now!

One contractor wants to remove the current curb and use bricks. Our house is pier and beam. Can a brick curb even be used? How would the bricks be attached since we aren’t slab? What is the proper technique to build a brick curb?

Also, one proposal is to just remove the bottom three rows of tile, replace the dry wall at the bottom with cement board along with replacing the curb and shower pan. Would this be acceptable or are we asking for trouble down the line by not just tearing it all out?
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Unread 07-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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Hi, How about a first name or nick name?

I think I would replace the entire shower since there's nothing but drywall behind it.

Brick can be used over a wood floor, but it's not what I would use. I would use wood (but not treated wood).
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Unread 07-19-2018, 10:42 AM   #3
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Shower pan pre-slope required?

We are about to have a new shower pan installed. I have been researching for days about the proper procedure and some folks say a pre-slope before the liner is needed and some disagree. We are in Dallas, TX. Does anyone know if city code requires a pre-slope? I read over the plumbing code and maybe I missed it, but I did not see anything about a pre-slope. Do most of you professionals put in the pre-slope? I need to be able to argue for the pre-slope if needed.

I am so incredibly peeved that we are having to re-do a shower that isn’t even 9 years old so I want to be more informed this time around. We were pretty clueless last time and trusted that everything was being done correctly.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 11:43 AM   #4
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Welcome, Rob.

It'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

If you plan to build a traditional mud/liner/mid shower receptor you absolutely do need a pre-slope under the liner. Your building/plumbing code requires that the liner (a part of your plumbing) be sloped a minimum of 1/4" per foot to the drain and the pre-slope is the only way to provide that.

Let me be the first to recommend you not try to replace only the receptor for your shower repair unless you are considering it a band-aid repair until you have time and resources to replace the entire shower.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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We are leaning towards a total re-do cause we weren’t thrilled with the idea of just fixing the bottom part, but obviously it will mean almost twice the cost to do the whole thing. I will insist on the pre-slope for this re-do. At least the guy we are considering says in his estimate that he gets an inspection by the city for the shower pan.

I am so anxious/mad about this whole thing because we obviously did not plan for this expense and went through an entire remodel of this bathroom less than 9 years ago. We were way too naive. I plan to watch everything that is done cause thanks to this forum and others, I know much more about how things are supposed to be done.

I do have a few more questions.
1. Is there a preferred brand of cement board to use?
2. When the cement board is attached, should it touch the floor of the shower or be raised enough for floor tiles to slide under?
3. Should the floor tiles or wall tiles go on first?
4. I know Redgard or similar needs to go over cement board, but is there another type of moisture barrier behind the cement board?
5. What type of material protects the corners? Should Kerdi go there or is there another similar membrane that should be used?
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Unread 07-19-2018, 02:25 PM   #6
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1. Dealer's choice.

2. Depends. If you use a true CBU and not a Fiber/Cement board or any gypsum-based board, you can set the bottom into the final mud bed of a traditional shower receptor. You still want it a half-inch or so above the liner.

3. Dealer's choice. I prefer the floor tile to extend under the wall tile, but I always install the wall tile first except for the bottom row.

4. Only if you do not use a surface applied direct bonded waterproofing membrane such as your suggested RedGard. One or the other, not both.

5. Don't understand the question.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 03:03 PM   #7
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So one guy who has given us an estimate says there is a moisture barrier that goes over the studs before the cement board is attached and then redgard or similar will be painted on top of the cement board prior to tiling. Is that not OK?
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Unread 07-19-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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Use one or the other but not both together. Doing so may trap moisture between the two surfaces.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 05:01 PM   #9
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5. Hi Rob, Schluter makes Kerdi inside and outside corners.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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THere are many different industry standard ways to build a shower. They are all described in the TCNA handbook that gets updated annually. Your contractor should pick one of the approved methods, and you'll have a successful shower. Trying to roll your own means he is the designer, and doesn't have the industry or testing labs behind him. It's not hard, is VERY detail oriented, but you DO have to follow the instructions! Misinterpreting or failing to do one critical step can lead to a failure.

Personally, I think the method that utilizes a bonded, sheet membrane produces the most bullet proof shower. Each method has its strong and weak points, but they all work.

If I were going to pay someone to do this for me, I'd have some verbiage in the contract that said something like "All work will be done to one method from the TCNA handbook and according to the manufacturer's instructions of the materials selected." Then, if there's a problem, you have a black and white, industry bible to fall back on. Not in writing, hard to enforce.

You can negotiate with him on the method, if you choose. It may not be best to force the issue by selecting a particular method and having him learn on the job...if you prefer one he's not comfortable with, switch contractors.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 06:39 PM   #11
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Well, I have done more research and agree and understand that the best idea is EITHER plastic behind cement board OR Redgard or similar on front of cement board. If you do use the plastic, wouldn’t there be holes in it from screwing on the cement board over it?? Seems like painting something over the entire cement board after it is installed would be a more thorough coverage since it would cover any screws. I realize some prefer the plastic cause it doesn’t have to dry like the paint-on stuff and it is cheaper, but I just want the best protection. If we have to wait a day for something to dry, so be it.

Any pros or cons for Redgard vs other brands? Assume two coats is appropriate?
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Unread 07-19-2018, 06:51 PM   #12
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It's the vapor that would end up between the redgard and plastic that would cause a problem.

Redgard is fine, as are several other brands, provided they are used properly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding application of the membrane over your chosen substrate.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 07:25 PM   #13
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Rob the puncturing of plastic or roofing felt as you fasten the backer board has also been a question of mine that wasn't scientifically explained yet... maybe someone will enlighten me as well!

I mostly use 6 mil poly and I since I mud I started to pookie the fasteners below the shower head after I lath for added inusurance. Takes about 15-30 minutes depending on shower size.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 07:57 PM   #14
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The painted on waterproofing are good things...But, and there's always a but, like everything, they must be installed correctly to work. There is a magic min/max thickness of each coat, and then, you have to deal with pinholes, runs, and have to wait in between coats and before you can flood test. Give 10 people the same brush and the same material, and you'll get 10 different coat thicknesses. Use a waterproof sheet, and you will have a waterproof shower, and instead of worrying about every square inch of it being applied properly, you have to be careful of the seams. Manufacturer testing shows a typical seam has moisture intrusion of about 1/8" when done right. But, they also call for a minimum of a 2" overlap, so you have a wide margin for error.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 08:00 PM   #15
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Hi Rob. So back in 2004 I decided to build my own shower when remodeling our master bathroom. That is how I found this site. Jim's advice above is SOLID. Insist on installation using an approved method specified in the TCNA AND instll using manufacturer's instructions. Don't settle for the "I've done it this way for twenty years and never had a problem" excuse. It is BS.

If it were me I would want a surface applied membrane, like Schluter Kerdi or RedGard. There are others.

Best of luck!
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