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Old 04-28-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
dbz007
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Acrylic base mortar and curb question

Hi all, and thanks ahead of time for all the great info in this forum.

I bought an acrylic shower base (swan olympia). We were told it was usable as a corner base. Now that we have finally gotten around to installing it, it only has 1 threshold/ finished side. It is not returnable.

To cover the exposed side that would normally be covered by an alcove wall I was thinking of just building up a curb out of 2x4's, cbu, and kerdi and attaching it flush to the top of the tiling flange. Just like a wall would tie in except it would be a 4 1/2 in. curb kerdi'd from the curb top over the flange with kerdi fix.

Assuming this is not a horrible idea.. a couple of questions I could use help with:

1. Underneath this unfinished side there is really nothing supporting this flange area like on the finished threshold side that extends to the floor. Could I pack this area with something like dry pack mortar up to the bottom of the flange overhang (4 1/2 inches high and about an inch or 2 wide) or would it crack?

2. Unrelated, but can I just bed the shower base in mortar directly to the subfloor or do I need to put layer of poly under the mortar? I thought it would be more secure motaring it directly to the wood without the poly but didn't know if that would cause other problems.

Tried to keep that brief, thanks for any thoughts.

Alex
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:16 PM   #2
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Hi Alex, a pic or two would probably explain more about what you plan to do. It might work but it may not. If you were to call me to install it, I'd walk away until you to get the correct base for the application.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
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The base is supposed to be set in a layer of thinset per the instructions. I thought adding drypack all along under the flange area for added support. Its bout 4 inches deep x 1.5 in wide. Next to that I will put a curb that would come up flush with the top of the tiling flange and cover it with kerdi, wrapping over top of flange and adhere that portion with kerdi fix. ?

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 04-28-2019 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Rotate pics upright. :)
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
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Don't use a thinset mortar to set that base. You want something that can handle the thickness required...like mason mix.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I've got reservations like Davy. What's the plan above the "mini wall"? Are you going to install a glass wall on that.......or???

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Old 04-28-2019, 10:34 PM   #5
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Shower curtain for now. I was thinking the curb idea is similar to how it would be installed in an alcove, except it would tie into the curb instead of a wall, thus covering that side.. pretty much like a kerdi base and curb.. was my thinking.
And yes I am going to use mortar mix as i was reading on this site, the directions just said thinset.

Btw, is poly a good idea under the mortar or no?
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:43 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Shower curtain on two sides?

The poly is optional for stuff like setting a shower base. I'll use poly in a situation like this if I want an easy removal down the line. Up to you.

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Old 04-28-2019, 10:52 PM   #7
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Yea, it's an L shaped curtain. We (wife and i) didn't wanna spend money on glass right now.

I mean the base kerdi'd to the curb seems like it would be water tight, just as if it were in an alcove, kerdi adhered to tiling flange and over curb (with thinset). . . Or not, there may be more risks that concern you guys doing it this way?
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:09 AM   #8
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Anything you do will have to been above the flange, and therefore be above the curb at the front. Have you considered that?
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:16 AM   #9
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Yeah I thought about that. We'd be stuck with this shower curtain setup. Or have to get custom glass that would accommodate two different height thresholds (if anyone even does that) in the future. Sounds like I'm either paying more now or then.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:51 AM   #10
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On a related note, I know the floor is slightly out of level, but is flat. I was planning on leveling the base using the mortar. I'm guessing there will be a small gap under the front threshold once its leveled. Can I use thinset to fill this gap for suport?
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:54 AM   #11
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Then I'd either just frame up for the curb/wall and cover it with sheetrock and Kerdi, or use Kerdi board stacked up. Have the cap extend over the top of the flange so that it's flush with the face of it, and the Kerdi can attach to the flange and extend over the curb/wall as needed. I'd also have it down onto the floor a couple of inches to protect that floor/wall joint.

You'd probably want it to go up above the flange at least 3-4" to allow for a strip of tile that will cover the flange, and still have some surface above it to bond the tile.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:56 AM   #12
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I wouldn't use thinset mortar for leveling at all in this application.

I'd probably set the whole thing in mud so it'll be good and solid, and make up for the floor issue.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:47 AM   #13
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Thanks. Good point on extending that wall up a little bit. Any thoughts on whether I should pack some mud under that flange from the floor up, as mentioned above to add support? And if so, deck mud or wall mud?
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:55 AM   #14
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Isn't the opposite side the same as the side you're thinking you need to support, Alex? The unit is designed for an alcove so both "ends" are open. If that's correct I see no reason to add anything under either end.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:14 AM   #15
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True, both are set up for an alcove, but on the wall side there would never be pressure on that flange. On the side I'm doing the curb someone could step on top of the curb.. most of the pressure would be on the curb itself though, so maybe that's overkill to try and pack mortar under it.
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