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Old 02-18-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
pamk
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Waterproof handicapped shower

I have tiled my kitchen counters, floor, inside two cast iron sinks and cut a sharp looking trim for the kitchen counter. So, while still a novice, I'm ready to move to the bathroom, and am anxious to do the shower area RIGHT.

A licensed tile guy gave me an estimate of $2000 just to prepare the shower pan and walls for a 3' x 5.5' shower area with NO DAM and NO DOOR, keeping the bathroom floor level to the edge of the shower area. We have already cut out the subfloor on the shower area and WILL recess / lower the floor and WILL create the necessary slope to the drain from the floor level of the bathroom.

My questions: The tile guy said that you cannot use a traditional sloped mud floor with a cement backerboard wall...the mud will create a cold joint with the wall. He insisted that I mud up the entire wall after it is covered with green board. I'm afraid that is out of my skill range. I think I could float a sloped mud floor, but I know the walls would not be plumb or even.

I read that some brands of backerboard can be used with mud and others cannot. If so, which can? Can you use 1/2 inch backerboard instead of green board? If so, there is no way you can put the screws in as recommended. So, do you put plywood on the walls first and then put 1/4 backerboard over that?

I am afraid I'm becoming confusing, but the walls and the shower pan DO have to go together.

I am seriously considering the Kerdi shower system, and after the tile guy's estimate the $300-400 is a steal! However, without using a dam, can the Kerdi system work? If so, what can I do with the region just outside the shower? Can I just spread the Kerdi membrane out into the room for 5 feet or so? Then what?

Also, the preformed Kerdi shower floor is 32 x 60. Could I set that inside the perimeter of the space and just backbutter the tiles on the edges next to the wall to maintain the slope before the tiles rest on the Kerdi shower bottom? I could make my space 32 x 60, but windows would be off center, etc. I would prefer not to decrease the shower space.

Finally, I'm also looking at Redguard or the Mapelastic stuff to avoid the folds, etc in the vinyl liner. And...with no dam, I don't think a plastic liner would work anyway. What is the experts' advice on that kind of product. We did use Redguard under our kitchen floor under the hardibacker as a safeguard. It was fun to have a Pepto Bismol floor!

I have so much fun, and learn so much, reading the questions and answers on this site. I can't believe how helpful people can be. Looking forward to some answers

Pam
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:28 PM   #2
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Hi Pam, click this Shows how I did a handicap shower with Kerdi and Ditra.
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:42 PM   #3
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Pam, in my opinion a 3x5 1/2 ft shower is too small to be doorless. Nothing wrong with having the shower floor an inch or two lower than the bath floor with a short curb. With a small shower, the bath floor will be wet after each shower without a door.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:03 PM   #4
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Thanks Mike!

Mike, you have given me some wonderful guidance with your thread. I have a couple of questions, especially as I have never used Kerdi or Ditra. First, the first picture showing the drain. Is that a Schulter drain? Then, what is the white stuff surrounding the drain?
The next picture shows the expanded metal for support within the mud slope, right?
The orange fiber looking material is the Kerdi, right? What kind of wall board is under the Kerdi?
Did you put Kerdi OVER the Ditra? What do you do to seal the Kerid/Ditra to the drain? When I'm sure I'll do this, I'll download John's book. I assume that it will help fill in the gaps.
It looks like you have done a great job.

And...I hope the bathroom floor won't be too wet after a shower. I will have a 30 inch wide opening at right angles to the the end of the 5.5 foot space with a hand-held shower head at the other end. It is a guest bath and I'll provide a squeege. I am concerned about the waterproofing on the floor of the whole bathroom. It looks like a combination of Kerdi and Ditra, if all the seams are sealed, etc. will work.
Thank you...please keep the ideas coming!
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:15 PM   #5
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Hi Pam, if you are going to use this system definitely download JBs Ebook. Yes the drain is a Schluter Kerdi drain that has to be used with the Schluter system. I think the white stuff you are seeing is plywood in the one pic, maybe you are seeing the fleece on the drain? I then used tar paper, then mesh, then mud. I used regular drywall on the walls to apply the Kerdi to. On the shower floor the Kerdi comes out of the shower area on to the plywood then the Ditra went over that, then I applied another layer of Kerdi to waterproof that seam. All the seams on the Ditra get Kerdi band. Also all the corners where the floor met the wall in the whole bath got the Kerdi band. This shower only has a hand held sprayer, so the water will be contained in the shower area.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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Here's a link to the Schluter Ditra page.

You will find a video there that shows the whole Kerdi shower process.
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:24 PM   #7
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doublechecking the joint

Thanks for the advice. I've watched the video...and sold my brother-in-law on ditra. He's here helping frame in the back area.

Double-checking, Mike... In the shower area: first, tar paper, second wire mesh.. (I read that the expanded metal might be too dense to allow the mud to form a solid piece. Can I use the 2x2 stuff the guys doing plaster on the outside of the houses across the street are using?)
Then, third...dry mud sloped to the drain. So far, ok.
Kerdi thinset over the mud or Ditra first?
If no Ditra, how far should the ditra go into the shower area. Can I stop at the place a dam/curb would be if I had one? That will make a slight lump, right? Will the lump be a problem?
Then a final layer of Kerdi over the first layer of Kerdi and onto the Ditra???

Sorry I'm so dense, but what you did looks like what I want to have as a finished product.

By the way...no one commented on using redguard or another liquid membrane system. I really would like to know how reliable those types of systems are. Maybe I should start another thread to specifically ask about them.
Thank you for all the advice...past and future
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:38 PM   #8
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Hi Pam, you can use the diamond mesh on the floor. I put the Kerdi down first on the floor then ran it out about 6" then put the Ditra over that leaving space for the 2x2's then put another layer of Kerdi over that to seal it. There was a lump there but I feathered it out with some thinset. If you use Ditra and Kerdi you won't need any redgard.
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #9
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Double layers of Kerdi?

Mike:
Did you use two layers of Kerdi, one on top of the other, in the entire shower part of the bathroom?

Is there any Ditra in the shower part of the bathroom?

You are so... patient!
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:20 PM   #10
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To make the seams of Ditra waterproof, you use either Kerdi band or a strip of Kerdi. Kerdi band is thinner, but if you already have enough Kerdi and can stand the slight difference in thickness, it works well too. When you put up Kerdi, you can either overlap the edges ends, or butt them and then put a band over the top. Can't do that with Ditra with the pedestals, so you use the Kerdi to waterproof it if you need that feature.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:35 AM   #11
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Thanks

Jim: Thank you for the comments. I had wondered why they sold the band as well as Kerdi. Now I know. I still am not 100% sure if Mike put two layers of Kerdi over all the shower area or just over the seam where the edge of the Ditra met the Kerdi in the shower. Perhaps I'm not a visual person?
Thanks again for jumping in.

And... I agree that I don't need Redgard AND the Kerdi, but the info on the Redgard says that it alone can be used as a shower pan. Does anyone do that?
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:56 AM   #12
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No to 2 layers of Kerdi, except at the seams.

We don't like the Redgard-to-shower drain connection. It's the weak link in a Redgard membrane shower system.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:35 PM   #13
pamk
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Some pics of the finished job

Thanks to all, I am enjoying the shower and new bathroom. I am very pleased with all the detail work such as bullnosing the baseboards to match the edges of the shower and blending the stone floor with the tile.

Not so pleased with the uneven tile. I did this over a period of weeks and weeks, so by the time I had time for a new section of tile, everything else was set. I am pretending that I wanted a flagstone, rustic look. I'm not convinced quite yet.
Thanks again! Pam
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #14
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Pam,

Looks good!

Thanx for sharing.
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