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Unread 11-29-2005, 02:46 PM   #1
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Hi All--Where Do I Begin?

Man---am I glad I found you all before I started my remodel. I guess the best way to start this would be to say that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am in the planning stage of remodeling my tile shower and am trying to figure out what materials and methods to use in the process. I am a weekend warrior, trying to stretch the almighty dollar. Can anyone help me out and tell me where to begin? Some questions I have are like these--

1. Is there an easy way to remodel an exisitng shower?
2. Do I need to tear out all of the tile or can I tile over some way?
3. If I do remove the exisitng tile, can I keep the exisitng cement floor and reseal and retile over it?

I guess you could say I am pretty much lost at this point, I know I can do the job once I resolve what materials and which method to use. I am hoping to save myself some trouble by asking for advice before it's too late.

Thanks for any advice or assistance you may be able to provide.

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Unread 11-29-2005, 04:48 PM   #2
Bruce K
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my opinions:

1. no
2. if your tile is gross, it has to go. Once you swing that sledgehammer that first time and break tile, there is no turning back.
3. cement floor can stay (I think). I am in process of doing this in our 2nd shower (if it were our only shower, I would have been done a few years ago).
If drain is bad, it should be replaced too. Our drain was 50 years old and corroded, so I jackhammered it out, had a plumber do rough in w/ Schluter drain system, and I poured replacement concrete around drain (below Schluter drain skirt). We are on wood subfloor, so I could install concrete forms from the crawl space and then pour from above. If you are on concrete slab on grade, not sure what your options all are.

I used shower pan fill material (cement based), sloped to new drain, and I just installed (roller applied) RedGard waterproofing membrane over cbu. I did not want to install waterproof membrane behind cbu, all the corners bunching up had me worried about my skill level. Rolling RedGard wp was pretty easy. I had to demo all the tile and mortar base to studs, and built shower seat and window to bathroom space.

I am about to start installing tile, so I don't have all the answers yet...
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Unread 11-29-2005, 05:04 PM   #3
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Hi Dean, welcome.
It would be hard to determine if your pan was built properly with a pre-slope and all. The only way to know for sure is to rip it out and start from scratch. With guidance from this forum you can build a top notch shower the absolute correct way. I did, therefore I know.
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Unread 11-29-2005, 05:11 PM   #4
John Bridge
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He did, therefore he knows. He came, he saw, he conquered.

Hi Dean,

Rip it out. Check our Liberry for articles and diagrams on tile shower construction. Let's start from the ground up. Weekend warrioring at its best.
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Unread 11-29-2005, 05:27 PM   #5
Mike L.
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Help will be on the way!!

I am just a DIY guy but I have hung around this site for awhile. There will be a number of questions you must be prepared to answer..........which is a good thing. Pictures help a great deal. A fresh start is usually a good way to go. Going over old work with unknown adhesion is not a good thing. The pros will be along...................be patient. I have received great advice from this site.

Mike L.
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Unread 11-30-2005, 09:26 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, seems like I am in the right place! The demo begins this weekend and I am hoping to have some pic's of subfloor/framing for you all when the dust clears. As you may have seen, I am in FL---land of the 70's harvest gold and avacado green tile (insert puke sound here). My home is a single story on a concrete slab. The shower floor is a good 2 inches lower than the bathroom floor. The drain is offset to the right of the center by about 4 inches (weird) and seems to drain well as is.
I was originally hoping for an acrylic shower base, but that is out with the drain situation--unless I move the drain or find a custom base. I am thinking that once I tear out the old tile and backer (walls and floor) I can still use the existing cement floor and add new backer. I was thinking about RedGard for the whole thing and am in the process of locating some down here in hurricane country. Any thoughts or advice are appreciated and I will get those pics asap.

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Unread 11-30-2005, 10:49 AM   #7
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Welcome from me as well Dean.

Once you complete the demo and have some pictures up here for us to look at, we can get you headed down the right path. None of it will be particularly hard but a warning is in order - it might cut into your fishing time.
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Unread 11-30-2005, 01:24 PM   #8
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Exactly what I'm afraid of. Only a few more weeks of snook season and my freezer still has room.

Here's one for the masses---what should I consider an average price for RedGard in the 1 gal and 5 gal bucket. My local HI center carries the 1 gal for about $35 the pro shop carries it in 5 gal for a whopping $250! (I almost choked, thats a new rod and reel!). Just trying to get my homework done.

Also, has anyone ever used tumbled marble in a shower? I like the way it looks after it's been grouted, but am I asking for trouble with it being so pourous?

Thanks Again,

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Unread 12-05-2005, 08:44 AM   #9
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Well, started the demo this weekend and nearly finished. Unfortunetly, it's taking much longer than anticipated due to the unreal amounts of metal lathe used in the entire shower area and bathroom. Every wall that has tile has floor to ceiling is reinforced with lathe. Is this normal? I will try to get some pics for you when I have made more progress, I haven't even started on the base/pan yet, just the walls.

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Unread 12-05-2005, 09:07 AM   #10
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Hi Dean, if it was a mud shower, yes the lath is normal. Yeah I wish I was fishin too!
Musky Mike
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Kerdi Shower Specialist
Dreams are like tasting a little bit of the future today. Keep dreaming and it will come true.

New here? Check this out.

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Unread 12-13-2005, 07:22 AM   #11
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small world


I'm doing the exact same thing on the other side of 'hurricane country.' I'm close to Ft. Lauderdale and Wilma caused enough damage to prompt us to finally get to our master bedroom / bathroom remodel.

I'm with you on not wanting to tear up the floor beyond the putrid tile. It is sloped nicely and I have no drainage problems that I know of. I also have the same 2" down from the bathroom floor.

My thoery is that I can just tear out all the putrid-tile-equipped-wallboard, replace it with wonderboard, seal the wonderboard and floor with red gaurd or similar sealer, and commence tiling. How many holes in that theory?

Thanks for the informative site, by the way, it's nice to have a source of info other than the geniuses at the home centers...Jim
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