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Unread 12-19-2020, 04:49 PM   #1
tunaboyy
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Rich's Bathtub to Shower Conversion - First Project

Hi all,

After doing a little bit of renovations around the house including painting kitchen cabinets and putting in a new vanity/backsplash, it's time to tackle the big boy project. I got cold feet for a while but I have some newfound confidence thanks to youtube and all the great info on this forum. I live in a condo and currently in the process of filling out the city permit forms, and then I have to submit the application to the association for approval.

This is my only bathroom. I want to get this done ASAP since i'll have the inconvenience of having to shower elsewhere throughout the process

General Plan:
1. Tear out the current tile on the walls and to the best of my ability, rip out the tub. I may have to call in some reinforcement for this part haha.

2. Call in a plumber to do the rough ins and set up the drain. The management lady said a licensed contractor must do this portion

3. Install kerdi board up to an area right above the shower head, although I plan to tile to the ceiling over the current drywall above.

4. I'm using all prefab. Install kerdi shower tray, drain, kerdi bench at the end of the alcove, and the kerdi curb. I plan to cut maybe 2 inches off of the curb height leaving 4 inches because I want it as low as possible while still being within code. I believe the tray is 1.5 inches.

5. Walls will get 6x18 ceramic white tiles stacked horizontally, the shower floor will be 2x2 hexagon mosaic, and the bench/curb will be 12x24 anthracite porcelain. I prefer the clean look of mitered edges for the niche/curb/bench but I have no experience with this. Worst comes to worst ill use schluter profiles. I also want a 12x36 inch horizontal niche spanning two full tile lengths (see below), and plan to line it up with the grout lines. This could be tricky to line it up exactly and i'll need to see how the studs are setup. Right now using the stud finder there are only 3 studs along the 5 foot length of the alcove. I'll have to cut out 1 for sure. I also plan to tile the bathroom floor with the same tile as the showercurb/bench after the shower portion is done. All tile will be layed using schluter all set.

6. Will have the frameless glass door professionally installed after I am done tiling.

Current tub

The planned 12x36 niche layout. Does this look good? I also think having a longer or short niche and cutting into half a tile hieght would look good as well.


Few Initial Questions:

1. If I can't get the tub out myself, the plumber quoted me $800. Is this reasonable?

2. I read that inspections are needed after each step. How do I know what i'm doing will pass? Will the inspector give me advice or a resource for this?

3. I currently only have a manual tile cutter. I'll also get a wet saw for thinner cuts and L cuts, and maybe a grinder for cutting around the plumbing fixtures. Do I also need a miter saw or can I miter with a grinder? I plan to leave some of the factory edge when I miter. Is this sufficient for edge protection or do I need something like Schluter finec?
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Unread 12-19-2020, 08:13 PM   #2
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Welcome Rich.

2. I would not let the plumber set the Kerdi drain unless there is absolutely no way around it. If you must allow it, be sure the plumber has set Kerdi drains before. If he has not, get another plumber would be my advice.

4. Unless your code compliance jurisdiction is very different or your HOA has an unusual requirement, your curb top needs be 2" above the top of your drain. I would make a different kind of curb if it were necessary to modify the Schluter curb.

5. That would be a 36"x12" niche. You'll definitely want to run that wall framing change by your compliance inspector and HOA, 'specially if it's a load bearing wall or a common wall between units.

6. Since you're putting yourself on a very tight schedule, you'll wanna get that set up ASAP except for the final measurement. Even then you might find the lag time distressing.

1, again. What kind of tub? What floor in the condo? Does that include disposal? I think it's a moderately ridiculous price, but I don't live in Nuevo Jersey.

2, again. Again, talk with your code compliance official beforehand. Be sure he knows how the Kerdi system works and ask how you'll be able to get around the usual rough plumbing inspection because you'll not have a watertight receptor by then.

3, again. I think what you're calling miters are referred to as back-bevels or back-miters and you want them to look like this:

Name:  back mitering tile.jpg
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You'll want a wet saw with a head that turns for the bevels. While it can be done with an angle grinder, learning to do that on your project might be a bit daunting.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-20-2020, 08:50 AM   #3
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My guess is that the plumber quoted 800.00 because he doesn't want to remove, and dispose of, that tub. Cutting it up, hauling it out to his truck (what floor are you on?), schlepping it to the dump. Check with your HOA to see if it can be disposed of in the bins onsite if it is cut up. An inexpensive sawzall with a demo blade should section that tub easily.

I do not believe, perhaps because I do not possess the skill, that you are going to get a clean, arrow straight miter across 12" using a hand held grinder. For that matter, I don't think it's happening with a 90* cut either. A wet saw with a tilting head will be mandatory IMO.
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Unread 12-20-2020, 09:22 AM   #4
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cx,

Thanks for the advice.

I'm gonna double check about the drain. I'll see if I can just have the plumber set up the trap below and I can attach the drain myself.

The main reason why I would modify the schluter curb is because it's already waterproof and seems easier than stacking other materials and sealing the seams with more bands, etc. 4 inch curb should be good to be above that 2 inch requirement.

For the glass door, I was initially planning to order one from homedepot and having someone install it. But since I plan to have the bench flush with the curb, they'll need to do some cutting which I might be better off going with a custom installation.

I'm pretty sure it's an acrylic tub, i'm on the 1st floor although it's above the garage.

And i've decided to skip the back-miters and just use schluter quadec trim for the curb.

ss3964spd,

Yeah, I believe the tub removal cost includes disposal, etc. Is there a way to check the material of a tub? i'm 100% positive it's not cast iron. Will the sawzall work for all other materials?

And i've decided to skip the mitering and just use schluter quadec for the bench/curb...and the jolly for the wall edge/nice.
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Unread 12-20-2020, 09:50 AM   #5
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You might be able to remove the tub's overflow to get a better view of what it might be made of, but since it isn't CI my guess is either acrylic or possibly fiberglass. Regardless, the sawzall (AKA reciprocating) saw) with appropriate blade should make fairly short work of it.

As basic plug-in recip saw can be had for about 100 bucks at your local BBS, might come with a blade or two. If not they'll also have tons of blades. Can probably rent one, but you'll likely still need to purchase the blades.
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Unread 12-20-2020, 12:22 PM   #6
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ss3964spd,

Thanks, I was eyeing the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C 20V on amazon for $60 plus a demo blade for $12.

Speaking of tools, I only have a drill. Will I definitely need an impact driver to install the kerdi boards and build the niche framing?
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Unread 12-21-2020, 05:14 PM   #7
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Any tips on how to remove a pop up tub drain? I tried a screw driver and it won't budge. The plastic part doesn't push down far enough for me to grab the center with a wrench. Should I just break the white piece off with a hammer?
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Unread 01-12-2021, 04:16 PM   #8
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How would you tile this bathtub lip?

The previous owner installed tile on top of the lip. I'm assuming the board was sitting behind the lip because it is flush. If I were to retile, I could do the same as before. Unless I shim out the backer board to place it over the lip and onto the tub deck. But then the walls wouldn't be flush with the surrouunding walls.

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Unread 01-12-2021, 05:37 PM   #9
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Rich, it'll help if you'll keep all the project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered.

I've no idea what you might find behind those shower walls for waterproofing if the tile surface is, in fact, sitting on top of the tub's tiling flange. That flange I see in your photos looks more like a decorative portion than a tiling flange, but I've never seen any such before.

Does this mean you no longer plan to convert from a tub/shower to a shower?
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Unread 01-12-2021, 06:15 PM   #10
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cx,

The process for the conversion is dragging out so I am considering just keeping the tub and retiling. It will be much faster, much cheaper, and much more convenient (my only bathroom). I haven't thrown out the idea of the conversion, but just a thought.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 06:56 PM   #11
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I just don't know what the profile of the edge of that tub might be, Rich, and don't think we will 'till you tear out a couple of the lower tiles.

If that is, in fact, a tiling flange we see, you're gonna need to do something to bring your backing material out at least far enough to be flush with the drain side of the flange before you can properly waterproof the walls. And bring the backing material, the wallboard, out far enough to cover the flange on the drain side would be even better.

Always a number of ways to deal with that little jog in the walls outside the shower.

How they kept the water within the tub surround 'till now is a mystery to me.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-14-2021, 01:52 PM   #12
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The amount that the tile sticks out, i'll bet the backer board is sitting either on top of the tub flange or slightly behind it. Bringing the board in front of the lip will be moving it a good half inch minimum. As long as there is sufficient sealant between the board and tub, it should be ok right?
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Unread 01-14-2021, 04:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
As long as there is sufficient sealant between the board and tub, it should be ok right?
Nope, not in my book. There must be a waterproofing layer of some type either behind the wallboard or on the face of it and in either case it's the waterproofing membrane which must lap over the tiling flange on the drain side. A bead of caulk or sealant between tile and tub is never sufficient.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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