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Unread 04-18-2002, 11:15 AM   #1
scronin
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Quick few questions for you folks,

1)The plumbing supply store I purchased the PVC pan liner from for my 36"x 72" shower knew less about the PVC than I did (which I thought would have been impossible).

I am putting a seat at the back of the shower and will be shaping the liner to go on the floor, up the seat and on the seat (allowing for the 8-9" vertical sides) but I will have to cut the liner on the two corners of the seat (where the vertical part of the seat meets the horizontal part).

I am going to try to find the premolded PVC corner pieces (or make my own) but the plumbing supply company I bought the PVC from didn't know what to use as an adhesive or bonding agent(PVC to PVC). I can probably use subfloor adhesive, but is there a specific product I should be using?

2) Should the drain be centered on the floor? The old pvc tub drain is under the floor ready to be reconnected where the old drain was but I am thinking for a few reasons that it makes sense to center it in the shower. Any advice?

3)In regards to the sloping mortar bed, and the fact that it should be 1/4" per foot, my shower is not square, so I assume since 1/4" is the minimum, I would use my largest dimensions (6 foot length) to determine the slope (1 1/2") and the fact that the sides are going to have a more aggressive slope will not detrimentally affect the draining(more slope should be better than less slope).

4)I was planning on framing in the seat, but after reading several threads I am going to go with cinder blocks. Are there any pictures/diagrams on how the seat integrates with the floor/wall. Do I simply (easier said than done) put the blocks in on top of the subfloor and cover the vertical and horizontal of the seat with paper/lath/mud/liner/ mud/mesh/mud/tile (i.e., make it completely integrated with the floor layers)?

Thanks very much.

Steve

[Edited by scronin on 04-18-2002 at 03:45 PM]
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Unread 04-18-2002, 02:24 PM   #2
Scooter
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1. Shower Seats have been discussed here before. John has just the best idea ever for those, which is skip the PVC and make them out of concrete block and put them right on the pan. Wish I could claim credit for that.

2. Centering is no big deal, it will even out the slope (without it, the sides will have different slopes) but that is no big deal.

3. Yes, you are correct. Figure the 1/4 slope with the longest measurement, and level around the shower from there. There are several guys here that believe, and I think rightfully believe that 3/4" per foot is better.

4. John's method contemplates that the block go directly on the membrane, as I understand it, so the transition should not be a big deal, but I'll let John answer that.
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Unread 04-18-2002, 02:33 PM   #3
scronin
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Thanks Scooter.

Any idea on the adhesive (PVC to PVC question)?

Steve
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Unread 04-18-2002, 04:44 PM   #4
John Bridge
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Hi Steve,

Welcome to our little corner of the world.

Seat/pan issue: Do the pan install as if there were not going to be a seat at all.

Then do the backer board on the walls.

Build the seat out of concrete blocks and mortar when you mud in the curb. You can get all your mud work out of the way.

The seat simply sits in the pan like a monument. Gravity and friction hold it in place. Since is is solid masonry, you don't have to worry about it leaking. Anything that gets through it will find the pan and go down the drain.
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Unread 04-18-2002, 05:19 PM   #5
Fletch
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Hi john,
Do you have any pictures of an install. I am looking for seat ideas. The steam shower thing again. I was going to get a teak chair but this gives me new insight. I just bought the concrete counter top book. I think that a seat formed out of concrete
would look stunning against the travertine . How did you take care of the transition to the wall, or is it free standing? Did you set it on the liner or on the mud? I love this idea.
Oh yeah,I was kidding about the travertine, I love the look just not the hassles.
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Unread 04-18-2002, 06:05 PM   #6
Rob Z
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Steve

Oatey makes an adhesive specifically for PVC sheet membranes (called X-15, I think). HD usually stocks it, and so should your local plumbing supply house. Wear a charcoal filter mask when using that stuff. It's noxious, and can give ya dain bramage.
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Unread 04-18-2002, 06:25 PM   #7
scronin
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John:

Thanks for the great advice and thanks for this outstanding forum.

I had a little (friendly) disagreement with the guy who is helping me with my renovation-my close friend who has been working as a contractor and before that with his father who is a contractor since he was 13. I was arguing for the benefits of sloped mud base, he said that to do so adds too much time/energy when in his mind the worst thing that happens is that there is mildew.

He thought the bottom layer of mud could be completely removed (i.e., pan direct on the subfloor)and thats the way he has always seen it done using lead/copper/PVC(we are in the Northeast US) and the way he has done it-only a few times personally-his father used to build pans from copper).

Being the homeowner...we are doing it my way (also considering I am doing that part myself) but what are the risks of not doing the sloped subfloor?

Thanks

Steve
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Unread 04-19-2002, 05:03 AM   #8
John Bridge
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The seat is laid up either in a corner or across one short wall of the shower (usually). My showers are made entirely of mud, so there really isn't a transition. It works the same way with cbu walls, though.

Lay about an inch of mud on the pan and set your bottom course of block. Blocks can be broken and chopped to fit. Build up the front of the seat as high as you want it. It is just butted into the walls and tucked in with mortar. Fill the inside of the seat with block rubble and mortar.

After the monument has set an hour or so you can float the front to get it smooth, flat and in proper orientation (plumb and parallell, whatever).

I often tile the front wall of the seat before I finish off the top. I can get even rows of tile that way and use the top row as a guide for doing the final floating on the top.


Grout the thing in when you grout the walls. At worst you will get hairline cracks at the seat/wall junctures that can be filled with a little silicone.

The seat will not leak water outside the shower pan. Anything that does get into the joints will run down the cbu behind the seat and into the liner. That little bit of moisture will evaporated between showers. And, of course, you'll seal the seat tile installation when you seal the walls.

I don't think I have any detailed pictures. Next time. The one below is awaiting a marble slab top.



I've had plumbers, even plumbing inspectors argue with me about the necessity of pre-sloping the shower pan. After you've torn a few out that were not pre-sloped and experienced the odor and mess, you'll pre-slope every time.

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Unread 04-19-2002, 06:51 AM   #9
Rob Z
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Pre slope

Steve

Somewhere around here is a post I made about a shower I tore out last summer. It was only two years old and was already failing, primarily due to wicking of water up from the pan liner.

At the time we did the demo, the shower hadn't been used for two months, and there was almost a full bucket of water trapped in the mud and on the pan liner. There was no preslope. As John mentioned, it was funky and smelly.
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Unread 04-19-2002, 03:09 PM   #10
scronin
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Again,

Much thanks John, your post pre-empted some questions I had and thanks to Rob-I found the X-15.

Steve

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Unread 04-19-2002, 05:50 PM   #11
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Everything I've read insists a pre-slope is necessary. But MB's book shows that the pre-slope can be done in plywood rather than mortar if someone is so inclined.

I'm afraid if I did the pre-slope in mortar, I'd end up with puddle spots in the pan liner or else too thick a pre-slope layer in trying to get it perfect in mortar.

Is there a definite reason not to do it in plywood ?

BTW, for a six-foot long shower, a 1/4" per foot slope means the perimeter will be 3/4" thicker than the drain area. If the drain area must be 3/8" min. then doesn't that mean over an inch thick at the perimeter ? Add another 1" to 1 1/2" for the mortar bed on top of the liner, and we are up to a total thickness of 2 1/2", right ?

Using three 2x4s stacked for the curb(4 1/2" total), and an inch of mortar on top of the curb, the curb is only 3" high inside the shower but 5 1/2" outside. Is that right ?

PS. I think I've given up on the pre-fab shower base from my other thread and will float a mortar floor. Drain location in a pre-fab was not workable.

[Edited by dreamer on 04-19-2002 at 07:58 PM]
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Unread 04-19-2002, 07:36 PM   #12
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Your planning sounds good...and doing the slope with plywood may be more work than doing the preslope with mortar. I have never tried to do the slope with framing.

Don't worry about getting the preslope surface perfect. Small blemishes won't be a problem, and it will give you good practice for doing the shower floor.
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Unread 04-19-2002, 09:24 PM   #13
J.L. Burns
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I have seen some fine examples of plywood sloped sublfloor- if you dont mind cutting shims and 1x2's for the frame and then 45ing your plywood pieces-back in the old days when they had that much time- it is so much easier just to mix the deck mud and float in the preslope- takes me 5 minutes.
Good Luck
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Unread 04-19-2002, 09:48 PM   #14
dreamer
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Actually, what I had in mind was to laminate two pieces of 3/4 plywood together so I have a good thickness to work with.

Then I was going to cut a sloped depression using about a hundred passes with a router. Then smoothe the resulting steps and an other voids with thinset.

Shouldn't take more than a day, tops.
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Unread 04-20-2002, 07:59 PM   #15
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Kirk,

I think it's time to bite the bullet and mix the mud. Whadda ya think?
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