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Unread 05-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
dbdors
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Starting New Kerdi Shower, advice appreciated

In the planning stages for updating our current shower. You guys have helped in the past with a previous Kerdi shower, and I'll be doing a new one in our new house.

I have an existing shower that is over a slab and will be completely demoed. I believe that the walls and floor are a mud job.

I replaced the bath floors for the second floor baths (used some ditra) and they both had 3/4" mud under the tile over plywood.

I can see in the master bath that the walls are about 1" thick with tile. So I'm pretty sure there is mud on the walls. I'll replace the drywall and apply some kerdi.

My concern is the pan. I'm guessing that there is a flat slab, with PVC pan and mud slope inside. But until I get it apart, I wont really know.

Will I have any problem applying mud on the slab and then kerdi on top? I think the slab is a bit sunken in the area, as the curb thickness is the same on both sides and slopes down to the drain.

Here are some initial pictures:
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Last edited by jgleason; 05-30-2011 at 09:12 PM. Reason: please use the paperclip icon and attach images. Don't use the img tag.
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Unread 05-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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Darrell,

Have at it with the hammer. You'll be fine with floating a mud bed over your slab, no matter what height it is.
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Unread 07-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
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I'll post some progress pictures soon. I have completely gutted the tub and shower area, and started the rebuild.

The shower pan was a PVC liner with mud and no pre-slope. I've cut out the old drain and measured for my kerdi drain. Once I finish the shower plumbing and shower walls, I'll get started on the mud for the new shower floor.

The shower floor was about 2 inches below floor grade. I plan to pack mud around the new drain hole and set the drain and finish the floor.

I have a few questions now,
  1. What do I need to do to bond the mud to the slab. I think I've ready where some use thin set first and pack the mud on top of the wet thin-set. Or would a bonding agent be good?
  2. The shower is not very big, 35 X 49, but will I be crunched for time, by laying the thin-set and setting the mud. I read where I have 35-45 minutes with the mud. It's hot down here and I think I'll mix the mud in the cool bathroom, (cooler and less time fetching mud).
  3. There was a bunch of black slimy looking, moldy looking material between the pan and the slab. It's all dry now, but do I need to try and scrub this stuff off before bonding the mud?
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Unread 07-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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1) Mud over wet thinset is fine.

2) Mix in the cool with cool materials is a great idea. Getting some help is another.

3) Yes. You need clean concrete to bond the deck mud to.
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Unread 07-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #5
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3. From a Health perspective, I would wear a mask before attacking that black stuff with a scrapper. Don't want to go breathing in mold spores while trying to DIY your bathroom. Also, spray the area (as long as it wouldnt affect adhesion of the mud bed) with an anti-mold/fungal cleaner to ensure the mold doesn't come back.
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Unread 07-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
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I'm not sure what it was, it was just slimy and black. I was thinking of taking an angle grinder w/wire brush and scrubbing on it a little. I'll try a little mold cleaner first and see what happens.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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Starting the process of rebuilding, tub deck finished, but need some granite for the top.

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Some backer installed and playing with layout/location of insert for the back wall of the shower

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Old drain removed and PVC coupling installed. Was much easier to get out that I thought it would be. Used a cheap inside pipe cutter from HD and took about 10 minutes to. When the time comes, I'll pack the whole with some dry set mortar and the lay in the bed and kerdi drain. I plan to scrub the slab with a wire brush mouted on an angle grinder.

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Kerdi drain test fit.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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Hey Darrell,

Might want to look into getting one of the Tavy Puck Levels for leveling the kerdi drain. A little easier to handle than the 4ft level.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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I have plenty to torpedo levels that are perfect for leveling the drain. But they don't work so well at measuring the height of the drain.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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Hi Darrell, you may want to replace that wood curb with some bricks and thinset. The 2x's can absorb moisture from the slab and move a little, causing issues with the tile on the curb.

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Unread 07-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Wood curb

Thanks for the advice on the curb, I think I'll go ahead and do a rush order for a kerdi curb. I did the same thing in a previous shower, but it was on the second floor and not on a slab. I'm no mason and don't feel comfortable working with the brick. I need some kerdi fix anyway.
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Unread 07-07-2011, 07:59 PM   #12
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I just ordered a kerdi curb and while I was at it I ordered a Kerdi bench. I had a better bench, but my wife was talking about a bench without the open bottom. It looked great in the previous shower that we did, but I guess time for something new.

One question, should I kerdi the wall and floor first, set the bench and then kerdi over that. Or set the bench on the raw wall and floor first and kerdi over the wall bench and floor.

As I think about it, I'm guessing it would easier to kerdi the walls/floor, set the bench and then kerdi the bench.
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Unread 07-08-2011, 12:09 AM   #13
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I haven't used a Schluter bench, but if it's level on the bottom, you'll want to set it first directly on the slab (I'm guessing it bonds with thinset to the slab and drywall), then put the mud floor in. If you put it on your sloped mud bed then the bench, it'll lean forward.
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Unread 07-14-2011, 09:57 AM   #14
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Mud deck max thickness

Okay, I'm getting closer to installing the mud deck and drain. In planning this out, (i.e. how much mud I'll need), I realized that my mud will be very thick. You cant really see in my picture above, but the kerdi drain test fit is quite high above the shower slab. The original shower had a vinyl liner with a think pan.

I have made a sketch that outlines my thickness across the short side.

I really didn't want a major step down into the shower. I was hoping to keep my mud edge at the same level as the slab. In order to have a reasonable slope in the floor, I would only be able to set the drain about 3/4" below the floor grade. This give me about 3" of thickness below the drain. From some searching, it would appear that 3" of mud deck is a bit too thick.

Would it make sense to fill some of the space with some SLC, then apply my mud on top of that? The Mapei nova plan says 1" thick max, but 1" could help reduce the mud thickness a lot.

What do you think?
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Unread 07-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #15
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Darrell, 3" of deck mud all by itself is too thick, but your is contained within the recess in the slab, and is supported by the slab. At most, you could do this by installing welded wire reinforcing near the vertical center of your mud bed to hold everything together. I personally don't think you need it, but it can't hurt anything.

I wouldn't want to add the complexity or expense of using SLC just to reduce the mud bed by an inch.
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