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Old 11-16-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Shower drain not raised?

Hello everyone

I need urgent help. I hired a contractor to build an addition and master bath with shower.

Is there anyway to find out if this is correct? Installing the shower floor, the plumber has to do a pre-slope bed mud all the way to the drain right under the edge then install shower liner, and then pea gravel to cover weep holes, then another bed mud ontop of the shower liner before tiling? Isn't this the plumbing code in Virginia?

My contractor installed the drain base directly flat onto the wood subfloor, then he did the pre-slope bed mud all the way to the drain but on top of the base instead of under the edge. Then installed shower liner then the second bed mud. I can send a diagram and picture of what he did but I can't post picture here. He bought it from homedepot, Model# 423112
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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Welcome, DD.

There is really no specific requirement for material or method in constructing a pre-slope for a traditional shower receptor. It is part of the plumbing code that you have such a pre-slope of a minimum 1/4" per horizontal foot, but how you achieve that is left up to the plumber (who may never have read that section and doesn't even know the pre-slope is required). I can't tell what material might have been used to create your pre-slope, but over a wood framed subfloor the tile industry generally calls for deck mud, which it the more common material to be used, to be at least 3/4" thick. The tile industry does not, however, have any specification for a shower pre-slope except that there be one.

We (TYW) generally recommend you set the drain such that a proper mud pre-slope can be formed with a minimum of 3/4" thickness at the drain. And the floor should be covered with a cleavage membrane (roofing felt, polyethylene sheeting, etc.) and 2.5 pound expanded metal lath before placing the mud pre-slope.

I know of no material with which I would be comfortable making a pre-slope such as you show in your photo, but I don't know what was used. Not can I tell that the slope meets the minimum slope requirement to the farthest corner of your shower footprint.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Old 11-17-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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Hi DD,

I can't tell what's going on there, but it looks like his pre-slope hits the top of the drain flange, which would be correct if the pitch is correct. I don't know of any requirement for a particular thickness at the drain. So it looks to me like what you have will work.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:20 AM   #4
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The fact that the membrane doesn't have to go over the lip of the drain to remove water is good. Water doesn't like to travel up. So if the base and pre slope are flush that's ok.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:47 PM   #5
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Bathroom waterproofing


I live in Fairfax County, VA. The tileman installed the cement boards for the bathtub and shower without using galvanize joint tape and water proofing the cement boards and joint areas. He only installed the cement board (hardiebacker in this case- He said FFX county approved it) onto the wood stud and set tiles right away.

Is there such a code require them to do some kind of water proofing membrane? Is it a must or the tile man is wrong? Thank you
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:58 PM   #6
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DD, at a minimum you will want a waterproof membrane, visqueen or similar behind the backer board. I think the taping of joints is a requirement of the backer board manufacturer as well. If a surface applied membrane is being used over the backer board it needs to be taped for sure.
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:11 PM   #7
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Code or not, manufacturers directions need to be followed at a minimum in your case which includes a moisture barrier of appropriate thickness, proper fasteners installed on suggested spacing, and corners/seams must be taped using alkali restistant mesh tape. Those are the bare minimum, without those 3 aspects you have failed prep and a handyman posing as a tile installer.
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