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Unread 01-22-2021, 05:33 PM   #1
JackOfNoTrades
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Divot method snafu

Hello all. I used the divot method for my shower drain and applied liquid waterproofing. When I created the divot, it was wide enough for the middle part of the 3-part clamping drain to nestle all the way into the bottom part. The thickness of the waterproofing, though, has shrunk the hole so that the middle part now just hovers above the bottom. It is still close enough to screw it securely down and there is plenty of room for the grate part to be at the correct level. I know that this method calls for protecting the weep holes and filling the divot with mud bed mix, before tiling. Since the edges of middle part of the drain wedge right up against the sides of the divot, there doesn’t seem to be a need for pebbles to keep the weep holes open. Or is there a danger of the deck mud sliding down over time? I can’t tell if the weep holes are clear of the rubber layer, but I’m sure there are enough imperfections in the surface to let the water escape. I am hoping that the holes are big enough for water, but too small for the mud. Does this seem like a safe bet? Should I prop up the middle part, so there is an opening all around, and try to fill the space underneath with mud? That seems very tricky. And, maybe, impossible.
I am also confused about how to set the height for the top part of the drain. It seems like any adjustment should be made with the middle part, since any screwing up or down would make the square of the grate crooked. Do I just measure the tile thickness and take my best guess at how much the thinset will squish down? Is there a method for this?
I would appreciate any help.
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Unread 01-23-2021, 11:03 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Rhonda,

I've never been a fan of the divot method and have never done one, so I may not be the best source of information. I think I would concoct some method to keep the weep holes clear. Water will penetrate the mud in the divot. I'm thinking of very small size pea gravel maybe?
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Unread 01-23-2021, 09:51 PM   #3
jadnashua
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Those slots on the underside of the clamping part of the drain are your weepholes. If your waterproofing job is done well as is, you've essentially negated the divot. If there's any defect, water can accumulate in the divot as there's not a good path out to the drain from below. The clamping part of the drain is hard to see in this diagram, but it's at the base of the divot.

Assuming I'm not totally off base, the bottom part of the drain would be below the current drypack in the divot, and the waterproofing would go on top of that, with the clamp attached, then the center installed and the drypack over the hat that is waterproof and direct the water into the weepholes.

The divot gives you essentially a ring of drypack that is waterproof above the drypack at the top and bottom, with the side up against the drain able to drain into the weepholes, if you've kept them clear of waterproofing.
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Unread 01-24-2021, 12:13 AM   #4
JackOfNoTrades
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Thank you both for your replies.
John, I think I might scatter pebbles or broken tile across the entire surface of the clamping flange (I think that is the name of the middle part of the drain). I also notice that the giant holes for the screws to go through need to be blocked (from mud, not water). Hopefully, there will be enough room on top of that for a layer of the deck mud.
Jim, I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you're saying- specifically about negating the divot with waterproofing. I do understand what weep holes are for, but what I have done is inadvertently created one giant weep hole. Since the diameter of my divot is too small, the clamping flange doesn't fit snugly onto the drain base. It rests on the sides of the divot and leaves probably a few millimeters of air between the two parts. I think your concern is that the weep holes will be blocked by the rubbery walls against which they will be resting? If that is a problem, I can prop up the whole flange just a little bit more with broken tile (or maybe the screws? I haven't tried that, yet), so that an opening is left around the whole thing. I think I should prop up the flange so that water will drain off of all sides, then scatter pebbles across the whole top of that, to keep the mud from falling into the holes.

The only thing I still don't know how to do is determine exactly how high to make the grate. If I start tiling and see that the grate is too high or too low, it seems like I should be able to screw it up or down. But, I can't twist it or the square will be out of whack. From what I can tell, the adjustments have to be made with the clamping flange. Of course, the clamping flange will have been carefully situated with broken tiles, pebbles, and deck mud. If I am wrong about the top level of the tile, I just have to live with it? It seems like there must be something I'm missing. Is this where I'm going to have to make a mock up of my floor tile and see how thick the thin set will be?
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Unread 01-24-2021, 09:41 AM   #5
John Bridge
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Jim referred to the slotted weep holes on the underside of the clamping ring. They work in two ways. Water can seep in horizontally through the slots that go out to the edge of the ring, and water can also go down through the holes on the top of the ring.

As I mentioned, I've never been a fan of the divot method. The best you might be able to do is to keep the holes clear at the top of the ring from the looks of things.
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Unread 02-14-2021, 04:53 PM   #6
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grout advice for small area

Hello tilers,
I rebuilt my shower from the studs and am ready for grout. There are a few issues that keep swirling in my head as I try to research the different options, so I was hoping for some real world advice.

A few things about the shower to give background- The sub floor is a square, concrete pit that has been there since the 1970s, at least. It extends five inches below the surface of the floor, so the bottom few inches of the shower walls are concrete. There is a sloped mud bed and a layer of Aqua Defense.

1) There are a few places that I lost my mind and the tiles are pretty much butted up against the edge of the facing wall. Since the floor is such a small area (30" x 30"), do I need to worry about movement? Should I use a more flexible grout to make up the lack of perimeter cushion?

2) Two of the shower walls are exterior and it is very cold. I can wait until the weather warms to above freezing to grout, but is that warm enough? I thought some of you tilers in the north would know about that. Would the tile be too cold for the grout to cure properly?

Thanks for any help.
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Unread 02-14-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
JackOfNoTrades
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deflection and curing of grout

Hello tilers,
I rebuilt my shower from the studs and am ready for grout. There are a few issues that keep swirling in my head as I try to research the different options, so I was hoping for some real world advice.

A few things about the shower to give background- The sub floor is a square, concrete pit that has been there since the 1970s, at least. It extends five inches below the surface of the floor, so the bottom few inches of the shower walls are concrete. There is a sloped mud bed and a layer of Aqua Defense.

1) There are a few places where I lost my mind and the tiles are pretty much butted up against the edge of the facing wall. Since the floor is such a small area (30" x 30"), do I need to worry about movement? Should I use a more flexible grout to make up the lack of perimeter cushion?

2) Two of the shower walls are exterior and it is very cold. I can wait until the weather warms to above freezing to grout, but is that warm enough? I thought some of you tilers in the north would know about that. Would the tile be too cold for the grout to cure properly?

Thanks for any help.
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Unread 02-14-2021, 10:38 PM   #8
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Rhonda, please don't start new threads with the same questions. Results in confusion and duplication of effort on the part of our all-volunteer army of helpers. I've combined you with your project thread. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

1. There are no "more flexible grouts" in that regard. If you're not willing to create a movement accommodation joint at the shower wall corners, you're gonna hafta take your chances. You may not have serious problems or you may, but that's just a guess.

2. That will certainly contribute to #1.

If you'll read the installation instructions for your chosen grout you'll almost certainly find they want your substrate and grout material to be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of application and for a minimum of 72 hours thereafter. If you can't do that, I suggest you wait 'till you can.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-24-2021, 08:33 AM   #9
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I used the rubber tile spacers and packed them around the weep holes, then added the dry pack around the drain. To get the height of the grate, I placed a floor tile next to the drain sitting on a few tile spacers to give height like it will be when you install it using thin set.
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