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Unread 09-24-2014, 07:33 AM   #1
Wren
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First Time Shower Pan/Tile Install Questions

Hi Guys. I've really enjoyed reading through the forums and have learned a lot but still have a few questions about the shower installation I've undertaken.

I've got my subfloor ready to install the mud pan and have a couple of questions about what goes on the walls.

It seems that after I am finished with the pan and have the membrane up on the walls 6" I'll put in my Durock boards on the walls. I'm wondering about the bottom 6" of the boards that cover the membrane. If there shouldn't be any nails that puncture the membrane, it there a concern about the bottom 6" unsupported/unachored Durock moving around? Am I missing something here?

I've bought some Mapei waterproofer to use with the niches I'm building. Would it be a good idea to use this on the durock joints/screws, or maybe use it on the entire interior of the shower before the tile goes on?

Should I put some sort of house wrap or other type of vapor barrier in behind the Durock?

In the photo below, the studs are notched for the thickness of the liner. I have already framed in the shower and had not seen this before I completed the framing. I've only seen this mentioned once, so I wonder how important the notching is. Will I be OK?

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Unread 09-24-2014, 08:44 AM   #2
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Welcome, Wren.

Your pan liner for a traditional shower receptor must turn up the walls a minimum of three inches above the top of your shower curb or dam.

Use of dam corners where the curb meets the walls is very important.

Notching the framing to accommodate the pan liner is also very important to keep the liner from causing the wallboard from bowing out at the bottom over the liner, especially at the folded corners.

One common method of fastening the CBU wallboard at the bottom is to put some dollops of thinset mortar on the back of the bottom edge and letting them moosh against the blocking when installing the CBU. The final deck mud against the inside of the CBU then anchors the bottom quite effectively.

If you intend to have niches or/and benches in the shower, I'd recommend you eliminate the moisture barrier behind your CBU wallboard and use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane (your Mapei or many others) on the entire interior of the shower. You can, of course, use your moisture barrier behind the CBU and use the waterproofing only around the niche if you like. It must extend at least six inches out to the sides and bottom and must extend all the way above the shower head if you elect to do that.

You might also wanna consider using one of the full direct bonded waterproofing systems in lieu of the traditional shower receptor all together. I would recommend you choose one of the sheet membranes in that case, USG's Durock Shower System being my current favorite.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-24-2014, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thanks, CX!

I'm surprised that the 1/16" thick membrane needs to have a notch cut out for it all the way around, or is it just for the folded corners? If the later is the case, I made my corner studs with notches for the corners to fold into as shown in several YouTube videos that I've seen. Maybe cut some shims the thickness of the membrane to install over the studs? I've seen mention of that as well.

Since my framing and blocking between the studs is complete, what would you recommend?

I've already glued the drain flange into the plumbing, so I'm more-or-less locked into that system with the membrane.

I'll plan on using the Mapei waterproofing on the whole interior.

Any idea of how many square feet I can get out of a gallon? I bought one, but may need additional.

Thanks!
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Unread 09-24-2014, 10:11 AM   #4
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You can shim the studs if that's more convenient.

Drains can be changed. That shouldn't be the basis for your decision.

Go to your chosen waterproofing membrane manufacturer's website and you find very specific information on the required thickness of application, number of coats, requirement for reinforcing fabric, anticipated coverage, and a whole lot more. Read every bit of it before you begin.

You will not properly waterproof even the smallest legal shower with a single gallon of material. It is not like painting the bedroom.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #5
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So is it essential to waterproof the Durock board completely as well as the pan? Most of the instructional videos/blogs I've seen only use the waterproofer around the niches, benches, etc. Not to say that is the preferred method of course....

I imagine that I could cut 1-1/2" strips of the Oatey membrane left over to space the Durock board out to be even going up the studs. That occurs to me to be the easiest way to do it as cutting 1/16" thick wood strips would be difficult.

Thanks for all the help and putting up with the newb questions!
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Unread 09-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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You can do it any way that provides complete water containment, Wren.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #7
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Thanks again, CX. I'm really glad you clarified some issues for me before I started the tile part of this operation.
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Unread 09-25-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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CX, regarding the bottom layer of mud, it's my understanding to install metal lath over the slip sheet of roofing felt. Does the second layer of mud get lath as well?

I've seen some instructions that didn't use metal lath at all. My shower is 3x4. For a shower this size, is the metal lath needed?

I bought the lath at Home Depot in the concrete department. I'm assuming this is the right stuff to use, correct?

What's the best thing to anchor it with?
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Unread 09-25-2014, 02:44 PM   #9
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1. No.

2. My shower, yes. Your shower, up to you, but I'd recommend it for the pre-slope.

3. Can't see it from here. What you want is expanded metal lath of at least 2.5 pounds per yard. What you'll more likely get at Homer's is 1.75-pound, which I would say is perfectly adequate for the application, but doesn't technically meet industry standards.

4. The lath is most commonly stapled to the subfloor. A slap-hammer being the most common stapler of choice. Roofing nails will also work.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-25-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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Thanks, CX!

The stuff I bought at Home Depot weighs right at 2.5 lbs. per yard (I used a postal scale to weigh it and although I went to UGA and not GA Tech, I think my math is good) so I reckon I got the good stuff.

I'm looking to mud the bottom layer tomorrow. Wish me luck.
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Unread 09-25-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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My Homer's generally carries the 2.5lb lath, too, Wren, but that's not always the case, we've found.

I ain't never been to neither one of them there esteemed houses of higher learning and I can't claim to have ever weighed a square yard of metal lath, so I'm fixin' to take your word for what you've got.

You'll do fine without dependin' on no steenkin' luck.

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Unread 09-25-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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UGA is esteemed, Tech is just steaming.

Thanks!
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Unread 10-01-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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So I got the bottom layer of mud in and have a couple of questions.

I used Quikrete all-purpose sand and portland cement mixed 5:1 by weight. The Quickrete sand was more coarse that I would have expected it to be and had sizes ranging from that of beach sand through clay cat litter and up to small rocks. Is this the correct product to use? I would have thought it would have been more the consistency/size of play sand.

I'm getting ready to install my Oatey membrane. Is it a good idea to use some sort of adhesive to secure it down into the corners at the bottom of the walls? It seems as though it would be helpful to get it up and over the curb and secured. If an adhesive is a good idea, what's the best stuff to use?

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Unread 10-01-2014, 08:17 AM   #14
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I much prefer course sand for deck mud, Wren, but with that pre-bagged stuff it is often necessary to pick out the big rocks when they get in the way. Sifting the whole bag through some 1/4" hardware cloth can be helpful, but a bit of a PITA.

I don't recommend you make any attempt to bond your pan liner to the surfaces.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-01-2014, 09:07 AM   #15
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I didn't see any coarse sand, just this stuff and play sand.

OK I won't do any bonding to the bottom, but how about using those Oatey PVC corner pieces to glue up the pan liner over the curb?
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