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Unread 03-18-2020, 06:09 PM   #1
PHilJ
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Shower rebuild

Hi, I am new to these boards. I have read some great threads with good advice. I am rebuilding a shower after having ripped the old one out, it failed as it was never built correctly.

A few questions:
Sub floor is T&G plywood. There are some black spots from the old leaking, it is completely dry as it was not used for a few years. Should I replace the sub floor? Or can I clean with Vinegar and and add a second layer of ply?

I plan to build the mud slope, liner and mud base. Do I need a curb or can I build the base up to the height of the curb with proper slope to drain? Do I need paper and mesh under the slope?

I prefer to use hardie backer board but have read here it cannot be embedded. I don't under stand how it can hold in place and not flop. Can I use wonder board or another for the bottom row to embed and then use hardie for the rest? Should the bottom of the board be caulked or mortar?

I thought to do the curb with cbd, but I do not see how it can be done unless I nail and cover with redgard. Is this a good method or should I do with mesh and mud? Is there an alternative to wire mesh or must I use wire mesh?

I will redgard the walls. Should I tape the seams first?

Thank you for your advice.
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Unread 03-18-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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Hi Phil.

How rotten is the plywood? Is it soft when you stand on it? Does it fall apart when you poke at it with a screwdriver?

Are you wanting to build a curbless shower?

That's why Hardiboard isn't recommended by many here on this forum. The bottom needs to be anchored in the mud and you can do that with a true cement board.

You need to wrap the curb with lath and mud it. Check out the "shower construction info" thread in the liberry.
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Unread 03-18-2020, 08:55 PM   #3
PHilJ
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Hi Davy,

Thank you for the reply. I think the plywood is structurally sound. One small spot, a few inches where the top layer shred a little but not soft anywhere. The top 1/2" layer which I did remove was no good. If I clean up the sub floor and put a new layer of 1/2 on top I feel it will be sound. Or is it worth the extra effort to just rip it out and replace? This is what I go back and forth on.

I did read what you said on the curb, I understand. I don't mind stepping up the 4 inches to go in (not truly curbless) but thought if there was a good way to not step up and then down over a curb? It may be beyond what I can do, but wanted to ask if this was possible to align the shower floor at same height as the curb? There will be glass on one side and glass with door perpendicular to that side. Water sprays parallel to the door.

Phil

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Unread 03-19-2020, 06:50 AM   #4
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Welcome, Phil,

In order to do a curbless shower you would need to be able to recess the shower floor by the same amount as the combined thickness of the two layers of mud + the thickness of the liner, so around 3". Not an easy task with a wood framed floor. Or you could recess the shower floor a little less and raise the main floor a bit, but that might result in a height issue at the doorway to the bathroom.

There are other ways to do it with less depth, but still involve a lot of work.
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Unread 03-19-2020, 12:48 PM   #5
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I guess curb-less is not really what I want to do, to complicated. But is there any reason the curb has to be higher than the base?
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Unread 03-19-2020, 01:00 PM   #6
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What are you calling the base, the floor?
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Unread 03-19-2020, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil
But is there any reason the curb has to be higher than the base?
Where I am, in Fairfax Va, yes (feel free to enter your location in your profile, it often helps when answering questions). Code here states that IF there is a curb, the top of it must be 2" above the water drain grate.

Of course, you location might be different, or you might not be having your build inspected.
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Unread 03-20-2020, 01:00 PM   #8
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I am in Staten Island NY (NYC). It is in my home and there will not be any inspector as the house is not new.
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Unread 03-20-2020, 01:04 PM   #9
PHilJ
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Davy, sorry if I am not using the correct terminology. I am very handy but this is not my profession.

By base I mean the tile floor of the shower: Plywood subfloor- mortar slope- shower pan liner - mortar top - tile.
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Unread 03-21-2020, 07:08 AM   #10
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Just be aware that although the project is in a house that is not new does not exempt the project from needing to be inspected.

Upon seeing a new bathroom (or kitchen, deck, etc) a future buyer of the house could search county records to see if a permit(s) was pulled for the job. If they find there wasn't it may influence their buying decision or what they offer.

Every locality is different. Some say that a simple "remove/replace", where no structural, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC changes are made don't require a permit. Others won't allow home owners to even replace a faucet without calling a pro.
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Unread 03-21-2020, 08:54 AM   #11
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Welcome, Phil.

What Dan said about permitting.

I've remodeled in code compliance jurisdictions where the AHJ didn't wanna hear from you unless you were removing or replacing support structure and in at least one in San Antonio, Tx, where their requirements were that "Anything other than painting the interior of the house requires a permit." On my first inspection in that jurisdiction the compliance official noted that the water heater looked new and was prepared to call foul until I showed him that it had been done before I began my work for the new owner. Not at all sure she (new owner) didn't end up paying a fine anyway.

I can't imagine removal and replacement of a shower not requiring permitting and inspection in NYC, but I been wrong before. I wouldn't even be surprised if they required you to install a lead pan for your waterproofing without significant documentation on any other material or method.

I think you should at least look into the requirements if you've not already done so.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-23-2020, 09:52 AM   #12
PHilJ
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I have checked, my project does not require a permit. I am not relocating the bathroom or shower. I am not changing the plumbing, I am only replacing what was the existing shower with a new shower. Of course all work needs to be to code.
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Unread 04-06-2020, 08:07 AM   #13
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slope

My project is coming along, I only get to work a few hours on Saturday's. I have a slope question.
From inside the curb shower measures 56 inches front to back wall. The drain is located at 20". Is it worth it to cut open the wood sub-floor to move it 8"? When you step in, it is 20" to the drain. Since the slope needs to be 3/4" will it feel steep when stepping in if i do not move it? If I do cut open the floor, is the best way to cut out a small section of both layers of plywood (3/4 & 1/2) between the joists then sister 2x4 to the joists and replace the small section? Will this be enough support? Joists are 12" apart.


Thank you
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Unread 04-07-2020, 06:26 AM   #14
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You're correct, Phil, there will be a difference between the slopes. Some might notice, some might not. Some might simply get used to it.

Would it be worth it to me to move it? Yup. To you? I dunno.
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Unread 05-04-2020, 10:56 AM   #15
PHilJ
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I have the preslope in, overall it came out fine, I did notice in one spot it is not as straight, slight bump. Can this be sanded down?
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