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Unread 12-14-2015, 12:48 PM   #1
kyletornquist
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Walk-in Shower Conversion - 1st Timer

Hi All,

After extensive research on the internet, I decided to join in here because the resources and user knowledge seem to be very abundant. I am hoping to tap those resources here to help with my first tiling project.

Several months ago, we had a leak from our upstairs master bathroom that presented itself in our kitchen through the kitchen light fixture. After several plumber visits and digging in the wall behind the shower valves, we found that the tile grout was letting water through, it was running along the lip of the tub and dripping down the front corner onto the subfloor. Not by choice, we were forced into our first tiling project. After throwing around several ideas, we decided to make this project a little more involved by converting the tub surround to a walk-in shower now. We have demoed the tile/backer board and the tub. I have attached pictures of the subfloor and bare walls that we will be working with. I believe myself to be very capable to complete this project, but would like to get feedback and recommendations from you all on a few items that are unclear to me. Doing it right the first time is definitely my end goal. Here are a few starting questions:

- I am going to have a plumber come in to remove the overflow pipe and relocate the valve up.
- I am thinking of removing the rest of the wall up to the top edge of the window. Is this a good idea?
- I have decided to use a pre-fab shower pan such as FinPan or something similar. With this being my first project, I am not going to experiment pouring my own shower pan. I plan to order a custom sized one. My only question here is correct way to prep subfloor and install the pan.
- When I begin installing the backer board, what is my best approach? Does it sit on top edge of pan?
- Will I have any issues blending the joint where the backer board meets the drywall? I had to cut the wall a little further out than I would have liked.
- Once backerboards are installed, I have fibermesh tape that I will use on all the joints and then cover with thinset. Do I need to follow this on joints where the plane changes?
- Is there anywhere that I need to use silicone caulk before getting ready to tile?

Thanks again for the help!
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Unread 12-14-2015, 01:12 PM   #2
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Most people would pay good money for a waterfall in their kitchen.

1. That's probably a good idea. I'd remove it all to the height of the shower head, at a minimum.

2. You really need to decide on a pan and follow their instructions. Not knowing what product you're planning on using keeps us from offering specific advice. I will say that you should at least consider forming the pan out of mud. It will form to fit your shower footprint and cost significantly less. I would also have the drain centered while the plumber is there.

3. 1/2" cement board, other than hardibacker, will match up to 1/2" sheetrock very well. I usually try to make that seam just outside the shower where it will be covered by tile. Definitely use tape and thinset on any joints.

In the future, if you have multiple questions, it's best to number them. Thanks.
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Unread 12-14-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
kyletornquist
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Kevin,

Thank you for the reply. I apologize on the lack of numbering. I think my mind was just spewing thoughts as they came to mind.

The pan I am leaning towards the FinPan preformed "ready for tile" base. I did some research on mudding my own, but became overwhelmed on that process. Do you have some good resources narrowed down that you could point me towards? I am just hesitant with zero experience in that department.

Thanks again for the help!
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Unread 12-14-2015, 07:46 PM   #4
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Hi Kyle and welcome to the forum.

For others, here's a link to the finpan shower pan and the instructions.

The product looks fine to me but it's one that I'm not familiar with. You'll get a lot of "just mud it" comments from others on this forum but I understand wanting to have a product that does it for you.
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Unread 12-14-2015, 11:10 PM   #5
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Our liberry has a good amount of info regarding mud itself, and mudding a shower floor.

Here are several about mud and how to mix it.

Here are some more about mixing mud and building a shower curb and shower floor.

Finally, while this is for a Kerdi shower, the basics are the same for building any mud floor.

Again, once you choose a waterproofing method, we can be much more specific with advice.
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Unread 12-15-2015, 05:10 PM   #6
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Thank you both for the help. So it looks like my first step, regardless of what pan I go with is to get my new backer board installed, correct? I purchased sheets of Durarock for this application. This needs to go flush to the floor before anything is done with the pan?

Now that I have watched the Schluter video, I am intrigued. It looks very involved though. Do either of you have experience with it? In your opinion, is a better option than the preformed FinPan type?
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Unread 12-15-2015, 07:40 PM   #7
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1- no, see #2

2- no, depends on the pan you select

3- No, the walls normally are installed after a pre-made pan is installed.

If you are using drypack and installing your own self made pan, then the walls can go in first and usually are.
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Unread 12-16-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
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All,

Thank you for answering my terrible questions. After looking at the products, I think I am leaning towards the Schluter Kerdi shower system now. A few questions as I get my prep going:

1) You all seem to have used the Kerdi product quite a bit. Preference over the Kerdi ST or the mud slab?

2) Will Durock work fine as my backboard with this kit? I have read that if I go that route I need to make sure to dampen the backer board before applying thinset and membrane so it does not pull moisture out of the thinset.

3) I have a plumber coming over this week to quote moving the shower valves up and then centering the drain. I have your note about lowering the pipe, but it looks like i may need to be end up replacing the entire subfloor to accomodate this system. Thoughts?
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Unread 12-19-2015, 06:13 AM   #9
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We almost always recommend using mud instead of a tray, since it can be formed to fit your drain location and the footprint of your shower. Also much cheaper to install.

Durock will work fine. Sheetrock is cheaper and easier to use, but you use whatever works for you.

The only requirements are that you have a suitably strong subfloor to support the mud and tile. 3/4" plywood with a face grade of C or better, properly installed, will almost always work for that application.
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Unread 12-29-2015, 12:32 PM   #10
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Kevin,

Thanks for all of your help. I have decided to go the route of a shower system option this time instead of trying to pour my own. I am not confident with that on my first go around.

I am now trying to decide between the Schluter Shower System or the Durock Shower System. Do you have experience with either?
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Unread 12-29-2015, 02:11 PM   #11
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Yes, with both of them, but not with the trays from either one.

The Durock has a thinner membrane, which greatly reduces buildups from the overlaps. I've not had a chance to use the Durock drain, though, and have continued using the Kerdi drain with Durock membrane.
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Unread 12-30-2015, 05:19 PM   #12
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Kevin,

Thank you again for all of your help. I promise I am trying to search the forum, but I seem to keep coming up with oodles of posts that do not match exactly what I am looking for.

I have decided fully on the Schluter Shower System. I am going to return the Durock that I purchased when we were originally just going to keep the tub surround and order the Kerdi Board. I would like to keep this as the same system. It seems to be easier to work with as well from the videos I have seen. Now that I am going with this system, I need to finish prepping the studs and subfloor. A few questions in regards:

1) The first image shows the "left" wall where I cut out the existing tile/wall and took it all the way to the stud. Will I be able to blend that seam with the Kerdi Board and will it be paintable? This seam will be outside of the tiled area.

2) The lower area in both image 1 and 3 that the existing bullnose tile sat on that is under the existing dry wall. Should I just replace that with a piece of drywall or work in a piece of Kerdi Board?

3) Image 2 - Stud to stud across measures 60" and ~30" from edge of tile to stud.
3A) Should I remove the first row of tile in order to allow for the 32" ST and the shower curb?
3B) I need to remove the subfloor to allow the plumber to lower and relocate the pipe. I am going with the offset 60" x 32" but the center of the drain currently does not sit 10" O.C. What is the best way to remove this subfloor?

4) I am going to put in a shower Niche along the back wall; however, as you can see there is insulation there because that wall is adjacent to outside. Should I run insulation behind the Niche?

5) Any other items or things I need to be aware of when preparing to install the Kerdi Board?

I plan to have the subfloor removed and valve relocated then replace the subfloor and install the kerdi board, so on and so on.

Thanks!
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Unread 12-30-2015, 06:30 PM   #13
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1 - blend the seam between the drywall and kerdi with mesh tape and drywall compound to get a smooth transition.

2 - is this a wet area? If so use kerdi board.

3 - went through a lot of the same issues during my hall bathroom renovation, take a look at my thread starting here

4 - how much space do you have behind the niche. Best if you can get some foam board back there. If you live if a coupe climate is advise against the niche in outside wall unless you can get 2" of foam insulation behind it. Are you using a one piece niche?

5- I detailed the installation of the kerdi board in my shower thread starting here.

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Unread 12-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #14
kyletornquist
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PC,

Thanks so much for the feedback! It has been hard getting responses on my thread, but that is probably due to my stupid (& repetitive) questions. I have started browsing through both threads and very impressed with the wealth of you and others here. Has it been a learning process over the years as you do different renovations? This is my first renovation and it is about to drive me up the wall because I research stuff until its beating a dead horse and still come up with questions

After looking over your first link, I still have a few questions on the subfloor that you might be able to help with. I have attached two additional photos for reference:

1) Do I need to pull the subfloor out? The drain will have to be dropped and moved slightly out, which made my assume that I need to go ahead and cut this subfloor out and replace it so a new hole can be cut for the drain. I do not have the luxury of tearing out all of the floor in the room because we are just renovating the shower; not the whole bathroom.

2) Would you suggest removing the first row of floor tile to allow enough room for the Kerdi-ST preformed insert? If I do that, it looks like there is a small overlay on top of the subfloor that will need to be removed as well. I am really trying to avoid having to redo the entire floor...

In regards to your question about the niche. We live in Denver so it can get pretty cold here. I was thinking of using the standard Kerdi Niche, but I haven't looked close enough on what clear spacing I will have behind it.
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Unread 12-31-2015, 12:11 PM   #15
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Kyle, if you'll add that geographic location to your User Profile it'll remain permanently in view to aid in answering some types of questions.
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