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Unread 12-16-2018, 04:28 PM   #1
Themus
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Bathtub to Shower Conversion & Drain

Greetings and a big thank you ahead of time! This forum made my last bathroom remodeling possible and successful. From a complete tear down to a finished project everyone here was a huge help!

I am willing to purchase the books listed on this site, but first let me share what I am looking at doing. Then if the suggested books will guide me in this I would seriously consider a purchase.

My main bathroom in an older house had a fairly old regular size bathtub and of course with shower. I removed it completely and have all the walls down to studs and the particle board, tile, old concrete underneath is gone. Down to 1/2" plywood subfloor.

I was looking at thinking I had to move the tub drain to the center for a shower, but seeing a few of these shower inserts I think there is hope I do not have to redo the old ABS plumbing which also would be challenging with the duct work down in the crawlspace.

I really am not keen on those plastic tub inserts. I've read a lot of bath reviews on them. I would prefer a tile floor and walls, with the tile continuing out to the vanity area. This is not a large bathroom. I can attach pictures if that would help.

With everyone's help last time, I did all the work including putting in the new tub, backerboard, etc. Some member on this site actually ended up doing the final tile work as I chicken out. Looks great.

So my first question is really can I have a tile shower with the drain in the same location as the old tub, near the front by the shower head. Then the next question would be how do I do the floors? In the first bathroom I remodeled with the tub, I added 3/4 plywood as the subfloor. This being different how is it done?

Thank you and if the right book can guide me on all of this, point me to the right one! Thank you.
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Unread 12-16-2018, 04:50 PM   #2
PC7060
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Hi Themus,

Certainly can maintain the same position for the drain using a mud bed. Like you, I did a tub surround project and then a tub to shower master bath project. Documented in the thread link below so it should answer a good many of your questions.
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
Lazarus
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You can certainly leave the drain where it is, BUT bear in mind that a properly sloped mud floor with tile will have a more severe slope where the drain is closest to the wall. In other words, the mud should be level all the way around and for proper slope, the "drop" should be at a minimum 1/4" per foot to the farthest corner. This is a gradual slope to there...but a more severe slope to the close area near the drain. I always like to re-locate the drain.
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:09 PM   #4
Themus
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Life is never so simple right? Pro's and cons then. Slope being the con.

I take it the drain ideally should be in the center of the area?

Mud floor. I'll have to educate myself on that. Looks like moving dirt around from some pics I've seen. Toweling it and sloping it towards the drain. Then something on top.

I can see a learning curve is ahead of me. I know some showers like my dad's condo has an edge prior to walking into it. I have heard other's don't.

Probably pro's and con's to that too? :-)
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:15 PM   #5
Lazarus
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Yes...ideally in my work. Sure, a bit of a learning curve but we can walk you through that......
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:27 PM   #6
Themus
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Here are some pictures. The old drain is ABS on the far right. The center would be where the return duct is coming down, two floor joists over.
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Unread 12-16-2018, 06:28 PM   #7
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I would be cutting back the drain to the 2" pipe which is just beyond this picture. I might be able to do some clever re-arranging. Just need to make sure I have the drain slope right.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 12:12 AM   #8
workhurts
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Would it be easier to just put a linear drain in there? Seems like that would be a reasonable application for tub to shower conversions
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Unread 12-17-2018, 12:34 AM   #9
Davy
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Like Laz said, we usually make the perimeter of the shower floor level but if you're going to leave the drain on the end you can go ahead and slope the perimeter to keep it from being so steep near the drain. I would move it, myself, at least get it as close to the center as you can. Or, a linear drain can be used like Ali said.

What kind of waterproofing method do you plan to use? That needs to be decided and the drain type before you go doing a bunch of work and buying materials.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 07:07 AM   #10
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Linear drain. Another new one.

The last waterproofing was RedGard which was painted over Hardie Board.

Type of drain? LOL. I just thought of it as a hole in the center with a mesh plate running down into the drain. Not meaning to be disrespectful by saying that. Just never thought of the type being a big decision too. But of course I guess I know see that it is.

Glad I started on the electrical first. For me that is almost done and was challenging physically up in the attic and crawlspace, but straightforward mentally.

Good point about running out and buying stuff before I know what I am doing. I put a small hole in the center of the old tub area and ran a wire down it. Going to see if running the ABS pipe over there maybe easier than I thought.
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Unread 12-17-2018, 07:41 AM   #11
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I'll explain it like this, A regular drain near the center requires a floor that's shaped sorta like a funnel. Ali mentioned a linear drain because most linear drains are at one end of the shower, although it doesn't have to be. The floor for a linear drain is flat with a slope going towards the drain, not like a funnel. Since you mentioned leaving the drain at the end, a linear drain would work well in that situation. It's just another option. But, even leaving the drain at the end you'd still have to increase the size to 2 inch.

Most here agree that a surface sheet membrane would be better than a paint on membrane like Redard. Either will work if installed correctly.
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Unread 12-18-2018, 07:46 PM   #12
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The contractor who did my tile work actually applied the RedGard and as a member of this forum and professional, I am confident he did it right. I followed afterward and took a lot of time and sealed all the grout afterwards.

Of course, on this new project, I want to do what the best minds think I should do at this time. :-)

I actually took some time and redid my toilet water line. Once I do the vanity lines, I will be ready to tackle the drain.

I am really leaning toward using a Fernco coupling and going the rest of the way with PVC install of securing ABS which is harder and harder to get locally.

So the drain lies before me and how to do it. I am pretty sure I can get it centered.

Is the shower basically the same length and width of the old tub {for centering purposes of the drain.}

My original thought was 3/4" plywood on top of the 1/2" plywood. Can I still do that irregardless of the shower method? This is where I need some understanding or guidance or someone to point me where I can read up on the options.

I assume hardi board on the walls is still viable. That I have done and even had purchased a hammer drill for that purpose. It's this whole shower flooring that has me scratching my head right now.

I don't look forward to the new shower valve. That was no fun last time. Frankly, not too excited about that one I put in the last bathroom. {Delta} Have to turn the water all the way to hot before I get any and the water restriction in the shower head makes me dance around in order to get wet. :-)

This is a great forum. Never seen one so responsive. People here obviously want to help.
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Unread 12-19-2018, 07:41 AM   #13
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I used the durock shower system to build shower in my basement that was plumbed for a tub. I liked the product.
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Unread 12-19-2018, 09:11 AM   #14
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Thomas,

There a several ways and products you can use to convert from a standard 5' tub to a walk in shower. Each will have it's pros and cons, and the method and products you use will be dictated, to some degree, on your particular circumstances; be those physical (the space itself), your abilities, time, and cost.

For instance, if you want to do this as inexpensively as possible, then doing a mud bed for the shower floor is cheap, but requires skill and time. Using a pre-made shower pan is faster, but more expensive, and requires a pretty flat and level subfloor.

So you first need to evaluate what the physical constraints are. Like, is the existing subfloor flat and level? Can you get/do you want the drain centered?

No reason at all that you can't use a fernco to go from PVC to ABS.

Yes, you'll need to add another layer of plywood over the existing 1/2" that's there. But be mindful of adding too much height to the floor, which may result in an awkward transition from the bathroom floor to the adjacent floor.

There are solutions or compromises for most anything you run into.
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Unread 12-19-2018, 06:12 PM   #15
workhurts
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Thomas. Your Delta should have a way to adjust how hot it gets. They're designed to have multiple set points to keep you from burning yourself. As for the showerhead maybe you just need to remove it, clean it from and scale or debris and hope that flow restrictor somehow accidentally falls out.
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