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Unread 01-30-2021, 05:22 PM   #1
Toeknee
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Shower curb dos and donts

Hello all, hope this finds everyone well. I am a diy'er that has not tackled tiling a shower yet. I have finished my basement leaving only the shower for a later project. Well later has arrived and I'm ready to tackle this sucker. If I have questions, I immediately begin scouring forums for answers. I have a tough time doing something with uncertainty lingering around. Which leads me here. I have been reading alot of your very informative info here.

Ok, so here is where I am at. I have set the drain 1/2 inch off the basement slab. I've installed the 2x6 backer between the 2x4s for the pan liner. Im ready to thinset the bricks to the concrete floor to set my curb. The plan is to use a shower curtain but leave the option for glass doors if we want too down the road. Where the bricks met the wall is where the green gypsum board and HardieBacker board met. I know that the green board is not an approved wall board for tile or showers but curious if this is considered ok. If not I suspect that I will have to cut back the green board back a few inches and install a few 2x4s in the wall so I can run the Hardiboard. Should the bricks go straight to the 2x4 or have HardieBacker board between them.
Thanks ahead of time and look forward to getting help from you guys throughout this project.
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Unread 01-30-2021, 07:03 PM   #2
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Welcome, Tony.

"Midwest" doesn't really give us much idea where you might be nor what climate you deal with, etc, some of which may at times be helpful in answering your questions.

Sounds like you're planning a traditional shower receptor, which would make me guess it's a three-piece clamping drain you've installed. Which part of the bottom portion of the drain is 1/2" above the concrete floor? You really want a minimum of 3/4" of deck mud at the thinnest part of your pre-slope, which is at the drain.

Is your plan to have only the single row of bricks we see for your rough curb? You understand that by code the top of your curb must be a minimum of two inches above the top of your finished drain? And the ceramic tile industry requirement is for your curb to be a minimum of two inches above your finished shower floor, a requirement that will be very important with your plan to use a shower curtain to close the entry. I would want more than the two inches, but that's up to you.
[Edit] Now that I look more closely I see that you have two rows of bricks stacked there. That may or may not be enough, depending upon the size of that shower floor and the drain location, which we do not know.

Once your curb height is determined, your waterproof liner must rise a minimum of three inches above the top of the curb with no mechanical fasteners anywhere in the liner below two inches above the top of the curb. From that aspect, looks to me as though your blocking needs another layer.

You may not have any gypsum drywall within the wet area of your shower and I personally want my wallboard, wall waterproofing, and tile to extend a minimum of two inches, preferably three or more, beyond the face of the curb and down to the floor. Especially when using a shower curtain. I would also want at least a minimum of a few inches of sidewalls at the ends of the curb in that application.

What is your current plan for wall waterproofing?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-30-2021, 07:10 PM   #3
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Hi Tony. I would draw a plumb line up the wall inline with the outside of the curb and cut the sheetrock back to that line. Wouldn't hurt to cut the sheetrock back a little more. Then slide a 2x4 back behind the sheetrock, inline with the edge so you'll have something to nail it to. Then add more 2x4's to fill in that whole area where the curb meets the wall. Do both sides this way so you'll have something to nail the CBU to and so you can anchor your future door. The bricks can be installed right up to the studs.

The pan liner will have to go up the walls at least 3 inches above the curb height and wrap over the bricks. You'll need to glue the liner to the bricks with something. I use 2x4's for my curbs so I can nail the liner on the outside face of the curb. You might want to check out the shower construction thread in the liberry.
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Unread 01-31-2021, 01:14 AM   #4
Toeknee
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Thanks for quick responses. This is exactly what I was looking for. First I changed my location, thanks cx. I'm near St Louis MO. Here is a pic of the drain recently filled with concrete.
Things that I will change....(thanks cx and Davy)
-I will have to add a total of 3 bricks to acheive the required minimum of 2 inches above the finished drain. QUESTION....If I account for the liner, lath, and mortar that will be added to the top of the bricks and that achieves the 2 inch minimum using 2 bricks, that would be good?
-I will be replacing the 2x6s for 2x10s so I can have at least 3 inches above curb height
-I will make a vertical cut of the drywall (as marked in yellow in pic #3)on each side to accommodat a few more inches of HardieBacker board past the curb location and add a few more 2x4s in the wall.

If my furthest corner from the center of the drain is 40.5 inches and using 1/4 inch raise per 1 linear foot, does that mean I should have a preslope of 27/32 inches high from the bottom of the drain?

Lastly, I was thinking I was going to use some sort of liquid membrane from one of the box stores for a waterproofing.
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Unread 01-31-2021, 02:27 AM   #5
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Hi Tony. First thing I would do is remove the grate and ring section of the drain and tape off the bottom flange section. That will make it easier to do the preslope and to keep clean.

How ever many bricks it takes to achieve the height Cx mentioned will be good.

No need to remove the 2x6's, just add another row of 2x6's above the ones you now have. A row of 2x4's might be enough.

Yes, roughly 7/8 inch of pitch will be okay. We don't get too technical round here.

For the lath wrapping the curb, cut a piece of lath that will cover all 3 sides and fold (bend) it in a C shape to cover the curb. Over bend the lath so it'll hug the curb. Just make sure you have no fasteners on the top or inside of the curb. I don't make brick curbs so I'm not sure what you'll use to fasten the lath. May have to drill some holes and use Tap-con screws. Careful, it will be easy to knock the bricks loose.
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Unread 02-02-2021, 05:06 PM   #6
Toeknee
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Davy thanks a bunch. About to knock that out tonight and hopefully get bricks set tomorrow or next day. I chose bricks since I've read horror stories of the wood shrinking over time then making tile/grout crack. I wanted to do wood...figured it was an easier install but I'll see how this brick thang goes. Think I'm good on advise provided up till when the HardieBacker needs to be installed. Is it before or after the last layer of mud? What do you use for taping the joints and screw holes? Then after that what waterproofing method do you like to use? I was thinking some sort of liquid membrane but looking for advise.
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Unread 02-02-2021, 06:22 PM   #7
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You can go ahead and use the bricks if you would like but since you are using a traditional pan liner, the only way to prep the curb for tile is to wrap it with lath and mud it. Problems with curbs usually happen when using a different method. It doesn't get any better than a mud curb, even when it's over 2x4's.

Most curb problems occur when sheet membranes are bonded directly to the 2x4's or when treated 2x4's are used.

Hardiboard is not a cement board and is not recommended to be buried in the deck mud. I would use a true cement board.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 09:08 AM   #8
Toeknee
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Ok, I've installed the curb and the preslope. I have been reading on this site and have a few questions before I continue. First, do I need a vapor barrier behind the cbu? If I have plans for a liquid membrane over the installed cbu, is that not enough of a barrier? Which leads into, what is the preferred method for waterproofing the shower?

When I do install the cbu, I plan on leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between final slope and cbu. Do you recommend adding some sort of silicone caulking or leave it alone since the floor tile will cover that up.

Thanks in advance
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Unread 02-10-2021, 09:36 AM   #9
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Either a surface barrier OR protection on the studs under the wall covering. NOT both. Pick one method and stick to it.....
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Unread 02-10-2021, 09:57 AM   #10
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If you're using an actual CBU (ASTM C1325) you can bury the bottom of the CBU in your top mortar bed for support.

If you're using a Fiber/Cement board (ASTM C1288) you must leave a gap above the top mud bed as you suggest. I would make it no greater than 1/4" and I would not caulk nor use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane on the bottom edge, but you would follow the manufacturer's instructions.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 11:10 AM   #11
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Like Cx said, after your pan liner is installed, Install your CBU leaving 1/2 inch of space up off the bottom. Then, when you place the top mud bed down, you can cram a little mud under the bottom edge to hold the bottom section of the cement board in place.

I would notch the studs so the CBU doesn't bulge the CBU out. You want the CBU flat if possible.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 03:32 PM   #12
Toeknee
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Thanks for replies guys!!

Ok so if I'm understanding you guys correctly and I use Hardibacker boards.
I will leave a gap between top mud deck and board. If I water proof with a product like Redgard, I can use it on the face of the hardibacker, just the top mud deck and curb but leave the gap without any Redgard in it? Will I need to use Alkali-resistant tape for all the joints? If tape is needed, use a thinset to lay them over the cracks?

Thanks again in advance, a total newb to shower installs here. Seems I have questions about everything. I appreciate helping me here guys
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Unread 02-10-2021, 03:48 PM   #13
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Tony, building a traditional shower receptor you do not apply a direct bonded waterproofing membrane (your RedGard) on the top mud bed. You can use it in lieu of a moisture barrier behind the wallboard if you want.

The inability to bury the bottom of the wallboard in the top mud bed is a good reason not to use a Fiber/Cement board on your walls. Just no good way to anchor the bottom and you must not have any mechanical fasteners below 3 inches above the curb top.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 03:50 PM   #14
Toeknee
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I also was wondering if the folded pan liner at the corners could be put inside the wall gap instead of folding it up. Then I wouldnt have a need to notch. My one pic shows that gap in the corner.
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Unread 02-10-2021, 05:04 PM   #15
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Yes, I've pushed the liner back in between the corner studs many times.
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