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Unread 02-23-2022, 10:33 AM   #1
Boston2
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Best Method to Modify Schluter Pan for Drain 10" off center

Homeowner here just trying to understand/educate myself so I can ask the right questions, understand the answers and feel confident about shower install. Project being managed by GC.

This is an alcove tub to shower conversion. Alcove space is 36 1/2" x 60" The shower floor will be 32" after install of the 4 1/2" curb. Tub drain was moved to about 20" off the short wall (and is centered across the width at 16"). It appears that there is a joist that prevented centering at 30". Plan is to use a Schluter pan 38" x 60" with off center drain cut out. I understand the width needs to be cut down equally on both sides. Shower Tile is 2x2 basketweave mosaic.

What is the best way to accommodate this drain location with this pan? Is there another size Schluter pan that would work better?
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Unread 02-23-2022, 11:27 AM   #2
Snets
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Welcome, Boston2.

Using a 36X60 pan, you would need to cut off 10 inches from one end to get the pan drain to where your drain is located. That would leave you with a 10" gap on the other side. You could fill that with dry-pack mud and install Kerdi membrane over the mud, but your continuing slope on that end would raise your shower pan perimeter higher than the rest of the shower. And, the end you cut down would be much lower that the rest of the shower.



In order to keep the perimeter height the same all the way around your offset drain shower pan, you would need either a custom foam pan or, build your own dry-pack mortar pan which is:

1) Way cheaper
2) Not very difficult

It is hard work, I won't kid you. But is not rocket science by any means. Lots of info in the Liberry here and folks to help you.
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Unread 02-23-2022, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thank you Snets I understand your explanation and suspected that may be the case.

The offset drain tray places the drain 10" from the end/20" from the center. Is there any scenario where the tray can be split where hinged and rotate the end with the drain hole so it would then sit at 20" from the wall? It would seem that the slopes would be all wrong from all directions. Is there a way to change the slope with building up the mortar underneath so that this scenario drains properly and is an even height around the Perimeter?

I am not proposing this solution. The GC mentioned something to this effect. Seemed to make sense to solve matching up the drain hole with the drain location. But thinking this through it doesn't seem to work.

This is what I picture would be the case:
If the drain end of the tray (Right Tray) is rotated, the new joint where it meets the other half of the tray (Left Tray) will have a difference in height of approx 3/4. If the Left Tray (non-drain end) is built up to eliminate the difference in height where the trays now join, the height along that short wall would now be 3/4" higher than the height along the other short wall. And since the width of the panel needs to be cut and exposing the slope, the height along the back wall will be sloped down toward the drain and then slope up for the remainder? I'm trying to create an image of how this would work and look.

I believe he expected the drain to stay in the original location and this tray would have worked just fine. I want to be sure I'm understanding this solution so I can discuss with him.
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Unread 02-23-2022, 02:54 PM   #4
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Hi Suzanne,

Understand that regardless of the where the drain cut out is in the Kerdi pre-formed shower tray, the perimeter thickness of the tray is the same all around.

In the case of a tray with an offset drain, to maintain the same perimeter thickness, the slope of the tray must necessarily be greater on the end closest to the drain. The recessed section of the pan that the matching Kerdi drain assembly is set into cannot be changed, I can see of no way to orient that pan in the long dimension, cut it where needed, and fill with deck mud, while keeping the perimeter thickness consistent so that the bottom edge of your bottom row of tile is at the same height.

A sometimes overlooked requirement for those pre-formed trays is that the substrate they are installed on must be really, really close to level because the long (from the drain opening) end of the tray has minimal slope built into it. If the floor it is installed on slopes away from the drain location the long end of the tray may not have enough slope to properly drain.

Assuming the floor is level, and you don't want to go with the dry pack mortar bed Snets mentioned, you might check into having a foam tray custom made for your shower. They are a little pricy but will be made in the exact dimensions you want with the drain opening where you need it, and a consistent perimeter height.

https://noblecompany.com/products/custom-shower-base
https://builtwithfoam.com/product/custom-shower-base/
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Unread 02-23-2022, 03:02 PM   #5
Snets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston2
I'm trying to create an image of how this would work and look.
I am having just as difficult time imagining how this would work as well. I don't think anyone here would recommend cutting apart a tray, reversing it and then trying to fix the slope with something under the tray. Schluter would not recommend that either, nor would they warranty such an installation.

What Schluter DOES recommend in cases when your drain does not play well with one of their pre-made foam pans, is to make your own sloped pan, using dry-pack mortar. Like I said, it's not too difficult and all you need is:

1)Sand - 5 parts
2)Portland Cement - 1 part
3) Water

We even have a calculator here that you can plug your shower pan size into and it will calculate how much sand and cement to buy and mix.

HERE is a link to Schluter's mortar pan installation video. Lotsa folks here that will help walk you through a dry-pack shower pan.
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Unread 02-23-2022, 03:47 PM   #6
Boston2
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Thank you both for your replies! I appreciate your responses and confirmation that I understand this well enough now to have a conversation with the GC. I watched the video for a mortar pan. I think this is the method we originally discussed but then we were going the Schluter pan route. Looks like he can still use all the other Schluter material.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 08:25 PM   #7
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Hi I recently came back to review this thread now that my project is getting going again after a significant delay! I had not focused on the links to custom foam tray bases first go round and that would seem to be the best waterproof solution. I don't like the idea of the traditional mud bed whcih is what we were settling for since the Schluter pan won't work with our drain location.

Noble currently has a 4-5 week delivery so looking for other options. Built with Foam does not have as much info on their site and I have not connected to determine delivery timeframes. BWF indicates it can be used with any waterproofing system or drain and it appears it can be ordered with the curb as one piece with the tray. It must be one piece which might make shipping expensive. In a google search I also found RSS (Revolutionary Shower Systems) which also sells their own waterproof membrane and the corner seals and has Kerdi or FlowFX drain options. Comes in 2 pieces and available in 2-3 days.

Is there much difference among these different foam trays or waterproofing systems? Is it a bad idea to mix and match different brands of products? If we use RSS but Schluter membrane and banding for example. Doesn't seem to matter for BWF. Any input on RSS or any other custom tray options? We'll be using Bleu Tek Foam boards for the walls (ordered almost 2 years ago when my other bathroom was renovated) and they confirmed Schluter banding would adhere and could be used to waterproof wall seams.

The contractor uses Schluter. I'm trying to gather info about custom trays with reasonably quick delivery so we can be ready to go when he's available.
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Unread 06-20-2022, 08:33 PM   #8
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You didn't indicate why you can't move the drain. THat might be cheaper and faster than ordering a custom foam pan, but making a dry pack pan is still the better option if you can't move the drain. A good installer can do a dry pack pan in at most, a couple of hours, and often less unless it's really big.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 01:16 PM   #9
Boston2
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Hi The drain was moved from the original tub location, there's a joist at 10" that would have been required for the standard tray. It ended up at 20" not sure why not 30" but at this point we have inspection done. I like the idea of the foam tray, easy to install, perfect slope. I'm pretty sure the labor cost of 2-3 hours for a dry pack pan is more than the custom tray. I live in an expensive area.

My list of custom trays includes
Rodkat
Built with Foam
Revolutionary Shower Systems (RSS)
Tile Redi - bottom is chanelled (vs flat) requiring a fair amount of mortar to fill in the channels. Also much more expensive
KBRS - Tile Basin (factory waterproofed) or Shower Slope - more expensive

I think I'm looking at just the top three on this list. Any opinions if they differ in any way? RSS sells its own membrane. The other 2 indicate works with any waterproof system and any drain.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 01:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne
I like the idea of the foam tray, easy to install, perfect slope.
You wanna be careful with that, Suzanne. I've not used the brands you're looking at, but I know not all such foam trays have the required 1/4" per foot slope required by plumbing code for tiled shower receptors.

I do know that all of them require a subfloor that's perfectly level and flat in order to take advantage of whatever slope they do have, and it is sometimes more work to create that subfloor than it would take to create a properly sloped mortar bed.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-21-2022, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
sometimes more work to create that subfloor than it would take to create a properly sloped mortar bed.
the Truth!!!

I like the foam trays sometimes they are faster like the tub to shower conversions but not if the floor is all jacked up. Also if the space it bigger and it comes in pieces and you have to kneel on it to apply the waterproofing,you are going to for sure dent the tray in the process
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Unread 06-23-2022, 08:24 AM   #12
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BWF, RodKat, and RSS will all work for you. There seems to be a market for custom pans with a quick turnaround and these companies are filling that niche.

RSS works with other brands. Cornell sells plenty of pans to people using other systems. But, I believe, he's the only one that also sells a complete shower system including membranes and foam panels.
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Unread 07-10-2022, 09:02 AM   #13
Boston2
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Kerdi Drain Grate Install Height

The drain grate appears to have already been installed and sits about 1 3/8" above the membrane, i.e the black collar and chrome grate do not budge - it is cemented in place. The floor tile is about 1/2" thick. Does this make sense? A quick watch of a Kerdi drain grate install video shows installing tile first or at the same time, then spreading thinset under the grate and pushing it down so it is level with the tile. I do not want to put pressure on the grate but is it possible that the grate can still be pushed down once the tile is installed?

(Not sure why pics are rotated but generally shows the issue/my concern)
Attached Images
  
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Unread 07-10-2022, 10:14 AM   #14
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Think we need some background on this installation, Suzanne. This your shower you started back in February?

Who installed the drain?
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Unread 07-10-2022, 10:32 AM   #15
Boston2
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Yes the shower was started in February - we had to wait on a variance approval which delayed the progress. The plumber set up the piping the tiler set the Kerdi drain and drain grate in place.

Link to February post re foam tray. We used a custom tray from Built With Foam with Kerdi membrane and Kerdi drain.
https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin...d.php?t=132021
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Last edited by Boston2; 07-10-2022 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Link to post
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