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Unread 07-27-2022, 12:07 PM   #1
Bama89
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Pierce's First Bathroom Remodel

Hey all, my name is Pierce 've been lurking for a week on here trying to learn as much as possible for my remodel and just made an account. Our house was built in 1990 3/2 1600 sq ft in South Florida on slab and I bought it 2 years ago. Tiles started falling off the wall so it's time for an upgrade!

It'll be a tub to shower conversion. Not sure if it's curiosity or frugalness but I tend to always DIY even if it takes 10 times as long just so I can learn. Here's some pics of the demo so far and I'd really appreciate any advice along the way.

My first snag is replacing 1.5" pipe to 2" pipe. I've read to continue following the 1.5" pipe until it turns into 2" and make the cut there. Unfortunately after my Ptrap there's a connector going into another 1.5" PVC going back under the slab. There's another bathroom on the other wall of these demo pics, can anyone make an educated guess where the line would likely connect to the main line? I don't want to reduce under the new drain but this seems different than some videos I've seen where they easily find the bigger pipe to tap into without tearing up a ton of slab!
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Unread 07-27-2022, 07:54 PM   #2
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Welcome, Pierce.

There is no code requirement to change the drain to 2" unless you plan to have multiple shower heads in that shower.

I would recommend you cut the drain just downstream of the trap and move the drain to the center of your shower footprint, though. If you don't intend to move the drain, you can technically put your shower drain where the current riser pipe comes up. I recommend against that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-28-2022, 09:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Cx! I saw Florida code does allow minimum 1.5" for showers however I keep reading it's not code to put a reduction in the line and all drains I see for sale are 2". I do plan on moving the drain to the center. So I would cut where you suggest, the 2" drain would be reduced to 1.5" immediately under the drain to a 1.5" ptrap, then horizontal back to my original cut.

For the pan enclosure (as I've seen on videos), I plan on putting 2x6s between the metal studs to be able to anchor the liner. For the exterior wall, should I remove the old top horizontal tub support, leave the bottom 3/4" horizonal, and add another 3/4" between the verticals about 8" up to attach the liner?

I understand it's 100% worth price charged however I'll never learn without trying. I'd prefer to build it, make a mistake, and have to rebuild it. I've seen alot of discussion on here about contractors doing this incorrectly and Miami isn't really known for honest contractors. I'll take my time, learn, and be able to do it for our other bathroom and future houses. Really appreciate any advice for my uneducated questions about this project!
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Unread 07-28-2022, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierce
...however I keep reading it's not code to put a reduction in the line and all drains I see for sale are 2"...
Good that you're paying attention, but.... You can install a bushing in your 2" drain, making it a 1 1/2" drain and that is not considered a reduction in the drain line size. But that is the only place where you can make such a reduction.

You want to install blocking to support your liner all around. The liner must rise a minimum of 6 inches above the sloped floor or 3 inches above the top of your curb, whichever is higher. No mechanical fastener anywhere below 2 inches above the curb.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-01-2022, 08:27 AM   #5
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Good morning,

I've made some progress over the weekend. I took CX's advice and used a bushing in the drain. Then completed the drain pipe installation with the bottom flange of drain 3/4" above the slab, poured concrete, and laid out the curb with bricks and thinset. I'll put 1/2" brick mortar around the curb this evening, then pre-slope tomorrow.

After pre-slope, would you recommend putting 1x2s horizontal between exterior wall or will those 4 verticals be enough to anchor the pan liner to? If you see anything done incorrectly already please let me know!
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Unread 08-01-2022, 09:20 AM   #6
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I think I have the order wrong in my above post? Please correct my if I am wrong. Should I create pre-slope as is with exposed bricks, then liner, then metal lath over curb, then mortar over curb? Or do you mortar the curb first, then preslope, liner, metal lathe over curb, then mortar over curb again?
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Unread 08-01-2022, 10:20 AM   #7
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You want to do your pre-slope now, then your waterproof liner, Then install your wallboard, then lath and mortar your curb.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-03-2022, 09:24 AM   #8
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Pre-slope is complete! Definitely more difficult than I thought, far from a good job, and I could never get the mix correct besides one batch out of 6. I was using an SDS drill with a mixing attachment in a 5 gal bucket. For the top drypack I'll try a different mixing way. I don't have a wheelbarrow + no place to really store one so I may try the 7mil garbage back mixing way I saw on a Tilecoach video.

Now in hours of research, I have not found an accurate recipe for Quikcrete Sand and Topping mix (60lb), Quikcrete playsand (30lb), and amount of water. I see the pros don't ever measure but has anyone found the perfect water mixture if I was going to weigh the dry parts? My mix couldn't really screed well.
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Unread 08-03-2022, 10:29 AM   #9
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Pierce, if you'll look in our Liberry under the Shower Construction thread, you'll find some information about making deck mud, or dry-pack. But that information will also be lacking in an exact measurement for water. That's because it depends so much upon the moisture content of your dry materials to begin with. The necessary water is best gauged by the consistency of your mixed product, and that's explained pretty well in an article John Bridge wrote, which you'll find near the top of that thread.

Pre-mixing the dry ingredients before adding water is very important and can make all the difference in your final product. I very strongly recommend you purchase a Bucket Mortar Mixer for making your dry-pack. Probably less expensive on Amazon if you are a Prime member. Surprisingly useful tool and I'll never be without one again.

You can dry-mix all your ingredients in buckets and stage them in the work area where you can add pre-measured water (once you determine the correct amount) and it'll take you less than two minutes to make a fresh batch. Really handy for those of us who work alone.

I've tried to duplicate the problems our visitors commonly report with their first attempts at using deck mud and the thing I think is usually lacking is the compaction of the placed mortar before shaping. You don't need to try to beat the mortar into submission, but it wants to be packed firmly before shaping. I commonly use a wood float for this and just a few stout whacks over the entire surface is usually sufficient.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-03-2022, 02:20 PM   #10
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Thanks cx! That tool is $88 even on Amazon so I may just try the garbage bag method since I only need a few mixes. A couple questions:

1. I cannot notch out 1/8" out of my metal studs mentioned in the liberry for my pan liner to sit flush. What's the way for metal studs?

2. Will the four exterior wall 1x3s be sufficient to anchor the liner to or should I add more wood screwed to the blocks?

3. I was confused with your order to install the pre-slope, waterproof liner, then backerboard. I've read the backerboard should hang 1/4" above the final pan so water cannot wick up, but I assumed this should be done after the pan is installed so I know the exact measurement. Are you recommending to install durock resting on top of the preslope/liner, then pouring the pan so the edge of the durock is under the pan?
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Unread 08-03-2022, 02:43 PM   #11
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1. I've never done a traditional receptor with metal studs, but the only option I could think if is to fur out the studs with strips of 1/4" plywood or similar above the waterproof liner area. You'll need to deal with a transition to the walls outside the shower, but that's not overwhelming.

2. I'd want more wood to attach my liner top. You could easily glue some horizontal pieces between your verticals.

It looks like you have excessive spacing between some of your vertical members on that wall and on the wet wall. Are any of the spaces in excess of 16" on center?

3. And I'm confused about what you're calling the "pan". What you're building is actually a shower receptor, but the whole thing is commonly called the shower pan. The 40mil PVC or CPE waterproofing membrane is usually referred to as the pan liner or waterproof liner. In your case, I'm recommending you install that liner over your pre-slope and curb before you install any wallboard. That includes completely waterproofing the liner installation, including "dam corners" at the ends of the curb. Then you install your wallboards such that the bottoms are a half-inch or so above the pre-slope. Then your final mortar bed, which will be a minimum of 1 1/2" thick, will lock the bottom of the Durock wallboard in place. Depending upon how you've done your notching, or equivalent, it's also a good idea to put some dollops of thinset mortar behind the wallboards at the bottom to stabilize them against the wall. Keep in mind that you may not use any mechanical fasteners for your wallboard below a horizontal line at least two inches above the top of your curb.

Any more clear?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-03-2022, 03:43 PM   #12
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Cx, very informative like always. I'll do as suggested. Will a single layer of the pan liner along the stud make the durock stick out much? I feel like I could make the corner fold on the back wall and have no issue notching out those 1x3 verticals to handle the 3 layers. Transitioning different thickness wallboard may not be overwhelming to you but this is my first time!
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Unread 08-07-2022, 09:52 AM   #13
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Good morning,

We have made a bit more progress. Durock is installed 3/4" above the liner and I was hoping to build the top drypack today however I have 2 questions.

1. We did some sloppy curb work last night we'll need to fix (could have been the beer...). There's high and low points, it's wavy, etc and will be difficult to use our larger format tiles. Is it easy to add mortar ontop and use Davy's method with MDF on each side clamped together as guides? Is there a better approach? I don't think we can sand much because our initial coverage wasn't 1/2" thick. If I sand I may hit the wire lathe.

2. Should I redguard atleast the bottom edges of the durocok before installing shower pan or do I create the pan then just redguard visible durock after? The pan will be 2" thick so some of the durock will be buried.
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Unread 08-07-2022, 11:07 AM   #14
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If by "shower pan" this time you're actually describing your top mortar bed, you can install that either before or after applying the RedGard to the shower walls. Just be sure not to apply the RedGard to the bottom edge of your Durock. You want any moisture that gets into the wallboard to have an exit point.

I can't tell in your photos how much problem you might have created. It does not need to be perfectly smooth, just flat enough for your tiles and the top must slope to drain by at least 1/4" per foot, just like the floor.

What are the inside dimensions of that shower? How do you intend to close the entry opening?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-08-2022, 07:47 AM   #15
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Thanks cx, the inside box will be 60" x 25 1/2". This is the biggest we could make it while still being 15" from center of toilet to be within code.

The left side of the curb slopes. For the inside edge of the curb, the right side it 25 3/4" from durock, and the left side is 26 1/2" from the durock. I have a 3/4" gap which I've read can't be made up with thinset while tiling. So I've thin-setted wire lathe to that part and will build it up a bit with mortar today.

We actually put wire lathe over the entire curb again yesterday, added mortar, and was going to try to shape a new curb on top of old one with Tile Coach's way of wood and a long straight edge but noticed we'd lose more space than envisioned so we removed it. Wish I had more experience with masonry skills!

We're unsure how we'll close the entry opening at the moment, whether glass or a shower curtain. I wanted to see how much space is in the finished shower beforehand. If there's not alot of arm room then a door might be a bit tight.
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