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Unread 02-07-2021, 07:23 AM   #1
Riverbend_GW
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Shower Floor Question with Pictures

I'm wrapping up my shower and had a lapse in judgment in the planning process. I worked hard to make sure my lines worked out with the niche but didn't plan as well for the shower floor gap.

I've finished tiling the walls other than my bottom row of tile that will meet up with the shower floor. The wall tiles are 4x12 subway tile.

I've also laid out my mosaic shower floor tiles (1" x 1" hexagon in 12"x12" sheets. 6mm thick).

With the floor tile dry fitted in place, there is a 9/16" gap between the bottom row of wall tile and the shower floor tile.

Since all my grout joints are 1/16", I obviously don't want a 1/2" silicone joint at that point. Should I build up the shower pan with thinset, let it dry, then thinset the mosaic tile on top of that? If so, what size Trowel?

What other options do I have to fix my mistake?

thanks for your help!
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Unread 02-07-2021, 07:53 AM   #2
Ryanhutzel
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Shower Floor to Wall Gap Question

What’s the floor like under the floor tiles? Is it dry pack or a pre- made floor? I’d personally raise up the floor to eliminate the gap. You’ll just have to make sure the slope of the floor is perfect so water drains properly. You can buy an adapter to raise the drain up to compensate. If it’s a threaded drain you can get them at a plumbing supply house, if it’s not threaded you can buy a raise a drain kit at Lowe’s that can raise the drain 1/4”-1/2”. The pros may have better advice. If so, I’d listen to them.


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Unread 02-07-2021, 07:57 AM   #3
Riverbend_GW
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The floor is dry pack and it's slopped perfect right now. So it shouldn't be too hard to make sure the same slope carries over.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 08:42 AM   #4
John Bridge
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Hi GW,

You could also use a "soldier course" at the bottom of the walls. Stand the tiles on end and cut them to reach the floor. Quite a bit of waste and a basic design change, but it saves messing with the floor and drain.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 08:54 AM   #5
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thats a great idea! Unfortunately, I don't think the design change would be ideal for the look I want though. I'll definitely consider it as another option.

thanks for the feedback so far.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 09:14 AM   #6
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I like JB's idea but if you decide to mud the floor, I'd mud just around the perimeter about 10-12 inches out from the walls. Mud it from about 1/4 thick at the walls to nothing. That would increase the pitch at the walls but wouldn't hurt anything. In fact, many times the corners are left too flat which causes a bird bath. I wouldn't use thinset, find a filler that works in wet areas.

You don't want to go with a larger notch trowel to gain height on the floor. Get the floor exactly where you need it and use a 3/16 V-notch to set the tiles. Going with a larger notch will cause the joints to fill with thinset.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 09:18 AM   #7
Riverbend_GW
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Thanks Davy. I like this idea. What type of mud would I used for this method? I also used Mapei Aquadefense waterproof membrane on the walls. I painted it on a few inches over the mud bed too to help shed water toward the drain. So I need to make sure whatever I use will stick to that too.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 10:08 AM   #8
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Or are you just saying to use the same dry pack deck mud that I used for the pan? If I'm only using a 1/4" of the deck mud at the walls and sloping it down to zero 12" from the wall, Would thinset do a better job of sticking to the original pan?
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Unread 02-07-2021, 02:02 PM   #9
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Sorry to keep posting but I'm digging through old threads trying to figure out a solution. I've read where people have suggested using Medium Bed Mortar in some situations to gain up to half an inch in thickness because it doesn't crack as easily as thinset. Could I trowel out 1/2" of medium bed mortar at the wall and taper it down to flush with the old pan. let it dry, then fill in the grooves with the flat side of the trowel so it's perfectly smooth. Let that dry. Then v notch trowel on top of that for setting the tile?

I know it's not ideal but I worked hard to make sure my pan was perfect so I definitely don't want to rip out the mud bed and risk damaging the liner or drain.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 02:08 PM   #10
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Yet another possibility would be to see if same manufacturer makes a taller tile in same color/style...say 6x12. Could even be bigger, but longer would require that you cut at least one pillowed edge to maintain pattern. The difference in height would be hard to notice down low, especially once glass is installed.
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Unread 02-07-2021, 05:28 PM   #11
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GW, medium bed mortar is thinset. I have used thinset to build up to near 1/4 inch but never a half inch. When I add a little thinset to the perimeter like that, I lay a thin piece of wood, something like screen mold right against the walls and use it to ride my straight edge on. Let it set a couple hours and remove the sticks. Then when the mud sets, fill in the skinny strip where the screen mold was.

Just so you know, thinset isn't designed for this but it does work when a thin build up is needed. Less than 1/4 inch.
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Unread 02-08-2021, 02:09 PM   #12
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If I use Mud to build it up 1/2" at the wall and then feather it out toward the drain, will the new mud bed hold up? Is there a product thats better for that purpose since thinset seems to be iffy?
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Unread 02-09-2021, 09:09 AM   #13
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You can use more dry pack mud but you will need thinset under it so it will bond. It will not bond alone. The problem is that it doesn't feather down to zero very well. I would probably use some Mapei 4 to 1 mud, it has smaller grit than some dry pack mud. You might have to let it set, rub it down lightly with a stone and then skim coat the whole thing with thinset. Then rub that down. It's not ideal but it will work.

Lowes and Floor and Decor has the 4 to 1 mud.
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Unread 02-09-2021, 02:30 PM   #14
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Could you just use a dark silicone to fill the 1/2" gap
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