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Unread 07-05-2005, 08:37 PM   #1
Johnnymac96
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Johnnymac's bathroom remodel thread

Well, my bathroom is progressing nicely. I know that I have started a number of different threads here, but now that I'm actually into the project I'll start consolidating all of my posts into this thread.

My plumbers have been here for three days now and they're just about finished. We agreed before the job started that it would probably be best to remove all of the old cast iron pipes and lay new PVC drains rather than try and tie everything into the old DWV system piecemeal. To keep costs down, I agreed to repour the concrete slab after they finished. I also suspect that they wanted to avoid any responsibility for any cracks or settling after the job. That's fine with me. It's my house and at least I can make sure it's done right.

They removed a lot more concrete than I was expecting. Here's a picture (the toilet is in the center rear, the shower is to its left, and the tub is in the front right. The lavatory is out of the picture on the left):



So my question is this: should I attempt to dowel or otherwise tie my new concrete to the old foundation? I was originally going to make sure that I tamped my backfill (over the pipes) very well, but that was all I was going to do aside from just pouring new concrete 5-6 inches deep back up to the level of the existing concrete. But now, after seeing how much concrete they removed, I am wondering if it needs to be tied or otherwise reinforced better than my original plan might have allowed. And if it does, what's the best way (ie what tools do I need) to get it done? Also, if any of you are familiar with any of the inspectors or code requirements here in Houston, it would he helpful to know if they expect anything, too. None of this new concrete will bear any structural load, so I don't need to worry about that at least.

I suspect that my plumbers will be completely finished with the new copper supply pipes tomorrow and that we'll be all inspected and done by Friday, so I plan on filling in the floor this weekend. Any suggestions by then are appreciated.

Last edited by Johnnymac96; 07-06-2005 at 08:22 AM.
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Unread 07-05-2005, 09:05 PM   #2
Davy
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I'm no expert on concrete work but I think they took out about 5 times more concrete than they had to. Made it easy on themselves for sure. I would drill into the edges of the concrete about every foot or so and put plenty of steel in it. I would bust out the little island in the middle and make that one solid pour. There are others here that do alot more concrete work than I do, lets see what they have to say.
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Unread 07-05-2005, 10:31 PM   #3
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Well, Davy done said most of what I was fixin' to say.

I, too, would remove that island. May need to support that little bit of wall from above if it wants to sag a little, but may not need to do anything.

I'd want to end up with a minimum of a number 3 bar one foot on center in each direction before I poured. I prefer to dowel into the existing with half-inch bar just because you can drill with a half-inch carbide bit and get a good drive fit most of the time. Leave half a foot or more (lots more is better) sticking out to tie your field bars to. There are some products (Quickrete makes one you can get from Homer) that you can use if you drill a bigger hole and put in a smaller pin, like a #3 bar, if you want to go that route. This ain't sculpture you're building here, don't need to be pretty, just needs to be decent workmanship.

Fill everything first with sand or base material to allow a minimum of four inches of concrete above it and lay 6 mil poly over the whole of it before installing your steel. Fill with 3000 psi (Quikrete is OK) concrete and make it nice and flat for the tile guy. Do at least wet all the edges before you pour the patch - slathering on some runny thinset or "pure" (Portland and water) is even better.

Don't know about the inspector. I trust he'll come to do the final on the plumbing, but you may not require an inspection on the foundation at all. Lots of municipalities are really weird about that, even ones that require steel inspection on new-construction slabs. You'll just hafta axe him.

Then I would use a continuous antifracture membrane over everything I tiled in the vicinity of those patches.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 07-05-2005 at 10:37 PM.
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Unread 07-05-2005, 10:47 PM   #4
NVC
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Hi John,

Like Davy, If you can remove the island it would be preferable and drill it and dowel it (with rebar) either #4 bar or #5 bar (1/2" or 5/8") they make a special epoxy that is made to set the dowels in concrete (the name eludes me) you'll need to either have or rent a roto hammer to drill it (smaller would be better) I think the big box stores sell dowel sized lengths of rebar so you won't need to have a chop-saw, rebar-cutter, or a saw-zall with a metal blade. (options if they don't)

Do this after you backfill with some sand then dirt, and I'd compact it with a "wacker-packer" (another rentable item) one with the smallest shoe size available, which is either a 8" or a 6" if I'm not mistaken. This compaction will minimize settling and cracking. If it were mine, I'd additionally cut some 6x6" woven wire mesh and put it in on top of the compacted dirt, then using a hooked piece of re-bar pull it up in the wet concrete before you tamp the concrete. (a tad overkill, but it's mine, right? )

I'd also wrap the PVC with foam pipe wrap where it goes through the concrete so it is sleeved. (H.D. or plumbing supply store) also make sure the copper supply lines are sleeved as well (insulate the hot water too if ya want)

They might have opened up that much because code often requires supply and waste lines to be separated a certain distance, or they might have made it easy on themselves knowing they weren't going to pour the concrete, either way, you'll be able to get it back to shape.

I've used concrete glue before, but I honestly can't say if it really makes a difference. It was white like Elmer's, probably Acrylic and you just squirted/brushed it on the dry edges before the pour. Maybe others know more if this makes a worth while difference.

Sounds like a 'fun' weekend, but ya can't beat the labor price, and the boss might let you have a cold beer at lunch, right?

Mark
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Unread 07-05-2005, 10:50 PM   #5
NVC
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Dang, CX has a quicker trigger fanger than I do.

Vapor barrier, Like quickdraw said up there. I left that part out.

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Unread 07-05-2005, 11:21 PM   #6
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I'll dissent on the use of the WackerPacker that close to all that plumbing. Could do a lot more harm than good.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-06-2005, 12:05 AM   #7
NVC
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Alright, I'll dissent with ya CX on account of the sand/base won't compact as much as my priviously mentioned sand/dirt combo. (Although I still feel I can wack carefully enough not to break my pipes) Good thinking.

Hear that Johnny? nix on the wacker, upside isn't worth the downside of messed up new plumbing.

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Unread 07-06-2005, 04:33 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys. I think they removed all of that concrete because they knew that they weren't going to have to replace it and also because there was a fairly large amount of old cast iron pipe to get, too. You can't really tell from the picture, but there is a lot of dirt piled up around the edges of the room that was dug out, too.

I'm not sure about removing that island. I don't think I'm up for the job and I already have a HUGE pile of chipped concrete on my back porch. I know that it would make for a better job, but is it really necessary to remove it, especially if I dowel and bond the edges of everything else?

So, to get this straight:

- I will cover the new pipes with clean sand, then back fill with the old dirt and tamp it really good with my steel tamper

- Go rent a demo hammer with a 5/8" bit and drill 12" (or as deep as I can), one foot on center into all of the edges

- Lay a 6 mil vaper barrier over the fill

- Fill the holes with epoxy and then insert concrete dowels, leaving at least 6 inches exposed for the new pour

- Lay wire mesh over the vapor barrier

- Pour at least 4" of new concrete and brush it smooth with the rest of the floor


Yes, it is going to make for a nice weekend.
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Unread 07-06-2005, 05:32 AM   #9
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Johnny, it's a real good idea if the dowels you install in the edges of the existing concrete are wire-tied to any reinforcing you install in the new concrete.
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Unread 07-06-2005, 08:51 AM   #10
NVC
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Johnny,

As far as the island, 3 guys here said it would be preferable if possible. Up to you, if you decide to, Roto-hammer with a demo attachment.

1/2" (#4 bar) should be fine so go with a 1/2" bit, the concrete crumbles a bit and you can drive the bars in with a hand maul (baby sledge). I'm in shake-n-bake Calif. and the building codes here are over the top for most other areas in the states (and I always forget that). Here the epoxy is required, it may be something unheard of elsewhere.

Like Bob said, tie with tie wire any steel that overlaps in the hole. The woven wire mesh might be overkill in your area as well, but if you use it tie it to the rebar with tie-wire.

I would still foam wrap the plumbing coming up through the concrete, this again may be a CA thing, but I like it anyway.

I think you're all ready to make noise with tools and put on the rubber concrete boots.

Mark
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Unread 07-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #11
Johnnymac96
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CX - is this the Quikrete stuff you mentioned?

http://www.quikrete.com/catalog/AnchoringCement.html




I am thinking this might be the way to go rather than trying to mix some sort of nasty epoxy, not to mention that I can be a little more sloppy with my drilling/hammering and just goop this stuff into the holes and set my rebar a few minutes later.
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Unread 07-06-2005, 09:07 AM   #12
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Alrighty then, I'm going to rent the demo hammer anyway, so I'll just get get a demo bit too (in addition to the boring bit) and add that island to my pile of concrete in the backyard. Pick and sledge will be handy too, I suspect.
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Unread 07-06-2005, 09:59 AM   #13
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Johnny..

the epoxy is no big deal.... it is user friendly in so much as it has 2 chambers that come together at the tip... you just squeeze out how much you need into the holes...

as for inspectors... I built an addition on to my house here in Houston recently... they did inspect the rebar and vapor barrier and all before I was allowed to pour concrete... not sure about what you have going... you can certainly call the code enforcement office and talk to them... it takes a while to get through on the phones, but usually you'll get to talk to someone who knows what they're doing... your only other option is to go sit in line for 2 hrs waiting for a plan checker in the one-stop office... that sucks... but if you can get there at 7:30-8am it'll only take you 30 mins or so to see someone...

city code for tying my new foundation into the existing was dropping in 18" or 24" bars every 24" at an angle upwards.... drilling the holes was a major PITA, but the epoxy and jamming in the bars was easy...

Lucas
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Unread 07-06-2005, 10:08 AM   #14
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I just called and spoke to an inspector and he said, "Just a pourback? Pour it." And he didn't seem too happy that I was even bothering him with the question.

So that's what I will do. I'll just pour it (after I do all the things suggested in this thread, that is)
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Unread 07-06-2005, 11:36 AM   #15
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Yeah, that's the stuff, John. Really easy in vertical holes, not as easy in horizontal, but you ain't needin' to be neat. It really does hold them things in there. And you don't need to be drilling no 12" deep. Four to six inches will be sufficient. Again, I like the half-inch drill and #4 pins (half-inch re-bar) for a drive fit. You're not really depending upon the pins not pulling out of the hole for your strength, you're depending upon the lateral movement (lack thereof). That's why you want it pinned in both directions.

I don't ever use the welded mesh in foundation work. My field steel is #3 bar, 12" on center, both directions. And it is wire-tied to the pins in repairs like you're doing, as Bob said. You won't likely have enough pin sticking our for a code-approved splice (something like either 27 or 40 diameters, depending upon size, etc), but it's mostly just to hold the steel in place in this situation. Tie the junctions of the bars, too.

It takes longer to 'splain all this than it does to do the work.

You really wanna remove that island. Gonna make your life easier and your patch better.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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