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Unread 11-19-2022, 03:37 PM   #16
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Scott, let me point out that "silicone lines" are not at all what they usta be. There are 100 percent silicone sealants available today that match both the color and texture of sanded grouts. I was never a fan of caulking changes of plane with the old clear silicone sealants, either. Today, I'm not nearly so opposed. And it's definitely a better solution than grouting such joints, which I still do in some applications.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-19-2022, 03:47 PM   #17
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My Tile Redi kit is arriving Tuesday. Check out "today I work on" on youtube. He has a number of videos on the pans.
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Unread 11-19-2022, 07:58 PM   #18
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CX,

While you do certainly make a good point that modern silicone is MUCH better than the old terrible stuff, I think it would still be much nicer to avoid it if possible if only for appearance sake. We're thinking of using Schluter Dilex-EKE wherever applicable, and something similar to trim out the niche since our tiles do not come in a bullnose and I'd rather not have to deal with pencil tiles.

Though I haven't priced out how much trim we'll need, I may be rethinking this shortly!

Brian, thanks for the tip! I watched a few of his videos, and I admit it didn't exactly give me the warm fuzies...I think I'm back to a typical pre-sloped pan and separate drain solution.


I was reading through the instructions for the Ebbe INNI drain, and came across a page that mentions making a shower pan by screeding mortar and covering with waterproofing (either film or topical). That certainly seems easy enough for a single slope linear drain situation....does anyone know what such a process would normally be called, so I can figure out what to look up? I imagine there are guidelines for minimum thickness of the mortar bed, etc, but this seems like a decent option. I've attached the page for reference.
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Unread 11-19-2022, 10:48 PM   #19
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Hi Scott,
If I'm completely honest I would suggest that you abandon the linear line drain and settle for a standard stainless center drain. Abandon the dilex as well and I would take all that extra money and put it into the grout. Also the trays for the linear drain will put the tall side of the tray out where you want a curbless transition, which isn't ideal at all.
A 38x60 tray is only like 90 bucks and the small center drain with flange kit is considerably cheaper than the line drain at the wall. You save on all the framing and sub floor adjustments to accommodate the linear drain as well.

I have done about 30 hydroblok showers and while the whole system is a bit more user friendly than all the intricacies of schluter, I would still consider it an inferior system. When I talk to my clients I refer to hydroblok as silver tier and schluter as gold tier. You will save a decent amount on hydroblok if you commit to them and find a decent place to buy it all. Their shower trays do seem a bit sturdier than the kerdi foam but the whole idea of having a cementitious outer layer never really settled well with me.

The heating cable, ditra heat and thermostat alone don't make the heating in the shower floor worthwhile to me. Do it only in the bathroom floor, not the shower. If you get a TT tray you can more easily get the curbless transition you seek.

My grout recommendation (all that extra money you saved) Bostik TruColor Urethane.
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Unread 11-20-2022, 09:09 AM   #20
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Given your floor structure, Scott, a mortar pan will be pretty tough to pull off while keeping the main floor height gain in check. The mortar thickness at the drain body would need to be as thick as the body, and then you'd need to add 1/4" per foot for slope towards the shower opening, in your case almost 3/4". If the height of the drain body is 1", now you're up to 1 3/4" at the opening, and that's before water proofing and tile. As previously mentioned, you might be able to reduce the height gain by recessing the subfloor between the joists in the shower area, but as you have 2x8's (approx 1 3/4 X 7 1/4) things could get tight for plumbing.

Cove trim is typically grouted and I've never seen it installed vertically, only horizontally. The reason for using a flexible sealant is to allow for movement, especially between the floors and walls. I've never seen, much less installed Dilex, but just looking at it suggests the installer needs to bring their A game, from bare wall preparation to tile installation.
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Unread 11-20-2022, 02:33 PM   #21
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Thanks for the tips and advice everyone, I'll reply to those tonight!

Been doing some measuring and got a few plumbing items to do some test fitting, but it appears that if I recess the 1" tall drain into the 3/4" subfloor my final floor height including tile should be just fine (.5" above hallway floor with plenty of door clearance, I can live with that), and since the drop ceiling under the bathroom gives me an extra 3" I should have more than enough room for a trap, etc.

Or worst possible case, I'm, not terribly opposed to an entry side drain and continuing the waterproofing out into the bathroom floor a ways.

2 quick questions:

1. Is there any reason I can't mix and match waterproofing solutions? For instance, using waterproof foam board on the walls and a topical liquid applied membrane over a mud pan? Specifically looking at using GoBoard and HydroBan, USG Durock or Mapei Aqua Defense. Also considering using Permabase cement board, but I really like the ability to wet shim foam board on the walls. My walls don't seem to be terrible, but I want to avoid having to float them if at all humanely possible.

2. Since my main drain connection is 1 1/2", can I just use a 2" to 1 1/2" bushing in the linear drain and do all the plumbing in 1 1/2"? It seems to me that if any part of it is 1 1/2", all of it might as well be that size and it certainly makes things easier. The alternative is changing all the drainage to 2", which would be a seriously major project.
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Unread 11-20-2022, 03:33 PM   #22
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1. You can certainly do whatever you want on your project, Scott, but all those materials are designed as part of a waterproofing "system," and there is no real way to know what will be permanently compatible and what might not.

In any case, I would not want to use a liquid-applied waterproofing membrane of any kind to create my shower receptor. Manufacturers recommend it, and people do it, but I would want a sheet-type membrane of some kind there.

I think "wet shimming" wallboards of any kind using thinset mortar over wood framed walls is a terrible idea, but folks do that as well. Just not that difficult to true up the framing using more conventional means.

2. Yes, you can do that. At the drain-to-riser pipe connection is the only place where it is legal to make such a size reduction.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-20-2022, 10:16 PM   #23
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Fizz,

I'm not quite ready to call it quits on the linear drain just yet! So far it still seems very doable and we really, really like the look. Plus, much easier to do a single slope pan with large format tile.

The DILEX doesn't seem to be terribly expensive, and at any rate I don't feel that we couldn't do both it and a nice grout. Interesting that you recommend a pre-mixed type, I assumed that grout would be similar to mortar with regard to pre-mix being vastly inferior to mixing on demand from dry mix and water. Any particular reason for that exact grout?

Nice to know about the hydroblok! I'm certainly not opposed to a premade pan, but $500 for a shower pan is rather hard to swallow. Hence why I'm leaning towards a mortar pan with waterproofing on top, seems like a great way to save a lot of money in return for a bit of my time.

We're on the same page regarding heating cable in the shower, I initially wanted to but have since thought better of it. Still looking to do it in the main floor though!


Dan,

You make a great point and I definitely wasn't thinking about that as much as I should've been. I'll have to recess the drain into the subfloor, but I won't have to cut the joists. The stackup will be thus:

Drain - 1"
Subfloor - .75"
Tile - .3125"
Rise of pan - .708"
Subfloor to bottom of door - 1.75"
Subfloor to house flooring - .75"

So while putting the drain on the subfloor would leave the tile just over 2" above the subfloor, hitting the door and having a huge step up from the hallway, recessing the drain onto the tops of the joists will have the tile just over 1.25" above the subfloor, giving me a livable step up and leaving me 15/16" for underlayment, decoupling and heat wire.

Plumbing won't be an issue due to the extra space I have from the drop ceiling underneath this room, and the use of 1.5" drain lines to match the rest of the house.

Honest question, I mean no snark here: why do you think DILEX would require the installer to "bring their A game"? It certainly seems easy enough, just stick it in the thinset as you set tiles and then grout it later. Very possible that I'm missing the difficult part somewhere however!


CX,

Thanks for the response!

1. That's certainly a factor, and all the products are generally only tested to work together - that said, from the videos I've watch the pros tend to mix and match more or less at will and depending on what they can get and like to use. While I'm fairly firm on the drain I'm using and doing a mortar bed, what I'm using for waterproofing is still rather up in the air at the moment.

Using a liquid membrane seems much simpler than a sheet membrane, but being able to use strips of membrane on joints would really help me sleep at night so I need to find a system that uses it. Though I agree that a sheet membrane for the bottom feels more secure and solid, no wondering about pinholes or movement on joints or seams.

Honest question, why do you think wet shimming is a bad idea? It appears to be rather straightforward and makes sense, but on the other hand my walls are pretty good to begin with and I was already planning on sistering the studs since the existing studs are water damaged and swiss-cheesed with holes from previous installations.

2. By drain-to-riser connection, do you mean doing the trap and drain slope all in 2", and then converting to 1.5" right at where it ties into the existing black pipe bathroom drain? Again, honest question here - why not convert right at the drain and do it all in 1.5"? I promise I'm not trying to argue, just trying to understand the "why" behind the "what"!


Thanks all!
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Unread 11-20-2022, 10:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
2. Yes, you can do that. At the drain-to-riser pipe connection is the only place where it is legal to make such a size reduction.
You absolutely must do the reduction at the drain, Scott. Where the drain connects to the riser. That's usually the top of the pipe extending vertically from the trap. Don't know how to say it more clearly. You absolutely must not reduce the size of your drain at any other location.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-21-2022, 09:10 AM   #25
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I think the Dilex is just going to be less forgiving Scott. It is going to need to be installed very plumb, the tile cuts will need to be straight and the correct length to achieve a uniform grout joint. It appears the side where the "pocket" is isn't meant to be caulked and so is an entry point for water. If water does get in there it will have to flow down into the pan. I'd rather keep as much water out of the wall as possible, but maybe I'm overlooking some detail, or just over thinking it.

The Ebbe INNE drain sure looks sleek, minimalistic. But with almost no slope it will have to be installed perfectly level (like any linear drain) and, without open access to the drain channel the only way to clean it is with the approximately two and a half foot long brushes you purchase separately and have to store somewhere and probably use regularly. Just food for thought.

Recessing the drain body into the joists means cutting a notch of some depth in each one and I don't know how that will impact their strength. I think you'll still need blocking of some kind under the length of the drain to support it.
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Unread 11-21-2022, 04:45 PM   #26
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CX,

I think we're talking about the same thing here, which is good! The terminology is very confusing, the whole assembly is a drain, but each piece separately is also a drain. I plan to do the reduction in size with the very first fitting that attaches to the linear drain housing, that makes the most intuitive sense and sounds like it's the correct/approved method as well.


Dan,

Those are good points! I suspected that's what you meant, but I have no idea how hard it will be to make nice edges. I'm used to fairly precise metal fabrication, so I generally find that construction projects require substantially less care and accuracy than I expect them to. Sounds like the edges will be fairly critical, hopefully I'll be able to get some nice cuts without tons and tons of wasted tile!

Leveling the drain will be great fun I'm sure, but at least the instructions say to set it in thinset so it can be leveled. I did consider the difficulty of cleaning, but at least they've put enough thought into it to have the brushes available and it doesn't appear there's anything in the drain channel to catch gunk (unlike some designs...looking at you schluter!).

I plan to install it as shown in one of their videos: make a cutout in the subfloor, then put a new subfloor in the cutout with the top flush with the tops of the joists (dropping the plywood between the studs). That way I avoid cutting the joists, and the drain is still low enough to allow a reasonable main floor height.
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Unread 11-21-2022, 04:48 PM   #27
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Moving forward!

I picked up some goboard today! So I'll be using that for the walls, and I plan to get some washers to match to allow for 12" OC fasteners. The instructions do list various liquid membranes (Hydro Ban, AquaDefense, RedGard, ShowerSeal, TEC) as compatible, so that should work fine.

I think my plan will be to cover the goboard seams with thinset and appropriate mesh tape, including the wall to floor transition. Then cover it with HydroBan or similar on the seams, fasteners and as needed. I believe HydroBan (and most of the other options) allow use of a waterproof membrane tape at the seams, which I would like to use for all 90 degree corners as that seems like the most likely to fail joint due to movement or anything else. I may also try to find some compatible preformed corners as well, again just for reinforcement.

1. Does this sound like a good or at least reasonable plan?

My question now is...what sorts of mortar do I need?! There are dozens of options, and the differences are generally either poorly explained or not at all.

2. What sort of thinset should I use for the goboard seams? They allow use of either modified or unmodified.

3. What should I use for the actual tile? I have very large tiles, which from what I can determine may require a particular type of thinset. I also plan to use a Euro-style trowel, as well as backbutter them.

4. What should I use for the mortar bed? So far I've found "Mapei 4-1 mud bed mix" and "Laticrete 209 floor mud" - are these the type of product I should be looking for?


Perhaps these are all answered in the TYW tile books that I haven't read yet...if so, feel free to tell me to RTFM (:
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Unread 11-21-2022, 05:23 PM   #28
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Another question: Grout line size, since I'd like to get the leveling system sorted out.

Rather oddly, my pressed 12x24 floor tiles recommend 1/16", and my rectified 16x32 wall tiles recommend 1/8".

I'm fine doing it all in 1/8", but I'm a little worried that might be too narrow on the walls due to my lack of experience. On the other hand, 3/16" seems like it might be a bit large for tiles like this, and I'd like to keep the grout lines small if possible. Should I be fine doing 1/8" for all of it?
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Unread 11-21-2022, 05:51 PM   #29
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1. Don't know of any foam backer board systems that recommend, or would benefit from, the use of mesh tape and thinset mortar on the seams. The purpose of that approach for CBU is to create more of a monolithic surface. Not gonna do much of that with foam boards in my view.

I believe the GoBoard manufacturer specifies the use of a proprietary sealant, or similar, in the seams of the panels for shower installations. I'd recommend you follow their instructions.

2. Thinset is a method, Scott, not a product. Thinset mortar is a bonding mortar used for affixing tiles in the thinset method. Yes, we misuse the term regularly.

You would likely want to use a modified thinset mortar meeting ANSI A118.4 for all applications in your current project.

3. See #2.

4. For a shower floor mortar bed I'd recommend a 5:1 mix of sand and Portland cement. If you'll look for the Shower Construction thread in our Liberry, you'll find some recipes for making such "Deck Mud" using commonly available bagged products from your local building supply. You can use one of those specialty mortars you listed, but I'd recommend the sand and cement instead.

The industry recommendation for grout joint width is based upon the size variation of your tiles. The general recommendation is that the joint width be three times the difference in size among your tiles. For a 1/16th" joint width, your tiles will need to be nearly without variation. I would consider a tile manufacturer recommendation of that joint width for a non-rectified tile to be a bit suspect, but I haven't seen your tiles.

I would recommend you take a bunch (technical term) of your tiles from different boxes and stand them on edge in a horizontal stack. Lay a straight edge across the top edges and see what size difference you see. Base your joint upon that measurement.

Even the 1/8th" joint will require care in setting, even with very well rectified tiles, but is certainly doable.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-01-2022, 11:10 AM   #30
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Hey CX, been a minute but the project is slowly moving forwards. We've decided to do a framed in, full width niche rather than a premade one, so that's going to be plenty exciting.

1. It's actually an approved alternate method for GoBoard, as is the use hydroban over it. They have a (non-exhaustive) list of approved sealants and membranes, and hydroban is explicitly allowed. I may also use some sealant in the joints, and then thinset some tape over them for added strength. I'm fairly paranoid about things moving or shifting and causing cracks or gaps in the waterproofing, so reinforcing the seams with mortar and tape seems like a logical choice.

2. I see now, thinset/mediumset/thickset/etc are all methods of installation, and not necessarily product types. I think I'm going to go with something from laticrete, likely their MultiMax Lite. It's a bit expensive, but it seems using a very nice mortar is worth it, especially as a newbie, to give myself all the advantages I can.

4. Thanks for the info, I found several writeups there on deck mud very helpful indeed, though I do have additional questions about deck mud which I'll get to shortly.

5. (grout width) I think I'm going to go with 1/8", it seems fairly safe given the specs of the tile I have. I'll be doing some inspection as you indicated prior to setting any tiles though, just to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure.
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