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Unread 01-31-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
freeze
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Shower renovation help

Brand new to this form as well as tiling:uhh:. Have quite a few years in construction but for whatever reason never picked up any experience in tile work. So here goes, I tore out our masterbathroom all the way down to the studs. Our bathroom/house has a cement foundation. For the shower area im at a total loss. Yes we do have a budget,but I dont want to make remodeling the shower an annual project. It seems people are partial to laying a mud bed, while others favor the kerdi system. Im going to do the work myself. All the houses/buildings i've worked in, used hot mop(yes, I am in CA). Any advice to get me heading in the right direction would be greatly apreciated. Yes, I did order Tile Your World, but it's not here yet. Thank You.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Hello Evan,
The Kerdi system can be used with a mortar (mud) bed, over a slab.

Do you have an existing drain you'll be working with?

Can you post pics of the area in question?
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Unread 01-31-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Yes Greg there is an existing drain I will be working with. I haven't taken out the old shower pan yet, with looks like an old mud pan.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 03:06 PM   #4
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I am an advocate of the Schluter Shower System (Kerdi), and would be happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability. I'm sure others will chime in as well.

Do you have specific questions in regards to your shower project?

That old mud bed will need to come out, if you can get your hands on a chipping hammer, or similar tool, it will be much easier. Once it is out, you can determine what will need to be done to connect the drain of your new shower to the existing drain.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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Thank you very much Greg for your offer. Funny you mention a chipping hammer. Most people overlook this handy tool. It was one of the first tools I bought , after a skilsaw. I hate saying this, but the main thing im concerned about is cost. It seems the initial investment of the Kerdi system my be high, but in the long run, it will pay off. Do they make a complete kit, including the pan, wall membrane? Also is the plan presloped already? Thank you
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Unread 01-31-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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Another idea up in the air is using those sheets of river rock on the floor. any pros/cons ?
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Unread 01-31-2010, 10:43 PM   #7
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It's my pleasure to help out, Lord knows I don't do it as often as I should around here.

Schluter does make complete kits, but they always seem over priced to me. The polystyrene trays are sloped, but you can save some money by building a mortar base, it's not that hard at all. I will say, the polystyrene trays, and curbs are very convenient, and super easy to install. The thing with the trays is, the drain has to be pretty close to perfectly centered, and the floor must be flat.

You could start by familiarizing yourself with the Schluter Shower System by watching some videos HERE.

You can get an idea of pricing HERE.

As far as the river rock sheets go, it depends on which ones you're talking about. The ones that have the round top seem like they would be hard on the feet. The sliced river rock sheets would be easier on the feet, but depending on how they are mounted to the mesh, it may be difficult to get decent mortar coverage with either one. It's matter of personal preference. I have installed the sliced variety, and it is a nice look IMHO.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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Being in CA, hot mopping is very popular. Every house we worked on, was hot mopped. An idea to run by ya: Doing hot mop, with the mortar bed over it, then doing the Kerdi membrane in the walls.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 12:08 AM   #9
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I am not familiar with hot mop, but I believe it works like a traditional pan liner. If that's the case, I wouldn't recommend using Kerdi. Kerdi is an integrated system designed to be used in conjunction with the Kerdi Drain. There would be no way to make the connection between the Kerdi and the hot mop.

If you want to go hot mop, I would just build what we call a "traditional" shower. Here's some info on the construction of a "traditional" shower. This should give you a working knowledge of how this type of shower build works.

Some of the guys around here also have methods of building "hybrid" style showers. Here is a thread by our resident Dr. Frankengueuze. The Frankengueuze shower "system" - a tutorial

Kerdi, and gueuze's shower utilize what we call, surface bonded waterproofing membranes. Many of us here feel this produces a superior shower, since water cannot penetrate past the grout and tile.

Check 'em out, and come back here when you have more questions.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:42 AM   #10
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Welcome, Evan

You'd do best to not mix and match waterproofing solutions, more often than not. Sheetrock and mud base are very cost and time-effective solutions for the shower structure. kerdi isn't cheap, but again, it's fairly easy to put in properly. Wrap and run, one and done - build no more showers in this spot

Plus you can easily do a lot of custom niche, shelf, and bench work without worrying about penetrations in the waterproofing.

If you haven't taken a spin thru the TYW Whirl-Famous Liberry Shower Construction Thread, now'd be an excellent time to do so
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Unread 02-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #11
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Talking I did river rock with Kerdi Tray,

I am a DIY guy, and did exactly what your project is over a year ago. River rock on shower floor over Kerdi tray, and on shower bench, Kerdi on all surfaces. For the money spent, if I was to do it over again, I would have done a mortar base, with Kerdi on all surfaces. Tray worked fine, but I think with what I have learned here I could have done mortar.

Surprisingly, rocks feel like foot massage. I had my doubts when the wife bought em, but I love it. I will tell you that most DIY who set sheets of river rock looks bad IMHO. Need to really take your time setting so lines or "rivers of grout" are not apparent. I also used Spectralock pro, as round stones have some areas of significant grout, and I never wanted to deal with mold/mildew issues. I love the end result. Let me know if you want more detail, and good luck!
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Unread 02-01-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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All right, thanks to all ouf your input, I think im starting to get an idea of what I want to do: Im thinking of the doing the hot mop in the pan with a mortar bed over that. On the walls im going to put up cement board, grouting all the seams, and ending it about a half inch above the pan. Wife just threw in that she wants an inset to hold all of her hair stuff. So now the question is: are all brands of cement board the same or is there one that stands out? Any other ideas/help would be greatly apreciated. Thank you all
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Unread 02-01-2010, 09:24 PM   #13
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IMHO all the grey cement colored boards are pretty much all the same. Hardi has some differning handling qualities but the end result is the same. The trick to cbu is getting undamaged, uncracked sheets and keeping them that way. Hardi is a little easier to keep from cracking and loosing some of its strength. Those long plastic lables can be tricky to peal off...
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:14 AM   #14
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Evan,

Pardon but I still don't see a waterproofing method in your plan. Whatcha gonna roll with?

And you don't mean to grout the CBU edges prior to tiling, right? just hadda ask
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Unread 02-02-2010, 01:19 PM   #15
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Hey Evan,

Fellow CA DIYer here! If you don't mind my asking, why are you going to bother with the hot mop? Aside fro the cost, smell, and inconvenience, it's my understanding they're more prone to leaks then a traditional shower pan liner.
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