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Unread 09-27-2020, 11:03 AM   #1
Crooked1
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Master bath remodel with steam shower

First off I want to thank you all for sharing your advice with novices like me. I also apologize if I ask questions that have been answered before. I have spent countless hours reading through these forums, Tile Your World, TCNA handbook, etc. But I also have a full time job, 5 year old daughter and other renovations going on. We were not planning on renovating our master bath yet, but I found a leak in our fiberglass shower that had rotted our subfloor. So we decided it was time to go ahead and redo the whole bathroom. We are changing the layout and putting in a tiled steam shower. We weren’t going to tackle the shower or other tiling ourselves, but we live in a small town where installers aren’t very familiar with steam showers. After seeing failures of regular and steam showers, the logical choice is to do it ourselves, right? We’ve renovated a few houses, but the only tile work we’ve done is a few backsplashes.

So far we’ve demo’d part of the bathroom down to the studs and cut out the rotten subfloor. Adjoining this area is a room that contains a toilet, vanity and linen closet. We are waiting for someone to come out and evaluate the wall between these rooms to see if we can move it so only the toilet would be in that area (we’ve called 2 different contractors and been waiting 2 weeks now). In the mean time we are trying to plan everything out. We are thinking about using Ditra heat in all areas except shower, without CBU underneath.

The joists are 2x10, 16” OC except one that is 18” OC for some reason, max unsupported length is 6’. This seems to be ok for tile. However our subfloor needs help. We ripped out vinyl flooring that was attached to luan, with 5/8 particle board under that, then 5/8 subfloor. The floor is down to the 5/8 subfloor, which is not tongue and groove. I can’t tell exactly what it is, looks like plywood of some sort. There is a knot hole close to one edge, and this edge deflects significantly when stepped on. Which leads us to the following questions:

1. We were thinking of adding another layer of 5/8 plywood over the top of existing subfloor. Would this be adequate or should we take out the existing subfloor and go with 3/4 plywood that meets the standards for tile? (I’ve read 5/8 is ok but we thought 3/4 would be better).
2. If we keep the existing subfloor, what do we do with the area with the knot in it?
3. We were considering a curbless shower, will that affect any of the above answers?

I have many more questions but we’ll start there. Here are some pics. This is where the shower was, but the vanity will be here in the future.
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Unread 09-27-2020, 01:33 PM   #2
Kman
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Welcome to the forum, Laura.

So if I understand correctly, the area in the pictures will not be the location of your new shower, but just the vanity, correct? I'll base my answers on that being the case.

So we're down to 5/8" plywood subfloor that is not tongue and groove, and a section of that is removed.

First, you'll need to cut back the edge on the right side of the picture until half of the next joist top is showing. Either that, or if it's 3/4" or less to the next joist, you can add a 2x4 to the joist to give the plywood subfloor edge something to rest upon. I'd use the same thickness of plywood or OSB to cover the hole. Also, remove any more plywood that is questionable with regard to rot. Give it a day or two to dry out completely before assessing it further.

So then you'll have your subfloor repaired. Now you'll want to install another layer of plywood that is minimum 1/2" thickness. The face grain of the plywood will need to be oriented the same as the subfloor, and perpendicular to the joists. But you don't want any of the joints on the top layer to line up with the joists on the bottom layer. With the bottom layer not being tongue and groove, the top layer will lessen the deflection between the panels on the bottom layer.

Here's an article describing a good way to install that top layer of plywood over the OSB.
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Unread 09-27-2020, 05:09 PM   #3
Crooked1
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Thanks for your reply Kevin. Yes, this area will be where the vanity goes. I forgot to mention we were planning on cutting out more of the subfloor in front of and to the right of the current hole if we keep the current subfloor. We didn’t know if the current subfloor was even worth saving though. And I already have that article saved to my IPad.
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Unread 09-27-2020, 05:48 PM   #4
jadnashua
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If you're willing to remove the subflooring, and it looks questionable, that isn't a bad idea. It's sometimes hard to get a screw to hold in 5/8" stuff without stripping the hole if you're not careful, or the panel isn't in great shape.

3/4", if you're going with say Ditra Heat should be fine, otherwise, a second layer of ply is a good insurance policy.

A steam shower requires very careful attention to detail, well any shower does, but a steam shower is even more critical otherwise, the vapor pressure will drive moisture places you do not want it! Pay attention to the ceiling...you really do want it to be sloped so you don't get condensation and cold water dripping on you!

Follow the instructions carefully for any water/vapor control system you choose.
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Unread 10-03-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
Crooked1
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Grab bar waterproofing

As our planning continues, more questions come up. We are wanting to place a grab bar on the back wall and include the backing between studs, but are unsure how to waterproof the screw holes that would penetrate the Kerdi, esp since this will be a steam shower. Kerdifix, silicone?
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Unread 10-03-2020, 10:54 AM   #6
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You could use either of those products, Laura, so long as you try to fill the holes with it before installing the screws. I'd opt for the Kerdi Fix.

Any penetration of the waterproofing/vaporproofing membrane is always undesirable, but sometimes unavoidable.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-20-2020, 05:46 AM   #7
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Shower drain placement

Things are slowly moving along. We decided to remove all the old subfloor, replaced with 3/4” advantech plus 1/2” plywood. We also had to move a wall, etc.

The plumbers are coming today. I thought we knew where we wanted the drain, but now I’m questioning it. Our shower will be 72x43, we are planning a mud pan with a masonry shower bench on top of that along the 43” wall, 14”-16” deep. Should The drain be placed in the middle of the whole shower, or be centered in the area in front of the bench? I was thinking it should be in the middle of the shower regardless of the bench.
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Unread 10-20-2020, 07:59 AM   #8
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The object is to have a level perimeter and as close as possible to an equal slope to the drain from all four corners. That would call for locating the drain in the center of the footprint for the floor in front of the monument-type bench.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-21-2020, 07:55 AM   #9
Crooked1
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Kerdi drain

Our plumber has never seen or heard of the Kerdi system. He is trying to figure out what he needs to do for the shower drain. I thought we need a 2” pipe to fit the drain over. My husband accidentally bought the Kerdi drain adapter kit that fits into an existing shower drain. Now the plumber has seen that and wants to plumb a traditional drain for us to use the Adapter kit with instead of the Regular Kerdi drain flange to a 2” pipe (hopefully this makes sense). My husband went back out and bought the regular Kerdi drain. I’ve shown the plumber the install directions, videos, etc but he’s still not fully on board with the regular Kerdi drain “glued” to a 2” pipe. Any opinions on the adapter kit vs regular drain flange?
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Unread 10-21-2020, 08:45 AM   #10
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Laura, I'd recommend a different plumber. You don't want to use that adapter drain unless it's necessary. Necessary being that there is some compelling reason you cannot remove the existing clamping drain. There is absolutely nothing at all magic about installing a standard Schluter Kerdi drain. It just glues onto a standard PVC or ABS (depending upon what you have) riser pipe. No different from installing a clamping drain.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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