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Unread 08-29-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
Skivvt
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Mark's Shower

Hello,

I was all set to use kerdi then came across Issac’s videos on a few failures and now I am freaking out. I get that anything can fail if not installed properly but wondering if his examples are outliers and I can’t tell if he is just against the suff or what.

I am not a tile professional but have remodeled several houses having built post and beam porches, full kitchen remodels ect. I also am a woodworker - guess point being I am handy!

I have done tile on floors but never walls or shower, I have somewhat looked at the different methods but settled on the Schuleter system.

Maybe I need to start a new thread but i will be converting a tub with insert to walk in shower and my plan was to use kerdi board on the walls, although appears to be more expensive than applying the membrane to drywall it also looks like it requires less skill plus I will be down to the studs.

I was planning on using the kerdi pan with the circular drain as well and kerdi curb with a solid slab of Carrara on top. A few of the worries is the foam board being to soft where it sinks below the drain overtime, 1/2” kerdi directly on studs not being stiff enough and no weep holes in the drain. I will be using 12”x24” porcelain on the walls and 2” Carrara hex mosaic on the floor

Anyways after watching Issak’s vids not feeling the warm an fuzzies…

Any input appreciated, thanks in advanced! Mark
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Unread 08-29-2021, 08:37 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Mark.

I've separated your post from the general thread in the Hangout where I found it so your specific questions can be answered.

As you should have observed from that thread, all the newer direct bonded waterproofing membrane shower systems work well if they are constructed per the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. While there are some examples of apparent material failure out there, but they are both rare and questionable in origin.

Bottom line: If you aren't confident using the newer systems, build your shower using the very old, very time tested, traditional shower receptor construction with a 40mil liner and deck mud for the pre-slope and final mortar bed and a polyethylene or roofing felt moisture barrier behind the wallboard. That method has been in use longer than I've been a resident of the planet and I've been here for quite a while. Keep in mind that you can also have a failure with that method if it's not properly executed.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-30-2021, 07:52 AM   #3
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Thank you CX,

I spent some time searching and watching videos to narrow down to some specific questions that I have regarding this project. Honestly after seeing some of the failures I was going to just hire it out but then received the quotes - lol..

Here we go, I am sure some if not all have been discussed in Ad nauseam so I apologize up front for that…

Shower size = 60x32
Wall tile = 12x24 Porcelain
Floor tile = 12x12 hex mosaic Carrara marble

1. Kerdi pre made shower pan vs. mud pan with Kerdi Membrane
a. Obviously the mud provides a more solid base, but are there any issues/flaws with using the kerdi premade am I better of with the mud pan in the long run and why.
b. Also how long is the mud workable once mixed?

2. Drain location
a. I was planning on using offset since there was a tub there but is a center location better for a rectangular shower or does it not matter if not does one perform better?
b. Also does using a mud base or kerdi premade influence which location would be better?

3. Curb
a. I was planning on the kerdi curb with a single continuous slab on top Carrara, Granite ect. What is the lowest height that the curb can be measured from the finished shower mosaic floor. I will using shower door and not a curtain.
b. Is there any reason i would not want to minimize the height of the curb?

4. Kerdi board on stud walls
I know that it is important to have plumb, straight walls min 16” on center.
Is there a benefit to adding drywall or plywood to the studs to make a more firm backing for the Kerdi? What about adding in extra studs. I know that schluter recommends the 16” but my OCD mind can’t wrap the idea of a 1/2 foam panel holding all that tile…

5. So i’d imagine once I got to the point of the (water test and pass) my wife is going to be stinky (me too) can the shower be used with just the kerdi and no tile? Same question if kerdi walls and mud pan

6. Tile floor or walls first
Seems to be just a preference but is one way preferable over the other and why

7. Tile leveling system
I had never seen this before, is it something I should be doing and why?

Thanks for all the help! Mark
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Unread 08-30-2021, 09:11 AM   #4
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1a. The deck mud not only makes a more solid base for your shower but it always fits the shower footprint and drain location exactly while providing a level perimeter and a proper slope. The mortar floor also does not depend upon having a perfectly level subfloor, which is required with the foam trays.

b. Depends somewhat upon the environment in the construction area, but you can usually stretch it to 45 minutes or so. I work alone and am rather slow and I have no trouble making even large shower floors if I mix as I go. I find the use of a Bucket Mortar Mixer and dry-mixing all the material before starting helps a great deal.

2a. I always want the drain centered in the shower footprint as closely as possible to allow for consistent slope all around with a level perimeter.

b. No.

3. The code requirement is that the curb top be a minimum of two inches above the top of the shower drain. The industry recommendation is that the curb top be two inches above the shower floor. One is law, the other is not.

4. The 16" on center stud spacing is a maximum requirement, not a minimum, for the KerdiBoard. It is adequate and you'll find the walls quite rigid once tiled.

5. In theory, yes. But you'll be contaminating the Kerdi surface, which may not be good for bonding the tiles.

6. With a direct bonded waterproofing membrane (Kerdi is one) shower I don't even set the drain until the ceiling and walls are tiled, and sometimes grouted, except for the bottom row. I then build the floor, tile it, then cut the bottom row of wall tiles to fit. Others do it differently. You'll decide which works best for you.

7. There are no "leveling systems," despite what it might say on the packaging. Those systems are best described as lippage control systems and many people find them helpful, especially with large format tiles such as your wall tiles. Entirely up to you whether you wanna use such a system.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-03-2021, 09:04 AM   #5
Skivvt
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Thank you CX,
I have been weighing the options to diy this or hire it out. I have gotten a few quotes and honestly it’s not that bad it’s just that I have trust issues and always have the attitude - if you want it done right you have to do it yourself…

I will make some separate posts for some more questions I have

Thanks, Mark
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Unread 09-03-2021, 10:40 AM   #6
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Best you keep all your project questions on this thread, Mark, so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered.
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Unread 09-03-2021, 07:22 PM   #7
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Well ok, guess it makes sense for the shower - I might be doing a floor as well that was what I was referring to guess I should have been more clear…

So turns out I hired a guy to do the shower and i will be doing the demo and plumbing. So I started tonight and found there is a vent pipe in the wall, not sure if this is the right place to post plumbing questions related to the shower so let me know..

Part of the vent pipe is Copper and has a bit of corrosion with pin holes in it, my plan is to cut it out towards the top where it is clean and extend the pvc but do I have a bigger problem here or is it just because that pipe is from 1968ish and the gasses have just corroded it over time and expected.

The other thing is I am trying to wrap my head around how to frame this for the kerdi and plumbing, the vent pipe is complicating it…any ideas are welcome…
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Unread 09-03-2021, 07:41 PM   #8
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I would venture to guess that they used a no hub coupling that was not rated for copper to PVC ( no seal) and that might be why you have problems with the copper pipe
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Unread 09-03-2021, 07:48 PM   #9
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You can ask any kind of questions about your project here, Mark. We've got folks from all sorts of disciplines on here. If someone can't answer the question, they can send you someplace that can.

I'd say that is not the result of aging copper vent pipe, but rather something external, such as old acid-based flux or similar.

My advice would be to replace as much of it as possible with more PVC as apparently was done in a previous remodel. Can't imagine your code compliance inspector having any problem with that, but always best to ask first. That's an area where it is not usually easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Looks like you'll need to add a vent for your shower, too.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-03-2021, 08:23 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick reply’s, their is no inspection or specific codes required in my town (that doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it right).

The tub shower is connected to that vent, the shower drain is 1-1/2” going to a 4”drain that 4” drain is connected to that vent. I think the toilet is tied into that same drain farther down the line.

I am planning on changing the shower drain to 2”. Wondering if i can replace the bad Copper vent section with 2” or 3” pvc, that would give me more room for blocking.
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Unread 09-05-2021, 07:44 AM   #11
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Appears the copper vent is 3" and is likely the main stack, Mark, and as such I'd be inclined to keep it 3".

Given the corrosion you see there I'd want to inspect as much of that copper vent as possible.
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Unread 09-05-2021, 12:57 PM   #12
Skivvt
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Ditra heat question/s

Hello, I will have a few questions on the ditra heat for a tiled floor that i will be doing. I did spend time searching and found some info but not all.

The bathroom floor are will be 54sqft so i will use the DHE K 120 56 which will pull 4amps, ditra says the recommended a dedicated circuit but could say I also run the lighting on the same circuit? I am aware of the risk of using the circuit for outlets as there would potentially be a greater chance of overload, say hairdryer ect. But seams ok for a few lights and the ditra on a 20a or 15a breaker. i will run 12/2.

Thanks for your input! Mark
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Unread 09-06-2021, 05:59 AM   #13
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You would probably be ok especially if the lights are led but I am not an electrician. Is the DHE K 56 for 56 sq ft? You cannot cut the cable so make sure the cable you order is not too long. I thought mine was plenty short enough but had to alternate 2 and 3 studs apart in one section to use all of the cable.
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Unread 09-06-2021, 08:10 AM   #14
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What Phil said, Mark,

Remember, you cannot run the DH cables under an enclosed cabinet, nor too close to the toilet flange, nor too close to walls, nor cover it with a thick bath mat. Be sure you account for all those things, the DH install manual has the details. A thin, non-rubber backed bath mat should be fine, though Schluter won't tell you that.

12/2 is typically used on a 20A circuit, though it can be used on a 15A circuit. But you can't run 14/2 on a 20A circuit. If the existing circuit is 15A and 14/2, typical for lighting circuits, then running 12/2 off that branch for the DH doesn't do anything for you.

It IS tempting to run the 120v for the DH off an existing circuit. Two things you might consider; 1) With 4 ish amps of draw I'll be that whatever lights happen to be on will flicker/briefly dim when the DH controller turns the floor on. 2) If there is ever a fault in the DH system it could possibly take out that whole circuit, leaving the bathroom in the dark until you can get it resolved.
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Unread 09-06-2021, 08:16 AM   #15
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Mark, we've merged your threads, it really helps all contributors to have the project history, the big picture, in one place. Please ask all your questions in this thread. Remember that each time someone posts a question or answer in the thread it bumps it back to the top of the forum, We'll see it.
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