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Unread 10-18-2020, 05:39 AM   #1
bonedoc
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Shower Remodel Help

First....let me say this site is fantastic and thanks to all the posters for the valuable advice!

I'm starting a shower remodel for my wife. House is three years old and previous owners picked horrible tile/design for the shower. Looks like it's a liner with mud floor build with two corner benches. I'd like to rip the walls out and install kerdi on them as well as ceiling (steam shower) then tile. My wife would like the corner benches gone and a sit down bench along the long wall.

I was able to see how these baths were done (builder still building in our development). Looks like the corner bench was framed first, then liner installed and mud set.

If I remove the existing tile on the floor, am I correct in that the existing mud floor will also have to be demo'd in order to install a new liner which would be needed for new bench build?

If so, I suspect it'd be easiest to keep the corner benches and install a "better bench" build over the kerdi.....Any way to remove the existing corner benches without ripping up the floor?

Picture below...Would love input. Thanks.
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Unread 10-18-2020, 07:32 AM   #2
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Welcome, Dave, you're gunna have fun with that one. Mrs. Dave will be most appreciative.

If I understand your plan I don't see how you're going to accomplish your goal of removing the corner benches without removing the floor tile and the mud bed(s) if the liner is installed the way you think it is. And it probably is.

IMO, you are going to spend more time trying to salvage anything in there than you would just gutting it. Also, if the existing shower isn't already a steam shower, you really don't know if it was properly built to be a steam shower. Heck, for that matter, even if it is a steam shower you still won't know.

Building a steam shower brings even more stringent water proofing/vapor proofing requirements than a plain 'ole shower.
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Unread 10-18-2020, 07:36 AM   #3
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I second that. Tear it out and start from scratch.
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Unread 10-18-2020, 08:19 AM   #4
bonedoc
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Thanks guys....

I think I misworded my original post. There's tile on the ceiling as though it was designed for a steam shower, but after looking at the design in homes currently being built....not a true steam shower. Just decorative tile on the ceiling.

So I guess the consensus here is to rip out the corner benches, rip up the existing mud (do I use an impact hammer with chisel? gonna be a PIA I imagine) and then start from scratch. Dimensions of the shower are 46" x 81" with a center drain which means it's too big for a Kerdi tray and I'd be likely laying a new liner and making mud pan.

My wife is adamant that she wants those corner benches out as they're pretty much useless.

Just a bit intimidated by how much work I'm in for demo'ing my existing pan.

Thanks again.
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Unread 10-18-2020, 08:38 AM   #5
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Yup, I don't see any way around it, Dave. If the benches are coming out so, too, are the walls and the floor and, and, and. It will definitely be a lot of work, but also a massively convenient excuse to purchase new tools. So, there's that.

When I did my master bathroom I installed two Better Bench corner benches (not a fan of the type you currently have) in the 42X83 ish shower. One at the end where the warm water is and another at the opposite end. Both get used, rarely by me, but are appreciated.
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Unread 11-18-2020, 04:48 PM   #6
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Flat pebble floor on Kerdi Pan

It's been brought up a few times here regarding pebble tiles on a kerdi pan, but I can't find a firm answer regarding this topic. I have a 48" x 65" shower floor going in and I'm about to set the Kerdi Pan. I've attached a pic of the floor pattern my wife would like, with a tape measure next to it to give perspective on the size of the stones. Stones are all completely flat on the bottom (so technically, I guess it's not a "pebble" floor).

Can this be used on the Kerdi Pan without risk of puncture? Although my wife likes the design/look, I've read numerous posts about the amount of grout they take and am concerned about a) maintenance (sealing), 2) comfort (I've never actually been in a stone tile shower), and 3) damage to the pan.

As usual, thanks for the contributors to this site....very much appreciated by us all.
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Unread 11-18-2020, 05:14 PM   #7
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Flat rocks are fine. Rounded rocks are quite uncomfortable and you need deeper slope than normal for them.....
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Unread 11-18-2020, 05:14 PM   #8
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Kerdi pans generally have the bare minimum slope and I think the general consensus is that for a floor like that, you want much more than the minimum in order for it to drain properly.
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Unread 11-19-2020, 04:29 AM   #9
bonedoc
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So there's the recurring problem...Posts saying flat rocks are fine, but other posts saying the Kerdi tray doesn't have the correct slope. Is the consensus here saying it's a no go for flat rocks and we're pretty much limited to 2"x2" tiles (or a little larger) for the pan?
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Unread 11-19-2020, 03:09 PM   #10
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I think it kind of depends on the size of the Kerdi tray, Dave.

I believe, but can't find it in their literature, that Schluter uses the same thickness foam for many different sizes of their trays. Lets say 1" thick. So I believe there are two constants; 1) the thickness of the foam at the perimeter and 2) the thickness of the foam at the drain opening. If 1 and 2 are true then a smaller tray will have more slope than a larger tray (their offset drain tray, meant to replace a standard bathtub, is a whole different matter).

Call Schluter and ask them.

Minimum recommended/required slope is 1/4" per foot. Stones, due to their irregularity and copious amount of mortar, do not let water drain off as easily as do flat tiles with much less grout between them, so more pitch is a good idea. I've read here that when using flat pebbles like those 3/8" to 1/2" slope isn't a bad idea at all.
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Unread 11-19-2020, 03:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for that reply. Now I completely understand. The stones are all completely level/flat on top so it “shouldn’t” be a problem. I’m going to take your advice and call Schluter just to make sure prior to ordering/installing.
Thanks again.
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Unread 11-19-2020, 06:50 PM   #12
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Personally, I think you're fine. Those tile vary with some larger than the 2x2 requirement and some probably a little under. If this is a residential shower then I don't see an issue with a few of the pebbles being a little under the official 2x2 requirement.

For what it's worth, the workmanship on the original shower looked pretty good. Better than what I see in a lot of housing developments.
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Unread 11-20-2020, 07:19 AM   #13
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The overall workmanship was pretty good overall....some mis-cuts here and there. The main reason for the remodel was that the previous owners were an elderly couple who built the home about one year prior and then moved for family reasons. They put white tile with black grout throughout the entire bathroom (to match the black cabinets and black casing/trim around the window.

Looked horrible and drove my wife nuts. I'll try and upload some "before" pics of the bathroom (not including shower) and cabinets as well as the "after" pics after I ripped out and replaced the floor and refinished the cabinets.
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Unread 11-20-2020, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim
with a few of the pebbles being a little under the official 2x2 requirement.
I've never heard that there is a 2x2" minimum requirement over Kerdi or the Kerdi foam trays, Jim. You know otherwise?

And I'm curious as to who Shado667 might be. Are you talking about the shower in the first post of this thread?
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Unread 11-20-2020, 12:36 PM   #15
bonedoc
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Error in posting... Correct, the Shado667 Username is mine. Not sure why my computer logged in with it rather than my new one. Sorry for the confusion.
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