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Unread 02-27-2020, 09:44 AM   #76
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I tried..drains,liners,sloped bases..
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Unread 02-27-2020, 10:09 AM   #77
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Eric, I get that you're being smug. But I'm still not very clear on the reasoning behind the nuances of the various methods.

I apologize for not being as smart and experienced as you.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 11:41 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
But I'm still not very clear on the reasoning behind the nuisances of the various methods.
Yeah, for sure all the various methods can be a nuisance at times, Brad.

But yes, there are nuances in the various shower construction methods, too. Do keep in mind, though, that any of the various methods will work just fine and for a long time if properly executed. There is absolutely no need for more than one waterproofing method in any shower receptor, but there is always the need for one that is properly installed, be it a traditional PVC or CPE liner, a direct bonded waterproofing membrane, or even a California hot-mop. If properly executed, they will work just fine for a very long time. I wouldn't be so keen about the Boston copper liner or the New York lead liners, but that's a different discussion.

Just pick the one you favor, install it correctly, flood test it, and never look back. But I would absolutely recommend against using more than one method in the same shower receptor.

Eric's not being smug, by the way, Eric's just being Eric, which isn't a bad thing. You just gotta get to know him.

My opinion; worth price charge.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 11:56 AM   #79
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Spelling corrected

I'll have a conversation with the GC and make sure we have a plan everyone is comfortable with.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 03:52 PM   #80
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The TCNA guidelines have matured over many years to reflect new products and experience. I strongly recommend you choose one method, have it executed well, and then, you should never have to worry about the performance of your shower ever again. All of those in that handbook will work if done correctly. A double waterproofing layer would imply putting up a second set of windows, or a second roof, etc., just in case. That's not done for a reason. Install the products properly, and don't look back. Because those things like windows and roofs are exposed, they wear out...not so much with shower waterproofing. THey have a good wear layer on top of them.

Thinset is denser by far than a mud bed. THerefore, it would take much longer for water to penetrate it very far. With a surface applied waterproofing, there's also nothing beneath it that would wick that water down into it. Unless it were a tub that was kept full, water will not wick into the thinset and go very far. Generally, it will dry in between uses. Gravity and porosity of a conventional shower mean that things will get damp underneath. Not really an issue with a surface applied membrane unless the tiles themselves are quite porous (if so, not really a good tile for a shower floor!). This is one reason for the TCNA guideline that calls for 100% of the edges and at least 95% of the tile's back be covered in thinset. Otherwise, water could wick in there and potentially accumulate. A good porcelain tile has a water absorption rate of about 0.1% or less. Some stones are significantly higher. Those probably shouldn't be used in a shower, especially on a pan as they'd get wet, and maybe never dry out. Some of them are beautiful, at least until you start to use the shower...
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Unread 02-27-2020, 04:47 PM   #81
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Thanks Jim. As to your first paragraph, again, I'm not trying to create justification for doing things improperly. I understand that double waterproofing is not a TCNA approved construction method. I will have a conversation with the GC about how they intend to move forward.

With regard to the rest of what you wrote, again, I apologize but there must be some basics I'm simply not grasping;

"Thinset is denser by far than a mud bed. THerefore, it would take much longer for water to penetrate it very far."

- Every construction method will have tile laid in thinset, so I guess I'm not seeing how that's a variable?

"With a surface applied waterproofing, there's also nothing beneath it that would wick that water down into it. Unless it were a tub that was kept full, water will not wick into the thinset and go very far. Generally, it will dry in between uses"

- I thought the surface applied membrane (at least in my case) would be applied to the mudbed? Isn't the mudbed very porous? Wouldn't that wick the water? In other words, if the surface applied membrane were to breach, why wouldn't you want weep holes available at the level of the mudbed, just as you would with a vinyl pan?

Again, I'm probably just confusing some of your points but thanks for the continued efforts to educate this troglodyte.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 06:28 PM   #82
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A waterproof membrane doesn't really care what's beneath it, think of your roof...doesn't really matter if there's bare wood or plain drywall underneath it.

There are only two companies that have tested their sheet waterproofing membranes and can certify compliance when applied directly over drywall in a shower...the vast majority of companies have not done the testing, either because they don't want to spend the money, or they know their product won't work when installed that way...i.e., too much liability.

So, regardless of what's beneath a proper waterproof layer is sort of irrelevant. With a surface applied sheet membrane, from the membrane up, you've only got thinset and then your tile. In a conventional liner shower, you've got at least an inch of deck mud on top of the liner, followed by thinset and tile. So, while water will slowly pass through the thinset, because it is denser than deck mud, it doesn't go all that far or that fast. But, set over a deck mud base, it will just continue downwards via gravity and wicking...thus, that type of system requires weep holes to allow that to drain otherwise, you'd end up with it totally saturated and festering. That type of system relies on a first in, first out, constant flushing to keep things fresh. In a surface applied sheet membrane, the volume of water that can get below is minimal, and typically evaporates in between uses. A regularly used conventional shower build will constantly have some moisture beneath the tile in the mud bed, but most of it will just flow out via the weep holes, leaving things damp, but not wet.

Note, the drain's weep holes need to be kept clear. That requires proper build first, and no buildup of minerals over time that might block them. Things can get messy quickly if you've got acidic water as that can leach extra minerals.

Lots of tradesmen don't like new things...they like to continue to do things the way they were taught. And, most of them don't give longer than a 1-year warranty, and improperly built showers can take much longer to show problems, although they can show up quite fast, too. So, the adage, I've been doing it for a long time with no problems may not really mean your shower will be functioning properly 10-years down the road. If it's built properly, following one of the TCNA procedures, the only reason you'd need to deal with it is if you get tired of it and want to remodel.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 06:57 PM   #83
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Okay...I'm starting to get it. With either method, the assumption is made that the actual waterproofing layer will not fail - whether it be a surface applied liquid or sheet membrane, or an underlying vinyl membrane.

The weep holes in a traditional liner installation are there because thinset and mortar (and tile and grout) have some degree or porosity and therefor some water might make it down to through the mudbed and will need a path to escape.

Theoretically, a properly installed topical waterproofing should not allow the underlying mortar bed to become exposed to any water, thereby negating the need for weep holes.

I guess I was fixating on the possibility that the topical membrane (in my case, Redgard) could fail as a result of either improper installation or if there were movement in the house. Although movement in a slab home might seem unlikely, the bedroom floor to which this bathroom is attached has dropped off about 1.5" over 30 years, so I guess I have that in the back of my mind. It does appear however that most of that drop-off occurred many years ago.

But again, I understand now the theory behind the various methods and I appreciate the time you've taken to elaborate.

Thank you!
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Unread 03-02-2020, 07:24 AM   #84
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Had a conversation with the GC. I was told that the local code does not require a vinyl pan if the slab is pitched. Since the entire slab in the shower area has been broken-up to expand the footprint of the shower, the new slab will be poured with pitch, forgoing the local requirement for the vinyl pan.

The mudbed will be set and Redgard will be used as a topical waterproofing layer.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 10:33 AM   #85
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Local requirements are the bare minimum. We can always do better.

When it comes to a lawsuit, at the top of the list of importance (legal weight) is;

1- The manufacturer's instructions reign supreme. No matter what local code says, you MUST follow the manufacturer's instructions for EVERY product you are using.

followed by

2- ANSI standards

3- Industry standards. In our case that is the printed TCNA handbook

Last in the realm of legal importance is -

4- Local building code. While we all assume local building code is the ultimate make-or-break of everything in our homes, it is not.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 10:40 AM   #86
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Paul, I'm a little unclear about the intent of your comments. It was suggested earlier in this thread that a topical waterproofing alone is a TCNA approved method, unless local code requires the use of a vinyl liner. And the QuickDrain is designed to be used with a topical waterproofing system.

I asked the GC if a vinyl liner is required by local code and was told it is not, as long as the slab beneath is pitched.

I am trying to absorb the advice and guidance being offered here and thought I had finally arrived at a proper and acceptable method for building this shower. But your response leads me to believe there is something left to read between the lines, that I'm not getting.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 10:55 AM   #87
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My take on Paul's comments is that just because your local code doesn't mandate a liner over a sloped concrete pan doesn't mean you shouldn't do one. There are lots of instances where exceeding code requirements are beneficial. Contractors are required to build to at least the minimum requirements, but that doesn't exclude them from surpassing them.

In your case, since it looks like you'll be covering the mud bed with a topical waterproof barrier, a liner isn't needed, or even wanted. As others have expressed I, too, would be leery of Redgard on the floor. but if you and your contractor are comfortable with it insist on a 48 hour leak test.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 10:59 AM   #88
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in this case it sounds like you have all bases covered.
1.Install the Red Guard following Customs written directions.
2.If you do # 1 you will also be following ANSI Standards.
3.If you do #1 and 2 you will be meeting industry guidelines-TCNA
4.IF YOU DO 1-2-3 you will be meeting Code, which allows a surface applied membrane meeting ANSI 118.10 to be installed per TCNA guidlines per Mfg. written directions.!
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Unread 03-02-2020, 11:09 AM   #89
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Thanks for the for the additional comments. As I'm sure most of you know, Redgard is approved as a primary means of waterproofing a shower floor when properly applied. These guys have zero experience using sheet membranes, and I'm not about to be a guinea pig for their learning curve.

I understand the point that local code is at the bottom of the totem pole, but be that as it may, there will be an inspection and obviously, it must be built to conform with whatever requirements are locally mandated.

I've already driven myself nuts with over analysis. Based on the advice given here, the reading I have done and the conversation I have had with the GC, I feel confident things will be fine moving forward.
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Unread 03-02-2020, 11:56 AM   #90
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Eric is correct (and what he wrote was what I was meanin' to say)

I think you will find that local code has some flexibility. You can take a copy of the installation instructions for Red Guard to the local building authority. They will find it meets all the plumbing codes they use; IAPMO et al. I'd be willin' to bet the CBP instructions also list the ANSI standards they meet along with the NTCA standards too, which gets you the 1+2+3+4 that Eric and I mentioned.
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