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Old 10-23-2017, 07:47 PM   #1
Shane7
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Shower pan replacement

First as a newcomer, howdy to all.

So I just bought my first house (yay me) and for my first big project I decided to fix up the master stand-up shower. The company that flipped the house installed some lovely new tile, but left this disgustingly discolored and beaten-to-all-hell fiberglass shower pan. So I figured i'd rip it out and replace it with something i could put nice tile over, and while i'm at it extend the tile all the way to the ceiling.

So I went ahead and ripped out the old nasty shower pan (i'll provide pictures below), being careful not to damage any of the new tile. But now I'm debating what kind of new pan i should go with.

1. I like the idea of a curb free shower with a glass door, but afraid its not feasible without ripping up a foots worth of the floor tile to waterproof directly outside the shower (if that's still highly recommended even with a glass door).
2. Mud vs Foam (kerdi, Tile Redi, ect). I like the idea of how easy dropping in a foam pan sounds, but not sure how easy it will be to waterproof it since the cement board and tile are already installed. Mud seems like a better fit solution (though still not perfect) but again i worry about being able to waterproof it properly with the walls already completely installed.
3. Is the midst of taking out the old pan, I realized the contractor may not have used any kind of vapor barrier. There's nothing between the studs and the cement board, and I've found no indication of a membrane between the cement boards and thinset. Do i need to consider demoing all the shower tiles to install a vapor barrier?


Any and all advice is welcome. I'll do my best to answer any questions. Lurked through the Liberry all afternoon and watch hours worth of installation videos only to come to no real good conclusion.


Some picture below. The shower is 32x48, roughly an inch deep between the floor tile top and plywood floor. Base is 2 1/2" plywood boards supported by 9x1.5" beams spaced 14" apart.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:02 PM   #2
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Shane,

Welcome to the forum.

1- Are you 100% sure they are 1/2" boards? How many layers are each sheet? 1/2" (nominal) actually measures 7/16" or 15 /32's in real life. A stamp on the plywood will help.

2- The current plumbing code round these parts requires waterproofing at least 6 feet above the floor. Those tiled walls need to come down to get proper waterproofing in place.

3- Research the various surface applied membranes and decide which system you want to use. The sheet membranes are easier for the DIYer to use IMHO.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:26 PM   #3
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Here's a measurement of the plywood boards. It looks like 2 separate boards, but the measurement comes in at about 7/8".

Is there any other waterproofing methods to look for that i may have missed? Definitely is not anything behind the cement boards. And I've chipped away a bit of the thinset behind a tile to see if there was any kind of membrane between the thinset and cement board but there wasn't anything obvious (to a relative noob that is).
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:07 PM   #4
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Unfortunately there isn't much we can recommend as far as just sticking in a new pan. With a lack of waterproofing on the walls, and no way to tie anything together after tearing out the pan, the best option would be to start fresh. You can try and mend something back together but it will be a bandaid, and if you're going to put time and money into something that needs to last it would be a good idea to do it properly.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:17 PM   #5
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A painted on membrane might not be all that visible. There's a few of them and you might notice their color...look for red, green, or a greenish-blue. If none of them are present, there probably isn't one.

If you're going to rebuild, my preference is a sheet membrane verses a painted on one.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:34 PM   #6
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So I think I might have found a painted on membrane. It's almost like a teal color.

With that, would it be possible to put in a mud pan without demoing too much else? I can fit the liner about an inch and a half up the wall between the studs and cement board. Though I'm not sure if that's enough or not.

Just trying to explore options before tearing down the walls. I'd likely have a pro come in to make the pan as I'm not willing to have anything go wrong with that.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:12 PM   #7
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Welcome, Shane.

Ceramic tile industry standards (and plumbing code) require that your site built shower receptor rise a minimum of 6 inches above the sloped floor or 3 inches above the top of your curb, whichever is higher.

It appears from your photos that you'll not be able to do even the minimum without removing more tiles and you'll not be able to provide proper waterproofing for your walls nor tie into your receptor waterproofing even at that.

The only time I'd recommend what you're attempting is if you absolutely had to be able to use the shower for a short time before finally tearing the whole thing out and replacing it completely and properly.

Harsh, perhaps, but that's the truth of the matter.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:33 AM   #8
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Flood testing Kerdi

Howdy folks,

Hopefully a quick question any of you can answer.

I finally got my Kerdi system all in and just wrapped up a 24 hour flood test. At the end of the 24 hour period it looks like i lost about 1/16" (slightly less but being conservative) of water in a 48x32" shower. I couldn't find any guidance on how much water loss is within the acceptable range. Most flood test explanations just elude to "you'll know if you have a leak". I realize that within 24 hours i could expect some evaporation (especially with how dry it is this time of year), but is this too much?

As a side note, I did a thorough look over of the underside of the subfloor and found no obvious signs of leakage or wet spots. Though in fairness it'd have to make its way past the thinset under the kerdi pan, past a 1/2 plywood board i used to level the floor and reduce the drain hole size, and then onto the 3/4" plywood subfloor (sub-subfloor?) for me to be able to see it.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:54 AM   #9
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Seeing no obvious leak or wetness, I think the 1/16" drop is probably evaporation.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
Seeing no obvious leak or wetness, I think the 1/16" drop is probably evaporation.
Agreed. I would assume evaporation.

Travis, that is a very good idea!
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:55 PM   #11
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Did you notice any wicking of the kerdi bands? That could easily account for that much loss of water.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:34 PM   #12
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Shane, it'll help if you'll keep all the project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered.

Curious to know just how you finally did this receptor repair.

For your next flood test of a shower receptor, place some sort of vertical sided vessel (Cooking pot, coffee can, etc) outside the shower and fill it to a marked as you do the shower. The drop in water level from evaporation should be the same in both containers.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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