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Unread 12-15-2015, 09:16 PM   #1
rjardo
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Bathroom Project - glass block shower and tub platform - many questions

I've been poking around the forum for a couple of days, and saw Tim's curved glass block shower - WOW, I can only hope to come close to that level of workmanship.. I have a few questions about curbing and pan for the shower
1. I was going to form and pour a concrete shower curb narrow enough so the curb tile inside and outside would end up flush to the glass block wall. should there be a finished curb sloped inward before adding the glass block on top, or would it be ok to set the tiles flush with the block?
2. if I use regular liner material for the pan, i will have to glue a seam since the shower is nearly 6' x 6', and I think it's going to be difficult to wrap that liner around the top of the 7" tall curb (to match tub platform height). was thinking of redguard or another roll on material for the pan and up the walls instead, but it's not clear how a preslope should be constructed when using redguard. (single or double slopes, how thick, drain setup, etc)
3. One of the walls is an exterior wall, so i'm thinking i need vapor barrier there, but don't want to trap moisture in the concrete board. vapor barrier or no?
4. any good advice for making the preslope? nobody here seems to recommend the plastic strips, and i would think it wouldn't be wise to segment your pan with them if using redguard..
I'll have plenty of other questions later, but hoping to just get moving on this project. It's off the master bedroom and has been unused since we bought the place 8 years ago. tear-out was done in year 2, then it just collected stuff. we have other full baths, but the wifey says get it done or else Thanks for any and all comments or clarifying questions!
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Unread 12-15-2015, 10:08 PM   #2
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Welcome, Bob.

You would want the waterproofing membrane at the top of the curb to slope a minimum of 1/4" per foot to the drain.

1. I would not attempt that with a traditional mud/liner/mud shower receptor construction. I would change my thinking entirely and use a sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membrane for my waterproofing system. USG's Durock Shower System membrane would be my first choice.

2. I would not use any liquid applied waterproofing membrane for a shower receptor under any circumstances, although it's done regularly. If you elect to use RedGard, go to the CBP website and read and follow their directions.

3. You do not need a vapor barrier anywhere in your shower unless you intend to install a steam generator. I would recommend you use unfaced fiberglass insulation on your exterior wall. If you would add a geographic location to your User Profile it would be helpful in answering some types of questions.

4. I don't favor the plastic strips in any shower floor. No sense, in my opinion, in making specific places for the floor to crack. Building a properly sloped mud floor is not difficult, but making a couple practice areas before doing the actual floor is often a good idea if you've not worked with deck mud before. You can find good information on the proper mixtures and such in the Shower Construction section of our Liberry.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-15-2015, 10:09 PM   #3
chuck stevenson
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Welcome Bob.

Instense project. Have you checked you joist structure with the 'Deflecto' tool in the dark blue banner above?

Once again CX is quicker than me
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Unread 12-15-2015, 11:16 PM   #4
rjardo
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Thanks for the responses, the deflecto tool gave me a L / 2593. The shower area has a triple 2x12 support beam running along the seam you can see in the pic parallel to the free standing wall between the rectangle hole and the round (new) drain hole. The right side wall is an exterior wall, and 2x12's run parallel to that spaced 16" and tied into the triple beam with hangers.
CX, any ballpark pricing on the durock system? I checked their site and see the custom order form for the pan, and read through the instructions for the standard kit installation. The reason I ask is that an 'instant online quote' for a similar pan product came back at around 1K for the formed and sealed pan alone. I'm sure i'm going to be piling a lot of weight up there between the glass block and huge pan. I'm only planning glass block about 5' above the curb to keep things open..
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Unread 12-16-2015, 07:50 AM   #5
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I checked with the local USG supplier this morning, the pricing doesn't seem too bad initially. The installation documentation leads me to believe that it can be seamed as needed which will help with the circular contour i'll need. There were a couple of additional questions about curbing that the supplier wasn't sure of..
1. could i still use a poured concrete curb for the curved outer wall and step in area? I'm pretty sure the USG curbing material only comes in straight sections, and probably won't be the 7" i'll need to bring the first course of glass block up to the level of the tub platform.
2. considering the massive support under this area (2x12s and a tripled beam) would you guys still advise against doing the pan in mud?

Thanks again,
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Unread 12-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #6
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Not sure who advised against the mud shower floor, but that's exactly what I'd recommend.

The curved section with a sheet membrane will take a good bit of care in producing, but with that big radius I don't think it will be a problem. And it will be easier with the USG membrane than others I've used. I'd want a tube of USG's sealant to use over that particular seam, just for good measure, though. Or Kerdi Fix or SikaFlex or similar pookey.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-16-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
rjardo
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CX, sorry, I misread your #1 answer above. I thought you were recommending the light weight pan and membrane system.. I jumped to the conclusion that you were thinking a mud pan this large and thick would be a problem on a wood subfloor. I do like the USG membrane that can be seamed with a high level of confidence..
That said, i think my plan of attack is as follows:
1. form and pour a curb approximately 7" high and just around 2" thick with a slope on top toward the drain (glass block is 3" thick)
2. concrete board on the two flat walls without plastic behind them
3. mark my level line around the perimeter for the proper slope
4. get the USG drain mounted so the preslope can be 3/4" at the drain and up from there.
5. build the preslope with mixture recommended elsewhere on this site
6. come back to the forum for further instruction on installing the USG membrane on walls, curb, and pan

Thanks so much for the help, I wasn't sure of anything, so I was doing nothing. now i think i have a plan!
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Unread 12-17-2015, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quick question on backer board. Is it OK to have backer board on the wall first before making the preslope pan? On durock's site, they show the mudbed being created with blocking between the studs, I am installing blocking now, but was wondering if it would give me better corners if the backer was installed before doing the mudbed.
Thanks!
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Unread 12-17-2015, 07:53 PM   #9
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Bob, if you're building a receptor that requires a pre-slope, no, you cannot do that.

If, instead, you are planning to use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane for your receptor and wall waterproofing, yes, you would want your wallboard installed before creating your sloped floor. In fact, I'd have my walls waterproofed and tiled except for the bottom row before I ever installed the drain.

You gotta decide how you're fixin' to construct the shower before you go any further.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-17-2015, 08:21 PM   #10
rjardo
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CX, sorry i used the term preslope. I'm going with USG durock's membrane as you recommended, so i guess i'm just doing one sloped pan before applying the membrane to the pan, curb, and walls..
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Unread 12-17-2015, 08:33 PM   #11
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OK, that clears it all up.

You also do not need any between-stud blocking if that's the case. You can simply attach your wallboard to the sole plate in your framing.

I'm personally concerned with your plan for a 2" thick poured concrete curb. Just not sure you can make that sufficiently stable to work well.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-18-2015, 07:59 AM   #12
rjardo
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Yeah, I'm beginning to doubt myself there as well..2" thick by 7" tall just seems too tall and skinny to me. I can think of a couple of alternatives
1. Go thicker with the curb and tile the top with a slope toward the drain, then come back and glass block on top of that leaving a step on the inside or outside..
2. Lower the curb and step in area for the curved portion leaving the glass block walls at two different finished levels. the straight glass wall will be laid on the top of the tub platform and will have some kind of plant shelf on top. The curved wall and step through area could then be on a curb about 5" tall, making the poured curb 2" by 5"
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Unread 12-18-2015, 09:30 AM   #13
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Bob, I'd recommend you not have a 7" high curb. While functional from a water control standpoint, it presents an obstacle I wouldn't want to step over daily. Sorta the opposite of the current trend towards curbless showers.

Were it me, I'd look to either make the tub deck integral to curb to provide a step-up entrance and exit or lower height of curb and figure out something where it intersects glass blocks.

I've used KerdiBoard for many curbs. In your case, you could cut arcs and stack to desired height.
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Unread 12-18-2015, 11:27 AM   #14
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I'd go with #1, Bob, with the height at whatever level suits you.

I think you'll find that both the waterproofing and the tiling will be much easier if you construct a wider curb (finished wider than your glass block), tile it, then install your glass block on top of that.

But I agree with Peter that a 7" tall curb is a bit higher than you might wanna step over long term.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-18-2015, 01:45 PM   #15
rjardo
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I'm going to go wider and lower on the curb, it just makes more sense. That said, what would you guys recommend as a minimum height above the floor? I think I've seen many recommendations of 3" but I'll see what you guys think..

Thanks again for all the help, you don't think much about the details until you they start to slap you in the face. I want to do this right..
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