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Unread 02-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
Dogbyte
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critique my shower setup.

We are redoing our shower by the seat of our pants. Nothing fancy at all, just wanting to avoid pitfalls, and trim the fat off the process as i understand it. Im a capable DIY guy but will concede im no pro for sure.

i will attach a rough drawing of our bathroom as it is NOW, and what we are trying to make it into....

we are basically taking the tub out, and replacing it with a standing shower, constructing a new wall high enough where water will not splatter out, but still let light in. New wall will be tiled on all visible sides. A curb will run from new wall to existing wall near the corner of the vanity, eg. shower entrace. Plumbing will stay where it is at, as will the drain, but the shower head will be piped up and over to the other end of the shower, coming down vertically out of the ceiling. We want to have a detachable shower head on the existing plumbing wall, for cleaning/misc.

The plumbing i havent fully explored yet. I believe i can manage a valve, to either divert water to the handheld, or to the vertical shower head...so im sure it can be done. Basically just like a tub setup we have now, but instead of water coming out of the faucet by default, it would come out of the vertical shower head, unless the you turn the valve and make it come out of the handheld, or vise versa.

my main unknown is the shower pan, im not sure how the existing drain will look once we remove the tub (its a jacuzzi jet tub, i am assuming the P trap is in the slab). I think i have a basic idea of what is done though. As mentioned, this is on a concrete slab. So after we remove the tub, we'll have old drain. i will get an adjustable one, and mud the pan up to the required height, then lay down the membrane, install concreteboard/tile ect... Im probably leaving something out, but hopefully its assumed.

My worry is the drain. Until i tear out the tub, i wont know if the actual stub in the slab is where i'd want a drain or not. If i have to use a sweep to reach the stub, then i'll have to build up the pan that much more... So im not fully understanding what my options will be here until i see the floor.

Im hoping there isnt anything ridiculously wrong with what we are trying to achieve. Trying to keep it as simple as my wife will allow... does anyone see any pitfalls?

I may not be perfect on my terminology, so if anyone has suggestions, or objections, just remember that.

My main areas of attention right now, isnt the construction, but the pluming and the drain/pan situation, just from not having seen it done before. Seen a shower pan done....but on a subfloor... familiar with regular straight forward plumbing, but not like what we are wanting to do. just a common unknowns.

thanks for looking.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
Richard Tunison
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Hi Dale and welcome.

I'll start you off with these diagrams.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
Dogbyte
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Hi Richard, thanks... i appreciate the diagrams. they will help round out my planning.

But concerning the drain. what if the actual stub going into the slab, is not close to where my drain is now? Will that just mean i will have to use that much more preslope material to build it up to a depth to where i can fit a sweep back in there? Lord i hope i not, that'd make my curb really high. not sure how much depth is between the tub drain, and the slab at this point.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 11:48 AM   #4
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Dale, I'm afraid I can't tell what you mean by using sweeps and the "stub" not being where the drain is.

What you really, really want to do is move your new drain as close to the center of your shower floor as possible. That will make your floor more functional, make it easier to tile, and make the tiling more attractive.

You will need to install a trap directly under the new drain and you must have adequate fall to the connection to the existing drain line. We cannot see from over here what that might require.

If you plan to build a traditional shower pan, I recommend you find the Shower Construction section of our Liberry and read everything in there at least once before your take another step in your remodel.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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Hi Cx, thanks for the link.

What i meant by stub, i guess you are calling the existing drain. The actual drain in the slab. What i mean by sweep, is the connection from the new drain, to the existing drain. With a tub, your up off the slab. Now that we're removing that, i cant picture the added depth of the preslope + top mud not making my curb really high, at least from the floor til on the dry side... i dont know, I guess im just worried its gonna feel like your stepping up into a truck! may be totally worrying over nothing.

I will read the shower construction link, thanks.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #6
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what is your favorite economical way to tile outside corners?

just what the title says... we are remodeling a bathroom, and we cant decide on radius bullnose, or quarter round, or capped radius ect...

what is your favorite economical way to tile outside corner? that also looks nice? i know that is a subjective question, but we just dont know all the options that can be done to an outside edge. sure we can find $15 radius cap, but that doesnt mean we cant also enjoy a less expensive option.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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oops forgot to distinguish between the different types of outside corners... tile on tile, or where tile meets sheet rock...
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Unread 02-26-2013, 06:04 PM   #8
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Hi Dale,

I had a better idea of what you were asking before you clarified it.

I like bullnose.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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hi John,

haha well then maybe thats when clarification adds to the confusion?

my question on bullnose tile up against drywall, how do you keep from seeing the thin set under the edge of the bullnose? ive never installed that kind of tile. i mean just a regular bull nose, not a deep radius kind, that covers the corner. sorry i dont know the terminology yet.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Dale, it'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. We can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

The pipe sticking up vertically from your slab is called a drain riser.

Below that drain riser, be it for a tub or a shower, must be a P-trap. It will turn horizontal and connect to your drain pipe and thence to a common drain pipe that is usually larger.

To move your drain, you'll need to have a P-trap and riser connected to the existing horizontal (with appropriate fall) drain pipe. None of that is difficult, but it must be done correctly.

For the aesthetic treatments I like whatever Mrs. Dale likes. And so should you.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #11
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understoon on the thread move, every forum is different, i'll do it however it needs done.

i will take the face of the tub off and look to see what it all looks like... to move the drain to the center of the shower, i may have to chip away the slab far enough to keep the drain low, but still with the right incline for drainage. just gotta make sure not to bust the moisture barrier if I do.

i hope the tub is sitting right on the slab, and not raised up a little, that will get me as low as possible, to where it may be alright to simple extend the drain away from the trap...we'll see...

knowing my luck, and the history of this house and its "inventive" builder, i can only imagine what surprises await.... ive been finding surprises all over the house, electrical, plumbing, framing, ect... for years now... takes more time correcting than anything else.


Mrs. Dale doesnt know what she likes... till she see's it... thats how she landed me

im reading up on outside corners, to see what im able to do, or what we can afford... hence the 2nd thread...

im not understanding how you install regular bullnose tile yet, where you dont see the thin set from the dry wall side of the outside corner, unless the backer board side has to be recessed... or the thin set doesnt extend to the edge, but instead sheet rock mud...
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Unread 02-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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To move the drain in a SOG one must cut completely through the slab and dig into the material below. You'll want a hole large enough to work in where you'll set the new trap. I like to start with saw cuts into the slab to define the area to be removed, but it's not a requirement.

After plumbing you'll fill up to the bottom of the slab with compactable material, repair the vapor barrier to the extent possible, and pour concrete flush with the top of the slab.

At the bullnose edge of a tile set on the surface of the flat wall, you will have a gap between tile and wall. You can fill that with a caulk to match your grout or a paintable caulk to match the wall. Some folks will even grout the joint.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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You don't specify vary many dimensions in your drawings. Here's some measurements to keep in mind based on 'typical' building codes (check with your local building inspector to make sure what local codes apply):

1. Toilets require at LEAST 15" of side clearance (as measured from the center line of the toilet). But the closer that is to 18" the more comfortable you will be.

2. Shower curb must be at least 2" high and no more than 9" high.

3. Shower liner and finished floor must both slope toward the drain at a rate of 1/4" to 1/2" per foot. Given that it looks like the drain is about 8' from the ledge, the shower floor must be 2" - 4" higher at the ledge than it is at the drain. (CX suggests locating the drain in the center so that you only have to have a 1" to 2" difference in floor height from the drain to any point inside the shower).

4. Must be a minimum of 24" of clearance in front of the shower door, and the door must be a minimum of 22" wide.

5. The shower trap (i.e. drain pipe) must be 2" in diameter (unless the shower total flow rate is less than 5.7gpm). The existing tub drain is likely only 1-1/2".

6. The trap arm (pipe from trap to vent) must be sloped by at least 1/4" per foot. The trap arm can not be longer than 8' (5' if local building codes follow UPC). The trap must be sloped such that the weir elevation is not so high that air can not enter the arm from the vent (google weir and trap arms for a better understanding).

And that's just a small list of building code you likely will need to follow. So it is best that any plans you draw up you run by your local building inspector rather than just people on the internet.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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On outside corners (or anywhere that thinset might be visible), under cut the tile just a little and fill the joint with grout so that you can't see the thinset. This can work on an outside corner, or any place tile might be used like base boards.

If your tile edges are already a little rounded and the tile is a solid color through out, you might be able to get away with simply overlaping the tile. In other words, mount the tile on one wall such that it sticks out about 3/8" (+/- depending upon thinset and tile thickness). On the other wall, mount the tile a grout line width space from the edge of the wall. Fill the space between the exposed back side of one tile and the side of the other tile with grout like a normal grout joint.

Here's a picture of a double outside corner:
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The picture is looking up (that rough white surface is drop ceiling). The bull-nose is on an outside corner along a wall. The other outside corner is the shower ceiling to wall (quickly running into the drop ceiling).
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Unread 02-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
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YEs a dimensioned sketch would be nice. I assume that old tub was = or > than 5'? How is the water valve wall flush with a 24" deep vanity? is there a pop out for the plumbing? I think you do need to get your mind wrapped around the daunting thought of chipping out all that slab and moving the drain. Using the right handheld jack Hammer it will chip out easier than you may imagine. I Also see a problem with the valves being so far away from the vertical head. You will have to move 5' to adjust the water temp and flow and then go back and check it and readjust. I also see that shower alcove as a dark narrow uninviting place if you have a solid wall. Overhead lighting would help that but maybe you could consider a glass block wall or even a glass panel and a lower wall or all glass wall. That would visually enlarge the room as well as be thinner than a 2x4 wall with drywall and tile and may allow your shower to be wider and still get the clearance to the commode. Again a dimension that I am guessing is tight to the old tub? I also wonder how wide your shower will be? Not needing the length for a tub perhaps rethink the shower foot print? Maybe you end up with some storage near the vanity end? I would consider moving the valves to the far wall or at least near the shower head.
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