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Old 09-20-2017, 09:49 PM   #16
Davy
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Looking closer at your pics, studs are a couple bucks each, I would have added some. The horizontal 2x4's in the niche should have gone from stud to stud, then the vertical 2x4 nailed between them.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:01 PM   #17
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Any and all codes in your jurisdiction will be dependant on what your Authority Having Jurisdiction has adopted or invented. Asssuming that building codes are enforced in your area, it likely says that the bottom plate to any stud wall or other areas where the wood is in direct contact with the slab needs to be pressure treated.

In your case, they used pressure treated for the vertical studs, as well. I don't know of a code specifically prohibiting the vertical studs from being pressure treated. But the extremely wet nature of ordinary pressure treated wood makes it exorbitantly prone to movement (twisting/shrinkage) that can cause problems with brittle tile that relies on a stable substrate and simply does not tolerate much physical contortion or bending before succombing to cracking or a failure of some sort. Unless it's mandated by code, a professional tiler understands this and would avoid wet pressure treated lumber in a 'shower build' for anything other than the bottom plate that is in direct contact with the slab. They would avoid it like the plague.
Okay, that being said...
Let's talk about pressure treated lumber. Commonly available pressure treated lumber is very wet when you purchase it. In fact, it's sopping wet when you pick it out at the lumberyard. Moisture content may vary from 30% to 100% (or more). As a comparison, kiln dried studs are supposed to have a maximum moisture content of 19% and will dry down to something like ~7-13% (depending on your local climate) over the course of time. Lots of pressure treated lumber is so wet that little puddles of moisture form around a fastener as you drive them through the wood. Okay, now this moisture will dry out in time. But because moisture doesn't leave the lumber uniformly and because a loss of moisture causes the wood to shrink in that area, the wood tends to twist and/or cup and/or move in undesireable ways. It's not stable. The physical dimensions of the wood change with the loss of moisture. That's why it's a poor choice to install behind brittle tile...even if there is a layer of cement board between the two.

Now, there is a way around these problems. You could special-order pressure treated lumber that has been kiln dried. It's called Kiln Dried After Treated (look for a KDAT stamp on the wood). You don't have all the funky twisting and shrinkage because the moisture is driven out in the factory while the wood is restrained in a flat manner. So the end product is wood that is much more stable.

So....did your builders use "regular" or commonly available pressure treated lumber? Or did they use the Kiln Dried After Treatment? Take a look at anything you can see. Even if all you find is cut offs in the garbage, take a look. Does it feel damp or dry? Do you see a grading stamp on it anywhere?
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:01 PM   #18
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Preslope

Sorry no I do not know. Did you see the pics I posted before?
I attached again just in case.
Thanks so much!
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:55 AM   #19
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I'm not seeing a preslope. You can place a level on the liner. It should have pitch to the drain from all directions.

A common mistake we see a lot are nails too low in the cement board. I would check the walls, nails in the cement board should be 3 inches above the curb height. Many times they are lower than the top of the curb, which is no good.

At the end of the curb, where it meets the insulated wall, a stud might be needed there to support the shower door glass. I see a stud, not sure if it's wide enough.

Blocking between the studs along the bottom should have been installed. I usually use 2x10 blocks but some guys use 2x6 or 2x8's. The blocks support the pan liner.

Edit; Scroll down and you'll see the blocking in the first two pics.
http://www.johnbridge.com/how-to/sho...-installation/
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:28 AM   #20
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Stopping construction

Contractor will be here soon. He is supposed to tear out kitchen floor. Tile delivery is Monday, he says he has jury duty, he was just notified this week??

Should I say I want to stop on shower & have it inspected? Who inspects these projects?

Should I let h start on kitchen floor? Or stop everything now?
Thanks again, steph
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:49 AM   #21
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I think we need more information. What about the shower? Since he suddenly (not likely) has jury duty, it sounds like work has already stopped.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:41 PM   #22
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Steph, I merged your thread with your other one so everyone knows whats going on when you refer to your job. Just keep going on here and keep your project in one thread.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:53 PM   #23
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I'm usually notified several weeks in advance of jury duty.

My opinion on halting production would be determined by the answers to my questions above, Steph. If there's no preslope under the liner and they drove nails thru the liner then that proves they don't know what they're doing.

I'd really like to know if cement board was nailed to the curb. If not, what do they plan to do with the curb? They can't stick tiles right to the pan liner.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:32 PM   #24
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Pressure treated lumber

I talked to contractor about my worries, and said I was going to hire an inspector just for my own peace of mind; and let him start tearing kitchen floor. It was all handled in a civil tone. He did complain about not knowing my kitchen tile had 2 layers of vinyl under it.

I called the city to ask if a permit was needed, it was. I checked to see if one was on file, it's not. Building Code inspector is out for the day so I left a message to call me. I will ask him about code compliance.

I will take delivery on the tile Monday. I need it.

Thanks again
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:02 PM   #25
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Huge red flag Steph, those holes on the curb just compromised the entire curb and are a much bigger problem than the treated lumber. While the treated lumber could shrink or twist over time, the holes on top your curb WILL leak.

Still havent figured out if he has a preslope under the liner?

Many times inspectors don't know a whole lot about proper shower building so it could pass even with the red flags we see.

Honestly at this point I'd be looking for a new installer. I haven't seen much that tells me this guy is a competent, knowledgeable tile guy.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:23 PM   #26
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I will try to borrow a level 1st thing tomorrow morning & get back to you.
Thanks for your input!
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:25 AM   #27
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Hi, Steph!

Nailing cement board to the curb is an automatic failure that is usually indicative of an installer who has never been through any formal training or any sort of industry standards training. It doesn't mean the installer doesn't care. But it's an outrageously obvious red flag that is usually consistent with showers that have unusually short service lives.

It's like installing a rubber roof using nails all over the place to hold the rubber down and it LEAKS INTO THE HOUSE!

It's like using nails through a pool liner to hold the liner in place...it LEAKS!

It's like hanging an air freshener in your car by pounding nails through the roof...it LEAKS!

You need to put a stop to traveling down this road. The last thing you need is more of the same. I'd halt all progress until you get this sorted out.

Getting this inspected by your local municipality is good and may catch a mistake or two. But it is NOT LIKELY to catch the lack of a pre-slope, the nailing of cement board through the liner, or other mistakes that will likely severely reduce the useful life of your expensive shower. A properly built tiled shower should last for more than 50 years.

The work needs to come to a dead halt until this is sorted out. If you are dedicated to continuing with this installer, you can invite him here. We will walk him through any number of different installation methods step-by-step. This is no time for egos to get in the way. We all started somewhere. And not everyone has had good teachers. This forum exists to teach.

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Old 09-22-2017, 11:42 AM   #28
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Preslope & nailed curb

The only level I could get so far was too big. When the contractor arrived I asked about preslope, he said that will be done when he pours over the liner. I asked him to demonstrate the preslope using a level & take pictures. He is still removing tile in kitchen.

I asked abut the nails on the curb, he says the tile and mortar will cover them.?? I asked if he added blocks between the studs, he said no, never has??

He asked about inspector getting in his way, said I wasting good money, and said the inspector will not be able to see anything because it's sealed by cement board. Then he looked me in the eye & said something about me not trusting him & implied that could be a deal breaker for him. I smiled, said inspection would be during his jury duty, & if it brings me peace of mind it will be worth it. He is still working I have cameras & security so I can check.

What do you think I should do?
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph
The only level I could get so far was too big. When the contractor arrived I asked about preslope, he said that will be done when he pours over the liner. I asked him to demonstrate the preslope using a level & take pictures. He is still removing tile in kitchen.

I asked abut the nails on the curb, he says the tile and mortar will cover them.?? I asked if he added blocks between the studs, he said no, never has??

He asked about inspector getting in his way, said I wasting good money, and said the inspector will not be able to see anything because it's sealed by cement board. Then he looked me in the eye & said something about me not trusting him & implied that could be a deal breaker for him. I smiled, said inspection would be during his jury duty, & if it brings me peace of mind it will be worth it. He is still working I have cameras & security so I can check.

What do you think I should do?
You really should fire this guy immediately, and never let him in your house again. He has no clue what he is doing concerning tiled shower construction, which would lead me to question his tiling abilities in general.

Tile and grout will cover the curb, but will not prevent leaks. The preslope goes UNDER the liner, the main slope goes on top.

This shower is destined to fail. I hope you haven't paid him anything.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:16 PM   #30
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I'm with Greg, he pretty much failed on every level of that questioning. Its time to cut your losses and find a qualified installer.
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