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Old 12-16-2017, 06:27 AM   #1
JesseF
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Need guidance with shower pan

So about a year ago I decided I was going to remodel my master bath. I gutted everything down to the studs and the concrete foundation. That was the easy part. I kind of gave up but need to get the project going again.

I attempted the shower pan once already, but there were a few issues. After it dried, when walking on it, I could tell there were some hollow spots by the sound it made. Second, I did the pan all in one layer but the drain I installed was designed for a plastic liner so I needed to do it in 2 sections.

My "deck mud" was a mixture of sand and mortar I believe. I found the ratio online and followed those instructions. The consistency matched what I read about. I think I was suppose to put "thin set" down to make it bond to the foundation upon further reading. But the more I read, the more answers I was getting. I tore the pan out and it's been sitting for a while.

Also there is another problem I think needs to be addressed with the pan. The square where the pan goes is not square and it slants into the foundation, I forget what it looked like while I was ripping everything out.

I'm seriously in need some advice! I'm a fairly new home owner and never taken a project on of this magnitude. I'm an electrician and very handy. I just need some guidance to get back on track.

I don't want to go with a prefab base, I'm on a tight budget. Thanks
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi Jesse, Welcome aboard.

I think we'll need a couple of close-up shots of the drain and of the edge of the concrete around the perimeter. If I understand correctly, the concrete is sloping into the shower and in the way? Let's get a pic of the drain, though.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
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Ok. So the slope isn't as bad as I remembered. But it isn't square for sure. One side comes out to 34.5" and the t
Other is 36". The 3 sides with the walls are fine, this is the opening. If it matters, there use to be a small wall here and a very narrow shower door.

Can't wait to get a game plan down so I can get this project finished up. My wife is 3 months pregnant and is requesting this be done before the baby arrives.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Oops. Forgot the pictures.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:42 PM   #5
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I was asking this same thing somewhere else and people kept insisting I use a prefab shower pan to ensure there are no leaks. The issue there is my drain isn't perfectly centered, I think I'd have to move the drain a few inches. Anyways I'm up for whatever advice you have to give. These other people were just dead set on if I did the shower pan myself, it wasn't going to turn out well at all.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:54 PM   #6
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There's no reason why you have to use a prefab pan. While you don't need to center your drain, it does look like the area is pretty recessed.
Whats your end game, barrier free walk in?
You might have have to do a little work on the unsquare edge but nothing too major.
There are plenty of premixed options for deck mud, mapei 4:1 is my favorite. Otherwise 4 parts sand to 1 part portland will work if you prefer to mix your own.
Give us some more ideas on your end game.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:07 PM   #7
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Ideally I'd like no shower curb. This is about 3.5" inches deep. I believe I read by code, the curb or floor has to be 2" above drain. Is that correct?

I'm not against a small shower curb. I don't want to over complicate the process. I'm wide open as to what ideas you guys have.

Also I paid some "plumber" to remove my old drain and install this one. From my reading, I think he put this to low. Am I ok to leave this drain at its current height? When I do the preslope, it will come to almost nothing near the drain.
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:12 PM   #8
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I don't know how your local code reads, so I wont be much help with that.

Your drain is too low. The minimum you want under your drain is 3/4" in most cases. I would suggest going with a single mud bed and a topical membrane but that is up to you obviously.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:54 PM   #9
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Ok. So first things first. I've gotta deal with the drain. The guy obviously glued it on. So how do I go about removing it? Just try to pry it off?

The single layer with liquid membrane was my original plan but I bought the wrong type of drain. I'll deffinetly go that route since I have to redo the drain anyways.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:21 PM   #10
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Hard to say for sure but it looks like you may need to cut some concrete around the drain to get room to work. After that use an inside pipe cutter, then extend the pipe to get your drain where you need to be. You can use a clamping type drain with liquid, you'll need to research the divot method on how the the waterproofing and drain together.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:38 PM   #11
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Is the concrete sticking out beyond the bottom plate? If so, some chiseling may be needed to bust it off inline with the plate.

With a curbless design that goes in flat from the bath floor, keep in mind that the rubber on the bottom of the shower door may drag the bath floor when opening. Something I always hate to see. I like having at least a small speed bump across the doorway for the rubber to seal to that's a little higher than the bath floor.

If you were going to use a PVC liner, you would have no way to connect it at the curb. So the topical membrane Ryan mentioned sounds like the best way to go.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:10 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the help everyone. I should have made an account here when I first started this project. I'll be back once I get this drain raised.

Edit: Well I lied, I'm back already. I was researching the divot method and upon further reading, I'm seeing people say to use a kerdi drain and bypass the divot method to make this all a little easier. Is that correct?

Also should I have the concrete board on the shower walls before I make the pan? I'm guessing I should but clearly don't know what the hell I'm doing here.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:54 PM   #13
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Is the concrete sticking out beyond the bottom plate? If so, some chiseling may be needed to bust it off inline with the plate.

I'm not following what you mean by this, could you please clarify?


With a curbless design that goes in flat from the bath floor, keep in mind that the rubber on the bottom of the shower door may drag the bath floor when opening. Something I always hate to see. I like having at least a small speed bump across the doorway for the rubber to seal to that's a little higher than the bath floor.

I now remember reading about that as well. I agree and will do something so it isnt the same height at the floor. What would a "small speed bump" be constructed with?


If you were going to use a PVC liner, you would have no way to connect it at the curb. So the topical membrane Ryan mentioned sounds like the best way to go.

I'm definitely going with a topical membrane at this point
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
Is the concrete sticking out beyond the bottom plate? If so, some chiseling may be needed to bust it off inline with the plate.
I think he means here:

Name:  recessed shower.jpg
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If that's the case, then you might be able to add some lumber to the studs to bring that wall out in line with the slab. I can't tell from your picture how much that would be.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:41 PM   #15
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Yep, that's what I was talking about. Of course, if your mud will be coming up that high, there's no need to do anything about it.
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