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Unread 03-04-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
aaronspang
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Aaron's Basement Bathroom Project

First and foremost, this site is unbelievable! The amount of information here is amazing, and the responses are quick, friendly, and easy to understand for DIY'ers like myself. Great site John!

Ok, so I have a house in Pittsburgh built in '52 with a corner shower in the basement. The shower was built out of concrete block with some kind of premade pan installed under the block. The pan itself developed a crack around the inside perimeter, causing leaks everytime the shower was used. The bottom line is that it needs replaced. So I am redoing the whole bathroom. I love to tile, and I like the look of tile vs. the prefab surrounds. I figured this would be a good project to tackle. I already made some mistakes with my upstairs bathroom project, but with what I learned there I think that I can get this one right. Demo'ed the concrete walls yesterday, and am pulling the pan today to see what kind of trap (if any) there is in the floor. The floor, by the way, is solid concrete. I am attaching a few pics so it is easier to visualize. The area for the shower WITHOUT framing is 60"l x 45"w x 88"h. I am planning to tile 3 walls, the ceiling, and the 4th wall with an opening (no door or curtain).


I had a couple questions for you smarter shower guys and gals that I thought would help in my planning. Of course I will have lots more.

1. Since this is a concrete slab, would it be best to make the curb out of bricks? The rest of the framing is 2x4, but should I use PT wood?

2. The drain is currently not centered in my dimensions. Should I break up the floor and center it? Or could I slope the bed with the drain off center?

3. I need to slope the first bed (1/4" per ft. right?). Which method would be best?
a. Kerdi shower and drain?
b. mortar/PVC/mortar pan with Hardi or concrete board and Red Gard?
c. mortar/PVC/mortar pan with Hardi or concrete board and 6mil Vapor
Barrier
d. mortar/PVC/mortar pan withDens Shield.

4. For the ceiling, I need a Vapor barrier of some kind? Does that affect the 3 choices above?

That should be enough to start. Thanks for your help and feedback. I am pretty psyched about this project!

PS - I'll post pics when I can make them smaller. Right now they are too big.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 06:25 PM   #2
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Hi Aaron,

No pressure treated wood in the shower framing.

No moisture barrier on the ceiling unless it's a steam shower.

Drain can be off-center as long as it's not close to a wall or curb.

Kerdi is used only in a complete Kerdi shower. Red guard is better than poly.
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Unread 03-04-2007, 06:58 PM   #3
aaronspang
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WOW! Can't believe I got an answer from "the man" that quick. Thanks John! I thought that I had read that the blocking in between the studs (2x6's?) for the membrane were PT. Guess I read wrong.
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Unread 03-05-2007, 05:50 AM   #4
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I have been reading about curb installs for showers, and since I am putting this shower in the basement on the concrete slab, I believe brick is the suggested marterial for the curb. Am I correct? 2 Quick questions with that:

1. What is best to adhere the brick together AND to the floor? It will be sitting in between 2 2x4 framed walls. OR should I scrap it and use 2x4's?

2. When it comes time to install the pan and I am putting the membrane over the curb, usually I see the outside of the lath stapled or nailed to the curb. Being that this is brick, how should I attach the lath? Or should I just preform and try to keep it as close to the curb as possible without attaching it?

Thanks again for the info!
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Unread 03-05-2007, 04:10 PM   #5
aaronspang
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Pictures are coming... promise.

So I pulled the pan out, and sure enough the old pan had a pipe that ran into the drain of the basement floor, but only sat in the drain...it wasn't connected in any way. Anyone run into something like this? Guess I'm going to have to break the concrete to get to the trap? I know, a picture is worth... their coming.

I have been doing a little $$$ figuring. I thought initially that the Kerdi system would be too expensive. After a little math, it seems like the Kerdi would be less expensive than going with a traditional shower setup (i.e. 2 mortar beds, pan liner, hardi, Red Gard). Does this sound right to those of you that have installed both? Could it be less expensive?
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Unread 03-05-2007, 08:35 PM   #6
Mike2
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Don't forget the drain Aaron. By the time you add in the $90 Kerdi drain I doubt it will cost less. Close to the same possibly comparing to a RedGuard waterproofed shower, but not less.

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Unread 03-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #7
aaronspang
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Thanks for the reply Mike! I kind of thought the same thing, until I started crunching numbers. Checked around and found this for a Kerdi system:

Based on a shower with approx 110 ft2 of area to cover, including 3 1/2 walls and pan PLUS curb, Stainless drain, and 4x8 drywall I came out to about $350.00 - looked at Tile Experts site and figured on the 162 sq ft roll.

Based on $4/sq ft PVC liner, 3x5' hardi or wonderboard, redguard (which JB recommended over poly)...

Wait, I think you are right. OK, but the difference isn't that great. Maybe $60-$80. Is the Kerdi that much easier to justify the expense? FWIW I don't think the expense is too great if it will cut time and be easier to install.
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Unread 03-05-2007, 09:19 PM   #8
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I went from walls and drain ready to go to a waterproof system in about 6 hours on my first shower...it was worth the expense.
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Unread 03-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
aaronspang
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ok, finally got some pics down to size to post. I know that you will be tempted to laugh at the shower, especially the pan and "quick fix" caulking around the edge.
Attached Images
  
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Unread 03-05-2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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I pulled the pan with 2 crowbars. It WAS NOT attached to the drain plumbing in the floor. Instead, the pan, which feels like 3" of solid concrete, has a small 6" long drain pipe that just "fit" into the drain in the floor. I'll post pics when I return home from traveling. There is water in the drain in the floor, so I am assuming there is a trap there.

Does this mean I'm gonna have to break the floor to see what my trap looks like?

Since this was built in '52, there obviously is no PVC in the ground. How would I go about fixing that drain (I have done some plumbing in the second floor, not in concrete where I can't see the bottom)? Is it time to call someone who knows what there doing?
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Unread 03-08-2007, 06:42 AM   #11
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Ok, I think that I may have gotten the plumbing handled. I have a plumber friend coming to have a look at my drain. On to the rest. I know this isn't necessarily a "carpentry" forum, but since it will tie into how I do the walls, I figured I would ask.

As a recap, my shower is going into the corner of my basement with 2 concrete block walls at a somewhat 90 angle. Haven't decided if I am using Kerdi or going with traditional pan and CBU. On the wall where the water lines will be running, I am going to use standard 2x4's to give me a little room to run the lines in between. This is one of the concrete block walls. The second concrete wall is where the majority of my question lies. Obviously I will have a top and bottom plate that will attach (screwed?) to the joists above, which are 16" centers. I am planning on using tapcons on the bottom plate and on the studs. So that would mean that I can't use a 2x4 for the studs, as I would need a pretty long tapcon to even touch the wall. Should I use 2x2's, and will they be strong enough to support the CBU and/or drywall (Kerdi) and tile? If you have a look at this site:

http://www.ontariotile.com/preslope.html

you can kind of get an idea of what I am looking for. Any other wood size suggestions? Just wanted to check with more "qualified" DIY'ers and Pros. Thanks!
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Unread 03-08-2007, 07:02 AM   #12
ddmoit
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Aaron,

I am finishing a basement bathroom shower that has a cinder block wall on one side. I used tapcons to attach 2X4s sideways, 16" on center.
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Unread 03-08-2007, 07:05 AM   #13
aaronspang
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Thanks Dan. So I assume then that you will only have 2" (1.5" really) of depth on the stud to screw into. Just wanted to check if that would suffice. Thanks!
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Unread 03-08-2007, 07:11 AM   #14
ddmoit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronspang
So I assume then that you will only have 2" (1.5" really) of depth on the stud to screw into.
Yes. But that's enough. I used 1 1/4" Rock-On screws, (which are rated for attaching 3/4" board) to attach 1/2" Hardibacker.
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Unread 03-11-2007, 08:39 PM   #15
aaronspang
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Pulled my old pan from the floor, and it lookf like I have to jack out the floor to fix the trap before I can attach a new drain. I guess on the bright side it allows me to move the drain to the center.

So I am thinking about the curb now, and I understand that because this is a concrete floor that I am using as an initial substrate, I need to use brick for the curb. 2 Questions about this:

1. Am I just to use brick mortar for the brick curb, and should I apply a thin-set before the mortar to adhere the brick to the floor?

2. The brick curb will be sitting between 2 framed walls. Should I adhere the brick to the 2x4's on both sides in any way?

Thanks for the info!
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