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Old 01-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #1
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How to decide which waterproofing method?

I have three totally gutted bathrooms where I have completely redone the DWV in PVC and supplies in type L copper. The 4" concrete slab floor was cut open for this work and now the new concrete has been poured in all the bathrooms.

I am located in Miami Florida, soil is mostly sand. I put the sand back, compacted and soaked it with a garden hose a few times, recompacted again and again. Then I sprayed 0.06% termidor twice for subterranean termite protection, then a 6mil vapor barrier, #3 rebars embedded 6" into existing slab and further epoxied in, tied together and then new concrete poured.

Before pour:
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After pour:
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As you can see, the shower riser is a 2" PVC pipe, I did not pour concrete around it, I boxed out a 12"x12" area because I have not yet decided on the shower drain system to use. This is the case with all three bathrooms. Concrete slab in the curing mode, 2" shower riser capped but not connected, a 12" square box is left open.

Right now I am contemplating what shower system to use. I have three choices.

(1) Use a traditional mortar preslope, followed by a traditional shower pan, fold at the corners, then another mortar bed on top of the shower pan, then tile. Cut the PVC riser a bit below the top surface of the slab and use a solvent weld shower drain with an adjustable top.

(2) Use the Schluter Kerdi system completely. Use their shower tray, their Kerdi membranes, and drain system.

(3) A combination of the two. Use a traditional mortar preslope bed, followed by the Kerdi water proofing system and their drain tray, no need to build a second layer of mortar bed.

It seems many here are a fan of the Schluter system. I looked at their web site and their videos and have a few questions. I am not looking for installation tips or procedure at this point, I am merely concerned about the merit of this system.

(1) The shower tray, size ranges up to 72"x72". My largest shower is 6'x7'. This won't work then, correct?

(2) Why would you use preformed shower tray over a solid mortar bed if I have a solid concrete slab? Is the advantage of the shower tray having a uniform slope? What if I do the preslope bed using those "Pre-Pitch" or "Perfect Pitch" products with sticks will the result be superior to the Schluter shower tray?

(3) I am still puzzled as to the Kerdi system using various rectangles, tapes, inside corners, outside corners to form the overlapping membrane tied together with the thinset mortar. It seems there are a lot of joints below the typical 12" height where a traditional shower pan is a one piece jointless sheet. Why is this system superior, if in fact it is?

(4) That foamy looking curb from Schluter - I have a hard time imagine that would be rigid enough to sit a shower door on top of it.

Does the Schluter system save time or money or both? or is it truly a superior product compared to traditional methods?

Once I decide I will implement the same system in all three baths.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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You will likely get input from Kerdi or Laticrete Hydroban people liking their favorites. I still have my first hydroban to do yet, but I like Kerdi right now as my #1 choice. I also do Wedi showers too, but I sometimes do a combo Wedi Kerdi deal that I wouldn't recommend to you at this point.

Kerdi is fairly easy to do, its proven to be bulletproof (but not trowel proof - just be careful), and its foam parts work when you follow the directions. Yes the curb will hold those shower doors.

There are plenty of threads on Kerdi and Hydroban showers so, not to make it a research project for you, but you should read up on some of the tips and tricks to doing either waterproofing program.

Personally, I don't want to mess with pre-slope, folding rubber corners, a second mud bed and weep holes. I like the Kerdi plan where everything just goes down the main hole. I'm packing more showers now with mud, but use the Kerdi curb almost all the time. Sometimes use a Wedi curb as its narrower, or a couple 1.5" Kerdiboards for a 3" wide curb. Might get confusing with all that, but thats why we spend so much time on these threads ourselves, to hone skills, learn tricks and get edumacated.

Sounds like you want to move one direction or another right away since you've got holes for bathrooms. I like Kerdi - if you think about going that route- get John Bridge's Kerdi Book right now , or by clicking the Yellow Circle at the top left of the page. You'll get the book within minutes. Worth every penny.

But then again, lots a guys like Hydroban. Can't speak to that so keep your eyes open for the next opinion.

Good luck

Last edited by Topspin; 01-03-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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i second what Keven says, Buy johns book

no really kerdi is the way to go, dont get me wrong i also do liquids, but i prefer a full sheet membrane. just me.
jeff aka papi chulo. "I'll make you famous!"(William H. Bonney aka Billy The Kid)

Schluter Kerdi and Ditra installer in Southern New Mexico
Castillo Construction
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
Scottish Tile and Stone
Ohio Tile Contractor.. Hydroban shower specialist
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You cant go wrong using either Kerdi or Hydroban

Laticrete hydroban showers
Mud set stone.

ditra kerdi stone showers waterproof mudset stone backsplashes glass tiles,laticrete, hydroban,ohio,cleveland,painesville,backsplashes,
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