How to Create a Shower Floor – Part 1

by Roger

The following five-part series gives a basic overview of building a shower floor for tile. If you would like a complete step-by-step of the entire process with all the little idiosyncrasies and details  I now have manuals describing the complete process for you from bare wall studs all the way up to a completely waterproof shower substrate for your tile.

If you are tiling your walls and floor you can find that one here: Waterproof shower floor and wall manual.

If you have a tub or pre-formed shower base and are only tiling the walls you can find that one here: Waterproof shower walls manual.

Curb and Pre-slope

Image of a shower diagram

Properly built shower

There are a couple of options to create a shower floor for tile using deck mud. The first is a single-layer shower floor which can then be coated with RedGard or a similar product or covered with kerdi to waterproof it. The other is a normal shower floor with a liner which will have two layers – a preslope, the liner, then the top slope which is then tiled. This series of posts will describe the latter.

Before we start I should note that unless you are using the kerdi waterproofing method or utilizing a liquid membrane as your floor liner you should not have the backerboard installed in the bottom part of the shower. Your waterproof membrane for a shower floor will be installed behind your backerboard. The curb and pre-slope need to be completed before installing the lower wall substrate.

Creating the curb for a wooden floor

The first thing you must do is create the outside curb of your shower. You need to create the “box” which will become the inside of your shower floor. Depending upon whether your shower will be created on a wood or  concrete floor will dictate what material you use for your curb.

If you have a wooden floor you want to use regular dimensional lumber. The 2 x 4′s they carry at Home Depot – those. That is the easiest and most readily available material. Ideally you want to use kiln-dried lumber. That is lumber that is, well, dried in a kiln. By removing moisture in this manner the moisture content of KD lumber is normally between six and eight percent compared to regular dimensional lumber at close to 15%.  Why does that matter? Well moisture and wood don’t mix. As it dries wood has a tendency to warp and twist. The less moisture initially in the wood the better.  KD lumber is best and regular air-dried dimensional lumber is also acceptable. NEVER use pressure treated lumber – ever.

I usually use  three or more stacked 2 x 4′s to create my curb depending on the size of the shower. Simply screw the first one to the floor (with correct non-corrosive screws), stack the next one on top and screw it down, and so on until the desired height is reached. That easy.

Creating the curb for a concrete floor

Image of a brick curb

Using Bricks for a shower cub

For a concrete floor you want to use bricks. Yeah, bricks. Just stack ‘em. I use gray concrete bricks (no holes) and stack them two or three high for my curbs. You can use just regular thinset to adhere them to the floor and to each other. Just stack them in the shape you want.

You do not want to use wood for your curb on concrete. Wood will actually absorb moisture from your concrete and start to swell.

Creating the pre-slope

This is one of the steps most often skipped by a lot of people – amateurs as well as professionals. It is imperative! You need it – it’s that simple. Without a pre-slope your waterproof liner will lay flat on the floor. This does not give water anywhere to go. It will sit there, stagnate, mold, . . . you get the idea. With a proper pre-slope any water will drain to the weep holes in the drain and go where it needs to – away.

Lathe for wooden floor

Lathe installation for wood floor

You need to first make sure your shower floor will stay where you put it. On wood you can use regular metal lathe.

You need to place what is called a ‘cleavage’ membrane beneath your lathe. This is just a sheet of plastic or tar paper stapled to your wood floor first with the lathe placed over it. The membrane does not make anything waterproof! If someone tells you that hit ‘em in the head with a bat. It is necessary to prevent the wooden floor from sucking the moisture out of the pre-slope prematurely causing it to cure too fast (or not fully) and significantly weakening it.

When your membrane is down staple the lathe over the top of that. Just cut it to the shape of your shower floor and lay it flat on the floor and staple or nail it down. This gives your mud bed something to grab onto. In the above photo I have used plastic as my membrane and only have a partial piece of lathe in – make sure you cover the entire area below your pre-slope.

Image of a properly prepared pre-slope

A properly prepared pre-slope

For a concrete floor you need to mix up some regular thinset except you need to mix it “loose”. That just means you need to add a bit more water than the instructions call for to make it thinner. Cover your shower floor area with this before you start installing your deck mud. The deck mud itself does not “stick” to anything, you need to supply something that will adhere it to your substrate.

Oh crap – Math???

To make the installation easier you’ll want to mark your height lines on your wall studs. To figure out how high it needs to be off the floor you need to figure out your slope. This involves a bit of math – don’t panic! It’s easy. Figure out which corner is farthest from the center of your drain. Your slope needs to go up in height 1/4″ for every foot. If your furthest corner is three feet from your drain center your slope needs to rise 3/4″. Easy enough so far, right?

Your finished floor (after your liner and top mud bed are installed) needs to be 1″ to 1 1/4″ thick at the drain. So, if we make the pre-slope  3/4″ thick at the drain it needs to be a total of 1 1/2 inch thick at all your walls. So mark a line 1 1/2″ from the floor all the way around the wall studs. This will be the height of your pre-slope at the walls. I try to make my pre-slope the correct thickness at the drain so it will be 1 1/2″ at the walls. This way you do not need to draw lines, just level your perimeter with the top of the 2 x 4 studs along the bottom of the wall. Depending on the size of the shower it doesn’t always work, but it saves time if you can work it out that way.

If your shower is not a square, and they rarely are, you still need to have the same thickness at the walls all the way around the perimeter. This means that you will have a steeper slope on the walls closer to the drain. This is normal. If you don’t do it this way you will have uneven tile cuts at the bottom of your wall. By doing it this way you will ensure a level line and, in turn, a level floor around your perimeter.

The height of your pre-slope at the drain can vary. It  needs to be level with the top of the bottom flange of your drain. Regular drains have two flanges which bolt to each other. The pre-slope needs to be at least level or a touch higher than the bottom flange. Your liner then goes between the top and bottom flange to utilize the weep holes in the drain. This allows any water atop the liner to drain. The pre-slope supports the liner so it needs to be level or above every point of the lower flange. Does that make sense?

This is why planning is so important. Your drain needs to be high (or low) enough and your curb needs to be higher than your shower floor – naturally. So figure all this out before you build anything.

Playing with mud

Now we need to mix up a batch of deck mud. Check out that link, I’ll wait . . .

Okay, once your mud is mixed up you want to start packing it in there. If you are going over concrete and have your thinset slurry down, cover the entire bottom of the shower floor first to ensure the entire base will stick. If you have a large shower only spread as much thinset as you can reach over at a time. Start at the walls and pack your mud down really well – beat the hell out of it. Seriously, beat it like the last DMV employee you spoke with. You want to eliminate any voids and create as dense a bed as possible. Don’t worry, it won’t hit back.

Pack it down around the perimeter to just above your line. When you get that done get yourself a 2 x 4 about 18 – 24 inches long. Lay that on top of your mud bed against your wall and tap the 2 x 4 down with your hammer until it is even with your line. This ensures a level, even line all the way around your perimeter. Perfect! Now don’t touch the edges.

Image of properly prepared deck mud

Properly prepared deck mud

Continue to pack mud into your shower base all the way from the perimeter down to the drain. You should have a straight line from the perimeter to the drain without any dips or humps. This will allow water to drain correctly without pooling anywhere. While this particular layer of your shower floor does not have to be exact, you do need to make certain it is fairly flat in regards to the line from the perimeter to the drain.

Image of a consistent pre-slope

Ensure a consistent slope

That’s it. When you get it all packed in there it should have a shape similar to a very, very shallow bowl. Now leave it alone. Really, leave it alone. The next day it will be ready to install your liner and all that fun stuff. Don’t play with it until then.

In my next post I will show you how to install your waterproof liner. Until then leave your pre-slope alone. It’s fine. Quit trying to perfect it. We’ll do that tomorrow. Get away from it. Really. Stop staring at it . . .

Read this next if I haven’t already bored you to death: How to create a shower floor Part 2

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Mike V.

Hey Roger,
I have read most of your info on deck mud and have concluded that you are the one to ask a question I can not find an answer for:
Why deck mud instead of any other concrete product? I started to use concrete after carting a ton home, then read your article. I am enroute back today to buy the correct stuff. Thanks

Reply

Roger

Hi Mike,

It’s due to the amount of sand in the deck mud. It can dissipate movement from your substrate without transferring that movement into the tile or waterproofing, possibly compromising your waterproofing membrane.

Reply

Ross

Roger,
I just finished my preslope yesterday. :dance: Looking at it today my perfectionism is in overdrive and I am about to blow my head thinking about it. I didn’t bring the mud up to the TOP of the drain flange (dark area, should have used a head lamp :bonk: ). In most areas the mud is only up to the bottom of the drain flange rather than the top of it. I did a marble test and the marble would always roll to the drain so that’s good, but I am wondering once I place the liner on if the shortage of mud around flange be an issue causing water to roll back into the liner and not drain. (being that mud is under flange rather than level or slightly above) Instead of making more deck mud and attaching it with thinset can I just fill in the difference and smooth out the slope with thinset alone? OR am i being an anal @^$%&!!! If i need to use thinset can you tell me what type modified or unmodified. I try to find it on your recent post but guys like me keep burying them further down. Thanks for the help.

P.S. I feel stupid asking this next question but since my wife just asked me and all I could do was give a “deer in the headlights” look I thought I should ask it. Should I have got a permit to do this? I didn’t move anything thing (i.e shower, toilet,). No electrical or plumbing was roughed in. I replaced drain and shower valve. To me, nothing major took place. I thought I would ask you before I call my city and ask. I’m just afraid of what they would say seeing how I just laid my preslope and covered up drain replacement. :oops:

THANKS! -ROSS

P.S.S Great book by the way! It really is one of the most informative writings on this topic.

Reply

Roger

Hi Ross,

Yes, you can just build it up with thinset. Just modified thinset will work fine.

In most areas unless you’re doing something structural a permit is not needed. That is – in most areas of which I am aware, calling your local building department can answer that question accurately for your wife. So don’t tell her, because if you need one you’ll never hear the end of it. :D

Reply

Ross

Thanks Roger. I believe I will have to add height to the entire preslope. I have noticed if I add thinset to the area around the drain shorted with deck mud that there will be a flat area up to six inches out into the presloped area. I will loose the 1/4″ per foot in that portion around the entire drain six inches out. It only needs (imo) 1/4 to 1/2 max height at wall to make the slope correct again down to drain and maintain current slope. Would you suggest a thinset slurry and adding deck mud for this OR just build up thinset over the entire preslope for the correction an no deck mud. If thinset slurry then deck mud is the correct way how long do I wait after the thinset slurry to add the deck mud on top. Box store guy told me to wait for it to cure a few hours before adding deck mud on top in fear of it mixing and messing up deck mud??? My plan was to 3/16 towel around drain and 1/4 at wall thus giving me somewhat of a thickness guide to fill deck mud to in addition to new wall marks. What would your recommendations be and the steps for this correction?

FYI – I do not receive email notices when you answer my questions for some reason. Not in junk mail either? Thats not a big deal to me, I thought you would want to know, and plus I’m just really thankful you answer them to begin with! Thanks a TON!

Reply

Ross

I’ve also seen suggestions to use a patching compound like Henry’s Featherfinish to fix preslope. They state if it will take more than 3/16 of thinset to fix they suggest to use that. Would adding deck mud be better or using Henry’s? Thanks. i wanted to run that product by you.

Reply

Roger

Deck mud. :D

Reply

Roger

Hey Ross,

Box store guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about (surprise :D ). Put down the slurry, then the deck mud immediately. Try to get the slurry completely covered with deck mud before you start pushing stuff around. Pack it down first, then shape. The elves are probably drunk again, I’ll check on the email stuff.

Reply

Ross

Thanks. I finally had some time this weekend and went ahead and added up to 1/4 -1/2 inch of thinset over the Entire preslope to make the correction rather than deck mud. Will it be ok since I didn’t add anymore deckmud and just used thinset alone? With a thin correction layer (less than 1/2 inch) is there a benefit to adding deckmud vs what i did with the thinset? Insert “kicking dead horse” picture here. :D Just checking to make sure I’m good to go to pan liner step unless you see a huge problem with the thinset layer on top. This is arguably one of the most important waterproofing steps and I want to make certain of its integrity. Thanks for you time Roger, I’m pretty sure I’ll leave you alone for a bit after this step :wink:

Emails are working- The elves are good!

Reply

Roger

Deck mud allows water to flow through it much more easily than pure thinset. Your floor will be retaining water more than it would because the water will take longer to drain. You also need to allow the thinset layer to cure fully (a couple of days at least) because that is really thick for thinset, it will shrink as it cures. If it’s not fully cured it may still be shrinking after you set tile over it, which can lead to movement in your tile layer. That all said, structurally it should be just fine, it’s still fully waterproofed and solid.

Reply

Lee

Roger–I am so glad I purchased your shower construction guide. Everything is going great right up to mudding the curb. I followed the fat mud recipe very precisely–1 part sand and topping mix, 1/4 part sand, and 1/4 part masonry lime, all measured out by weight. Mudding went fine (applied 1/2 inch thick minimum) and I thought it looked great. However, 12 hours later it was filled with cracks. Although dry, I could crumble it with my hands. It had no strength. Any ideas what I did wrong? I don’t think I got it too wet or too dry. I ended up tearing it out to start again. I am thinking about just using regular brick morter.

Reply

Roger

Hi Lee,

Sometimes it will do that if either the lime or sand and topping mix has previously been exposed to moisture. This isn’t something you can control, it happens during shipping, storing, etc. normally before you get a hold of it. Regular brick mortar or stucco mix works also.

Reply

Paul

Hello again Rodger,

So far so good. Have a slight problem where my drywall meets my Durock. My bullnose will end right at that seam, and the where the sheetrock starts will be paint. I used Durock right to the outer edge of the curb. Will it be ok to use joint compound on that seam with the alkali mesh tape? Also, will thinset hold onto the joint compound? I have drywall as well for the ceiling in the shower and durock right to the ceiling. How do you tape those seams? Obviously you can’t paint over thinset.

Thanks Paul

Reply

Roger

Hi Paul,

You can paint over thinset, you just have to prime it first. Cured thinset can be sanded and painted just like regular drywall mud. You should use thinset on every seam around the shower.

Reply

Jason

Hi Roger,

My shower has been completely framed/CBU’d/redgarded, shower pre-slope and shower pan done using Goof-proof shower system Quik Pitch. I realized I miscalculated when I framed the niche because I had guestimated the rise of the floor from the mortar beds to be more than it turned out to be. So now it looks like the floor, after thinset and tile, will be roughly 0.75″ from where the edge of the bottom wall tile will be. How would you recommend making up this difference at this point? Also, we’ve been planning to have a 4 inch wide glass mosaic tile (1″x2″) border on the floor which is 0.25″ thick and would butt up against 0.5″ thick 2″x2″ porcelain tile mats. Is it ok to use 1/2″ thick thinset for the glass tile and 1/4″ thick thinset for the porcelain?

I was thinking about trying to make up the wall to floor difference with an extra thick layer of thinset, but I’m worried that it wouldn’t be level. I also thought about just adding another inch thick layer of mortar on top of the shower pan. I’m a little concerned about raising the level too much, however, and having a curb that doesn’t look or even function right in relation to the shower floor. I’m using 1/8″ thick grout lines and I think a 0.75″ gap filled with caulk would look bad.

Thank you so much for your advice and help on these forums!
Jason

Reply

Roger

Hi Jason,

You can put down a thinset slurry (thin thinset) and put another layer of mud over the floor to bring it up to height. Or get a 3/4″ pencil rail and put it around the perimeter of your walls at the bottom. If you want to go 1/2″ you need to use medium bed mortar instead of a thinset.

Or you could just lower your niche. :D

Reply

Jason

Thanks Roger! The backerboard does not extend down to where the pencil rail would be, so it would end up floating on the tile, which I’m guessing is not okay :(

Is the thinset slurry thinned out by just adding extra water? Is polymer modified thinset acceptable? Is there a minimum thickness for the mortar bed?

It just occurred to me that since we hadn’t planned on framing the niche, that we could frame it and lower the wall tile accordingly! If for some reason we can’t find a reasonable tile frame, would you mind answering the other questions?

Thanks again!
Jason

Reply

Roger

Yes, just extra water. Yes, modified is fine. There is a minimum thickness of 3/4″, but that is total thickness with both layers, when bonding two together there is no real minimum, they both become one.

If by ‘answering the other questions’ you mean using 1/2″ thick mortar under your tile then no, you can not do that. It is way too thick and will shrink and not be solid. Use something behind your mosaics to make up the difference instead.

Reply

Aaron

Roger,

Thanks for compiling such a wealth of knowledge for those of us who might otherwise be prone to K-9 inferno.

I’ve got a 5′ x 6′ shower which had uneven floors and cracked/missing grout. From the look of it, the former owner when through and tried to fill in some sections before. But, grout doesn’t just crack and come out on its own… He also silicone caulked all along the frame of the aluminum/glass enclosure – outside and inside – without leaving an escape path for water that might run down into the lower channel. :bonk: That is of course until the water found its own way out, through a pinhole leak on the outside of the enclosure.
So, we take the whole thing out, down to the pre-slope (also uneven)including a layer of what appears to be roofing material behind the CBU on the walls (is that normal?). I took out the old liner, and pulled the curb, since the liner was adhered to it with what appears to be black tar. What I found strange is that around the perimeter of the pre-slope, the installer left cut down 2 x 4s screwed into the subfloor. I assume these were meant to act as a screed guide.

Part of the subfloor was damaged from the leak. That section has been cut out and replaced, and the 2 x 4 stack for the curb has been rebuilt, and will be covered with Hardi (do you recommend 1/4″ or 500?) and proper screws, before KERDI goes down.

Get to the question already…

Currently, the pre-slope is pretty close to 0 thickness at the drain flange, and a little more than 1 inch at the edge. Obviously, this has to come up to a minimum of 1″ for the KERDI-DRAIN. I pulled the 2-bys aroud the perimeter of the pre-slope out, thinking they could contribute to weakness in the mud bed, and I don’t want to have to put up with a flaming dog. (sounds messy)

My question is whether I should keep going and pull the pre-slope altogether? Or, can I leave it in, and build up a proper thickness of deck mud, with a layer of thinset in between? In this scenario, I’d fill in the gap from the old screed guides as part of the build-up.

Thanks for your help.

Reply

Roger

Hi Aaron,

Roofing felt is an acceptable moisture barrier behind shower walls. It is unusual, however, because most people think backerboard is waterproof and don’t bother to waterproof the shower with anything else. Those are screed guys, which some guys use. It doesn’t hurt anything, but I don’t like them.

I would likely pull the existing preslope, but I’m an anal-retentive asshole. If you want to use thinset and install your slope over it there is absolutely nothing wrong with that method.

Reply

Ross

Hey Roger. Thanks for the awesome website. Can you expand a little on how the 3 piece drain needs to be installed? Specifically the base piece that is tied directly into the p trap. Some people I see are attaching it flush to the plywood floor and others leave it as much as 1/2 inch above plywood to have thicker pre-slope. If it is flush to the floor it seems the pre-slope will not be very thick around the drain, on the other hand having it slightly above seems the drain base itself wouldn’t be secure enough as I never see any nails or screws securing it when it is higher. My shower floor is 3x3ft. What do you suggest?
THANKS! Ross

Reply

Roger

Hey Ross,

It is best to have it 1/2″ – 3/4″ above the substrate to get deck mud thickness beneath it when possible. That said it is fine to have it flush if needed. When it is higher packing deck mud beneath it holds it securely once it cures.

Reply

Laina

And as for weep hole, fill with pea gravel or ???

Reply

Laina

Hi Roger. I have a shower area now gutted to metal studs and rough/chipped a bit concrete slab and a large ( 12 x 14) weep hole that I also cleaned the sand from. What is my first step? What mix to use to slope and smooth over this and minimum thickness to stick?
Also, are your books in e form only?
Thanks from SW FL

Reply

Roger

Hi Laina,

I don’t really understand your question. I think it’s a terminology problem. A weep hole to me is a small hole in a drain to allow water to drain under the tile. I’m assuming you mean a hole in the concrete around the drain? If so then pea gravel and concrete to fill it. Once you do that you can create your shower floor out of deck mud and slope it to the drain.

Yes, all my manuals are only in electronic format.

Reply

Bridget

Thank you for your response. I went ahead and used an all purpose sand. Unfortunately I now hear a hollow sound all around the drain. I filled the hole in my slab around the pea trap with sand. I packed it in really well and then spread the thin set slurry down and then packed in the deck mud. It’s been 2 days curing now and I am getting a hollow sound all around where the hole is underneath that I filled. When i step on the hollow area is doesn’t give much….should I rip it out and start again? :(

Reply

Roger

Nope, it will sound hollow. I know it doesn’t sound right, but it’s normal.

Reply

Bridget

For the deck mud what type of sand should I use? I purchased sakrete all purpose sand but it is course and rocky…not like any sand I have ever seen. Do you recommend play sand?

Reply

Roger

Hi Bridget,

Play sand works well. Just about any sand that doesn’t have a lot of gravel in it. :D

Reply

Rachelle

Hi. I’ve had a leak in my shower literally for years now. I decided to tear it out & found a mess. Two layers of tiles on the floor WTF? Now ready to do it right. I get how do do most everything else but the floor tile install on the mud floor. Do I still use thinset & how does it adhere to the sandy texture? Does it just lay there & get grouted in? I’ve tiled a floor before so I’m not totally unknowing but this is very different to me.

Reply

Roger

Hi Rachelle,

It bonds tenaciously. :D You install it with thinset just like over any other substrate. Once it cures (next day) you can grout it.

Reply

Bill K

I’m bulding a large walkin tile shower on an existing concrete slab. The slab already has a 1/4″ per foot slope and i’m planing on using a linear drain across the whole lower end. My question is can i seal the concrete with Hydro ban or Red guard, the same as the walls, Or do i still need to mud it and use a liner?

Reply

Roger

Hi Bill,

If you can correctly tie the drain into the concrete then you can use hydroban.

Reply

David

Hi,
Building shower on 2nd floor, 3/4″ plywood + 1/4″ hardi tile backerboard. ok to use 2×4′s for the curb instead of concrete blocks since they dont sit on concrete slab?

Reply

Roger

Hi David,

Yes.

Reply

Lesha

Hi,
My husband and I have turned a open carport into a master bedroom and bathroom. Due to health problems we have designed all door ways for wheel chair access. there was a preexisting cement floor that we did not realize was leveled to run the water off the side which now is a complete wall. We want to be able to roll a wheel chair in and out. the shower is 5×8. We want to put ceramic down on the floor and all the way up the wall. But first we have to fix the problem with leveling the floor. can u please help us to figure out wat to do….

Reply

Roger

HI Lesha,

If you’re just concerned about the shower portion of the floor then you need to use deck mud to slope it towards the drain. I can’t really help much unless I know where the drain and shower entrance are relative to slope of the floor.

Reply

Jesse

Hey Rog, I am looking for a little clarification in regards to the pre slope and the use of lath. You make no mention of the use of lath in the construction of a preslope on a concrete floor however on a wood floor the lath is required, over plastic or roofing felt, makes since. My question is if You, the floor elf, were constructing a shower on a concrete floor would you forego the use of lath? Just use a thinset slurry and then deckmud? or is the lath prefered as I am sure it would add strength to the mud and to the overall base of your shower. I ve used lath before in construction and have always felt it difficult to work with if it isn’t firmly flattened and fastened or stapled in place, which would be difficult with a concrete floor. Anyway, Just wondering how you would approach this, as I would feel much more comfortable about my shower base if it had the floor elf stamp of approval!

Many thanks Rog, I think it’s great your willing to give up your time to help others, Lord knows folks need it!!

Reply

Roger

Hi Jesse,

I normally don’t use lath to strengthen the mud floor unless the shower is over 30 square feet or so. Over a slab a thinset slurry is sufficient to hold it in place and it has plenty of strength.

Reply

Keith

Roger,

I’m redoing a bathroom; completely gutting it down to the studs and joist. Can I do the preslope with framing the subfloor with the slope and then the liner or do I need the preslope to be mud?

Thanks,
Keith

Reply

Roger

Hi Keith,

It needs to be mud.

Reply

Simon

Hi Roger,
I am planning to remodel my shower it’s 31 x 40” and I need professional advice.
My wall studs and bottom plate are very ,very , very bad.
I must reinforce the bottom plates and wall studs. Screw or nail a new piece on the top of bottom plate also using PL400 or liquid nail(what product is better?)
Wall studs using sandwich style – apply PL400 or liquid nail on 2 sides of 2×4 new stud ,one which go to the wall another to the damage stud. How should i secure them, should I use nail , screws?
or should I just drill the 3 halls and screw them with the bolts?
I am going to use KD 2×4 #2 lumber.(or PT)
Floor:
I want to order custom shower pan , white one piece no tile.
Do you know where I can order good one?
Also how to prepare the floor for pan?
Walls are going to be ½” hardiebecker, 2” tape ,Laticrete thin set 253 gold, and Hydro ban or Red Guard
(2 cowers) should I do this.
And what product is better and easy to work with?
I want to use frameless doors , in this case I must do the curb right?
To make the curb 3or 2 2×4 lumber tape, hardiebacker and hydroban.
Tile:
Porcelain 12×12.

Thanks,
Simon

Reply

Roger

Hi Simon,

Any method you mentioned to fix your framing will work. pl400 and LN are comparable to me in that application. Either will work fine. I don’t know where to order a solid one-piece shower base, I don’t do pre-formed bases. There are a lot of options available. I prefer hydroban, but either will work and are mostly just as easy as the other. Yes, you must do the curb right, whether you are using frameless or not. :D Yes on the 2×4′s, no tape. Hardi and hydroban are perfect.

Reply

Simon

Thanks Roger,
How about thin set 253 Gold or 254 Platinum for porcelain.
You said no tape, but hardiebacker says to fill the joints with glass fiber
tape and thin set.
Also what the best way to secure the studs.

Thanks,
Simon.

Reply

Roger

Like I said, any of the methods you mentioned to secure the studs will work. I would likely use pl400 and bolt or screw them together. No tape on the curb. Hardi also says it’s fine to install without a vapor barrier – they are selling to multiple trades, not just tile. They will not cover everything. 253 or 254 will work great. They are both very good.

If you have any further questions can you please post them as a reply rather than a new post? Thanks.

Reply

Tom

I removed the fiberglass stall kit. The bathroom floor has creimic tile. The tile does go under the fiberglass kit. The tile is of very good quality. What do I put on top of this before the mud floor?
Thanks,
Tom

Reply

Roger

Hi Tom,

You can scuff up the surface of the tile and use thinset to bond the mud deck to it. Or you can remove the tile.

Reply

Lisa

I tried this once today, but I don’t think it went through … if it did, my appologies.

Problem – we knew to put unsanded grout on the walls and sanded on the shower floor (we went with a pebble floor); However, we changed our mind on the floor color and I didn’t double check when my husband returned from the store and mixed the grout. I just smeared that stuff inbetween all ofthe spaces and spent hours trying to wipe it all back off. Two days later, it dawned on me that we used unsanded grout!
Question – What can we do? Am I going to have to scrape all the grout out and redo it? Will this compromise the pebbles? Do I have to take ALL of the grout out? OK – that was more than one question. Sorry, but I’m a bit frantic now … we were so close! Thanks, Lisa.

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Roger

Hi Lisa,

Oops. :) The grout needs to be removed down to where you have 2/3 of the sides of the pebbles showing (where there will be grout). However, if the grout has been installed, and is NOT shrinking and pulling away from the sides you may be just fine. The only reason to use sanded grout is to fill larger grout lines. The sand prevents the grout from shrinking. If it’s good after 28 days you’re just fine (that’s the amount of time for a final cure).

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Alex

Okay, so we have created the curb and pre-slope and installed the liner. We are having a little trouble with the balloon trick but I am going later to get a thicker balloon so that it wont burst on the transition from the drain. When al the water drained, I did notice that water was puddled in one portion of the floor. It was not much but is this something I should be concerned about or should I continue the leak test and install the top-mud layer?

Reply

Roger

If it is puddling in a corner or against the wall then you need to pull it back and fix the slope in that area. If it is just a small area somewhere between the wall and drain it’s up to you whether or not you want to fix it. I would, but I’m an anal bastard. :D

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Alex

Thanks Roger.
Since it will only require a small amount to build up that one section, should I make mud and spread some thinset or just use thinset? :bonk:

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Roger

Just using thinset is fine.

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Bill

Hi, We removed a tub and now we have shower size of 36″ x 67″. the drain is 18″ from the front wall, with furthest corner being 4′ 6″. Using your method the front wall appears rather steep while the furthest has the correct slope. Is this an optical illusion or is there another way of calculating the slope? Also how does the deck mud stick to the liner? Is thin set also used?
In addition when the tub was removed the slab under the tub has been chiseled down an 1-1/2″ (the thickness of a 2 x 4). Do I need to level the floor or can I began the preslope steps here on the existing substrate.
If this is too hard for a novice, do you a tutorial on how to put the dam the tub back? Thanks Bill

Reply

Roger

Hi Bill,

It’s not an optical illusion. With an offset drain, if your perimeter is level your slope will not be consistent. You can always have the perimeter NOT be level and just run 1/4″ / foot to every wall, but the bottom row of tile will be more noticeable than the steep slope on the end. Entirely up to you, it’s fine should you choose to do that. You can just build the preslope right over that slab, it’ll just be thicker.

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Jennifer

I am replacing a fiberglass shower with a custom concrete floor. You instructions are great for every step. My one question before I get started is do I attach the lower part of the drain (im using the 3 piece drain system) directly to the concrete subfloor? Or do I leave it up a little. If I leave it up a little how do I screw it into the concrete subfloor?
Thanks,
Jennifer

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