Ever get tired of trying to scrub that ‘white’ (it started life as white, anyway) acrylic or fiberglass shower base? Ever try to take one out? It’s stuck, isn’t it? Ever get tired of rhetorical questions?

In order to create a shower floor for tile you must first remove that big, ugly base which seemingly attracts dirt from some unknown aspect of the magnetic force of the universe. It’s not really the magnetic force – it just feels like it. It’s actually the rubber force – as in the rubber gasket around the drain pipe.

Rather than attempting to pry the base out of there until you’re almost ready to fire up the propane torch and see if it will actually melt (it will), you can simply pry the ring from around the drain pipe and  lift it out. Really.

This, of course, is assuming you have already removed the screws or fasteners attaching the flange to the studs. Almost all pre-formed shower pans have a vertical flange, about 1″ high, around the perimeter which may or may not be visible without removing the wall substrate.  There is normally one or two screws or nails directly above or through this flange on each wall which hold it to the studs. You need to remove these first.

Shower Drain cover

Photo 1 (Remove the cover)

I’m assuming this because if you are trying to pry your shower base up and have not removed the perimeter screws first – you should probably request some assistance from someone. Just sayin’…

This is gonna be quick and easy. Just grab your 5-in-1 tool (don’t have one? Why not – everyone should have one! If you signed up for TileTips you’d already know that) or a screwdriver or something similar. Anything pointy will work. (Did I just type ‘pointy’??? I need a beer…)

Remove your drain cover – it’s likely just a plastic piece of crap cover over your drain pipe like in photo 1.

Pry the rubber gasket out

Photo 2

You should see a big rubber gasket around your drain pipe (the 2 inch pipe in the middle) and your shower base. It’s the big black ring in photo 2.

Just stick your pointy tool (that totally didn’t sound right) between the gasket and the shower base. NOT between the gasket and drain pipe – you may damage the drain pipe.

Then pry it up. It’ll only come up a little bit at a time. You need to work your way around the perimeter of the gasket a little at a time staying between the gasket and base.

Photo’s 3 – 6 show working around the drain gradually prying it up a bit at a time.

Prying the rubber gasket out

Photo 3

Prying the rubber gasket out

Photo 4

Prying the rubber gasket out

Photo 5

Prying the rubber gasket out

Photo 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you work the entire gasket out you’ll feel the final portion of it break the seal. That’s the best way I can describe it – you’ll simply feel when it no longer is sealed between the pipe and base.

Gasket's out!

Photo 7

When it does that you can simply grab it and lift it out. That’s it. That little three inch thick gasket was driving you crazy. Once it’s out the base will nearly levitate out of there.

Okay, it won’t levitate – but you can simply lift it up out of there and build a real shower floor.

One that can be cleaned without a sandblaster.

{ 103 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Jim

    Hi Roger,
    A basement shower project. I pulled out my old acrylic shower pan and plan to do a dry pack with topical waterproofing and tile. The pan came out easy but underneath it was about a foot diameter of gravel around the drain pipe where the concrete was hammered out or something. The rest of the floor is solid (about 2″ concrete floor). My question is do I just thinset the base and then dry pack on top of the concrete and the gravel around the pipe also, or do I need to first pour concrete on top the gravel and flush it with the existing floor. Or is there a 3rd option. Thanks – Jim

    • Roger

      Hi Jim,

      You can just thinset over everything and dry pack over it. Just make sure you pound it really well around the drain.

  • Barbara Hawk

    Hi Roger,
    Not sure that this is brilliant but I couldn’t find a place to ask a mediocre question…. I am going to attempt to pull out my shower pan and replace it with tile. I am also thinking that I should replace the ugly white square tiles with something nicer. My question is twofold 1. Is it a fairly easy task to replace the pan with tiles, or will I have to build some sort of frame? And 2. If I rip off the old tile, will I need to replace the drywall or is there a way I can take the tile off and save the drywall. Thanks! (Going to go drink until I get an answer)

    • Roger

      Hi Barbara,

      It depends on your definition of ‘fairly easy’. I think it is, and diy’ers do it all the time. You can begin here: Building a shower floor . For your walls they will need to be replaced with some sort of waterproof substrate. If you haven’t yet downloaded my free shower waterproofing manual you can find it here: shower waterproofing manual

  • p

    HI,
    I am putting in a shower tray like this, but my existing floor is uneven, what do you recommend to put underneath the tray to make it level? something foam expansion or sand topping? thx

    • p

      btw, i have concrete floor

    • p

      1 more thing, if you recommend sand topping form quickrete, how thick should it be?

      • Roger

        Hi p,

        Sand and topping mix would likely be best, mix it to the directions on the bag. That will fully support your base.

        • p

          ok,
          -how thick should it be?
          -once i lay the sand mix down and level it should i put the pan down right away or wait til sand mix dry.
          thx

          • Roger

            Put it down right away. The thickness will be determined by the height beneath your pan. It is only there to fully support the pan, no higher. Enough so the pan sits flat on the floor.

  • Wayne

    Roger,
    I just want to remove the builders ugly white, stained already, plastic shower base and replace it with a custom stone base. I have nice tile shower walls. I want this to be as simple as cut, drill gasket, slide out the old and in the new … but something tells me that I am going to have to take off at least the first level of tile instead of simply cutting the caulk. Should I try to just cut the caulk and pull out or is it more likely this builders base is anchored to the studs or will need some more vertical space to pull out?
    Thanks,
    W

    • Roger

      Hi Wayne,

      You will need to pull out at least one row of tile. I’m sure the base is anchored to the studs. The bases normally have a flange that turns up behind the wall about an inch.

  • Sarah

    Any ideas on how to remove a terrazzo shower floor? It looks like its all cement right to the pipe. I am scared I will crack or mess up the pipe if I jack hammer it out.

    • Roger

      Hi Sarah,

      That’s about your only option. Just jackhammer away from the drain, start about 1″ or 2″ away from it and work out. The remainder left around the drain can be tapped out with a hammer once you’re finished.

  • Clive Young

    Hi roger, great site.

    I have gutted my tile shower and realized it was built wrong. Cement board to the wood floor and this was used as the blocking to pour the mud bed inside that.this was all inside a membrane though. I am assuming this is bad and i can’t redo it this way.

    My real question is however how do i get the old drain out ? The bolts are all corroded and broken . this is on the second floor of my home. Would it be acceptable to cut a section of the play wood floor out so I can cut the drain out , then patch it and drop another piece of plywood over the whole floor of the shower ?

    Thanks

    • Roger

      Hi Clive,

      Yes, unless you have access to the area beneath the drain (which would be easiest), you can cut it out, patch the floor and install an additional layer.

  • Andrew

    Roger,

    The drain cover (plastic piece of crap) in the bottom of my fiberglass shower base is loose and has come off. It appears that the big rubber gasket has elevated itself(?) and pushed the drain cover off. I have two questions. First, what could have caused the big rubber gasket to elevate and push the drain cover off? Second, how do I get the rubber gasket to seat itself correctly so I can get the drain cover back on? I appears that the rubber gasket is raised more on one side than the other. Thanks for your help!

    • Roger

      Hi Andrew,

      Your pan is likely not supported – it should have concrete or thinset beneath it. It’s likely just working the gasket up every time you step into it and the pan sinks a little, then raises back up when you get out of it. You should be able to just push it back down with a screwdriver around the pipe.

    • Clive Young

      Thanks Roger.

      I decided to use this as a last resort and cut out the drain from the inside with a dremmel and a small fiberglass cutting wheel. Worked great except for the smell.

      Im still putting the second half inch plywood down though :)

      I will have to add some more blocking now though as that will take me above my base 2 by 4 for my mud pit.

      Thanks again.

  • Maxim

    I meant “add more later”. I’m not sure what “ass more later” means.

    I don’t drink. Should I start?

    Maxim

    • Roger

      You don’t have to start – I’ll drink for you. :D

  • Maxim

    We bought a repo house a few years ago and the master bathroom has a large shower which isn’t done. The guy who was building the house went broke after installing a thick grey plastic liner (which I an only see around the edges), putting in the drain (the normal kind with weep holes under the concrete pad) and pouring the sloped concrete over that.
    They also put up Duroc 3′ high on 2 of the 4 walls. That’s as far as they got.
    So great! Now I can finish up and tile, right? Well, I thought I had better do a leak test. I removed the drain cover and shoved a wet towel down there as a plug and then poured in a couple gallons of water. Went down in the basement…no leaks.
    Then I added water so there was 1 1/2″ of water by the drain, and maybe 3/4″ by the wall. In all I poured in about 15-18 gallons (depending on if you ask me or her). I figured I would watch that and ass more later.
    DARN! I go down in the basement and drip-drip-drip-drip…it’s leaking!

    So. What do I do now? After removing the plug and draining the shower, I read your 71 page “Choosing a Waterproofing Method…” book. She doesn’t want to remover the concrete floor, while I of course love demolishing things (gives me a chance to fantasize, y’know). I know she is right, but as I like to say “Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you’re right.”
    My guess is we need to remove the existing drain, install a Kerdi or Laticrete drain (or whatever drain doesn’t have weep holes and sits flat on the concrete floor), and then waterproof the pan area from the top side of the concrete floor.

    Now comes the dramatic moment: what would you suggest we should do?

    Thanks,
    Maxim

    • Roger

      Hey Maxim,

      Unfortunately if the liner is leaking you need to remove all of it and start over. There isn’t any way to replace the drain and waterproof the shower without removing what you have there. Tell her I’m sorry. :D

      • Maxim

        Continuing with my leaking liner:
        When you say removing what you have there, do you mean smashing out the concrete and removing it and the old liner and starting over?

        Just want to be clear about this.

        • Roger

          Yes, down to the substrate.

  • Betterhidehitatthistime

    What size test plug do I need to test my kerdi shower? Is there a way to plug the drain efficiently without the purchase of a plug (a balloon for instance)?

    cheers!

    • Roger

      2″ plug or you can use a water balloon (filled with water – not air).

  • Mike Nickau

    Hello Rodger and hello all…I am going to gut the upstairs bathroom. Any day now the toilet will be crashing through the floor into the laundry room. I am going to use the topical method; kerdi, and would like to use the Innovis Better Bench. My question is should I apply the membrane over the bench? I realize there is a weep hole in the bottom but I am concerned about mold growth. If I should cover the bench, will the kerdi stick to the aluminum with thin set? Thanks, Mike.

    • Roger

      Hey Mike,

      You can if you want, no real need to. When built properly mold growth is not an issue. No, thinset will not stick to the metal. If you want to cover the top of the bench it will eliminate water from getting into and through the mud in the bench.

  • MATT

    Roger,

    I have a pre-formed swanstone shower base that I am ready to install. I was wondering if you use mortar to set these types of bases and if you have a preference for the type of mortar used. Also, I have read about using plastic sheeting under the mortar instead of putting it directly on the subfloor. How do you typically do this type of job? My subfloor is concrete if this makes any difference.

    • Roger

      Hey Matt,

      Yes you should. Doesn’t matter what type, it’s not there to bond it, only to support it. If you’re over concrete forget the plastic, it’s put there to prevent wood floors from sucking the moisture out of the mortar prematurely.

  • Eric

    Roger:

    I have followed the five part plan on a tile shower base. Before I started to lay tile I poured water on the deck mud to see if my weep hole worked. They did, but slow. it’s been 24 hours and my deck mud is still wet. Should I be concerned? Yes, I had a preslope and when I water tested the liner it all drained out of the weep holes but at a much faster rate than my last test. Thanks for the help.

    • Roger

      Hey Eric,

      As long as you have the weep holes open (used gravel or something similar before installing the mud) then it’s fine. It will drain very slowly through the deck mud, but it’s all contained in the mud, not sitting stagnant on the liner.

  • Jean C. Evangelista

    Hi Roger,
    Thank you very much. My project nearly finish and I am now plastering walls inside and outside. Last job will be the 3 Toilet and Bathroom. I have a guide from your tile tips. Thank you and more power to your site. Your are a Blessing.

    :dance: Happy Holiday, Roger :dance:

    Sincerely Your,

    Jean C. Evangelista

  • brigham rupp

    Alright Roger, you said not to complain about your photo skills regarding dam corners in the traditional manual, but I’m complaining, because they’re bad! I’ve got a situation just like the one in your pictures. I have the liner cut across the top of the curb, parallel to the wall, out to the end. I can’t figure out how to fold the piece inside the corner that goes against the wall. In your pictures, it looks like there’s no fold. Is that possible? I’ve found a few ways to fold it, but each one requires the dam corner to be applied over the top of a fold. Is that ideal? Thx.

    • Roger

      Sorry, no answers to complaints, this ain’t burger king. :D

      Cut the liner from the inside bottom corner of the curb to the top where you began the first cut, then it should lay in there just fine. There is a fold in those photos that is tucked into the wall, if you can’t do that then the second cut is the next best thing.

  • Danny Darnel

    Hey,

    We saw the big picture at the top-right corner of the page and I was wondering where I can find it. I saw this link cdtilestone.com but not quite sure they have it.

    • Roger

      Hi Danny,

      I have no idea which photo you may be referencing. The photos in the right corner are randomly shuffled and show up everywhere. There are a total of about 50 of them, so you’ll need to be a bit more specific. :D

  • Michelle

    Your site is the best and most informative site ever. I’ve been though tons of crap on the internet, I don’t know how it took me so long to find this place with so much great info. I bought this house 5 years ago (80’s build). I had to tear out the kitchen, master shower, 15′ of floor plate that was rotted out, and another 15′ of drywall and each stud along the way (contractor did the floor plate/stud repair for me – way beyond my comfort zone). Turns out after the demo hammer to the old shower pan that the drain had about 3″ of concrete that conveniently slopes the water away from the drain. My subfloor is concrete. I bashed the concrete out from the drain, but i can not unscrew it. The screws are covered in concrete and i can’t chip it away, and it is pretty rusted. there is now a 6″ hole around the drain though (with the dirt from under the subfloor 4-6″ at the bottom). Is it a bad thing to cut drain at the bottom of the old drain flange? I don’t see it coming out any other way. My curb was made of solid concrete with some 10mil plastic (the waterproofer) intertwined it the curb like a cinnamon roll would be spiraled. I now intend to use brick (and I’m glad I found your site, most say wood even for concrete), do I need to attach the liner to the outside of the brick somehow or do i just hold it in place until the mortar covers it?
    Thanks!

    • Roger

      Hi Michelle,

      That is the best way to replace that drain. Cut it off as far below the current drain as you can and replace it with a fernco (any plumbing section guy will know what you want) and change the pipe above that to pvc, then the new drain.

      Use wire lath folded in a ‘U’ shape over the top of the curb to hold the liner in place until you get the mud on there and it cures. It both holds the liner in place and anchors the mud over the curb.

      • Michelle

        Thanks so much! It is better for me to switch it to a pvc drain rather than abs?

        • Roger

          I use pvc as a general term for plastic plumbing pipe (Damnit Jim! I’m a tile guy, not a plumber!). Either will work fine.

          If you have any more questions can you please click on the ‘reply’ text at the bottom of my post rather than using the box at the bottom? It keeps everything together. Thanks! :D

  • Nicole

    Hi, Roger –
    I just bought a new house. It was built in the 50s, and so of course I have two pink and blue 4″ tile bathrooms. Wheee! The larger of the two has a powder-blue cast iron tub that’s in great shape, so it’ll stay like it is for a long time. However, the other bathroom has a shower stall with a floor that ponds (it’s also dank, dark and claustrophobic), so sometime soon-ish we’ll be ripping it out completely. I looked around your site, but didn’t find anything about *removing* tile.

    Given that the tile is original and still in great shape (seriously – there are barely even any deteriorating grout lines in either bathroom), I’m guessing it’s a rock-solid installation. But the smaller bathroom HAS to go – I’m not showering in there until it’s been redone (fun fact – when the previous owner got around to installing A/C, instead of routing the drain through the roof, he just drilled through the wall and installed a PVC line to drain directly into the shower stall!!).

    What am I in for? Walls are plaster (but of course!), and although I won’t be changing the room dimensions, everything else is negotiable. I don’t feel the need to salvage anything (tile/sink/toilet), either. I’d prefer to take it to bare studs, but I don’t know how difficult that will be. Any advice?

    • Roger

      Hey Nicole,

      Stuff build in the 50’s is built well. That means it’s a pain to tear out. As long as you aren’t concerned with saving anything then it will be a lot easier. You may want to look at purchasing a bosch bulldog, it’s a rotary hammer / drill that you can use just like a mini-jackhammer. It is a dream compared to a hammer and crowbar. :D

  • Bean

    Unless you have a 35 year old terrazzo shower pan that was poured in place. It took a 5 lb hammer with a hand rock drill to take it out one piece at a time. Two days later its out and I can start the shower remodel.

    Next time either more beer or explosives …

    • Roger

      Hey Bean,

      Beer and explosives! Or a jackhammer – they work well, too. :D

  • Rob

    Roger,
    Great site. Bought your manual for doing just shower walls with liquid membranes, then figured out that the previous owner had not installed the shower base correctly, so tore it up and bought your base and walls with liquid membrane manual. So here’s the question…

    In your walls manual, you show the shower base built out to the studs and then have the walls come down to within a quarter of an inch. In your base and walls manual, your diagram shows this, but you have use build the walls before building the base.

    Should I put up the walls running the hardibacker all the way down to the floor and build the shower base inside that or create a box out of wood between the studs and poor the concrete into that? Or something else? Just can’t figure it out from the manual.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    • Roger

      Hey Rob,

      When building a base you install the walls first and build the base against them. The continuous layer of waterproofing from the wall to floor creates a single plane. With a pre-formed base you need to create the single plane by using a bead of silicone from the wall to the base.

      • Rob

        Roger,
        Thanks for the answer. Will proceed as directed. Any reason not to use hardibacker for the sub-floor below the shower (over bought it and don’t have any plywood)?

        • Roger

          Nope, you can use it under the shower floor as well.

  • Meyers

    Hi Roger – long time reader, first time poster. My husband tore apart our perfectly functional shower (4 years ago) thinking there was moisture behind the tiles (there wasn’t) and it has stayed torn apart all of this time. He just left today for a hunting trip and I thought I would tackle getting started putting this room back together (hence my long time readership of your amazingly wonderful website). Of course, I’m stuck on the very first thing – removing the shower pan. Apparently, 4 years ago, he must have tried to get the shower pan out because I see hack marks all around the drain area. The problem seems to be that the lower, vertical part of the gasket seems to be stuck in there. I’m assuming that there used to be the perpendicular lip around the top of the gasket where your posting shows I should use a pointy tool to dig out, but that piece is long gone. Now, I’m left with what I believe is the remainder of the gasket firmly wedged in there. Plus, it’s probably 40 years old from when the house was originally built, so it seems almost as if it’s de-rubberized and morphed into part of the surrounding structure. I have no leverage to get it out and I can’t seem to even slip a box cutter blade in between the gasket and the pipe. I tried drilling into the gasket and the little shavigs that came off actually look like bendy-metal. Now I don’t know what it actually is, but it’s in the place where the gasket is supposed to be. I have a picture I can upload if you need it. Any advice?

    • Roger

      Hi Meyers,

      What you have is a lead gasket there. You can either use a screwdriver and a hammer to chip parts out at a time or, if you have access to the underside, unscrew the p-trap and pull the pipe stub out with it. They’re a pain to get out, it just takes time and tenacity. If you have a blowtorch – lead melts. :D That’s a messy and iffy proposition, though.

  • Mark from wisconsin

    Roger, I broke down and spent the big bucks for a laticrete drain and am perplexed as to why it came in3 pieces, (4 if you count the little collar that fits over the 2 inch nipple at the bottom of the large flange, what’s up with that?) I’ve got the 12 ” flange and the 8″ flange and the drain it screws into. I don’t understand why there are 2 flanges and how to install them. Do I install the first flange and run aquadefense over it and set the second flange on top while the aquadefense is wet or what? Also it looks like if you perfectly center the smaller flange into the larger, the holes in the smaller don’t serve any purpose. ( ie: drainage) Thanks, Mark

    • Roger

      Hey Mark,

      The little collar is to attach it to 3-inch drains pipes. The main body (12″ flange) is installed into the shower floor mud. Once cured the hydroban (or aquaD) is painted over it in a continuous layer from the mud deck. This waterproofs everything down into the drain. Screw the drain into the smaller flange and, as you set the tile, you place thinset into the depression in the larger flange and press the assembly down into it. The funny looking holes should have thinset squishing through them. The holes are there to lock the drain into position once you get it where you want it. The drain has some lateral movement – it doesn’t have to be centered into the main body. This allows you to work it to fit into the tile pattern if necessary.

      The main body is your drain, the smaller flange is where your grate screws into and can be placed 1 or 2 inches one way or another laterally in the main body to get it positioned correctly. Once your thinset is cured it locks the drain into place. It has three pieces so you have lateral movement capability.

      • mark from wi.

        Ok Roger I get that. Now I want to know if the tile is supposed to fit flush with the top of the drain (the nice shiny part), or is it supposed to slide between the smaller flange and the screw down drain. I’m using 1/8th” thick mosaic tile with 1/8th” gap between the octagons and diamonds. The height difference between the flange and the top of the drain is almost 5/8ths” when screwed down tight, so I would have to use approximately 1/2″ of thinset to bring tile flush with top of drain. But if I cut it to fit between the 2 pieces does the water drain in what appears to be 4 little weepholes cut into the inside circle of the smaller flange, and then my drain will be sticking up a half inch and that would be a toe stubber. I think I know what you’re going to tell me but go ahead and tell me anyway so I can have peace of mind please. Thanks alot Roger……… Mark :bonk:

        • Roger

          Yes, you already know. :D The tile needs to sit flush or a tiny bit above the highest portion of the drain (the shiny part). It would probably be easier to add an additional 1/2″ layer of deck mud to your floor to bring it up to the level you need. I would actually add 3/4″ and unscrew the barrel a bit.

    • Mark from Wisconsin

      Roger, Started my 24 hour leak test about 2 hours ago and just noticed in one area the Aquadefense starting to wrinkle and some air bubbles rising. Went ahead and drained the shower pan (it held about 15 gallons) I had let the Aquadefense cure for 14 hours and it was all dark green. Anyway, I’m sure this is not right, but how do I fix this? (do I need to scrape off the old and reapply?) and what caused it? Thanks, Mark

      • Roger

        Hi Mark,

        You will need to remove the area that wrinkled and replace it with new aquaD, there is no longer a proper bond there. How long did you let the mudbed cure before applying the aquadefense? It could be hydrostatic pressure building up beneath your waterproofing layer due to the concrete not being fully cured and releasing vapor.

        • mark from wisc.

          Sorry I forgot to give you that information earlier. I let the concrete cure a little over 5 days before I applied the AquaD. I think I’ll scrape it off and let mudbed cure a couple of more days before reapplying AquaD. Sound like a plan?

          • Roger

            I would remove the layer of aquaD and make sure you burn the aquaD into the mudbed as you install it. There shouldn’t be any problem with hydrostatic pressure after a 5 day cure. Take the flat side of a trowel and skim over the mud bed with the aquaD to force it into all the micro-pores, that will allow it to grab the mudbed and bond well.

            • Mark / wisconsin

              Roger, i didn’t put a thin layer of thinset down on the mudbed last time before applying the AquaD, however I was thinking about doing it this time. Do you think this is a good idea or should I just “burn” the AquaD directly into the mudbed? Thanks, Mark

              • Mark from Wisconsin

                Also, I noticed I have some low spots in shower pan. I was going to fill these with pre-mixed FlorCraft floor patch and leveler first. Will the AquaD (and thinset if you recommend) adhere to this stuff? Sorry, I’ll try to quit buggin you so much. I know it cuts into precious beer drinking time. It’s cutting into mine!

                • Roger

                  Yes, it will bond to the floor patch just fine.

              • Roger

                If you burn the aquaD into the mudbed you’ll get a better bond. Thinset, even a skim coat, is much more dense than deck mud.

  • Mark from Wisconsin

    Roger, I did buy your book and like it. I tore out a plastic shower insert that was leaking and am planning to replace it with a traditional floor and topical walls. My problem with planning the floor follows: I have a 2 inch gap between the existing wood floor and the bottom of my 3 piece drain (the bottom flange). I cannot alter any of the plumbing due to reasons beyond my control. Does that flange have to sit right on the floor? Should I fill this gap with another layer or two of OSB, or Hardie backer or cement or a combination of the above? Coincidentally, 2 beer tabs laid end to end is 2 inches, could this be a new measurement standard? Thanks, Mark P.S. how do I find the different threads from other readers’ comments?

    • Roger

      Hey Mark,

      Nope, it can set up as high as you want it to. As long as you have the pre-slope running up from the bottom flange to the walls with the correct slope you’ll be fine. I would screw some plywood blocking beneath the drain to have it fully supported. You can then either fill the rest with deck mud or build up the floor with layers of plywood (or OSB).

      I like your new measurement standards, I’ll need to try it out. :D Dunno what you mean by the different threads, all the comment threads are located at the bottom of each post.

  • Mark

    Say Rodger,
    Love the site and your levity too! So I read all the post that were listed and found the solution for the 1” tiles that I am going to try and place in the shower ceiling … I am a little confused on the waterproofing portion of this project though… I built a shower nook out of Herdiebacker and have filled all my seams and decided to use Redguard on the floor and walls… Do I do the ceiling as well? And as far as my wet wall, Should I line my studs with Hardi and Redguard them in case they ever develop an undetectable leak? Also I have a 1/4” x ¼” V trowel I had planned on using for the tile work on the ceiling or should I use a square notch trowel?

    • Roger

      Hey Mark,

      You can do the ceiling if you want to. Unless it’s a steam shower or has limited ventilation there’s no real reason to, but it definitely won’t hurt anything. Same applies to the studs – no reason to but won’t hurt.

      With 1″ tiles on the ceiling the v-notch will work fine.

      • Mark

        Thanks Roger,

        Sounds like I am on the right path since I have a tenancy to overbuild… However can you better define “Limited Ventilation” as the bathroom layout did not allow for a window but a new Nutone light/fan unit has been installed running threw a 5 foot long 3″ vent.

        • Roger

          Your ventilation is fine. When I talk about limited ventilation I’m talking about a completely enclosed shower or one where there is a header across the top of the entrance where vapor can be trapped inside the shower at the ceiling.

          If you have any more questions can you please post them as a reply to this one so that I can keep track of your project and what we’ve discussed? I have answered (literally) over 10,000 questions on this site – I don’t memorize everyone’s individual projects and can’t really take the time to go searching should I need reference to what you’re asking. Please help me help you! Thanks.

  • Gail B.

    You might not remember me – you do have a lot of fans…:) but I contacted you regarding the issues with my tiled shower not being properly installed. You advised me to remove the plate covering the facet to see what is behind it. I am sure the unlicensed installer (thanks to a crooked GC) installed the tile right to the board. The pan in the pre-made shower kit is cracked and the entire shower kit is listing to one side. Aside from all that – If I want to see what is underneath the shower pan can I use some sort of tool to enlarge the crack? Or is it better to find out exactly what was done or not done by removing the entire shower kit? We don’t use it anyway and it will be a few more weeks before I can file the complaint with the Register of Contractors in AZ. OH and you gave me the name of someone you know that is in Phoenix. Can you please tell me again? I need an expert to consult and I am sure the entire bath will have to be done again. Probably both baths. Thanks. Gail

    • Roger

      Hi Gail,

      I would just take the whole thing out to get a good overview of what went on in there. Widening the crack isn’t going to do you much good.

      I know James from ArtCraft – was that the one? I know a few out there, he’s usually the one I recommend.