View Full Version : Please help with my shower rebuild

05-27-2005, 03:05 PM
I have been working with another forum through the process of completely demolishing and rebuilding a tile shower that had been improperly constructed (no shower liner, no slope, improper drain, all the framing had rotted, etc) all from what I had noticed was a few loose tiles. You can go through all of the details at http://forum.************.com/showthread.php?t=208279

I demolished the whole thing, replaced the drain, replaced/reinforced the framing, built my mud bed, and set down the liner. Before I start putting up the walls I need to address the plumbing. I had two seperate heads with controls on each wall to either side of the shower door. One of them always had great pressure, the other one never had great pressure. I have purchased two new Delta Jetted shower systems to replace the old two handle hardware that I had. I am also planning on trying to move the supply lines from the adjacent bathtub up so that I can create an access panel from the outside wall for later repairs:

I think I want to move the bathtub supply lines up, and then I will cut an access panel in the cedar on the other side of the wall. That way I will have a way to turn off the bathtub supply lines and get to the new shower controls for repairs without ruining the tile I am about to put it.

I will also put in an access panel behind the other shower head controls on the adjacent wall.

Since no shutoff valves seem to exist for any of these lines, I will also plan to install these. I suppose now is the time to get any suggestions for my flow problem on shower head #2... I have two new Delta jetted shower systems:
http://deltacom.deltafaucet.com/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CU/.cmd/act/.c/6_1_9I/.ce/7_1_DG/.p/5_1_9F/.d/1/_th/J_1_6A/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CU?PC_7_1_DG_url=http%3A%2F%2Fblumar.deltafauc et.com%3A3128%2Fcda%2FProduct.jsp%3Ftask%3DProduct Detail%26area%3DBath%26function%3DTubShower%26grou p%3DJettedShowers%26collection%3DVictorian%26pid%3 D1825-716#

Thank you in advance for your help!

05-27-2005, 07:45 PM
IF you do everything right you can "get to" and repair the valves without "touching" your new tile and without any unsightly access doors.

master plumber mark
05-28-2005, 07:22 AM
I have looked on your other site at the pictures and it looks like you did pretty good up to one point .....

and I might be wrong,

but I have installed 200 + pans in my life, so here goes.......

you are supposed to put the pan drain and the liner in first.....under everything on the very bottom of the floor...

then lap it up the walls about 8 -12 inches......

then you install the mud ON TOP OF the liner.....

you adjust and screw down the drain to fit in about 1/4 above the mud so the tile will be flush

you glue the tile strips to the concrete base. NOT TO THE LINER

you DO NOT glue the liner down on top to the concrete...

the liner is supposed to go under everything ,
its supposed to be the last stop gap at the bottom of everything
to catch all the water that might try to seep through the sides of the tile
years from now....

the liner is lipped over that drain and bolted down into it

then the water will flow to that pan drain and go out the sewer.instead of seeping out on your floor......

I am very very sorry if I have caused you unnecessary pain

05-28-2005, 07:51 AM
One addition with regards to M.P. Mark's post: The Tile Council of America recommends that there be a pre-slope UNDER the liner. In other word, a mortar layer is used first so that the liner itself will lie on a slope. Otherwise, water which does make it thru to the liner will tend to sit there and go sour.

05-28-2005, 07:57 AM
Thanks for your concern, and I am fairly certain what you described is the method that I am performing. I put in the bottom piece of the drain sticking out about 1.5" above the flat concrete slab, then put in a mud layer over the concrete slab to give the pan a slope that the liner will sit on and will drain to the weep holes in the drain. I then put in the liner, and will attach the liner to the bottom piece of the drain, not obstructing the weep holes. Once I have affixed the liner, I know my next step is to put another mud layer over the liner, and then use thinset to attach my tiles. But before I put the top layer of mud though, I will need to put concrete wall board with a gap above the liner to prevent wicking of moisture, but then the mud goes up against the wall board. I am basically follow this method, except I used thinset to attach the mud layer to the concrete and used no latex additive: http://www.ontariotile.com/preslope.html

So, since I must put up the concrete board before I put in the top mud layer over the liner, I need to do all plumbing repairs to the part that will be covered by the wall board, which is my reason for posting to this forum... I want to see if my moving of the bath tub valves is a bad idea, and I want to figure out how I can make sure that my pressure on the other shower head is adaquate before I cover up the pipes.

So HJ, what do you mean if I do it right? What is the method that you suggest to not have to use an access panel to get in to repair later?

05-28-2005, 12:08 PM
I think what he is saying is that most valves can be repaired if the opening is made per the manufacturer's instructions in the tile. It is also handy if the valve you choose, or the fittings you use allow you to shut off the water to that fixture in case you need to make repairs without turning off all of the water to the house. The best place I've found for tiling instructions is www.johnbridge.com The instructions in their 'liberry' say to put the cbu in after the liner is in (it is best to notch the studs so that it doesn't push the bottom of the cbu out from the multiple thicknesses of the liner folds in the corners), and have the mortar hold the bottom of the cbu up against the wall. Also, make sure you have blocking between the joists near the bottom of the walls - it keeps the cbu from bowing (flat is always nice when tiling!). My unprofessional opinion.

05-29-2005, 12:21 PM
I have notched the studs, and I have the blocking, here is a picture from back after I had just finished that part of the process (I have since put in the bottom sloped mud layer and set down the liner):

Like I said, I am almost ready to attach the liner to the studs and blocking (I know only a the top parts) and then put up the cbu, but I need to know about the plumbing issues since doing either of those steps will cover up the pipes...

So as far as the access panel is concerned, how could I shut off the water to the tub if I don't move up the valves and have an access panel? I realize that I might be able to make any fixes to the Delta valve given the large eustachion plate, but I still wouldn't be able to get to the bathtub shutoff valves which are currently by the floor. When I moved into the house, they had to fix the tub faucet because it was leaking, and in order to do so they had to punch a hole in the shower tile to get to the shutoff valves and then do the repair... so I am trying to prevent those sorts of issues as much as possible in the future. Also, does anyone have any thoughts on the pressure issue. I was hoping that someone might be able to look at the supply to that head in the following pictures, and see that it has several pipes all going into one - I am curious if these pipes are all feeding the one, or if water goes into the one, and then these lines go to other fixtures in the bathroom, and maybe that is what makes the pressure low:

05-29-2005, 12:35 PM
Sounds like you are planning on reusing the existing valve assembly. How old is it, and is it a pressure balance type? AFter going to all of the trouble to redo the shower, etc., it may be smart to put in a new one. Some valve assemblies have built-in shutoffs for maintenance. Manufacturers like brasscraft make supply fittings with them if yours doesn't that can be accessed without breaking up the wall if it is planned for during construction. These are in-line small valves, not the more typical shutoffs you see under a since or for the toilet supply. I'm not a pro, so take that into consideration. I've researched a bunch, but obviously don't have alot of practical experience except in a few personal projects...

05-29-2005, 12:45 PM
No, the shower "parts" that I had before were the two handle types, I have purchased two new Delta jetted shower systems
http://deltacom.deltafaucet.com/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CU/.cmd/act/.c/6_1_9I/.ce/7_1_DG/.p/5_1_9F/.d/1/_th/J_1_6A/_s.7_0_A/7_0_CU?PC_7_1_DG_url=http%3A%2F%2Fblumar.deltafauc et.com%3A3128%2Fcda%2FProduct.jsp%3Ftask%3DProduct Detail%26area%3DBath%26function%3DTubShower%26grou p%3DJettedShowers%26collection%3DVictorian%26pid%3 D1825-716#
(includes pressure balanced valve, shower head, etc). The valves that I am talking about moving up are the supply lines to the tub. There are shutoff valves that come from shower head/supply line #1 and go to the hot and cold in the tub that sits behind the shower and is encased in brick... those are what I plan to move up:

Here you can see the tub sitting against the shower before I started demolition:

05-30-2005, 03:16 AM

Just a thought,,,,Often if we have a faucet to fix it's SO MUCH easier just to shut the house off at the street/meter.Delta is a very good faucet and easily repaired.If/when you need to repair it should not take long enough for anyone to miss out on the water . Suggestion: Grease (clear) any hex screws or whatever holds handles on the faucets.I've found that once they get a little gunk on them it's a B**** to get out later. GOOD LUCK !

05-31-2005, 05:16 AM

I pulled out the shower pipe and just put a hose bibb straight on the valve. It looks like there must have been a blockage somewhere in that pipe because I seemed to get pretty good pressure out of the bibb - nothing like what I had been getting from the shower (it was literally not much better than a strong trickle). Still wondering about those pipes and which direction they go...

Another question:

Water hammer arrestors. Use them or don't? The valve that I purchased does not seem to have them included in the hoockup diagram they supplied. Since it is pressure balanced, should I dare vary from the diagram?

By the way, I am on a well if that makes a difference.

05-31-2005, 06:32 PM
Arrestors are good to have near valves that shut off fast, typically washing machines, dishwashers, ice makers (in the fridge), and toilets (not all valves abruptly shut off). For a valve that you close manually, it doesn't usually make much of any difference or benefit. Now, if the pipe isn't anchored, any one of those valves that closes fast can cause pipes nearby to move and bang, but the shower valve isn't usually capable of it unless you really try. My unprofessional opinion.

John Bridge
06-04-2005, 04:41 PM
Well, I guess I'll have to toot my own horn as it were. There is no better tile shower building site than ours: http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php

Not only does the Tile Council of America recommend what we call a "pre-slope" under the liner, but every major plumbing code does the same. Plumbers usually call it a "pitch." It comes out to 1/4 inch per running foot either way. ;)

06-04-2005, 07:24 PM
I feel priveledged that you take the time to visit my favorite plumbing forum and pitch in as we try to help sometimes with tile jobs. This issue of preslope seems to be a detail lost on many folks, including DIY AND some people who apparently do tile for a living.

I "hang out" sometimes over on your forum and always come away a little smarter. I often refer others to your site to get the "straight skinny".


07-09-2005, 01:25 PM
Thanks all, I had to take a few weeks off of the project, but I am back going now. I put in the plumbing for what used to be the "low pressure" shower valve. It works great now!

Here are some pictures:

I had to take apart the valve and remove the cartridge, valves, springs, etc.:

Then I cut the pipes to the sizes that I wanted and dry fit it all together:

I then soldered the pipes together:

On the shower wall, I had to add blocking to the frame and cut the old pipes:

Then I worked to fit the new pipes on and get the valve level:

After I soldered the valve to the old pipes I put the plaster guards back on:

I then assembled all of the trim so that I could test it out:

Okay so now I am back to the side of the shower that has a shower valve on one side of the wall, and on the other side of the wall is the Roman tub all encased in brick. Someone on another board recommended that I purchase a third shower valve to use for a control in the Roman tub, that way any repairs would not have to be done under the brick. I removed the old tub valves, purchased a Delta single control shower valve (model 1323) and started planning out all the plumbing connections for the two valves that would go on either side of the wall (the shower on one side, and the tub on the other - again, both different valves). I then read the following in the valve instructions:

"Connection of deck mount spouts to in-wall valves is not recommended. Neither is the use of hand showers conected to tub spouts in a tub/shower push button diverter combination, or hand showers connected in lieu of a tub spout to a tub/shower valve. Piping between valve body and tub spout must be a minimum of 1/2" copper pipe or 1/2" iron pipe in a straight (they had straight bolded) drop no less than 8" but no more than 18" long with only one (one is bolded) iron pipe or copper 90 degree elbow to the tub spout nipple"

I called up the 1-800-345-DELTA number to ask them why this was the case and described what I was trying to do. They said that using the shower valve would cause back pressure in the valve and I would have water coming out of everywhere. I asked if they sold a valve that I could use to feed a roman tub spout and they said I would need to buy a roman tub valve - not an in wall one...

Can I use the shower valve for the Roman tub or not?