Laticrete's new 5"x5" Tile Insert Shower Drain - a close up review with pictures.
by, 06-16-2012 at 08:54 AM (3515 Views)
I picked up my new Laticrete 5"x5" tile insert drain yesterday from my local supplier - here in Vancouver. The drain is neatly packed into on box that includes the bonding flange and tile insert section. Like a Kerdi drain from Schluter the drain is available in either ABS or PVC and I ordered the ABS since most Vancouver installations use this black plastic piping.
When you open the box you see all that is left behind in a shower installation. After the prep work and the flood testing - you tile right up to the edge of the drain and then infill the center with tile for a very seamless look. Selecting the right height for the tile insert will depend largely on your tile choice and method of installation. Below is a picture of one of my showers we build using this same type of drain. The drain in the picture is made by another supplier of mine right here in Canada.
Notice in the picture who we used this 5"x5" point drain to build a barrier free bathroom. I cut in the diagonal cuts so we would have a level perimeter around the shower.
The key to the drain's design is this bonding flange shown above in ABS. Any of you familiar with the Kerdi drain from Schluter will recognize the look minus the white fleece membrane. Be careful with the outer most edge it is quick sharp and should be knocked with some sandpaper for safety. The drain is hooked up directly to the homes plumbing system with ABS solvent and then the process of building the shower starts.
You will need a 2" layer of 3701 mortar bed under your new Hydro Ban drain and in a typical 3'x5' shower this equates to roughly 6 - 60 pound bags. Each bag of 3701 nets about 12 square feet at 1/2" coverage. We take the cubic inches needed in a shower pan build and divide by 864 to get the exact calculation. Remember your slope! 2" is the minimum thickness Laticrete wants it's 3701 mortar bed to be. I won't go into all the details of building the shower base since Laticrete has this well layed out online already. For more info on 3701 visit their website here.
As a rule mortar does not bond very well to ABS. I might suggest using some Hydro Ban to coat the back side of the bonding flange before installing and using a slurry scratch coat of 254 when setting it in. This should be a team effort with the plumber and the tile man. Careful to not get thinset into the glue connection when doing this step and right away start setting in the 3701 mortar bed.
The drain is about 7/8" taller than the outer ring of the bonding flange. If you are using a smaller tile you should consider this and plan for it when preparing your mortar bed.
These little nubs in a circle are designed I believe to break up air bubbles and stop "Air Locks" the design is new and I have not field tested more than one in my projects. I have had problems with these tile insert drains not working when the water stream hits the drain or close to the drain at start up. I have been forced to drill holes through the top to stop this and I hope this design from Laticrete works with the larger flow rates and larger rain heads we see today. I will run my own series of flow test and share the results here or my blog site in the very near future.
I also recommend that the nubs on the outer edges get carefully cut back. The drain insert is incredibly tight and hard to remove as delivered. Yours might not be so tight but mine is very tight and impossible to remove without a pry bar or key. The lifting key from ACO works perfect and I'm glad I order those by the dozen!
The tile insert drain is a simple sheet of stainless with folded up ends. These should be flat filed to improve the sheen and change the graining to running long ways. I also would drill a weep hole or four into the bottom of this tile insert. Laticrete recommends like me using a liquid waterproofing first to bite to the stainless then 254 thinset to install the tile. I also recommend sanding the stainless and cleaning before the application of any waterproofing. I would do this the same with the ABS sections.
I have a few more pointers on this drain installation and will save them for the mock up series of pictures. I'll track down the IAPMO certification that is needed by our Vancouver inspectors and once proving in the lab will install a few in my projects.
Hope this helps anyone looking for more insight on the tile top drain from Hydro Ban.
By Any Design Ltd.