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Thread: New Shower in Basement, need advice

  1. #1

    Default New Shower in Basement, need advice

    I just removed a 2ft x 2ft shower stall in the basement and want to replace it with something a big more spacious. Ideally I would like to put a bath tub in there but it is only about 54" across, so I think that would only work for midgets. I removed the old one and am left with a concrete floor and a broken plastic flange sticking out of the floor. I am familiar with using backer board and tiling but I don't really know how I should attack this item on my "honey do" list. The flange is of considerable concern since I had to snap the plastic rim off to remove the old pan. I'm not much of a plumber but a good student, any advice (detailed please) would be really appreciated. I put a couple photos for reference.
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  2. #2
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    I assume you want to build your own shower enclosure, and not use a pre fabricated unit.

    You will need to replace the drain assembly and install a shower pan membrane. The old drain assemly is made for a pre fabricated unit.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Go over to www.johnbridge.com. Read up on how to build a shower in their Liberry (sp). Code today requires a shower at least 30x30 (maybe that's 32x32...I should remember but don't), and that will feel very cramped...bigger is better (up to a point anyways). There are lots of ways to make a proper shower, and many ways to mess up, so some study on the right ways is best. You may want to move the drain if you are going to change the size of the shower - it works out best if the drain is in the middle of the shower. It's not that bad to break out some concrete, and that would also allow you to replace the drain with one that would work with your new shower. BTW, the drain line needs to be 2". Can't tell for sure what size is there now. If it is 1.5", then you'd need to tear up some more slab to find a point where the drain is 2" or bigger to make the connection. (It's the ID, not the OD of the pipe you need to be concerned with.)

    If you are handy at all, you can make a great tiled shower with a custom pan. It's intimidating, but mostly because it is new, not because it is all that hard. Course, the second one is easier and faster, but lots of people get a decent one the first time with some good guidance. Check out that site...you'll be well taken care of.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4

    Default Response from wanna be plumber

    Wow, responses in under an hour are amazing!! Yes I do want to fabricate a new shower but I thought that using a custom built pan and tiling from there up would be easiest. The thought of smashing through the concrete and changing the drain location scares me. Of course I am a "do it right, or don't do it at all" kind of guy though. I want to utilize the whole 54" opening with tile around the surrounding walls and just put up a shower rod, no glass doors or anything fancy, just nice tile. In response to the below question:

    "the drain line needs to be 2". Can't tell for sure what size is there now. If it is 1.5", then you'd need to tear up some more slab to find a point where the drain is 2" or bigger to make the connection"

    The ID of the drain is 2", but how do I get that black plastic flange that is currently on it off? And how do you know how high to mount a new flange with a current unit? Am I better off just tiling the base and creating a custom slope or relocating the drain?

    Is anybody familiar with this link and can you validate the advice they are offering? http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/artic...ticle_id=60342

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Depending on how far from center the drain currently is of your newly planned shower will dictate whether it should be moved. If you tried to use a pre-made pan, the odds of finding one with the drain exactly where you want it is slim, so you'd probably have to move it then, too. A properly made tiled pan should last longer than a lifetime - you'd probably get tired of it before it failed. I don't think you can say that about a premade one.

    Check out that website I mentioned. Cracking some concrete isn't really that big of a deal...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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