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Thread: More basement bathroom/shower questions

  1. #1
    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    Default More basement bathroom/shower questions

    Unfinished basement, planning to add a bathroom (cutting through the floor).

    1. I've been doing a lot of reading and watching some video's on how to do a mudpan shower with PVC liner. All of the pics & video's seem to deal with an alcove shower. My shower is going to be 3'x5', but I want to add door returns so that the door opening is only 3', not 5'. I'm hoping to use an in-stock (i.e. non-custom) door to save on costs. My biggest concern is how you handle the PVC liner with the door returns as well as where do you stop the tile and start the drywall. Advice or pictures would be welcome.

    2. For the floor, better to use a membrane system over a concrete floor (I've been looking at the liquid membrane featured in the Taunton tiling book), or just use 1/4" hardibacker? I think I'm fine with the floor height (with the hardibacker) because outside of the bathroom will be some finished floor material (ceramic tile, laminate floor, engineered floor, or carpet).

    3. Door threshold for the bathroom: Do you tile to the inside edge of the threshold or the outside edge of the threshold? Install the door after tiling?

    4. My plumber friend told me that I need a flush floor cleanout. Does this need to be inside the bathroom, or can it be on the outside of the bathroom over the drain pipes?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The people here can help get the drains and water supply in correctly, but I highly recommend you check out www.johnbridge.com for building the shower.

    You do NOT want the pvc liner directly on the flat slab. Nor do you want to use any cement board (cbu) on the slab.

    A traditional liner and mudbed shower can be made with any size doorway. To seal around the edges that go over the curb, they make corners that you glue in place with the pvc cement.

    An alternative that I really like is a surface applied membrane - Kerdi from www.schluter.com. This will make the entire shower waterproof, and you only need the single layer of sloped floor. With a 3x5' shower, Schluter makes a tileable pan that you just set in thinset on the floor that would be quicker, but it is less expensive to do with deck mud. I used one of these to build a shower for my mother and it worked out well. It was faster than a mudbed, and I live 400-miles away, so was trying to get it done in one trip. Had problems with other things in the bathroom (moving the old cast iron plumbing for the toilet, etc.), but the shower went in fine.

    There are some methods to build a shower properly, and lots of wrong ways. You really want it done right and that requires the waterproof liner to be sloped to the drain. Check out John Bridge's 'Tile Your World' website for help, you'll be pleased.
    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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    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    I was planning to do a pre-bed underneath the liner. I was looking at the Kerdi system, but due to the cost, I was going to try to go the mortar bed route. I've also posted some of my questions to John Bridge's forum, thanks for the advice.

    I've attached my layout for the bathroom. Any feedback would be appreciated. I'm trying to add in some kind of towel cabinet to this design as well.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you add up the cost of the cbu, screws, tape and compare that to Kerdi and the use of drywall and the relative ease, it isn't that different. The drain does cost more, but the flexibility of the square drain really makes it a lot easier to tile than a fixed round one. There's a couple of inches lateral adjustment with their drain...you only get up down adjustment with a traditional clamping drain. It can really help. In my case, I was using a 2x2 tile, and was able to just cut out four tile and adjust the drain to fit exactly and never cut any tile for the floor of the shower at all!
    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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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default door

    A stock 5' by-passing sliding door will be less expensive, and more reliable, with less leakage, than returns and a hinged door.

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    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    Jim: I had seen the drain assembly at a big box store for around $30. I didn't realize the backer board (that's what CBU is, right?) was so expensive. I had assumed it would be more labor on my part, but cheaper overall.

    hj: Thanks for the info on the door. I'll have to take a closer look at prices.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    Where's the best place to buy the Kerdi system? I don't believe I've seen it at the local big-box.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There's a supplier on www.johnbridge.com that has good prices. Locally, HD can order it, but it will cost you more and take longer. You might find it at a real tile store. Sometimes they have good prices, but sometimes they will only sell full rolls, which is way more than you want. The guy on John's site will sell you just what you need and his prices are decent. So, if you can't find it locally for a decent price, check them out. That's where I bought mine.
    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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    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    Another few questions...

    For those who have build a complete bathroom...is it better to buy things like the vanity/toilet/shower door (for building a custom tile shower), or is it fine to do all the work first and then buy the finished items? I'm concerned about buying things too early and then running out of time to return them if they don't work. If I buy them too late, I'm worried that the drawings and rough plumbing may not be in the exact place.

    For the basement bathroom, I plan to use a fan as there are only glass block windows. Can I vent the fan by cutting a hole in the rim joist and venting to the outside that way?

    The tile shower I plan to build will have a wall against the exterior foundation wall that has a glass block window at the top. I'm worried about how I join the shower wall to the exterior wall so that water cannot get behind the shower wall. Can I extend the wall tile to extend into the window well?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  10. #10
    Software Engineer ktambascio's Avatar
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    Also, any thoughts on the cleanout for the bathroom DWV system?

    Thanks again,
    Kevin

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