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Thread: walk in shower

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Jay T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default walk in shower

    I am attempting to put a new walk in shower where a one piece tub was. I plan to lay my own shower pan and do my own plumbing, tile work and whatever else goes with it. I know going in, it will be a huge task, especially for a rookie diy'r . I started today by renting a concrete saw and cutting out the concrete where the new drain will be. The existing drain or pipe is schedule 40 PVC. After I cut the pipe and 90 it to the new location, how far above the concrete do I place it with the new brass drain. Hope I am explaining this correctly. Also, do I concrete over the new pipe and fill in the gap that I cut out.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    You have quite a bit of planning yet to do. Is this a shower with a curb, or a drive in? You realize you must have a waterproof membrane on top of the concrete?
    One conventional construcion method is to put down first a preslope mortar bed. This is because the floor of the shower must have slope from all corners towards the drain. Next a vinyl membrane goes down. The commonly used drain actually sandwiches this membrane between two flanges. This is so all the water which gets down to the membrane works its way over to and into the drain. Finally, another layer of mortar, and now the tile. You have to install the drain taking into account all this height. The good drains, the actual drain grid piece has at least two inches of thread, so there is some leeway.

    There are other membrane systems available today. You need to do a lot of home work. There is an excellent tile help forum www.johnbridge.com
    There is also an excellent book, " Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation" from the Tile Council of America www.tileusa.com
    They also publish the ANSI specs A108, A118,A136 in a nice book called " American National Standard Specifications for the Installation of Ceramic Tile"

    I have enjoyed doing a lot of tile work at home as DIY projects, but I did the research first. A tile project is something which should last 30 years + in your home. But if you don't follow Mike Holmes advice to 'do it right the first time' then Mike will be visiting your house in a year to tear it all out for mold remediation!!!

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    You do NOT want to "elbow the drain to the new location". You want to move the TRAP to the new location. The new brass drain's clamping flange is usually placed even with the top of the concrete

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Also, keep in mind that a tub may only have had a 1.5" line...a shower is required to have a 2" drain line. In some places, under concrete, the smallest is 2" and they then probably used a reducer to make the tub connection. When moving the trap and the line, keep in mind that after the trap, it must still slope down at 1/4" per foot or more. This could be a problem and may dictate how high the drain has to go to provide the proper slope.
    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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