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Thread: Cement shower without tiles

  1. #1

    Default Cement shower without tiles

    I am building a shower in my studio loft. Trying to save every penny, I would like to get around using tiles. Most comercial pre fab units are small and costly. I would like mine to be about 5'X5'. I've framed it with metal studs. There already exists a floor drain in the concreat floor that I will use as the drain. Can I cement my shower floor, raked 4" to the drain with a lip edge at the walls, and then paint the cement with waterproof paint?
    Can i use waterproof paint for the walls on top of aqua board or some other water resistant sheet rock. Rockboard is the usual method, when tiling, but twice as expensive. Is there an alternative? Swiming pools are made of concreat and painted over, Why cant I do this with my shower? It only has to last for about 5 years max.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Not a great idea. You'd need a new clamping drain to put in a liner and preslope.Concrete is not waterproof, just not damaged by water. If you used concrete, there'd by no good way to keep water, body oils, soap scum, etc. to soak in. If you really want to stay cheap, get a circular shower rod, and a curtain, put a rainhead shower head coming straight down and a set of valves. Don't let the inspector see it, and replace it all when you decide to do it properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    Every campground I've ever camped in has concrete showers, so it's definitely do-able. The trailer I'm renting now has 1/4" plywood with some flat paint on it all around the shower, and incredibly, there's no mildew, and it's holding up okay.

    If you're gonna go the cheap route, I'd recommend wood instead of sheetrock and covering it with tub surround (check Habitat for Humanity Re-store for leftover and discontinued tub surround and plywood) or use polyurethane floor paint. It's the strongest and most waterproof paint I know of. Habitat may even have a pre-fab unit for dirt cheap.
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-12-2006 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If it's your house you can do what you like. It's not a great selling point but it may work.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the saport. it seems most agree that I need a beter drain and some sort of pan. I'm off to check out wrubber liners as a pan. any other sagestions welcomed.

  6. #6
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    i like these ideas being kicked around.

    Look at RedGard, a Liquid Waterproofing membrane sold for showers and even for steam showers too. It dries rubbery. Call the manufacturer, Custom Building Products, to see what you can put on top that is like concrete.

    Look at Noble Company drains. They are not expensive. They even have an 8" extender flange to give you more surface area to glue the membrane onto. Call them too.

    On the other hand, you already have a floor drain. What is wrong with it?

    I have seen it written in Plumbing Code books that ground-floor showers in concrete slabs do not need any special waterproofing, in residential buildings.

    Hope this helps you, Andrew.
    david
    Last edited by geniescience; 09-14-2006 at 04:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Also, Noble Company makes NobleSeal, a flexible membrane. They might be able to give you ideass about how to put cement on top.

    Tiles can be low-cost and effective too.

    Whatever you do, Andrew, it is important to build a slope so that water naturally wants to go into the drain.

    A floor drain on a flat floor is only an emergency drain, and water won't naturally flow into it at any rate worth speaking of. You will still have to push the water into it. That won't work with a daily shower. Too much moisture hanging around on the flat floor. Even the plumbing code says so.

    The slope has to be 2% or more, i.e. going up a quarter inch per foot, each foot from the drain. Then you need a shower curb too. Two inches in height, or more.

    david
    Last edited by geniescience; 09-15-2006 at 11:47 AM.

  8. #8

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    If yr looking for a 5-yr solution you could concrete the thing and then paint it with garage floor epoxy paint. You can even use the rubber flecks to make the floor non-slip.

    You still might want to use a one-piece drain from Schluter or Noble, and make a sloped floor.

    Know, though, that you'll be creating future demo work for yr next occupant. Alternatively, you might consider doing it right from now. With the Kerdi method (schluter systems) you can make an attractive and lasting shower for about $400-500 - tiles and all. Basic tiles are very inexpensive, and the job is pretty easy and wicked fun (check out john bridge if yr insterested).

    Rambling tangent: Has anyone else done a kerdi shower? I gotta say, I've tackled a bunch of DIY project before, but doing a shower has by far been the coolest and most rewarding. That Kerdi system is amazing and fun.
    Last edited by prashster; 09-15-2006 at 12:25 PM.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  9. #9
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    prashterman;

    i have done two Kerdi and one Wedi shower.

    Kerdi is a top-layer going on top of the structure you build. Wedi is both structure and a top-layer waterproofing. Wedi foam board allows you to build awesome shapes easily. Like in your tub podium and surround, and niches nooks and crannies.

    David

  10. #10
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I'm just finishing up the drywall for a double Kerdi shower, in the planning for a year or two. Hope to have it completed in the next few months -- one month to spend reading all the related John Bridge threads...

  11. #11

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    I'm going to use a flanged drain with weep holes under a sloped floorcovered with rubber. The kerdi drain is $80, so I found anoter one for $16. The rubber comes 4'X5' and my shower will be 5'X5', which means two pieces and glue for about $90 and lots left over I'm sure.
    Should I paint my cement floor with oil or latex paint sealer. I was going to go with a heavey duty oil boat paint, but some one told me latex was the better way to go because cement is waterbased and the paint will bond better. I thought the opposite, exactly because cement is water based and so is a shower.
    Also how qiuckly can I paint my cement floof after. Curing time goes on forever and 28 days is some sort of cement standard. I was going to give it a couple of days, but I know feal I should wait at least one weak, 7 days. Any thoughts from this helpfull gang here?
    Creative and cheep, Andrew.

  12. #12

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    Oh, also the red guard cost a small fortune so I aint going with that! I'll take some pictures to show you my final process and let you all have a good laugh at my meyhods.
    Andrew

  13. #13

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    I'd paint the floor and the walls with a good polyurethane floor paint. That stuff is tough as nails and waterproof (or at least very water resistant).

    I found this on the web in regards to a similar question about curing:



    "Hopefully your concrete will never cure....
    The ideal concrete will take forever to cure...as in the slower it cures the
    better, this is why you try and keep it wet on top for a while, this is why
    you see additives to make the concrete "wetter"....I think your querry is
    really "how long before I can climb/extend it" !!! That I cannot answer but
    I ber if you pour it on one weekend and come back a week later on the next
    weekend you will be a-ok......"

    "My building inspector told me wait three days before removing the forms;
    full cure is about 3 weeks...
    "
    Last edited by Verdeboy; 09-18-2006 at 03:05 PM.

  14. #14
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Cover the curb with the rubber too. Good decision to use rubber. This is what ALL the experts used (and still use) before the orange Kerdi membrane took over the JohnBridge guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Camacho
    I'm going to use a flanged drain with weep holes under a sloped floorcovered with rubber....Andrew.
    You mentioned you'll have a sloped floor. Congratulations


    This next part I didn't understand. Where are you intending to paint your floor? Somewhere not in the shower? Or, under the CPE membrane? I don't get it. And why are you in a rush to paint it? If this is a new slab, you do need to let it dry out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Camacho
    ....Should I paint my cement floor with oil or latex paint sealer. I was going to go with a heavey duty oil boat paint, but some one told me latex was the better way to go because cement is waterbased and the paint will bond better. I thought the opposite, exactly because cement is water based and so is a shower.
    Also how qiuckly can I paint my cement floof after. Curing time goes on forever and 28 days is some sort of cement standard. I was going to give it a couple of days, but I know feal I should wait at least one weak, 7 days. Any thoughts from this helpfull gang here?.

  15. #15
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    How about just using a good concrete sealer instead of paint. That is what I am doing. It waterproofs the concrete surface. When pouring the shower I would not trowel it smooth but leave a bit of "tooth" to help minimize slipperyness.

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