Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bath Project Getting Started-Gots Problems....part 1 Shower

Yes it's been a looong while since we've posted on the house blog and boy do I have a back-up of posts....we've got Halloween posts, several knifecatching posts....lots of posts...if I can find the time. Right now I've got exactly a month before the permit runs out on this bath project and I'm going to attempt to get as much done as possible.
Bottom Floor Bath Project
needs help....cause we gots problems...of course.

I've spent a TON of money in the last couple of days ordering everything I think we'll need to get this project finished. I truly had no idea that shower plumbing stuff could be so expensive! It blows me away that you have to buy the fracking valves separately!!! Same thing with the dang vanity faucet!

Here is the plan view of what we are trying to do with the bottom floor bath.

Here's a total side view of everything. You can even see the ceiling mounted rain shower head and the ceiling fan and light.

Ignore the placement of the vanity in this shot it should be rotated 90deg and placed against the wall we're looking through here.

Of course before I can even start thinking about construction I've got to basically clean and organize the entire bottom floor of the house putting away all the seasonal stuff and fully recovering space from the Halloween crush...oh and I have to plug a tire on our truck too....isn't this what every remodeler has to do before starting work?

Ta-da one clean bathroom space!
Now, lets get to the problems....

I've decided to use the Kerdi system and have purchased the Kerdi Shower kit with the 32"by60" pan.
This should have everything I need to waterproof the shower floor and walls.

Problem #1...this is the drain pipe for the shower...notice how it is higher than the floor? Because of where our sewer main is, this is as low as this line can be and still drain properly....

The top of this line is ~5" above the floor! What in the heck can I do about this?
So far my only idea is to build some forms and pour some additional concrete in this area to raise the floor level up and cover this pipe. Then I could set the Kerdi shower base on this raised flat-level platform and continue as normal? I don't want the step into the shower to be any higher than required...anybody have any idea how little concrete above the pipe I can get away with?

Shower Questions
1. The rain shower will project down from the ceiling about 1' leaving it ~8' off the floor. How high up should the waterproofing-tile go and how high up should the glass enclosure go?

2. What to do about the drain line being 5" above the slab in shower area?
-Does it make sense to pour a base-footing for the shower to cover the pipe? If so should I use regular concrete? or what? Dry pack mortar?? The Kerdi shower curbs sit on the outside of the pan so I would need to size this base to be big enough for the curbs also?

3. Placing the drain- I'm pretty sure that the existing location of the drain stub-out is off by 6"...I'm worried about adjusting this as it looks like from reading the kerdi instructions that you have to have this placed EXACTLY in the right spot?

4. On the walls of the shower I would like to use plywood so that I can screw in anywhere for the grab rails and not have to worry about it. Whats the recommended thickness of plywood for this application? Can I adhere the kerdi straight to the plywood or would I have to screw in cement board to this? I'm kinda worried about the thickness of this wall 3/4" ply + 1/2" backer board + 1/2" tile...maybe I don't need to worry about it?

That's part one any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. I want to pour the pad before the weekend if possible...


Jessamyn said...

I would go with blocking rather than plywood for the grab bars. You've pointed out some of the problems with plywood sheathing, and blocking is super cheap and easy to throw in between the studs when the walls are open.

We couldn't decide exactly where the bars would go in advance when we did our shower, so we just ran very generous blocking in a "belt" around the right height for the horizontal bars and a good chunk vertically in the corner where we knew we wanted an angled vertical. Then we took photos of the space and did a little basic measuring so we'd be sure to be able to hit them again later.

Gene said...

No good ideas on the drain, and no experience with the Kerdi system (though I did look at it when I was doing the master bath in the addition.) I believe the drain location has to be pretty much exact -- certainly closer than 6".

You can do concrete as thin as 1/2"-1", but you need to make sure it doesn't dry out too quickly. Put a damp cloth of some sort over the thin area while it's setting.

Also, you're a ways from needing it, but I have a wet tile saw you can borrow when you get to that stage.

Joel said...

Not sure about the code ramifications of this, but the shower in our basement is built up on a subfloor of 2 x 6's. The 2 x 6's are placed on end on the cement slab of the floor. The floor of the shower is on top of this. The drain pipes run through the 2 x 6's

The MadScientist said...

Hi Jessamyn,
Ya the plywood got shot down its apparently not compatable with the kerdi system??? I do have access to both sides of the wall so I can actually put in blocking after the fact along the long side of the shower.

The MadScientist said...

Hi Gene,
Thanks for the offer of the tile saw. I've got a little 7" wet saw with a diamond blade for cutting porcelein tile. If yours is more capable I'd love to use it.

I've nixed the concrete idea see my response to Joel.

The MadScientist said...

Hi Joel,
Yep all the pro's I talked to about this project said they'd build a wood platform so that's what I'm going to do.
That way the pipes won't be incased in concrete and I'll have some wiggle room for the drain lines.