redoing another shower


Tom King

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Tom, when the tile guys did our new bathroom, they used a semi dry mixture to form the slope and it hardened like concrete. I’ve seen it done in commercial kitchens as well. Are you familiar with the process? 

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I know that process, but have never seen anyone do it.  No one stocks that around here even though it's listed on the Home Depot website.  I'm used to working with wet mortar and concrete.  I liked this bedding compound that I used this time and will use it from now on for such jobs as this.

When I built new houses, the floor of showers was done with a monolithic thick pour of regular concrete.  Not one of those has ever cracked that I know of.  The one in our house has its own foundation even, but this house that we live in is the only house I've ever built over a crawlspace.  This rental house is the first time I've worked on a house on a slab.  If it was a house we'd live in, I probably would have cut the whole floor out and poured it in one piece out of concrete.

I really decided to try this here because I need to do something similar in that little brick bathroom house on the point that I've been putting off getting into.  I like this system good enough for it down there too. At least on that one I'm not cutting the slab up, nor was it already broken like this one, so the bedding compound will all be on top of strong as steel concrete.

edited to add:  I looked it up.  The dry bed method just uses cement and sand.  This bedding compound has lime in it too, and is supposedly stronger.  The mixing of the dry worries me because it has to be just right.  I think for guys that work with it all the time it's probably easier since it's less messy, and quicker.  Since I don't do it every day but am used to working with regular concrete and mortar, I think I'm better off sticking to this wet method.

It's probably easier to get the surface of the dry bed to look more perfect than I got this one, but laying my straight edges on it, it couldn't be better for the next layer of thinset to lay the tile.

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I agree with your logic as even the “Pros” screw up. After they laid the tile and it had set for a couple of days, I went thru with a 1” dowel rod and tapped on the floor. I had seen this done on the commercial jobs by the GC. Our shower is 4’ x 7’ and I found an area that sounded hollow. The GC and tile guys agreed that it was solid and would hold up. I said bs and made them take not only the hollow sounding area up but the whole darn floor. That was 3 years ago and I still tap on it occasionally and it’s still solid. Not that will do me any good as I bet there are more than one Juan in my area! :D

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I laid the second row this morning.  It looks like I'm going to have between 8 and 10 hours in laying this 4x6 shower floor, including the cleaning the way it's going.  It's a slow go by myself having to stop so many times to clean the screeds as I go along.    A helper would cut the time in less than half. 

It would have been easier if I could start on the far side and work out, but that would make it unlikely to end up correctly with the old floor.  I'm afraid to lay too much in one session because for these first two rows I'm working inside the shower.  If I ran more than that at one time that I might step on it while it's soft, which would be a disaster.  I'm running out of room inside the shower and having to reach back across the freshly laid row to use the cleaning bucket. 

New work doing a whole bathroom floor would have been simpler.  I used to do the shower floor as part of the whole bathroom floor in my new houses.  When I poured the shower floor base, it was done as I framed the house, before walls were stood up so I could use one screed and just let it run over the outer edges of the framed opening.

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I've probably bought almost everything sold to smooth the cut edge of pieces so there is no sharp corner, but this little thing does the best job of anything yet.  It's about 3/4's round, and the other quarter has a flat section.  I'm mostly using the flat section.  

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MN6HC2Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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The glass cutting blade I use on my tile saw was not cutting quite as smoothly as I would have liked it to, so I tried one of these, really not expecting it to do much.  It surprised me and just using it one quick time, the blade now leaves perfectly smooth cuts.  I still have to cut the little pieces to go in two edges of the floor, and was almost ready to buy a new blade, but this did the job.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NCVH70?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

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Tile job is looking great. Is there a reason you didn’t replace the window stool and jamb with the same tile, to eliminate wood in a shower? 
The contractor that built our new bathroom used these instead of bull nose tiles. It sure makes a good transition in corners and edges. Maybe a thought on your next tile job. But definately not trying to tell a pro, how to do his job! :)

IMG_6273.thumb.jpeg.3a3c3a6973df7f4652325473e81a4f68.jpegIMG_6272.thumb.jpeg.2a19bb6ce347167c8367d926537ac295.jpegIMG_6271.thumb.jpeg.7f8a7f552746073e7f8c3721d03a4be5.jpeg

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I haven't bought Corian at retail since the 1980's when I built countertops out of it.  I still have some left over scraps from sink cutouts and off cuts from sheets.  I made that little shelf out of some of it.  I probably don't have any pieces big enough for that window, but will find it on ebay or some place that builds stuff out of it.  I want it to look like a regular window.  The walls in that house are 19" thick, so it's a deep window stool. 

I thought about using tile for the window, but couldn't come up with a design I liked enough to spend any time on.  This is just cheap tile from Lowes and there is not a lot of choices on transition pieces.  We'll have well less than a grand in this conversion.

There may be a door or curtain going between the shower and that window, or maybe where the floor transitions, or maybe none at all.  We're going to have to try it to see.  The window sash are out of splash angle any kind of way.

Sorry, but I'm not a fan of those metal edges.  The house is still a 1974 house.  Pam just wanted to use the big tile so there are less grout joints to keep clean.  If we had been able to find tile like was originally used in there, we would have used it.  This is better than a green fiberglass shower though.

It's really a slow go by myself.  The tile saw is set up outside about 75 feet away outside and every time I have to walk out of that bathroom, which is for about anything, I have to clean my shoes to make sure I don't track mortar anywhere.  I have the floor in there wrapped up with plastic and Masonite hardboard.  I'll be very glad when this job is finished.

 

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