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Plmqwk, Master Plumber
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  20+ years in plumbing field. Licensed master plumber, commercial plumbing inspector
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I need someone over the next couple weeks to answer multiple

Customer Question

I need someone over the next couple weeks to answer multiple questions for me...I just removed a jetted tub in my bathroom and will be building a frameless glass shower with multiple shower heads and a bench and then adding tile...I have never done this and want to make sure that things are built correctly for proper drainage and no leaking...etc. I need to be told what to do first and then helped through each step. Please advise...
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.
I am willing to walk you through the extended process provided you have some idea what you are doing. Can you give me some of the questions you will need answers for at this point. A project of this nature needs to have someone with a construction background and some good plumbing knowledge. Sometimes a professional hire for installation is best advice one can give. But lets see where you are at and go from there.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. XXXXX concerned with the steps that should be taken first...such as do I need to build a base or do I purchase one? I am assuming I will build some sort of frame and fill it with some sort of concrete to tile over? And build the drain in the middle? When I do this, how will I slant it so that it drains correctly? Do I need to do this first? As I'm doing this, I assume I can go ahead and plumb out should I terminate the shower head ends? Which pieces should I use and what brand do you recommend? All copper all the way? I will have 2 shower on each side - or at least some type of removable (hand held) water spout on the other side....

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

While a tiled shower floor and threshold can be built to fit custom sizes and design layouts a preformed base is by far a better choice because it has less chance of leaking especially if you are not experienced in this area. If you are installing a normal rectangular shower I recommend this. Tiling the walls is nothing compared to floor prep for tile. Purchase a fiberglass with maybe an acrylic finish. If you require having a tile floor I can help you through that though. (Let me know on that and we can go into details deeper if needed).


As for the faucets- yes use copper if that is what is installed now. Brands I suggest are Kohler, Moen, Delta. Either of those are great and lots to choose from. You will need a 1- main rough-in valve and trim (for on/off and temperature control), 1- transfer valve with trim (this diverts the water from one outlet to another and multiple outlets at a time) then you mentions a hand held unit. this needs a hose, a support for the hand held to hang on and a wall outlet elbow to connect the other end of the hose. follow instructions of the transfer valve for piping to the locations of all outlets you choose. Usually the piping is all done with 1/2". As for the outlet connections for your shower heads and handheld you will want to use a fitting called a "drop eared ell" one end is for a soldered pipe (inlet) and the other is a 1/2" female pipe thread (for the outlet shower head arm) and a short brass threaded pipe nipple to connect to the hand held unit. The piping can be run in the walls prior to tile prep

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We definitely want tiled floor....can I tile over a preform? Or ???

I think probably the best thing to do is for me to upload a picture of what I have..and maybe you can tell me where you would start first...I'll do that now...

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok i've uploaded a picture showing you what i'm starting with. there is copper pipe below the floor that i will be starting at. If you were here, where would you start first? we definitely want to have tile flooring and walls tiled. and at some point, order frameless glass to install.

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

I just spent 40 minutes typing and my internet crashed as I tried to send. NOT HAPPY


I don't have time till tomorrow evening to redo this so sorry.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry about problem. It's not a hurry...just trying to get it done over time..thanks..and I will pay more throughout..I just need to start working on it this week..thanks again

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.
Well real quick: step one is to relocate waterlines into wall area where you want your faucet main control located. Then run drain line to center of shower. This includes re-locating the existing P-trap. Using same pipe size is okay for this install.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK I am doing this tomorrow night and will be back in touch with any questions.

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

you want to use this type of shower drain. Its for tiled shower floor installs. You want to use a sawz-all to bevel the wood floor around the circular opening so the drain sits as flush as possible with the largest outer edge of the drain. Perfection here is not necessary, but trying to get it so the rubber shoer membrane that gets installed later will lay flat on the floor surface.


Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

Dear Customer,


Just checking in to see how your project is going and if you are in need of anymore info at this point in time?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Relist: Incomplete answer. We agreed that the person giving answer would help me over the next few weeks as I finish this project. It was closed out only after the first step - not upon completion. Need to know what is the next step. I have the drain in place and the plumbing done..I need to know what is next step in building the shower out. I have pictures of where I'm at now.

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

Hey I am back. The site automatically closes out the question if no responses either way in I think in 48 hours. Your next step would be to frame a threshold. I recommend stacking 2x4's (3 high) for a total of 4.5 inches. Then installing a rubber membrane to create a waterproof "pan" of sorts covers entire floor and up the side walls a minimum of 6" with no cuts or seams. The shower drain hole would be cut only enough so you can re attach the bolts of the upper portion of the drain. In the corners (this part gets tricky) you fold them over (called hospital corners). No cutting, the excess can usually tuck into the wall areas between the studs. Nail the membrane to the studs near the top edge of your verticle portion. Its a bit bulky near the bottom but that wont matter because the mortar base you will be doing next will cover most of that. Then run some rubber membrane up the corners 6" in both directions and approximately 60" tall. let the end hang inside of the "pan". Next you will want to mix a mortar base to create slope towards the drain. you want between 1/8"- 1/4" pitch from outside corner to drain center. adjust drain height to allow for this and leave high enough to match tile finished height. Make sure mortar is a minimum of 1 1/2" inches thick near the drain. As close as possible to this anyways.


Anything more you need at this point?

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.


some videos for visual aid! I do everything INSIDE the shower. and no seams to seal if piece is large enough to cover entire shower.


Also plz send me pics so I can see if I need to have you make any adjustments.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

here is the drain

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't know what the deal is but I'm having trouble uploading let me upload one - which is the drain so that is somewhere to start....I think I understand what to do...

Couple questions... i'm unclear on where this is supposed to run and how high? "Then run some rubber membrane up the corners 6" in both directions and approximately 60" tall. let the end hang inside of the "pan"."

Also how do I create the slope? Is that done as it's drying? Just go in and slope it as it dries?

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

Ah yes, sorry. Hope to clear up your questions with an example. Lets say the base of your shower (inside edge to inside edge) is 48" deep- front threshold to back x 60" long- left to right. The rubber membrane usually comes in 5' or 6' lengths. Get the 6' if available. Now you are going to want a piece of membrane that is 12" longer than your left to right measurement (so it can lay flat on the bottom and turn up 6" vertically along the sides. You want the measurement of the piece from from front to back to measure approximately 18" longer than inside measurement so it will rise vertically 6" up on each side and lay over the threshold. So you will want one solid piece no cuts that measures 66" x 72". That is the base "pan". You will need 2 pieces for the inside corners that measure 12" x 60" minimum (can be longer and higher) these get place and nailed at the corners so they cover 6" in both directions vertically on the walls. the end of these corner pieces just hang down inside of the "pan" you install 1st.


Creating slope with the Mortar (please use mortar mix- easier to form and work with)

you will want to make it sort of stiff so it will stay in place while you work with it. You will be able to draw a line on the pan around the outer edge for the height there and use a couple precut sticks ( these should measure shortest measurement from edge of drain to wall, longest, and couple in between) to trowel it to the pitch desired at the drain. View a couple of the videos on the page I sent. Pictures worth 1000 words when it comes to explaining. Hope I clarified a bit here.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

makes sense....what is the mixture that I will need to use? And what will I use exactly? Is it just mortar mix? Is it just one particular type of mix?

Expert:  Plmqwk replied 2 years ago.

Hello again. It appears since the question is "timed out" I don't get notices that you responded to me. I am glad I checked in my profile to see that you had a reply the other day. I have another sight with videos to help you out. I am here for any questions you may have but like to use videos when possible. Seeing is so much more understandable, I hope you agree.


Couple things about the video. EVERY shower I have ever done I have never filled in between the studs with solid wood near the floor. Not a bad idea, just not necessary. also I have always seen the choraloy membrane installed directly on the floor THEN mortar to pitch the floor they do it a bit differently here. Also pay attention to the corner forming. I prefer the fold and tuck method. Also the sealant they use can be substituted. Just make sure that a product you use will cure and seal with the type of rubber membrane you purchase. The sales associate should be able to help you with that at lowes or home depot etc. Try your best to create a pan without any seams along the floor, and no cuts in the corners. One more thing I have never "caulked" around the shower drain clamping ring either but that I do recommend.


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