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BigWadeS

Shower floor -- pan or tile?

24 posts in this topic

I am remodeling our bathroom and shower and wondering what you would prefer to do. We currently have a shower floor/pan installed, but am on the fence if I wan to tile the floor or put in a new shower pan. What is everyone's experience's with either one?

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Pan, Tiles will eventually let water through the grout.

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I just did a neo angle shower, with a pan from teh store, but tiled the walls and the main br floor and the seperate tub surround and part of the wall. It worked pretty well, but I am no pro, and I thought it was rather easy. Messy, but easy smile

If you do it that way, put a rug on the pan, then tape poly over it before you start to help keep mortar/grout or dropped tiles hit the pan.

Also, I made a mortar bed under the glass pan, to make it more sturdy, and it made a night and day difference over our last pan, which they didn't do that too. It is solid as concrete.

Good luck.

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Actually, a properly constructed tile shower pan will NEVER let water out...the grout has nothing to do with it. It's all in the PVC liner and curb/drain construction.

It will as last as you want it to if built correctly. Full tile showers add much more class than a fiberglass shower pan. Are you confident to do one yourself? There is plenty of information out there on how to do one properly, if you don't want to tackle it, then get a fiberglass.

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I have to agree with Strato. I've been in both and find the fiberglass ones alittle "weak", so to speak. We have the tile floor and love it.

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I am confident doing it myself and found the tile ready shower pans that have the slope built in which I am thinking of going with

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Good, the biggest problem areas that I run into are the drain and the curb, especially the curb/wall intersection, failure to use pre-made PVC corners sovent welded to the actual liner and nailing/screwing thru the liner on the top or inside of the curb is another big no-no. Pre-slope then liner then final mortar bed is a very good idea as well...

Good luck!

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Stratos -- can you shoot me an email w k s 1974 @ yahoo dot com I have a couple questions for you on what you said

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I would second (or 3rd) the tile. We installed ours and I was pretty amazed at all the layers that went into it. We did it right and this thing is bullet proof. Looks great too.

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Titelines -- are you referring to using the shower pan that you tile over?

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Hey BidWade$ -

Sorry, Haven't checked in here for awhile. Here's what we did (to the best of my memory).

First, we put down a layer of thick plastic all around the walls of the shower. We then applied a layer of mortar on the floor, and shaped it for drainage etc.

We then put a few pea sized pebbles on the floor and inserted a shower pan on top of them. This was not pre-shaped, it was a rubber one that would conform to the shape we needed.

Why the pebbles? We figured that, if water did ever get through everything, these would create just a bit of air space between the pan and the concrete. The concrete was angled to the drain, so any water that got through would drain, or dry, and not be trapped down there.

From there, we put down a layer of 1/2" concrete board. This covered the walls and overlapped the shower pan. We then made sure to seal up all the joints, edges etc.

Next, we applied a roll-on sealer over the walls. I can't remember the name of it, but it changed colors (for example, it's blue when you roll it on, then it turns red).

We were then ready to tile and grout everything (floor, walls). When that was done we applied a sealer to that, just to bring out the sheen of the tile and help prevent mildew etc.

Like I said, this thing is bullet-proof and was a nice project. Sounds like a lot of work, but really isn't bad.

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Hey BidWade$ -

Sorry, Haven't checked in here for awhile. Here's what we did (to the best of my memory).

First, we put down a layer of thick plastic all around the walls of the shower. We then applied a layer of mortar on the floor, and shaped it for drainage etc.

We then put a few pea sized pebbles on the floor and inserted a shower pan on top of them. This was not pre-shaped, it was a rubber one that would conform to the shape we needed.

Why the pebbles? We figured that, if water did ever get through everything, these would create just a bit of air space between the pan and the concrete. The concrete was angled to the drain, so any water that got through would drain, or dry, and not be trapped down there.

From there, we put down a layer of 1/2" concrete board. This covered the walls and overlapped the shower pan. We then made sure to seal up all the joints, edges etc.

Next, we applied a roll-on sealer over the walls. I can't remember the name of it, but it changed colors (for example, it's blue when you roll it on, then it turns red).

We were then ready to tile and grout everything (floor, walls). When that was done we applied a sealer to that, just to bring out the sheen of the tile and help prevent mildew etc.

Like I said, this thing is bullet-proof and was a nice project. Sounds like a lot of work, but really isn't bad.

Sounds like the track I am on...question for you the roll on sealer, before tile went on, did that go directly on the durarock/concrete wall board and then the thinset? That is the only step I am not aware of.

With the shower pan I went with a Kohler premolded fiberglass one and plan on putting it on a slightly sloped mortar bed, as opposed to just concrete that the previous one was on...

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Yep, that went directly on the Durarock. I can't remember the name of it, but I'm sure any home store can help you with the product and application.

This was a couple years ago and I'm going off memory. I'll check with the better 1/2 and see if I'm missing anything.

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FWIW, I used Hardi-Backer instead of durarock and the folks at TileStore told me when using this you don't need to seal it at all, just put thinset on, then tile, then grout, then grout treatment/sealer and good to go.

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It's called Redgard made by Custom Building Products and available at HD, or Mapielastic that is the blue one and available at Menards, one layer for moisture barrier, two coats at required thickness for waterproofing.

Not needed on a vertical surface as the substrate is water tolerant in and of itself. And water runs down that surface...And Hardibacker is no more so than Durock....not sure where they got that from.

But, if you want to apply a surface membrane, it's not a bad idea, alot of guys, me included do the screw heads and the corners.

So Wade, it sounds like you're not doing a tile pan then, fiberglass instead.

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Maybe that's why, I just tiled the walls, not the pan.

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Scott, yeah I went with a premolded shower pan instead of the membrane and tiling it...I am using hardi backer, so Scott, what do you use as surface membrane over the screw heads and corners/seams?

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Sounds like a plan man!

I like to use a product called Redgard, it's basically a thick liquid that dries to a flexible waterproof membrane.. HD carries it, use a small V-notched trowel to apply, then smooth out, let dry and do another coat. There are good instructions on the pail as well.

Good luck with the project Wade.

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Recently had a slate tile shower done on the new house. The tile guy who did it used to tile for a high end builder in MN for over 20 years until the economy crunch started and they went with the guy who did the labor for 1/3 the cost.

He put the little 1/2in tiles on the floor with the 12 inch tiles with some little brick style tiles up towards the middle.

The finished product with a 1/4 frameless glass door is amazing. My wife designed it and most people come out of the bathroom and say it looks stunning. The room was empty when we started besides being roughed in for plumbing and we dropped around $7K into it and it was worth every penny.

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So I am at the point in installing my new shower pan and noticed that when seated against the walls the drain is off by about 1 1/2", meaning the drain in the floor is that far too long to be centered...so I will need to bust up the concrete floor and shorten the pipe correct? If so how deep is the pipe under the concrete? Once the drain is centered do I just use quick-rite to fill in what I busted up?

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Sorry to revive a really old topic, but it has some pretty good advice and I was hoping to solicit some more if possible...

With the premolded pan that you can tile over, is it viable to install an electric heating pad underneath to take some shock off the toes when first getting into the shower?

I have a bathroom to finish in the basement and wanted to take this route, would love to add some in-floor heat if it was simple to do!

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Myself I have never used a premolded pan, I build them from scratch with the traditional method but I did run elec heat into a shower pan before, thought it was of time and money truthfully, running the water hot for a bit has the same effect but quicker as it doesn't need to heat up the mud bed through the pan liner... But hey, they wanted it and paid for it.

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