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Conversion to walk-in shower -- any tips?

Elan

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Thinking of undertaking the task of converting our existing shower (composite base and crappy sliding door) to a walk-in. I will obviously need to demo, put the base in and frame up the outer wall, as well as sheetrock and tile. The only mentally intimidating part is the shower base. There are options -- buy a tile ready base or pour my own base.
Anyhow, seems like it would be a relatively easy and possibly fun project. Anyone done this themselves? If so, any words of wisdom, primarily WRT the base?
 

Ron98GT

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Shulter Kerdi board:

http://youtu.be/tFGHiDX7hHU

A total DIY project. No contracter and no hot mopping.

Just Google Kerdi for more info.
 
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BJRSanDiego

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Thinking of undertaking the task of converting our existing shower (composite base and crappy sliding door) to a walk-in. I will obviously need to demo, put the base in and frame up the outer wall, as well as sheetrock and tile. The only mentally intimidating part is the shower base. There are options -- buy a tile ready base or pour my own base.
Anyhow, seems like it would be a relatively easy and possibly fun project. Anyone done this themselves? If so, any words of wisdom, primarily WRT the base?

I've put in a shower, using a preformed (heavy plastic ?) base. It had lips that would go flat against the studs. The drywall stopped at the lips and the wall tile overlapped the lips to form a watertight seal. It was not meant to have tile cemented directly to the base.

I built a custom house (using a contractor) and they poured the concrete base for the shower. Then another fellow came in and poured a layer of hot tar on the base. (that is the local practice in this area). The walls got covered with concrete board.
It was then tiled - walls and floor. Not really a difficult job.

If you've never laid tile before, your first results aren't going to be as good as a professional though. There are a number of small but important things to do when laying out tile, etc.
 

pedro47

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I've put in a shower, using a preformed (heavy plastic ?) base. It had lips that would go flat against the studs. The drywall stopped at the lips and the wall tile overlapped the lips to form a watertight seal. It was not meant to have tile cemented directly to the base.

I built a custom house (using a contractor) and they poured the concrete base for the shower. Then another fellow came in and poured a layer of hot tar on the base. (that is the local practice in this area). The walls got covered with concrete board.
It was then tiled - walls and floor. Not really a difficult job.

If you've never laid tile before, your first results aren't going to be as good as a professional though. There are a number of small but important things to do when laying out tile, etc.

Suggestion spend the money and hired as a very good professional.
 

ronparise

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I did a project to go from a shower to a tub I had your same steps except for the base I did have some concrete work however, in that I had to move the drain
I also added a window.

Florida house, so concrete pad and block walls. The demo was the fun part especially busting up the concrete to move the drain and cutting through the block wall for the window the tile work was the most satisfying.i had never done that before so it was a learning experience and it turned out pretty good

I wouldn't use Sheetrock There's something called green board or cement board that's made for this purpose

By the way you won't beleive the amoount of material that you will have to dispose of that comes out of that little space

Enjoy

I don't think I saved much money, the new tools and tool rentals ate up most of my savings
 

MuranoJo

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We had to replace our walk-in shower floor because of a faulty installation 20 years ago. Yes, it should have lasted longer. After watching the work, time involved between stages, and carry-out debris through just this process, there's no way I'd tackle the job you're describing on my own. But you may be more patient and energetic than I at this stage.
 

willowglener

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I second schluter kerdi system. Easy installation and completely foolproof. I trust this more than hot-mop.
 

SmithOp

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We did the demo down to the wall studs for a double shower stall and tub. We hired a contractor to install a faux marble vinyl surround and soaking tub. We saved some doing our own demo and didn't have to buy special tools and acquire skills.

Removing a hot mopped tub and shower was a huge chore, the tar was inches thick and had become brittle and cracked, the tub leaked in a corner and rotted the subfloor. We chose a one piece plastic shower pan.
 

BJRSanDiego

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I think that some of the biggest challenges when doing a tiling job is in dealing with out-of-square spaces and avoiding having any thin slivers of tiles and matching horizontal and vertical lines. Those concepts aren't exactly rocket science, but when a person does their first tile job, it is easy to overlook some of these better industry practices.

When we're traveling to timeshares, I notice how the tile is put in. It isn't uncommon to see that the tile person started in one corner with a full tile and then ends up with something thin on the other wall. Even "so-called" professionals do some sloppy work.
 

Elan

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Thanks for the replies. My neighbor recently remodeled his shower (increased sf) and he used the Schluter-Kerdi kit (not the board, just the membrane). So that's the way I was leaning. His turned out nice, and he experienced many of the issues warned about here. But he's happy with the end result.
I might wait on this project as I don't want to have to rush to get it completed, which would be the case if I started it shortly.
 

Ron98GT

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We plan on replacing our small fiberglass shower in the master bathroom with a Kerdi DYI walk-in. For practice, I replaced the tile and drywall in the guest bathroom around the tub. I used the kerdi board, which increased the cost, but it was so, so, easy. Because of the custom walk-in size I won't be able to use the pre-manufactured Kerdi shower floors, but it looks fairly easy to create your own floors using the membrane. Just remember to use the Kerdi drain and design the floor around the drain and try to keep the drain in the same location.

I looked into the hot mopping, but I heard it it leaks, is stinky, and is not cheap. We checked with a number of contracters and even if I did the demo, it was very expensive.

Do Google searches, there is a lot of Kerdi Youtube videos on the internet, including some by Kerdi.
 

Kal

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For years I put off a total remodel of one of our bathrooms solely because of the shower floor. I wanted a poured floor but it was something I did not want to do as a DIY basis. I could do every other aspect of the remodel but not the shower floor. I liked the Kerdi system even if it was outrageously overpriced.

Finally this last summer I bit the bullet. I did substantial research on techniques and finally retained a contractor to do the shower floor, tile, vanity and granite. However, I did move the shower drain plumbing myself. Even then, the contractor brought in a subcontractor who was an expert in poured shower base.

I carefully watched every minute task for the shower base and concluded it's definitely do-able, but installation of the HDPE liner below the mud takes a very skilled and experienced hand.

Overall, installation of a high quality poured shower base AND curb requires experience. Once the base is installed and contoured, setting tile on the base, curb and walls is definitely DIY.
 

SMHarman

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Try this in an NYC apartment.

My bathroom floor is now tanked to 4 in up the walls

2ba2422070f76e622376c0a1720ec2c0.jpg


The shower floor. Well this diagram sums it up.

7de72c1a7bf04fdecd33a750ea4ed131.jpg


I'll remember to take a picture of it later.
 
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MRSFUSSY

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remodel bathroom

Hello from the east coast. Must add my 2 cents. Awhile ago we redid a bathroom, used glass block for a surround look and it came out beautiful, mega bucks for the contractor. Here we are some years later, both of us with medical issues which make showering difficult. No room for a shower chair of any size or strength. Best scenario would be to have it completely removed, money down the drain. Never considered arthritis, stroke etc. during the planning stage. Ouch.
 
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