Installing a shower base

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Trishcan, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Trishcan

    Trishcan New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I apologise if these question(s) have been answered previously - this is my first time posting on one of these forums, 'though I have browsed them many times, and am impressed by the wealth of knowledge offered. Hopefully somebody can help me!!
    I have completely gutted a small bathroom and am installing a shower base and seamless glass walls and shower door on two sides, glass tiles over cement board on the other two walls. (Ove Decor is the manufacturer, ordered from Rona.) The base is 39.5" x 32", and is made of a fibreglass and acrylic blend. It has 8 "feet", adjustable for levelling purposes. My questions:

    • do I need to put a vapour barrier under the base
    • I am installing cement board on top of my subfloor before laying ceramic tile - should I continue the cement board under the base?
    • how much - if any - mortar/cement/concrete or any other "stuff" should I lay beneath the base - enough to cover the "feet" or until it (the mortar) is level with the drain hole?

    Thanks to anyone who can offer their advice - the manual is rather vague, and focuses more on the installation of the glass enclosure. With regards to the shower base, it emphasizes that the feet should be levelled, and to ensure that the cement board for the walls sits flush with the top of the base in order for the tiles to cover inside the lip. Nothing is mentioned about securing the base to the floor.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    You don't need a vapor barrier under the pan, but you might want to put one to keep the mortar from being sucked dry by the plywood until it cures. You should also have a vapor barrier behind the cement board - bring it down the wall and lap it over the flange into the pan.

    To keep the fiberglass from getting stress fractures and to make it feel more substantial, it isn't a bad idea to have enough down there to essentially cover the whole bottom, or at least the majority of it. It needs to be deep enough to allow the cavities to be filled in. Just make sure to smush the pan down until it is level - that is critical for proper operation.
  3. Trishcan

    Trishcan New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for your advice, Jadnashua. Is there any particular type of mortar I should put under the pan - modified or regular thinset, or just plain cement or concrete - can I get away with using less expensive stuff?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    You can use a sand mix, which is cheap. It contains anywhere from 3-5 parts of sand to one part of cement. It's the same stuff they make shower pans.
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