linear drains and waterproofing systems: paranoia? mix and match? overkill? K.I.S.S.?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Steve Zerby, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Steve Zerby

    Steve Zerby Remodel Contractor

    Jun 13, 2013
    Remodeling contractor
    Upstate NY
    Hi, folks,

    I'm doing a 32x54 (34x56 RO) curbed shower with a bench all across one of the short walls and a linear drain up against the face of the bench. I would like the shower drain grate to run wall-to wall. I'm using 1x1 mosaic tiles.

    Laticrete's Hydroban 34x66 linear pre-sloped pan coupled with their 32" linear drain and pre-formed curb looks like just the ticket in this size, but there a couple of things about the Laticrete system that bug me.

    I am nervous about Hydroban alone as the waterproofing. I've done a few showers in the past with their 9235 sheet-membrane and brush-on latex, and I like the security of that system, but I dislike the buildup that happens in the corners. I talked with a laticrete rep on the phone, and he said to go ahead and reinforce the corners with fabric and hydroban if I'm nervous about it. Am I just being paranoid? Should I trust the hydroban system alone? The wall framing is all new, and plumb, level, and square. I will level the floor substrate (which is 3/4 pine plank flooring over 3/4" pine board sublfooring) with a self-leveling cementitious floor leveler.

    I was planning on using 1/2" cement board as the wall substrate and painting with hydroban brush-on liquid membrane, but I was talking to a friend who really dislikes using concrete board. He has used Kerdi over hardipanel, laticrete 9235 with membrane over concrete board, and WEDI with just the sealant at the seams. He loves the WEDI. No mesh, no liquid membrane, just goop at the seams. What do people think about mixing and matching systems? Maybe using Wedi board on the walls, the Hydroban pan and drain, and some kind of hydroban-adhered mesh in the corners??? I see on their web-site that Laticrete is coming out with their own version of WEDI-like board, but not in time for my needs. Is 1/2" WEDI over 16" OC framing stiff enough for mosaic tiles? I could bump up to 5/8" WEDI board and still achieve a 32" finished size with my 34" RO because my tile is only 1/4" thick.

    I've also seen on these boards that John Whipple is not a big fan of the Laticrete linear drain. Can you elaborate John? It seems to be super-simple to install with the preformed pan. Is it posible to use one of the other drains with the laticrete presloped pan? The architect specified Quickdrain, but their system is a lot more expensive when you add up all the bits and pieces. One thing I don't like about the laticrete drain is that it looks like there is no perimeter to tile up to. It appears that you just have the raw edge of the tile, then a gap, then the grate. Seems like a potentially sloppy detail, especially with the mosaic tiles. I see a tile edging specified in the Quickdrain drawing, but cannot find the tile edging anywhere on the website. Is a stainless tile edging like that available somewhere that I could combine with the laticrete drain? Another issue with the laticrete drain pan is that it is a flat-bottomed pan. How big of an issue is it that there is no slope in the pan? On the plus side, the inside of the laticrete drain is smooth, and doesn't look to be a hair-catcher.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve Zerby
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    The hassle with mixing up systems is that should something go wrong (not saying it will), you'll never get any one of the companies to own up to helping you resolve the issue.

    If I understand your floor, that may be a major sounds like you have two layers of dimensional lumber. That is fairly strong, but, I do not know any slc company that would allow you to install their product over it! The stuff is just too unstable with humidity (seasonal) changes, and the bond is unlikely to hold.

    You might want to run your questions by the people at While we get some tillers here, for the most part, this section leans more towards the plumbing side of showers, not the building of them from scratch. There are hundreds of tile pros on tap over there, so you can get help and experience from more than one.
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  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    linear drains and waterproofing systems: Laticrete - Infinity Drain Info

    The Laticrete linear drain is made by Infinity. One of my least favourite linear drain products.

    I sell ACO - they make the best linear drain on the market.

    If you want my take on the Laticrete line drain -

    My top selling ACO drains are the tile insert models.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2016
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