Need help to install new shower floor

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esm

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Hi there.. My wife has "volunteered" me to cover our old shower floor. It's 35 year old cultured marble, totally flat, no slope to the drain and the entire floor tilts slightly to one corner where the water always ends up and the floor looks really crappy. I'm trying to find a not so complicated solution. I checked shower pans but none would fit (shower floor is 44"x31"). Anyone got any good ideas/suggestions?
 

jadnashua

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Plumbing code requires the waterproof layer to be sloped to the drain at a minimum of 1/4" per foot...so, what you have should never have been installed!

It's not uncommon for a floor to not be totally flat and level, and manufactured pans need both prior to installation.

I do not know of a good way to save any of this. Do you have access to beneath the shower pan? It MIGHT be thick enough that if you made yourself a jig, you might be able to use a router and resurface it with proper slope, but the drain would need to be replaced to handle the new, lowered position. That would take an advanced skill and a router bit that could cut the pan cleanly, and then, you'd probably have to polish it and maybe seal any pockets that might expose...IOW, probably not a viable solution.

My goto place for tiling and showers is www.johnbridge.com . Maybe it's time for a new shower?

Maybe someone else will have some ideas. Trying to remove just the manufactured pan without damaging the walls, and to maintain the waterproof capabilities (code says the pan should be waterproof 2" above the curb, well, it says there should be no penetrations into the pan within that height), that would imply removing either part of the walls, or all of them, and by then, it may just be cleaner and easier to just make a new one.
 

esm

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Thanks for the detailed reply. Removing the existing pan is not feasible, the entire shower (cultured marble) sits on top.
I did some more research about custom made shower pans. That seems to be the solution. Are there significant downsides to that?
 

John Gayewski

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No I'd get a custom made pan. We installed one recently and it was pretty slick. Very odd shape too it was an odd (can't think of the word) shaped triangle. But the whole thing sloped to the drain. The carpenter made a template for us to pipe in the drain and it works great. Onyx was the brand I think
 

jadnashua

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I think it will be really hard to get the existing pan out of there without compromising the walls. If starting over, all options are open.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a way to patch this and have it work without replacing it. Maybe someone else will. Good luck.

Given the dimensions, you should have about 5/8" drop from the outside edge to the middle where the drain presumably is. The pan may not be that thick, but if you used a router with a circle cutter and had the router on about a 2-degree angle, and kept making circular cuts further and further out at that slope, you might get it sloped, and a new surface. I'd want to try that on something else before I tried it on the pan. Kind of far out choice.

But, if you can't get to the drain to lower it, that would be useless. I can't think of anything you could use to overlay the existing pan that would work properly.

You could probably use an epoxy thinset and tile it, but that would just follow the existing slope, which you implied doesn't exist, and then, you'd need to play with the drain to raise the grate. There are some ways to do that, though. You'd be able to get a very slight slope with the thinset, but by its nature, it's not designed to be very thick. You'd want to talk to the thinset manufacturer to verify it would bond to the solid surface material.
 

esm

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I think I'll go with a custom-made pan that sits inside the existing pan. It comes with a correct slope and, probably, will outlive us.
The problem is, there are so many manufacturers that I don't even know where to start getting price quotes.
 

John Gayewski

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I think I'll go with a custom-made pan that sits inside the existing pan. It comes with a correct slope and, probably, will outlive us.
The problem is, there are so many manufacturers that I don't even know where to start getting price quotes.
Onyx
 

jadnashua

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A custom pan typically expects a flat/level surface to be attached to. Then, trying to keep the edges from letting water out may be tough. Those pans typically expect the walls to come down either over a tiling flange or some other waterproofing system to keep the water falling down the walls from getting back into the wall cavity behind, or underneath your new 'liner'.

Good luck!
 

esm

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Update: I got quotes for a custom shower pan and they're around $1k, not in the budget, unfortunately.
The wife wants those sliced pebble tiles and I need to construct a waterproof layer beneath it. Any advice as to what material to use for that layer?
 

jadnashua

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You might be able to use an epoxy thinset to bond the pebbles to the existing floor after a very thorough cleaning and maybe a light sanding to roughen it up a bit. You'd need to talk to the manufacturer of the thinset to verify it would work in that instance. I don't think you'll find a cement based thinset that would work for that. If when you walk around the existing pan there is any deflection, it won't work long-term.

The next harder thing will be raising the drain grate to the height of the new floor.
 
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