Shower drain question

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by elbnovice, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. elbnovice

    elbnovice New Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I removed an existing ahower in my basement that had rotted out from floor level to 2 to three feet up. I was able to remove all of the existing materials effectively except for the floor drain which appears to be firmly attached to the plumbing in the concrete floor? My attempts to pry it out were in vain.

    The former shower base consisted of a somewhat pliable membrane (a plastic material I believe) that was laid directly on the concrete floor. This membrane was folded at the outer edges so that it went up the shower walls about 3 to 4" to form a shower pan of sorts. This membrane was covered with a concrete material that was sloped toward the drain. This was then covered with finished tile.

    It appears that the membrane has only a small hole in it to accomodate the drain stub and it appears to be been fastened? glued? to the drain stub which extends into the floor beneath the portion of the floor drain that flanges out to which the drain cover was attached. The membrane remains intact near the drain but has some holes in it some distace from the drain - so needs to be replaced or sealed in some fashion.

    Can one repair the exisitng membrane? If so with what/how? Alternatively, can one get a new membrane (if so, where? and reinstall and seal it (with what) to the tail of the drain without the need to remove the existing drain? or alternatively can a new membrane be glued fastened to the old one to seal the holes. If not, is there a way to remove the existing drain without breaking up the concrete around it? The drain stub extends upward from the existing concrete floor and flanges out so that the flange is about 1/2 inch above the concrete floor?

    Any advice you could give would be appreciated.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Classic mistake...that waterproof layer needs to be built on a preslope. That's a clamping drain, there should be some screws you can remove, and the ring will come off, showing where it clamped the liner. Then, you can pull the liner out (best to replace it). Part of the drain can screw up and down for adjustment (may not now since it is old), but you may or may not want to replace the drain as well. If you do, you'd need to crack some concrete. Depending on what the piping is made of and how old it is, you may want to replace the p-trap as well.

    The liner should go entirely over the curb, have dam corners glued in at that area, and no nails in it until it is about 3" above the top of the curb.

    Check out for some idea on how to build a new one that won't leak, meets industry standards, and should last your lifetime.

    There are many different approved ways to build a shower. The one I like is Kerdi. has a video of someone installing one and discusses the benefits.
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