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Old 02-02-2014, 11:25 AM   #41
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My method wouldn't work unless you want to bring the epoxy up over the hub; probably could be done but aesthetically would be questionable. I would guess that in your case and Hermits, the problem was that the enclosure was flexing around the hub; plumbers putty should last a long time as long as things don't move. If they do it loses its plasticity and will crack. I used an acrylic for the mother in law addition I built and I remember well the instructions to push cement grout in from the sides once it's set to provide support for the shower floor. I did and have no problems so far after 8 years. If you don't have that support I would guess anything would fail after a while from the flexure around the drain.
I can see where that can certainly stabilize things better. I have no idea what sort of support is there currently. I do think the floor of this shower flexed some. Will try to remedy that when a new one is put in.
thanks H20Dude!
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #42
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Has anyone installed acrylic bases and tiled just the shower walls? If so, did you have any problems? What's the point? Well...can't seem to find a component "acrylic" unit to fit my dimensions. Can find the base but the bases I find don't have the walls.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:19 PM   #43
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Has anyone installed acrylic bases and tiled just the shower walls? If so, did you have any problems? What's the point? Well...can't seem to find a component "acrylic" unit to fit my dimensions. Can find the base but the bases I find don't have the walls.
Isn't this basically how most bath tubs are installed?
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:38 PM   #44
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Ha Good point travelover!

I suppose i thought it might be different with a 3 inch acrylic base for a shower rather than a 20 inch plus tall tub that has tile around it and the walls. Bath tubs, don't normally have water running down the walls above the tub unless of course one has an acrylic tub and tiled walls for a shower above it (which I don't) Hence the reason for my question. Wanted to know if anyone has used a 3 inch acrylic shower base but tiled only the walls of the shower or if anyone knew of any potential problems (other than normal ones) going in that direction.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:50 PM   #45
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Ha Good point travelover!

I suppose i thought it might be different with a 3 inch acrylic base for a shower rather than a 20 inch plus tall tub that has tile around it and the walls. Bath tubs, don't normally have water running down the walls above the tub unless of course one has an acrylic tub and tiled walls for a shower above it (which I don't) Hence the reason for my question. Wanted to know if anyone has used a 3 inch acrylic shower base but tiled only the walls of the shower or if anyone knew of any potential problems (other than normal ones) going in that direction.
Had that exact kind of shower in the master bath in a house several years ago. We had problems with the grout for quite a few years. I would repair it, but it didn't take long before it looked bad or started causing problems. Had an outfit come in and re-grout the bottom three feet or so using an epoxy grout. They had to clean all the old grout out. Never had a problem or mold issue after that. The guy said the tiles would break before the epoxy would come lose. They had to have all the respiration gear so the grouting was not a DIY project.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:17 PM   #46
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....... Bath tubs, don't normally have water running down the walls above the tub unless of course one has an acrylic tub and tiled walls for a shower above it (which I don't).........
I've lived in several houses that had a steel or cast iron tub and walls covered with ceramic tile used with a shower head mounted high on one wall. The tub is designed so it has an vertical lip which the tile overlaps.

Looking at Google images for shower bases, some appear to have a vertical lip, which I'd assume is for this purpose.

In an older post, Nords related that he had built a shower where each wall was covered with a single sheet of material, eliminating all that grout and its attendant maintenance. Seems like a good idea.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #47
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Had that exact kind of shower in the master bath in a house several years ago. We had problems with the grout for quite a few years. I would repair it, but it didn't take long before it looked bad or started causing problems. Had an outfit come in and re-grout the bottom three feet or so using an epoxy grout. They had to clean all the old grout out. Never had a problem or mold issue after that. The guy said the tiles would break before the epoxy would come lose. They had to have all the respiration gear so the grouting was not a DIY project.
Epoxy grout. Good to know! I need to print off this thread!
Thanks Hermit!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:32 PM   #48
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I've lived in several houses that had a steel or cast iron tub and walls covered with ceramic tile used with a shower head mounted high on one wall. The tub is designed so it has an vertical lip which the tile overlaps.

Looking at Google images for shower bases, some appear to have a vertical lip, which I'd assume is for this purpose.

In an older post, Nords related that he had built a shower where each wall was covered with a single sheet of material, eliminating all that grout and its attendant maintenance. Seems like a good idea.
Yes it is the grout and maintenance that is the drawback even though it looks nicer.
My preference for maintenance is acrylic base and 3 component walls (vertical, not horizontal)....but am having a hard time finding it for the size of one of the showers. I can find fiberglass but I want acrylic. I'll keep looking! And I'll pay attention to looking for that vertical lip! Thanks travelover!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:48 PM   #49
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Sheesh1,
I have the exact same unit that you described. I'm in the midst of renovation and haven't decided to remove the shower pan or not (DW would like a tiled floor). The shower pan does have a lip, about 1" high so you can tile (or cover w/something else) over it help drain water into the pan. My drain pipe is copper and the shower drain is soldered into the copper. This looks to be from 1963 and was tiled on drywall, which I wouldn't use. Based on my research, you should do plastic sheeting, cement backer board, then tile over it. The failure in this setup was drywall behind the bottom 3-5 rows of tile. The drywall was water damaged and the area connected to the shower door had water damage. This is essentially the same tiling for a tub/shower combo unit which I did at my old house. I think if you use a vent fan (run during shower and for 10 mins after) and squeegee the walls after using the shower this will help keeping the walls clean and mildew/mold free. I've read some people even towel the walls dry to keep the tiles dry.

As far as maintenance on the grout at the old house, I renovated the bathroom about 15 yrs ago, started using the squeegee for the last 4 yrs and used the vent fan the entire time. Never had any issues w/mold or mildew. Just did 2-3 specific brush cleanings to clean the grout (white), never had to redo any grout lines. Re-caulked the tile to the tub when we put the house up for sale.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:22 PM   #50
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.......... The failure in this setup was drywall behind the bottom 3-5 rows of tile. The drywall was water damaged and the area connected to the shower door had water damage. .....
Right, the drywall will wick up water at the base. I'd never use drywall or even green board under wetted tile, especially since cement board is relatively cheap.

Here is Nord's old post. I recall another , but couldn't find it.

Re-glazing shower tiles?
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:23 PM   #51
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My preference for maintenance is acrylic base and 3 component walls (vertical, not horizontal)....but am having a hard time finding it for the size of one of the showers. I can find fiberglass but I want acrylic. I'll keep looking! And I'll pay attention to looking for that vertical lip! Thanks travelover!
Another option, if you can't find the acrylic components you want, is to make the surround out of Corian (or other "solid surface" material). It will be site-built which gives you maximum ability to fit it in and customize.

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Right, the drywall will wick up water at the base. I'd never use drywall or even green board under wetted tile, especially since cement board is relatively cheap.
I think Greenboard isn't even allowed by code anymore in places that are exposed to moisture, I couldn't understand why folks every used it in the first place since better alternatives have been available. Hardibacker is no more trouble to work with, and it will stand up to constant submersion. I'm re-tiling a bathroom now, using Hardibacker in the tub/shower surround with a rolled on waterproof membrane ("Redgard") on top of it, then the thinset and tile. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:31 PM   #52
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Sheesh1,
I have the exact same unit that you described. I'm in the midst of renovation and haven't decided to remove the shower pan or not (DW would like a tiled floor). The shower pan does have a lip, about 1" high so you can tile (or cover w/something else) over it help drain water into the pan. My drain pipe is copper and the shower drain is soldered into the copper. This looks to be from 1963 and was tiled on drywall, which I wouldn't use. Based on my research, you should do plastic sheeting, cement backer board, then tile over it. The failure in this setup was drywall behind the bottom 3-5 rows of tile. The drywall was water damaged and the area connected to the shower door had water damage. This is essentially the same tiling for a tub/shower combo unit which I did at my old house. I think if you use a vent fan (run during shower and for 10 mins after) and squeegee the walls after using the shower this will help keeping the walls clean and mildew/mold free. I've read some people even towel the walls dry to keep the tiles dry.

As far as maintenance on the grout at the old house, I renovated the bathroom about 15 yrs ago, started using the squeegee for the last 4 yrs and used the vent fan the entire time. Never had any issues w/mold or mildew. Just did 2-3 specific brush cleanings to clean the grout (white), never had to redo any grout lines. Re-caulked the tile to the tub when we put the house up for sale.
Thank you Dimsukid. Not sure I totaly understand what type unit you are renovating. I'm trying to go from an old 37 inch neo angle to a 48 X 36 rectangle in one bath and from a combo tub/shower with roof cap to just a shower with no roof cap in the other (expands the ceiling visually). The latter one isn't a problem as I can find acrylic walls for that size if my final decision is in that direction. !
Either way (acrylic or tiled) they will both with be more spacious or "feel" more spacious and perhaps not a draw back for a resell.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:36 PM   #53
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Another option, if you can't find the acrylic components you want, is to make the surround out of Corian (or other "solid surface" material). It will be site-built which gives you maximum ability to fit it in and customize.

I think Greenboard isn't even allowed by code anymore in places that are exposed to moisture, I couldn't understand why folks every used it in the first place since better alternatives have been available. Hardibacker is no more trouble to work with, and it will stand up to constant submersion. I'm re-tiling a bathroom now, using Hardibacker in the tub/shower surround with a rolled on waterproof membrane ("Redgard") on top of it, then the thinset and tile. We'll see how it goes.
There is a thought. Corian solid surface. ummmm....wonder if I can find anyone who has worked with it for a shower. Should I start with Lowes do you think? I'll google it. Thanks samclem!
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #54
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Not sure I totaly understand what type unit you are renovating..
I'm renovating a 48x32 shower area with a shower pan, tiled walls and a drywall ceiling. Not really in any hurry, since DW hasn't picked out 1 item for tile or accessories. All I've been told is she'd like a tile floor instead of a shower pan.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:15 PM   #55
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..wonder if I can find anyone who has worked with. it for a shower. Should I start with Lowes do you think? I'll google it.
You might have good luck by contacting contractors who do countertops with it. It gets used for all kinds of other things (windowsills, tub surrounds, etc). It can be worked with some of the same router bits etc used for woodworking (though the bits don't last long) and it's very well behaved. It can be hard to get as a DIYer, the manufacturers/distributors want to sell only to "the trades."
Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:41 PM   #56
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I'm renovating a 48x32 shower area with a shower pan, tiled walls and a drywall ceiling. Not really in any hurry, since DW hasn't picked out 1 item for tile or accessories. All I've been told is she'd like a tile floor instead of a shower pan.
Got it. See...I'm going from an old 37 inch neo angle acrylic unit to the 48 X 36, 35, 34, 33, 32) Have space for the 36.
And I would rather have a base acrylic unit (I think), since the drain assembly in this neo-angle has failed but it lasted over 20 years. I could replace the entire assembly but want the larger shower.

Do you want the tile floor instead of the pan or does it make any difference to you?
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:44 PM   #57
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You might have good luck by contacting contractors who do countertops with it. It gets used for all kinds of other things (windowsills, tub surrounds, etc). It can be worked with some of the same router bits etc used for woodworking (though the bits don't last long) and it's very well behaved. It can be hard to get as a DIYer, the manufacturers/distributors want to sell only to "the trades."
Good luck.
Briefly googled it. American Standard carries it. There are some contractors within an hour of me. Problem is most don't like to travel here. They think we are in the boonies - city of 8,000 people. But we travel there all the time! We'll see. I'll call a few tomorrow. Thank you again samclem.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:12 PM   #58
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Do you want the tile floor instead of the pan or does it make any difference to you?
I think it would be much easier just replacing the pan. If we decide on a tile floor, it's something I'd like to try since I've never done a shower tile floor before. I've talked to 2 contractors and they want the entire bathroom tile job, not just the shower floor (probably not enough money for their effort). Two plumbers I've talked with will do the drain install only, but will not install a pitched floor, which is counter intuitive since you should always pitch water toward the drain. I'm space constrained on my setup, bathtub butts up to the 48" long end and bathroom door is against the 32" width end. I've thought about removing the tub, but it's 5'6" and the space would look odd with nothing in it's place. The room is 11'6 x 7'4", narrow but long.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:33 PM   #59
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I think it would be much easier just replacing the pan. If we decide on a tile floor, it's something I'd like to try since I've never done a shower tile floor before. I've talked to 2 contractors and they want the entire bathroom tile job, not just the shower floor (probably not enough money for their effort). Two plumbers I've talked with will do the drain install only, but will not install a pitched floor, which is counter intuitive since you should always pitch water toward the drain. I'm space constrained on my setup, bathtub butts up to the 48" long end and bathroom door is against the 32" width end. I've thought about removing the tub, but it's 5'6" and the space would look odd with nothing in it's place. The room is 11'6 x 7'4", narrow but long.
Well..it would be easier to replace just the pan base. One thing I read today said tile shower floors don't allow any flex and often crack. (And come to think of it, I have seen a lot of "cracked" tiled shower floors) The article also stated that the best of both worlds is an acrylic base and tiled walls. On the other hand, you hear and read where the acrylic bases may allow for to much movement and eventually cause problems.(probably part of what happened to my 20 year old drain assembly and acrylic unit)

I like the idea in this thread where it was suggested putting concrete under the acrylic base and around the drain assembly for more support. I'd go back to see who suggested that except I'm typing right now.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:49 PM   #60
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Right, the drywall will wick up water at the base. I'd never use drywall or even green board under wetted tile, especially since cement board is relatively cheap.

Here is Nord's old post. I recall another , but couldn't find it.

Re-glazing shower tiles?
This ReBath link looks interesting. Will spend some time on their site too!
Thank you travelover!
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