How do I get this shower floor ready for shower pan and/or tile?
May 7, 2011 1:24 PM   Subscribe

What do I do about this shower situation? The step down shower floor is a mess and has tile sticking up from it, it's lumpy and uneven. I'm in charge of getting this bathroom put together, and I want to make sure it's done correctly. Tools don't scare me. A long explanation with a SLYT.

The demo crew did not make this easy. So now I have to finish taking the shower floor apart. Maybe?

It looks like some of the wall tile is set down into the floor? I don't have a better way of describing what I'm seeing. There are two steps down into this walk in shower, and the bottom step seems really really low. We suspected that there were two layers of tile, so today I rented a power chipper and went to town.

I didn't hit more tile, and I'm loathe to go willy nilly with this thing. I'll be returning the chipper (also called a demolition hammer) to the big orange store in 2 hours, but if you can point me toward more clues about what's actually going on in that space, I'd be happy to take another crack at it.

That rusty bit of metal will have to come out also, and get reframed into a replacement partition.But I'm way less worried about that than I am about the shower floor being wrong.

I'm expecting that we'll need a shower pan, but not 100% certain of it.

Would prefer to "let the professionals handle it" but they don't agree on what they should do in there.
posted by bilabial to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
You're going to need to post better pics to get any useful advice. The video is blurry, jumpy and taken so close-up that it's difficult to understand what we're looking at. Take a step back and give us some wider shots for context.

It's not necessary for the professionals to agree on what they should do. Not everyone solves every problem the same way. Why not pick one who sounds like he knows what he's doing and let him have at it?
posted by jon1270 at 1:49 PM on May 7, 2011

Response by poster: New video, still taken on my phone.

1st half

2nd half
posted by bilabial at 2:13 PM on May 7, 2011

I would remove all that mysterious old tile on the step riser while you have the chipper. Then, you are looking at laying new tile in a generous layer of thinset cement. But maybe there's some other reason why you/they want to put in a new floor: are you changing the dimensions? does it leak? is it cracked? how's the drain? is it badly unlevel?

i'm not a professional but that's prolly what i would do....
posted by at 2:19 PM on May 7, 2011

The new videos are much better, but it's still tricky to advise you. If you want to DIY this, you should go spend some time at the John Bridge tile forums, ask questions and get yourself oriented. Read some Tutorials. This is a big project with a lot of interrelated stuff going on, and there's no quick AskMe-sized set of instructions for what you should do next.
posted by jon1270 at 3:13 PM on May 7, 2011

I'm not sure what you're going for/what the problem is except some extra tile you already have the tool to take out?

But in general, I agree with, take everything else out of there you can with the chipper. As for that extra block of stone/cement in the corner near the metal - it looks like mortar to me I'd try chipping it out, but I've got no credentials except a DIY attitude. Take everything out you can with the chipper; throw down some more cement to level it out (maybe enough to take that 2nd step out entirely?); throw some thinset on that; your shower pan; some tile; and call it a day?
posted by ish__ at 7:00 PM on May 7, 2011

Response by poster: Meh. I'm just so frustrated with this bathroom that everything feels like a big production. We have most of the materials chosen/ordered. We're in the (long) process of choosing a tile guy (some of them are real jerks, why is that?), and it's fine that they're all booked 3 weeks out because I'm still waiting for the custom commercial floor tile that my paranoid ass insisted on ordering (really don't want our future toddler to slip in this shower, and really really want to be able to upsell the tile to any older folks who might be looking at our walk in shower)

Posting the video and then watching it has made me realize that, really, my bathroom situation could be worse. We're in a position to be able to afford (one way or another) just about anything we want to do in this room, and I'm lucky enough to have the time to micromanage the project.

So now it's time for me to step back a little bit and....plan for the guest bathroom that we'll probably tear outa few weeks after having the master bath completed.

Thanks everybody!
posted by bilabial at 11:26 AM on May 11, 2011

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