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muskox37 04-23-2012 03:33 PM

screwed up shower stall floor. now what?
I tried the new shower pan floor today and discovered what I had suspected, that the drain is higher than some of the surrounding floor.

The floor is made of mortar and is now covered with ceramic tiles. When I installed the mortar bed I found it difficult to ascertain the grade of the concrete and I have indeed messed it up. The water is sitting about a quarter of an inch deep in its worst puddle.

Could I find some kind of leveling product and cover the existing tiles with another layer of tiles or am I faced with the pleasure of chipping out the tile floor completely. It is not all that large but it would not be a fun job.

nealtw 04-23-2012 06:13 PM

Yup, start chippen.

BridgeMan 04-23-2012 07:42 PM

And remember--a torpedo level is your friend when you're placing the mortar skim coat (you want the bubble to drift away from the drain at all locations, and try to avoid "birdbaths" under the level).

muskox37 04-24-2012 09:17 AM

any thoughts on the chipping out?
Thanks for your reply. A couple of points.

I had a look at a torpedo level and cannot see the advantage to it over a regular level [which I own] placed between the drain and the wall. Will the 45 degree angle level that I see on the torpedo diagram rotate in some fashion? Or is it the shortness of the level that is useful, i.e., that it will fit within the fairly short distances to be found in a shower pan.

Can I just use the thinset mortar I used to set the tiles as a 'mortar skim coat', to use your expression or should I buy some kind of special leveling mortar?

Any tips on the actual chipping would be appreciated, as well.


nealtw 04-24-2012 05:25 PM

I think he just ment a small level that wood fit in the space you are working in. If your level is 12" long, put it on something level and put a pencel under one end and see where the bubble is. That is where you want the bubble to be when you do the bed. If your level is 24" long put the pencil in the middle and push one end down. I would think you could level with you morter but I may be corrected.

tilemandan 04-24-2012 06:51 PM

You can easily fix you showerpan!
You can use a drain extension to raise your drain height, float out the low spots with a modified thinnest and then do tile over tile!
I have done this on multiple occasions.
The drain extensions are available at your loca home improvement store, the brand name is extending drain!

muskox37 04-25-2012 07:21 AM

Are we on the same page
Thank you for your input. I am a little unsure of what you say about the drain. My problem is that the drain is sitting a little too high for some of the surrounding pan. It is lower than the edges of the pan but I didn't realize that the mortar pan had sloped lower than the drain, particularly in one area. It is this area that will hold about a quarter inch of water and will not move away into the drain. The puddle is about two by two and a half feet in area.

It seems that you are offering information on how to raise the drain. Do I have that right?

You are the first person who said it would be possible to tile over tile. I have installed ceramic octagonal/square small tiles over the extent of the pan. And I am getting the advice that they will have to be chipped out before I can "top dress" the pan to bring the low spots up to correct drainage grade.

I thought I might be able to simply cover the tiles with mortar but I just don't know whether the mortar would adhere to the tiles. When I got the advice to 'start chippin' I thought that that would probably be the safest way to go.

Interested to hear your reply.


tilemandan 04-25-2012 07:21 PM

Sure it will raise your drain height, which will allow you to float out what you already have, so you can correct your pitch to the drain. You can skim out the floor with a latex modified thinset, which is more than likely what you used to set the tile you have down now.

muskox37 04-28-2012 09:43 AM

raising the floor to the drain extension
I expect to get to Home Depot today to get a drain extension. I have a fair amount of thinset mortar around but I also have some of the cement mix I used to create the original floor pan. Would you recommend building up the new layer with the cement mix or should I go with the thinset mortar for the whole thing?

The original pan was built with a fairly dry cement mix that was pushed on top of a shower pan impermeable membrane which in turn was on top of the plywood floor.

tilemandan 05-02-2012 08:10 PM

Use the thinset, not the cement mix.
I am assuming the thinset is latex modified and this will help with the adhesion.

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