Shower Install - Where to start?

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:25 am

Thanks for the forum! We have a 2000 Fleetwood and are facing several major repairs at once currently so may have more questions going forward. I think I have a good handle on most of them, but one just has me completely lost.

The master bathroom has one of those tiny showers and a giant garden tub (that we never use) in a corner. Typical setup, I think. I recently discovered that the shower drain has been leaking for quite some time. I don't think there's any damage to the floor joists, but the plywood flooring and the belly material and insulation under the shower will have to be replaced. That should be relatively straight forward.

But, I want to turn the tiny shower into a linen closet or other storage. And replace the corner garden tub with a large walk-in shower. I've been googling and have seen many others asking about this very process, but I still just don't have a clear plan for how to go about that. I want the new shower to take the full footprint of the current tub. (It may be overkill, but I'm so sick of that tiny shower stall.) That's 54" on the long wall sides, but the largest kit I can find is 40" and there's not many of those - most are 32" or "36".

I don't mind building something from scratch. That includes pulling up the floor and redoing plumbing to relocate the drain. But, I do not want to put the supply plumbing and shower head in an exterior wall and would rather build out a short perpendicular wall to house that. I don't feel comfortable with tile due to it being a mobile home and the seasonal expansion/contraction and flexing inherent with that and most custom shower installs I've researched include tile.

Most DIY tasks don't intimidate me. I'm handy, an amateur woodworker, some basic construction experience and knowledge. The only custom shower I've ever helped build was on a concrete slab that was specifically prepared for a built in shower and used bricks and tile. And that was many years ago when I was in high school. With the special challenges of a mobile home, I just don't know what materials and options and procedures I should be looking at and really need some helpful direction.

In my research I found a thread here were someone with almost the exact setup and tub we have just used the existing tub and added some glass panels and a shower curtain. That's my plan of last resort, but I'd really like to completely get rid of that tub.


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Jim from Canada
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:13 am

We had much the same situation. The tub is gone now and the shower has been "temporarily" replaced with another small one for the last 14 years....lol. I too want to replace the temporary shower with a full size one. We will probably end up with a "shower tub" arrangement in there at some point. You can get them with wall liners in a one piece or 3 piece kit that is fully enclosed. The 3 piece being much easier to get through doors. It will consist of a tub, the wall section, and the top, or roof section. Being as it all bonds together, it will suit a home that shifts with seasons.

The first job is to tear everything out (it's nice to have 2 bathrooms) and suss out what you have to fix. I had to replace a large section of floor, which is a pain because of having to dig out the existing floor from under walls. Once the old floor is up, replacing the insulation below is a breeze. So is running the plumbing but you need to know what you are putting in so you know where to put the drain.

In our particular case, the shower tub will be in a corner, so the feed lines will go into an interior wall which will be an end wall. The opposite side will have to have a wall built which could also be used for the plumbing (we have not decided which way yet, faucets on the left or right). The remaining space, between the newly built wall and the existing exterior wall, will become closet space.

You are not limited to a shower tub, the kits come as a low curb full size walk in shower too. If you don't want a kit, there are wall panels available that should fill the need for a custom shower. You will have to be aware of the waterproofing in the corners though. At the very least you will want to use green board on the walls to start (mould resistant drywall) but I would suggest concrete board as a better option. You may want to look up Schluter-Kerdi for additional information on systems for showers. I would provide the link, but they are specific to country, and I am in Canada, so yours may be different.
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

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Jim from Canada
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:16 am

One other thing to keep in mind, you don't want to put 2 waterproof systems on top of each other. Any moisture, from humidity etc. will be trapped between the layers and cause future problems.
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:20 am

I guess my largest point of concern is the floor. I can't find a pre-made floor pan that fits the space I want to use (even those with the right shape are too small). I think I've come up with a good mental picture of how to do the walls.

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Jim from Canada
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:23 am

There are DIY floor pans that are like a gently sloped piece of high density styrofoam. I have seen them in HD up here. You just buy what you need and cut it to size, or add pieces to it, to fit. They do need a membrane on top of them and then tile or something like that. The drain is also specific to the pan. The membrane goes on before the drain. I think they may also be a Shluter product.

I'll try giving you the link.

https://www.schluter.ca/schluter-ca/en_ ... es/c/SS-PS
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM


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Jim from Canada
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:24 am

Note: They have all kinds of information on the Shluter site for installation. You will need the pan, and a curb, and what ever other options you want.
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:57 am

I watched a few videos on the Shluter floor plans, curbs, etc. It uses a lot of mortar (thinset). Is this suitable for a mobile home? My home does have 2x6 floor joists and real plywood floors, but it's still a mobile home. For the final outer layer, what suitable options do I have other than tile?

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Jim from Canada
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:24 pm

I have a 6' x 5' area in the home where my wood stove sits and it is done with slate tile. Never had a problem in the 12 years it has been there. My floors have 2x6 joists and 5/8 particle board on top. I glued and screwed a layer of 3/4" construction grade plywood, rough side up (grips the mortar better) to give me the tile manufacturers recommend thickness. If you do something similar, then put the Shluter (or similar) system on top of that, then the tile on top of that, I think you will be fine. The extra rigidity in the floor, plus the isolation of the foam pan ought to do OK.
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

Mark440
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:33 am
Location: Anna, Tx

Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:56 am

If I didn't know better - I would think you were here! I have the exact same setup, and the exact same annoyance with the tiny water closet....I mean, shower.

My "plan" is to avoid as much drain work as possible - which means finding an enclosure I can align to the existing drain and then build fill-in "wall" around it. There are several different sized bathtub replacements that are walk-in showers. And unfortunately - that's where I got sidetracked to more pressing projects. If I recall, there was one that was like 54x36 that would align to the drain - but I would need to build both of the corner walls out a bit.

If you are looking at a corner shower - I could not find one that was ready made that was bigger than 42x42.

FWIW - I ruled out a "custom" unit as rounding up all the parts and pieces became a PIA. What I wanted vs what the industry offered just didn't match up.
Opportunity has a shelf life.

Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:45 pm

My current plan (under constant revision as I do more research and study), is to use the Durock Shower System (48"x48") for the floor. It's very similar to the Schluter-Kerdi products, but a little less expensive. I think I'll have to put tile over the shower tray. Hopefully with that tray being foam, and increasing the rigidity of the floor there with cross braces between floor joists and a double layer of plywood, the tile will be sound and not start cracking. For the walls, I'm thinking FRP panels. They come in 48" wide so the only seams to caulk would be the corners. Marlite makes some FRP panels that look like ceramic tile, but Home Depot and Lowes only carries the white bubble textured sheets. Then a 32" glass door for entrance. I may end up spending more than I want, but at least weight shouldn't be an issue and it should all be water tight too. Hopefully. As I said, I'm still doing research. Please point out any flaws in my plan or better ideas.

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Greg
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Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:52 pm

I strongly advise you not to install tile in a mobile home. Homes are designed to move slightly, Tile is not! Stop and think, does the washer on spin cycle shake the home at all? If so it is going to shake the tile also.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:07 pm

What would you recommend for a custom shower install, then? There is no suitable pre-fabricated plastic insert.

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Greg
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Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:25 am

There are literally thousands of tub/shower surrounds out there, the problem is finding one that you like and can afford. don't limit yourself to the big box stores. Also there are 3 and 5 piece units out there that will fit odd size applications.
You can install tiles if you want, but the track record for longevity from what people have posted over the years here is not good.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Heathicus
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:49 pm

Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:52 am

I've been searching for weeks. If you can point me in the right direction, I'd be very appreciative.

I need a "neo corner" style shower (where one corner is cut out for the door). The long walls against the existing bathroom walls (both exterior walls) should be between 48" and 54" long. One of the short walls should be 32" and will need to contain the plumbing and shower head (I don't want to put that in an exterior wall).

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Greg
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Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:00 pm

Try giving Maax a call. they seem to have a great selection and designs. I am not sure how their over the phone customer service is, but their products are very good quality. That was the shower base I used.

http://www.maax.com/en/contact-us

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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