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Discuss fiitting a low profile shower tray to a solid floor help in the Bathrooms, Showers and Wetrooms area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. hussy

    hussy Guest

    hey y'all
    deciding on a new shower tray and enclosure etc. for a concrete floor in my ground floor bathroom. Decided on quadrant 900mm x 900mm.
    Nearly all stone resin trays are low profile and I am not able to find one within my budget that has a compatible riser tray.

    - I was thinking of digging the concrete and being careful not to pierce the DPC course, but how deep approx can I go? Con is that leaves no access for drain. Is it worth doing it this way, is it even common practice?
    - Are the low profile trays ok to place on a well constructed timber plinth (with access to draining) ?
    - what is the best thing to use as a backboard seal for a shower tray, I was planing on not getting a tray with a tile lip but was thinking of using Aquastrap by Sealux, anyone recommend it?
     
  2. Scottley

    Scottley Guest

    The tray will be fine on a well built timber upstand. I make mine with 4x2 and topped with at least 12mm ply. 18 is better but depends on your budget.

    Stick to the manufactureres instruction re the fixing to the base though

    You can finish the front with a UPVC window board curved around and siliconed.
     
  3. Gray0689

    Gray0689 Trusted Plumber GSR

    Dig the floor do it properly will look much better
     
  4. easyt

    easyt Guest

    I took the floor screed out(about 50mm as it happened and made a plinth using 75mm celcon blocks laid on their side. Left access for trap and screwed a 20mm exterior ply on top.
     
  5. hussy

    hussy Guest

    wow you needed that much space out of screed 50mm plus a 75mm plinth. I had no idea I would need that much of a rise/depth to install the drain plumbing. thanks to you all for your replies. I like the idea of the using the UPVC window board to incase the curve surround, nice one as I dread the thought of using thinner ply and then painted or something..yuk.
    I am not sure yet how deep to dig through screed to reach the existing drain that is installed for a shower (new property I moved into) and I am curious too how you dig through screed. All I have is a bolster chisel and a hammer, I have tapped the through hoping to hear an echo sound to indicate where the drain would be but as yet I can't hear any difference.
    If I dig the floor out can I screed over again roughly to cover ?
     
  6. hussy

    hussy Guest

    applogies
    meant I have tapped the solid floor to hear an echo
     
  7. easyt

    easyt Guest


    The blocks went on the concrete so that they started off 50mm below the level of the bathroom floor where screed remained. :) . Also the floor tiles and tile cement raised the adjacent floor by another 15mm. The top of the ply was probably 50mm above the finished tile level.

    If you break out the sand and cement screed in the shower area you should find a concrete slab beneath.
     
  8. Scottley

    Scottley Guest

    Once you break through the screed it will come out fairly easy with a decent bolster and chisel. If you go through to the sub base thats when it gets hard :/
     
  9. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Oh I don't like the sound of that lol
    [​IMG] Re: fiitting a low profile shower tray to a solid floor help

    Once you break through the screed it will come out fairly easy with a decent bolster and chisel. If you go through to the sub base thats when it gets hard :/

    Thanks Easyt I understand the reasoning and floor level changes in that description. I am going to do it properly and dig into the floor to plumb the shower drain.
    What is the best method for seating the tray is it:
    - 5-1 sand and cement mix
    - tile adhesive
    Also, been searching for products to seal the tray to the plastered wall and so far found Aquastrap, Bellseal and Waterstrap, Anyone recommend a product?
    I know you must leave a 3/4mm gap between bottom of tile and top of tray but another thing I wanted to ask was can anyone recommend a panel to place between the plastered walls and the tiles as I know that tile grout is not waterproof and only water resistant, anyone any ideas on products?
    Kinda dreading digging into the floor as I hate the idea of breaking the DPC course, will the drains that exist below the screed for me to tap into be below the DPC course.
    Many thanks folks for your replies.
     
  10. easyt

    easyt Guest

    I tanked the walls before tiling using a brush applied product made by Bal. Lit It includes a fibre reinforcement for the corners and a primer. Left a rubberised seal over the existing wall and took the tile adhesive well. Think the kit was about £45 delivered. Silicone the shower to wall before and after tiling.

    Ask on here about making sure you get a good seal on the drain.

    Pop onto the tilers forum for help on adhesives, etc. What tiles are you using (size / type). what are the walls made of? What cement and colour what grout and colour what grout sealant? How are you cutting holes for pipework or is it surface mounted? All points to consider.

    I tried sand and cement as a bed for shower base. Didn't work for me. Took it straight back up. I used a thick layer of tile cement. Mine was a big shower tray 1500x900 about 60kg I reckon. Are you using glass screens? If so get some glass lifters. I got two triple sucker glass lifters to lift mine in place. £15 mail order and worth every penny. Also came in handy positioning the tray.

    Off shopping!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2010
  11. hussy

    hussy Guest

    have decided to tank the shower area walls which are plaster/brick walls so don't think I will use aquapanel or such like. It this procedure really necessary? Can I just seal the walls with pva bond coat 5-1 1st then 3-1 2nd coat
     
  12. hussy

    hussy Guest

    I wonder if I am using Dunlop Shower Waterproofing kit from screwfix would I need to use aquastrap
     
  13. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Best post on tilers forum. PVA is said to be a no-no. Not waterproof. I used SBR. Don't know what aquastrap is but it is good practice to use a fibre strip in the corners and onto the edge of the shower tray. To my mind if you are putting the effort in then tanking is an obvious step. Grout is not totally impermeable. Get water behing the tiles and you have a serious problem. With a shower over the bath still worthwhile but less critical. The most vulnerable area is the bottom 1m. I would personally tank walls to head height as a minimum and go slightly beyond shower area.
     
  14. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Thanks Easyt
    i may need to order x2 of the Dunlop seal then as I think it only covers 3m2. approx 1metre high. Aquastrap acts like a rise on the tray, a rubber strip that adheres to both wall and tray on equal heights, might be a gimmick not sure but it looks a good idea.

    Can anyone tell me for certain that I will break through the DPC course to reach the existing (though currently screeded over) waste for the shower? If so, how do you repair the DPC?
     
  15. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Enjoy the shopping !!
    Good points to consider.
    It will be a mains only cold feed shower. The mains pipe is accessible from the corner ceiling of the bathroom. I wanted to plumb the shower feed behind the walls to connect to the electric shower, at the min though the mains feed is above the wall surface. Is it ok to surface mount the feed to the shower, I ask as I have not seen it done that way before, may look ugly. Although the electrics also comes from the top down so perhaps surface mounted is advised.
    I am going to take some pics and post them in.
    The existing wall is a solid wall where the shower will be mounted.
     
  16. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Kit I used BAL WP1 Waterproofing Kit (Coating, Primer, Tape, Matting)
    I had a better price though. Contained everything. More than I needed, and I di a couple of coats. Could have done yours as well :) .
    If the dunlop kit covers 3sqm. If shower is in a corner then 1m each way and 1.5m high should be OK. I was impressed with the Bal kit. As I say mine was a pretty big shower. How much is the Dunlop and does it include primer and tape?
     
  17. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Dunlop is £45 with 300ml of primer and 5m of tape

    I am installing a 900mm quadrant shower. I think the Dunlop would only reach 1m high.
     
  18. hussy

    hussy Guest

    checked your link and I see what you mean, although the Bal WP1 slightly more expensive it sounds like it would cover the job and then I would not need the rubber aquastrap which costs £20
     
  19. easyt

    easyt Guest

    As for the dpc. Break it out and see. How old is the house? I would suggest that if the dpc under the floor (often it was a visquene (SP) sheet in the 60's ) is damaged locally a good application of the tanking should suffice. (The Bal kit had plenty to spare).
     
  20. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Oh cool, I get to use the leftovers.
    Yes I guess I need to go ahead and start breaking up the floor. The house is new built less that 6 months old. The plumber of the estate said that there is a shower drain under the floor. The shower is going to be in the far left corner, further to the right is a toilet and on the right side wall is a sink. I know how to break up the floor okay, but a bit daunted where to start and make my first wallop!


    not with a sledge
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2010
  21. hussy

    hussy Guest

    not with a sledge I might add hehehe
     
  22. easyt

    easyt Guest

    There is a utube showing application. Can't find it though. The kit I used covered 4.5m at 1mm thick. If you tank to 1.5m high you get 3 linear m. Would have thought you will have some spare.
     
  23. hussy

    hussy Guest

    will come back with pics once I have broke the concrete floor
    thanks to y'all and EasyT
     
  24. hussy

    hussy Guest

    one questions is though since I am planning on embedding the pipes into the solid wall, is it ok/ I know it is now considered bad practice. I would sheath the copper pipes in plastic and fill with polyfiller and not gypsum. Would that suffice or is it a must to have the pipes surface mounted?
     
  25. easyt

    easyt Guest

    You could use barrier pipe. I didn't have the problem as I built out the end wall with a 20mm batten and boarded over with a cement board. I needed to as I had a tile upstand to accommodate on the shower tray. On a previous house I used a tiled stud sidewall to the shower with a 25mm battening and ran the pipe in this so that the only exposed chrome pipe was about 75mm long to an electric shower. If you do as you suggest why use pollyfilla. How long does it take to properly dry before tanking? Sand and cement takes quite a while. Sure I read somewhere a day per mm thickness? When I did mine I had to leave the bottom row of tiles and then slide the tray into place because of the layout. I then had to render about 150mm above the tray, and tank over. To save drying time I mixed the render using rapidset tile cement with the sand. Think I left it about 3 or 4 days. With ordinary cement it would have been 3 or 4 weeks. I did the same for some floor screed I had to replace.
     
  26. easyt

    easyt Guest

    The only real problem with buried pipe is future maintenance and protecting it from the corrosion of cement. Before I finalised the design I was going to bury the pipes, I was going to use some plastic pipe over the copper the same as you propose. A lot of folk use the plastic barrier pipe though. I was going to use copper as I preferred soldered joints.

    Think you were using an electric shower - cold feed only? Where does the pipe enter the unit ? Who is doing the electrics ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2010
  27. easyt

    easyt Guest

    If you want to know where the drain is there is an 'old Indian trick' that may work. One I have used on site in dry weather to find buried gullies with a thin layer of concrete over the top cast in an extensive slab. I wet the area with a brush and a little water. Just use a wet sponge or cloth. Where there was air trapped in the gully rather than earth or concrete it dried quicker leaving a visible circle. Might be worth a quick try. Not too much water. If it works you want to be there 10mins, not all day.

    Outside the back door I have a patio. When I power wash that I see a circle that dries out sooner than the rest as there is a redundant gully buried just beneath the 40mm concrete flags.
     
  28. hussy

    hussy Guest

    hey EasyT
    Yes I agree it is a problem to bury the pipes and I too would prefer to use soldered joints, plastic pushfit has potential to shoot-off and/or leak due to even the O-ring and/or slightest scratch. I am certainly not going to have an L shape in chrome piping feed the shower unit on surface level.
    Yes using an electric shower and cold feed only, mains.
    I am going to go with the idea of building a new stud wall and then boarding, at least that way the cold feed has room for movement and no hazard from lime corrosion. If I used cement board would I still need to tank this wall? I was wanting to feed the shower unit from the rear and the new wall would make this easier, however it is regulated that an iso valve must be installed in the feed to the shower and I cannot trace the feed back to install one prior to the bathroom. Any ideas? I could feed the shower from underneath and fit an iso valve there, at least that way it is slightly hidden or at least not as garish.

    Electrician is installing the other works so no probs there, the installation is complete including the conduit to where the shower unit will connect. The only thing left to do is to fit the 10mm T&E from the shower unit to the 45A double pole.

    Going to break up the floor tomorrow, will take some pics and post them here to get help on best solution for drain seal. Thanks for the added help on deciding to build a new wall, I think it best.

    Great tip on how to locate approx drain area will give it go with a big splash and wait for it to dry in my Teepee!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2010
  29. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Not too much water. A wet sponge should be ample. I didn't tank the vement board I used. It was aquapanel. Whilst it is undamaged by water it is not impermeable. However as my shower is quite large and the glass screen alongside the entrance is 900 long very little (if any) water strikes the end wall. Any moisture passing through can evaporate in the void without problem. In your situation it is likely to get water splash. You could use an impermeable cement panel. (I think Wedii do one) or use a plasterboard designed for use in wetter areas (I think it is referred to as green plasterboard). This could then be tanked.

    My shower is fed from the attic above and I put my iso valved up there.
     
  30. hussy

    hussy Guest

    My shower is fed from mains but I have no clue where it branches from, have had a look. Can I not install plasterboard, skim and then tank?
     
  31. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Yes, I suggest you use the grade of plasterboard recommended for bathroom areas. See post above ;) Think it is referred to as green. Don't skim!! That only reduces the load carrying strength of the wall with relation to holding tiles on. Just tank, taping joints and seal to corner of adjacent wall with silicone before tanking.
     
  32. hussy

    hussy Guest

    once again thankyou Easyt. I see the point of skim lessens the load carrying strength.
     
  33. easyt

    easyt Guest

    What type and size of tile are you using?
     
  34. hussy

    hussy Guest

    I want to use thin tile so as not to distort the profiles for installation of a quadrant shower. I would like to use larger than 150mmx150mm tile, but really I want to keep the tiles thin.
    Why do you ask? Is there an ideal size for wall tiling showers or is it more dependent on thickness and consequent weight?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
  35. easyt

    easyt Guest

    I don't think there is an 'ideal size'. I was just wondering in case you were using some thick, heavy porcelain tiles. Wouldn't necessarily be a problem but weight would have been more of a consideration. When you say 'thin' tiles I presume you mean narrow?

    As for ideal size that is a double edged sword. The part of a tiled wall that requires most maintenance (cleaning) is the grout. OK you will no doubt use a sealer on the grout. I used a 13''x12'' ceramic tile that OH chose. I was a bit uncertain as I knew that I had 2 good walls (very even), one I was was studding out and one which was going to be a pig. On the good walls it was like dealing playing cards and I mixed a rapid set adhesive. (Don't used tubbed adhesive in a shower area). On the remaining problematical wall I found the rapidset went off too quick whilst I was struggling with alignment and I bought some normal set. With good walls the larger tile sizes are good in my opinion as there is less grout to maintain. I had considered a shower basin with a curve on it and had sourced some matching tiles 4'' wide by 9'' tall that I was going to cut as 4'' was going to be easier to threepenny bit round. In the end the shower we chose was rectangular and so no problem.
     
  36. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Ans also increases the work :)
     
  37. Scottley

    Scottley Guest

    Unskimmed plasterboard will carry 32kgs per metre, remember this includes the adhesive and grout too! Travertine and the like will come in around the 20-22kgs per metre. Porcelains can be more as with marble etc.

    Dont bother skimming the boards as this will reduce the weight limit to 20kgs per metre. Not much can go on at that weight. The Mapei shower kit is a good one and i have used this a few times now and i still have enough to do my fourth shower this week. If you use a decent tanking kit then standard plasterboard will be fine.
     
  38. hussy

    hussy Guest

    when I say thin tile I mean thin as in depth, this will help when it comes to install the profiles of the quadrant enclosure.

    I like the idea of using large tile and less grouting too. I will be using ceramic tile.

    Scottley thanks for your input too. I have ordered the shower kit Bal1 that Easyt recommended (thanks) and think I will go ahead with using the aquapanel boards.

    Easyt I don't understand yet why you where thinking of 4"x9" tile when you mentioned this:
    "I had considered a shower basin with a curve on it and had sourced some matching tiles 4'' wide by 9'' tall that I was going to cut as 4'' was going to be easier to threepenny bit round."
    I don't know the phrase - to threepenny bit round, think I will google smoogle that.
     
  39. hussy

    hussy Guest

    I think I prefer the idea of installing a rectangle shower enclosure, so many variables and problems with the quadrant, not sure.
     
  40. easyt

    easyt Guest

    I had a small upstand to tile beneath the shower edge. If I had uses a bow fronted shower then the smaller width tiles would 'bend' round the curve easier. Threepenny bits had 12 flat edges to make up the circumference instead of one circular edge. Hence 'to threepenny bit to go round a curve with a series of short straights.

    As for tiling under the curved edge of a quadrant. not so easy. The tray I was considering had a long gentle bow and using a smaller tile size not a problem. Quadrants, however, are quite a tight radius I think. I don't see it practical to tile around the face of such a curve except with a lot of cut tiles. Wouldn't fancy that as I think it could look odd; or a section of mosaic on any upstand. If the tray were fush on the floor no problem but if you have a small upstand a bit of a pain. I would personally only go for a quadrant if circulating space was very tight within the room.
     
  41. Scottley

    Scottley Guest

    Quadrant is better if space is tight. although smaller inside than a square obviosuly. Also as easyt said harder to finish the upsatand if you have one. Some manufacturers do make an upsatnd kit but these are either sitting the tray on a frame or the tray is on legs. I prefer to make my own base as previously mentions.

    Regarding the depth of tile, the enclosure frame will have a tolerance for this which also allows for out of square walls etc.
     
  42. hussy

    hussy Guest

    I was ordering a hydrolux 900mm quadrant but read that due to the profile being continental style it can cause big problems if your walls are out due to think tile, adhesive and slight lateral or degree misalignment.
    I might be changing my mind to a rectangle for space is not tight either. I would only trust building my own riser stand if it is required but currently digging the floor to see if I can fit waste and then fit tray flush to solid floor
    Not getting a tray with a tile upstand, I can use aquastrap to seal shower base and Bal1 tanking so it will be fine either way.
     
  43. hussy

    hussy Guest

    Hey Easyt, just backtracked to page 4 and read your reply. I am persuading myself to go rectangle as I don't have an issue with tight space. I also think the rectangle enclosure would be easier to install. Can I ask what enclosure brand did you go with?
     
  44. easyt

    easyt Guest

    Hi Hussy. If you have apace I definitely think better rectangular. I fitted a Kudos walk in base which went into a recess (replaced the bath) and had a front glass panel. Concept3 Shower Trays (Mine was white. The black ones must show loads of marks ;) )

    One of the important factors for me (and I suspect most people) is where the waste is located. I looked at loads where the waste was at the back edge of the shower and would have been a bu$$er to fit. The other thing I liked was the tiling upstand. It meant that I had to remove the plaster and render of part of the walls and also cut back a little brick work at one area where there was very little render to set the tray in but ensured a good seal. Another plus point was that I was able to install without a seal at the bottom of the glass panel. The slight up stand in front stops spray running under and onto the floor. No seal on the base means nowhere for muck to gather.

    You need to look carefully at outlet locations etc. How you make your waste connection with a flush base is not something I know about. I haven't researched that. For me it was not an option as under the shower I had to provide two ducts for oil supply to a boiler and a fire control line and also obtain fall for a condensate pipe all of which is built into the celcon base plinth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
  45. easyt

    easyt Guest

    As far as the cubicle or enclosure you choose it is vital that you stand inside them and operate any doors and think about cleaning maintenance of the one you choose. Consider how robust the mechanisms are. Mine is a fairly large peice of glass on the panel. Some makes are thinner glass which I didn't like.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
  46. hussy

    hussy Guest

    taking everything you say on board. I am going for a corner sliding door rectangle 900x900mm shower, I have just gone off the idea of quadrant. I have not ordered anything yet as waiting to see how the waste plumbing will be installed and then allow that to dictate much for me.
    Perhaps I will discover that I need a plinth, no problem if I do. The house is not mine but my aunts and she is 64yrs old so must consider such things as getting into/out of the shower and try my best to avoid a plinth if possible.

    I like the walk in showers - did you get a stone resin/acrylic/ceramic tray with that? If you got acrylic, what are they like? Do they sound loud on the water fall, do they flex much and break the seal?
     
  47. easyt

    easyt Guest

    I went for a stone resin tray. Because mine was large it weighed 60kg. I rolled it into position on some sections of plastic pipe and then slid it into position over the tile cement bed on two lengths of copper pipe. Whilst I took part of the weight OH pulled out the copper pipe. The two triple glass lifter came in very handy to help position. It is not at all slippery underfoot even though it is smooth. The acrylic ones shouldn't flex as they are supposed to be solidly bedded - no voids . The only void under my tray was where access was left between the celcon blocks for the drain run and trap. This had a 20mm ply base on top though. I don't know about noise. Wouldn't have thought there would be much difference if they are solidly bedded. I might have considered getting a tileable base kit and tiling the floor area if it was being put flush but, as I said, I had to accommodate a condensate pipe run beneath and achieve the fall on that. For me to go flush I would have had major works outside because of a patio height and a low brick wall.

    I bought my tray via a local showroom as I really needed to have a good looksee. If you do purchase from a local supplier remember that the catalogue prices are a joke. Expect to get a 30% discount and shop around.
     
  48. easyt

    easyt Guest

    If you do decide to fit flush don't forget if you are then going to tile the bathroom floor then Flush will mean about 2mm above finished floor level to allow for silicone with the tiles sailing under by a few ml.

    If you fit a standard trap you will need about 100mm (from memory - but check ) clearance at the trap. The pipe run does not need as much because the pipe exits above the base of the trap (obviously) but you need to allow for fall (from memory 1:50 minimum - but check).

    If you do have to have an upstand remember you can always reduce the floor level beneath the tray. Because I fitted my trap after positioning tray I also reduced the level just in front for access and made good afterwards. As I used celecon blocks (minimum thickness available is 75mm) I fixed a 6mm wedi board to the front with a separate piece that can be broken out if necessary for any future access.
     

    Attached Files:

  49. hussy

    hussy Guest

    IMG_0195.jpg IMG_0204.jpg IMG_0198.jpg

    Got to the drain and it is in the left hand corner area approx 110mm recessed below surface of top screed. I don't think it advisable to plumb straight down into the waste from shower tray so thinking I might connect from right-to-left with a slight gradient on the run.

    the shower waste that comes with the tray is a Typhoon Vortex Self Cleaning Shower Waste. typhoon-vortex-self-cleaning-shower-016263M.jpg pwwq0001t.jpg

    I hope to have enough room. I am going to start a thread in the forum to get suggestions as to the best way to configure the waste with the hope of fitting tray flush to solid floor. Noted about the height difference if floor tiling.

    I need to order my electric shower unit too, would like a 9.5KW but I think my fuse is only 40amp which would mean I can only install a 9KW shower, poo.
     
  50. easyt

    easyt Guest

    You could check on the electricians forum but I think your fuse assumptions are correct. Some manufacturers base the publicised wattage on 230V and some on 240V.

    Although your fuse is rated at 40 amp what size is the cable used. It might be possible to upgrade the fuse. Your sparks would presumably know at a glance the existing cable used. I am too inexperienced and would need to cut a piece of a 10mm cable to compare with the existing. If the cable is 10mm and the run less than 25m it should be in order to upgrade your protection to 50 amp. This would let you fix a shower of up to 11.4kw.

    Personally I would be happy with a 9kw shower. Some people like higher flow rates though.

    Edit: Thinking about it I would probably recognise 10mm at a glance ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2010
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