Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shower The People

I'm a bit behind on what's been going on with the house but I just have not had time to post as much as I would like. This was done a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to have the whole sequence on at once. We determined the final shower size and installed the curb and drain for it and then installed the shower pan with the bottom row of Durock installed over the upturned edges of the pan.
The pan is just a thick rubber membrane basically that you can buy by the foot. I have bought just about all of the plumbing stuff from a plumbing supply house and they beat Lowe's or any of those places pretty good on prices. After you install the pan make sure not to walk on it if you can help it with shoes on or you might poke a hole in it and then you would get yelled at like I did. I didn't poke a hole in it but was told to stay out!

OK, so next we mixed up a setting bed for the shower floor consisting of sand and Portland cement at a 2/1 ratio. I mixed it pretty dry as you can see here; just enough water to get it to stick when you squeezed some in your hand. You want it stiff because the bed will be graded on a slight slope to drain and if it is wet the cement will want to level itself out.

At the thickest outside edge the setting bed is 1 1/2" and with about 1/4" per foot slope that makes it about 1" at the drain. Allen spread the mixture around and tamped it down with a trowel and then graded it with a short stick. We had grade lines marked on the Durock. You just keep tamping and grading and adding a little more if needed until you get it smooth. It does not have a slick finish like concrete but is smooth and even. I came back the next day and soaked it down with about 2 gallons of water to help it cure well. Concrete and such do not dry, it "cures", so keeping water on the slab helps the cement to reach its fullest strength. In the summer time if we pour a large slab of concrete we will often hose it down regularly for several days to make sure it does not cure too fast.
We have done much of the plumbing and almost finished the roof this weekend but ran short of material. I will try to get more up soon. The weather has been absolutely beautiful here and was great for working.

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