|The first layer of mortar, known as the pre-slope layer,
consists of a sloping layer of concrete that varies from about 1/4 inch
thick at the adjustable height shower drain to about 1 to 1.25 inches at the
shower walls, depending upon the distance from the drain to the shower
walls. Embedded in it is steel mesh to add reinforcement to the concrete.
The purpose of the pre-slope is to enable water to flow towards the drain on
the finished tiled shower floor. It also enables water to flow to the drain
if the membrane liner was ever to spring a leak.
The thick shower pan membrane liner is then installed over the pre-slope
mortar layer. A hole is cut in it at the shower drain and the sides of the
liner are folded into the shower corners. The liner is held in place with
roofing nails near the top of the liner, which should sit approximately 6
inches above the shower floor.
A final layer of concrete is then poured over the membrane liner to complete
the mortar shower pan installation.
Note that pea size stones are placed
right around the perimeter of the adjustable height drain prior to pouring the
final layer of mortar. This prevents the weep holes associated with the drain
from becoming clogged by the mortar. The weep holes enable water that may get
through the tile and mortar and down to the membrane liner to still drain out
the drain assembly. Note that when pouring the final layer of mortar it is
important to main the pre-slope pitch towards the drain.
Once the final mortar layer has been poured it is important to adjust the height
of the adjustable drain assembly so that the top of it will be flushed with the
tiled shower floor surface.
This needs to be done while the
concrete is still uncured. Once the mortar shower pan has had a couple of days
to fully cure the shower can then be tiled.
One final note. It is important when installing a mortar shower pan that the
subfloor must be extremely solid with little to no deflection. If installing a
shower mortar pan on a wood subfloor, there should be a layered approach with
the subfloor plywood. For example, exterior grade ½ inch plywood should be
installed over the base ¾ inch plywood subfloor. Make sure that both layers of
plywood are screwed tightly to each other and the floor joists. This will ensure
minimal deflection so that there is no risk of the floor tiles becoming loose
and the shower pan failing.
For information on
ceramic tile and installing a shower pan membrane liner, see the
Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook
from HomeAdditionPlus.com. The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly
teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner
correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the
pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.
information on tiling a custom ceramic tile shower, see the
How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook
from HomeAdditionPlus.com. It provides detailed instructions for every
step in the process of tiling a custom ceramic tile shower and is loaded with
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