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Ceramic Tile Shower Construction / Heated Showerpan and Bench

All work by: Harry Dunbar

This shower will have a radiant heating system installed in the showerpan and top of the bench. The existing board laying where the curb will be is going to be removed and replaced.

From start to finish.
By: Harry Dunbar

First, I'll rough-in the plumbing for the drain and fill this hole.
I've centered the drain half way between the back wall of the shower and where the glass door will set on the curb.
I've mixed a bag of "Concrete-Mix" with very little moisture and well packed for the first application to the hole.

I've installed a new 2"x4" to act as a base for my curb. I have it braced into a bed of construction adhesive.
I've completed framing the shower, added another layer of concrete-mix in the hole, constructed the curb and installed Wedi backerboard on the lower section of the shower.
All the Wedi backerboard has been installed, the base for the shower bench has been built and the hole is filled with the drain temporarily set into place to determine the thickness of the mortar bed.

I'll be installing poly and lath over the curb so that I can apply Fat-Mud

I've installed all the plumbing.
The shower bench can be framed in before the Wedi board, or as I've done here ... after the Wedi board. Use lots of construction adhesive and screws.
I've installed 1/2" Wedi board on the face of the bench and 3/4" plywood on top.
Apply a bed of thinset mortar for another layer of Wedi board.
After installing the Wedi board Wedi board, I've applied a layer of mortar to increase the slope a bit more.
I've installed poly and lath to the curb in preparation for mortar.
I've applied a slurry (thinset mortar) over the slab before building my mortar bed. The slurry acts as a bond coat between the slab and deck-mud.
The mortar bed is complete.
I've also applied fat-mud (Masonry-Mix) to the curb.
Learn about Nuheat's radiant electric floor heating system. Under floor heat for a warm floor.
I'd like to thank NuHeat for donating the heating cables for this heated shower floor. They knew I was eager to tackle a project like this, so they made it possible by providing me with a wealth of assistance and materials. I've passed all savings including free labour and installation materials over to my customer.

If your shower has a bench ... start there first.
Hot-glue the gauges and run the cables the best way you can without crossing. touching or crimping.
When running the electric heating cables over an edge, angle your cable so there isn't a radical BEND anywhere.
Run the electric heating cable down the face of the bench diagonally allowing you to transfer to the floor without a bend in the cable.
I've finished running the cable in the shower-pan and have come up over the curb. Notice that I have the HOT cable running out of the shower and across the main floor. It will be running to the exact location to the wall below where the thermostat is to be located at which point the hot section ends and the cold (black) section begins up into the wall.

"Stay back from the drain with your heating cables. In retrospect, I should have not crossed over the Kerdi drain flange with the cables."

I'm using a top quality Medium Bed Mortar to apply my first coat of leveler.
The purpose of the first coat is to apply enough mortar to protect the cables and set them firmly in place. One more application should level them perfectly.

Keep EVERYONE OFF this floor until it is complete.

The next day I've applied a second coat of medium bed mortar.
I'm now ready to install the waterproof membrane.
Kerdi waterproof membrane is the best choice for this shower system.
Use good judgment when cutting and overlapping material. Use unmodified mortar and try to overlap at least 2" in all your seams.
After the shower bench is completed you may then cover the floor using the same mortar.

Notice the Kerdi membrane running up onto the waterproof backerboard (Wedi) creating a seamless waterproof system.

The tile work is complete except for the grout.

I still need to find marble for the bench and door sills.

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