Constructing A Mud Shower Pan For Tile Installations

The construction methods of a mud shower pan in a tile shower remodel can make or mistake the completed installation.

Faulty shower pans can lead to cracks, leaks, and an overall disaster.

Follow these steps in creating the mud pan and be sure to read and re-read the entire article, as to get all materials necessary for the project and ensure the endeavour is done right the first time.

1. Complete demolition of shower area down to subfloor and wall studs.

Remove all debris, and leave area in broom-clean condition.

2. Create a moisture barrier to protect against wood rot and deterioration.

Staple 15lb roofing felt to wall studs and over subfloor. Overlapping seamed areas where necessary.

3. Create the curb.

You can frame the shower curb using wood 2x4s nailed together. It is industry standard for a six inch curb, so three 2x4s stacked together will due. Recommend using stainless steel nails for fastening together.

You can also substitute a 2×4 curb frame with a pre-fabricated curb.

4. Build a pan pre-slope.

The mud mix used to complete project is 1 part Type II Portland Cement to 4 parts clean moist sand. Ensure you have enough bags to mix to complete whole project. (You don’t want to run out and then have a “cold” pour meet a “hot” cure.)

Create a pre-slope to direct water towards the drain. Ensure to keep outside perimeter level and bear in mind that your final slope should rise 1/4″ for every foot.

5. Install waterproof liner.

You’ll need to purchase a waterproof liner that will wrap completely over your curb and fold inside pan and wrap tightly up wall studs to rise at least 3″ above curb on all three walls.

Do not fasten or penetrate liner anywhere but on edges over curb and on top of wall studs. (Staple or nail off)

Make an “X” cut on liner over drain and stuff inside.

6. Install cement backerboard on wall studs.

Install 1/2″ cement backerboard units over wall studs. Use approved fasteners, refer to installation instuctions located on sticker of backerboard product.

Skim coat seams with 2″ fiberglass mesh tape and thinset.

Be sure to NOT penetrate waterproof liner, and stay at least 6″ above bottom of backerboard where it meets shower pan.

7.   Trowel  mud shower pan.

Use mud mix (1 part Type II Portland Cement to 4 parts clean moist sand) to create shower pan.

Keep perimeter level and  trowel  slope with a rise of 1/4″ for every foot. Pack about an inch of mud over entire curb.

Use flat edge of  trowel  to smooth mud over entire pan and curb. Let cure for at least 24 hours.

8. Set tile.

Install tile over pan and walls using appropriate thin-set mortar.

Good luck!

And Have fun.