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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Hi all,

I have just bought a new house and first thing we wanted to replace was the bathroom. I have stripped the room, replaced some of the flooring with 18mm ply and am ready to fit the shower base before tiling.

I bought the following shower enclosure and tray: https://victoriaplum.com/product/v6-key ... -lh-key601

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The tray is manufactured in ABS acrylic with a PU foam filled base, meaning its not suitable for legs. It is a slim tray but suprise suprise when I put it in place the waste is right above a joist with a copper CH pipe beside it. Therefore I need to build a base to raise it up.

What I was intending to do was build a base with CLS studwork timber, just thick enough for the wastepipe, topped with 18mm ply. Any other sugestions here?

Next I need to bed the tray down onto this base. The tray came with no instructions but I read on their site that they recommend a thin bed of mortar mix but I have read of people using flexible tile adhesive, Polyurethane sealant (Everbuild PU40 Sealant 300ml is £4.27 at Toolstation) or the Evo-Stik Sticks like Sh*t stuff available at screwfix. What would you all recommend for ease, reducing creeks/noises and reduce the risk of cracking or movement (especially around the waste!)?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:20 pm 
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I've resisted replying so far, as I was hoping one or two of the old guard on here, with decades more experience than I have, might offer some input - but in the absence of that, I will say I would definitely use a weak mortar mix across the whole area of the tray myself. Especially given that's what the manufacturer tells you what to do.

Gripfill and it's ilk sounds like a terrible idea to me - I don't know how you would get a firm/level base of that stuff to cover the whole underside. You'd probably end up with effectively "dot and dab" fixing which may allow the base to flex in places. Also, I have no idea how well those products perform under compression.

No idea about tile adhesive either, but why would you risk it? For me, sand and cement is cheap, easy to work with, and will do the job nicely. You don't really want to have to lift it in 6 months time...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:10 am 
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chrrris wrote:
I've resisted replying so far, as I was hoping one or two of the old guard on here, with decades more experience than I have, might offer some input - but in the absence of that, I will say I would definitely use a weak mortar mix across the whole area of the tray myself. Especially given that's what the manufacturer tells you what to do.

Gripfill and it's ilk sounds like a terrible idea to me - I don't know how you would get a firm/level base of that stuff to cover the whole underside. You'd probably end up with effectively "dot and dab" fixing which may allow the base to flex in places. Also, I have no idea how well those products perform under compression.

No idea about tile adhesive either, but why would you risk it? For me, sand and cement is cheap, easy to work with, and will do the job nicely. You don't really want to have to lift it in 6 months time...


Many thanks for your thoughts on this. I think you are right about the Evo-Stik as I'm sure the base won't be completly level. I have watched a few more videos on this now and it seems most people use either motor mix or flexible tile adhesive. I am starting to lean to wards the tile adhesive as I have 3 bags of it to use but don't have any cement handy :dunno:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:54 pm 
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If I'm honest, I can't really think of a reason why a cement-based tile adhesive wouldn't work, but I suppose the risk you take is, if the tray does crack or flex, you can guarantee that the manufacturer will use "not fitted in accordance with our instructions" as a get out clause if they catch wind of it. For the sake of 6 or 7 quid for sand & cement, that is what I'd be using. Also, from a personal P.o.V. I've probably only ever fitted maybe 5 or 6 shower trays and I know mortar does the job, I'd be reluctant to start changing my ways and introduce any uncertainty...

But either way, hope it all goes according to plan. Do report back how you get on. :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:59 pm 
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PS. Just noticed it's a Victoria Plumb shower tray. Several of us have had poor experiences of their stuff so I would be *especially* careful of making sure it's fitted perfectly and very well supported under the entire surface of the tray. If it's like many of their other products, it'll be made of materials with the load-bearing capacity of ripe camembert!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:09 pm 
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chrrris wrote:
PS. Just noticed it's a Victoria Plumb shower tray. Several of us have had poor experiences of their stuff so I would be *especially* careful of making sure it's fitted perfectly and very well supported under the entire surface of the tray. If it's like many of their other products, it'll be made of materials with the load-bearing capacity of ripe camembert!


Many thanks again for your help!

A mortar mix it is then!

Do you think this stuff would do the job? http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Mix-in-t ... g/p/154060

Having not used it before I'm not sure if 5Kg would be enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:04 pm 
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I don't think that'll be enough. I'd buy a bag of building sand (£2.29 from Wickes) and a 12.5kg bag of cement (£2.99). Mix in a large bucket roughly 4:1 (doesn't have to be too exact) and add water slowly. If you mix it by hand with a trowel you'll find the more you mix it, the wetter it will become without adding too much water. You want it fairly firm so it doesn't ooze around and you can push the tray into it, then hammer it down level with the edge of fist (or you could use a rubber mallet). Leave it a good 24 hours before standing on it.

You'll have plenty of time to mix a second bucket if you run out, so don't worry about that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:02 am 
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as Chrisss says careful with the water, you want to add just enough that when you squeeze it in your hand it just clumps/holds together..

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:39 am 
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Thanks both.

chrrris - I dropped into Wickes this morning and bought what you suggested. Probably get round to fixing the tray next week. Many thanks for your help :) I'll drop back with pictures later.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:07 pm 
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RHodgett wrote:
Thanks both.

chrrris - I dropped into Wickes this morning and bought what you suggested. Probably get round to fixing the tray next week. Many thanks for your help :) I'll drop back with pictures later.

Good stuff. I'm sure it'll look great when it's done - looking forward to seeing the pics! :thumbright:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Hi all,

Over the weekend I fitted the tray with the mortar mix onto a frame (18mm ply on top of 4x2 CLS timber). Frame was solid and level.

I let the mortar dry for over 24hrs and have come back to a very wobbly tray base. I can walk on it but it rises at either end. Now what to do? :dunno:

I can lift the tray off to show a base that looks like the underside of the tray. Should I use an adhesive or foam to stick the tray to the dry mortar or take it all off and stick the tray directly to the ply?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:53 pm 
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That tray looks to be warped..(bowed) in the middle. You could try whacking in some silicon sealant and weighting it down to set buuuut...it's a bodge might not work if the shower tray is iffy...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:52 pm 
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Hrm! That's a bit annoying! I can only assume that someone stood in it while it was still wet - either during the 24 hours you left it (I guess that's unlikely...) or the mortar wasn't dry when you tested it. 24 hours should be plenty but I wonder if you mixed the mortar too wet -- if you ever watch anyone mixing anything like plaster, mortar, tile adhesive there always seems to be a natural tendency to make it too sloppy. And as I said in an earlier post, you do need it to be a firm mix for this job.

Even if the tray's slightly warped, there's no real reason why it shouldn't sit flat in the mortar unless it's completely banana shaped. If it's fully supported by the the mortar when it's wet, it'll be fully supported when it's dry.

Have a look at this video (sorry... I would have posted it earlier in the thread but I've only just found it):-

You don't want the mortar any wetter than that.

I'd be inclined to take the old mortar up and have a second go at it, as it would be a shame to bodge it with grab adhesive after you've taken the care to do everything right (I guess you've probably got enough sand and cement left over for another go). Maybe some people are reading this and screaming at their monitors "just use gripfill!!", I dunno, and I suppose you could be forgiven for giving that a go under the circumstances, but I can only say what I'd do...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Thanks both, annoyingly I think I used just the right consistency of mortar but I may have pushed down too hard on the tray when bedding it in. I am out of sand but will nip to wickes tonight then give it another go. If this doesn't work I'm moving to the no more nails route as I have a few tubes spare and need to crack on with the tiling :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Thanks again chrrris, got it seated properly and the floor tiled this week.

Image

Only thing was due to the thickness of the mortar the shower waste fitting wasn't perfect. I was able to screw it in tight with silicone between the top and the tray (which is flush) but I dont think the the waste is firmly attached to the bottom of the tray. I don't think this will be an issue at the water flows from the shower into the trap then into the pipe. What are your thoughts?


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