Laundry room floor with drain

mrblandingsNovember 10, 2008

I would like to re-do the flooring of our second floor laundry room with tile and a floor drain to guard against possible flood damage. The room is approximately 6 x 6 feet. Currently the room has a wood floor which I assume would be removed down to the joists.

From what I have read, the most common approach seems to be to construct the floor exactly as you would do for a shower, with the additional requirement of a trap primer to keep water in the trap. I have seen a couple of suggestions that the slope requirement of 1/4 inch per foot could be relaxed to 1/8 inch. From what I understand, the most common way of doing a shower floor is to use a mortar bed with a pre-slope, then a waterproof membrane, then another layer of mortar, and then tile with thinset.

The disadvantages of the mud job approach that I can think of are (a) it's expensive, and (b) it will add about 3 inches to the floor height, resulting in a step up from the adjacent hallway.

I did read a couple of suggestions that the Kerdi shower system might be used for a laundry but (a) none of the tilers I have spoken with for past projects have known anything about Kerdi showers, and (b) I'm not sure whether the Kerdi shower system is approved for the weight and vibration demands of a laundry room.

The job will be done by a tiling contractor, but I would like to educate myself on the options and best practices before I start talking to tilers.

Any suggestions or comments from the experts would be appreciated.

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I would think it would be easier to add a floor drain and set the washer in one of those plastic tubs that is designed for this purpose. Rather than construct the entire room as if it were a shower. That's what I have in my house.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 2:52PM
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The tub is one option, and certainly would be less work. However, the tub would not help for leaks that cause water to spray out, such as a broken hose for example. The tub also makes it impossible to slide the washer out if I need access to the back for some reason -- instead it would have to be lifted out of the tub.

I will probably cost out the project both ways and then decide whether the extra peace of mind for a whole-floor solution is worth the extra expense.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:04PM
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The simple plastic (white) tub would move with the washer. Once the washer is placed into it, the whole thing would slide together.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Well,the best for a laundry room is: Mud the floor then tile over,the standard thickness of the MUD is 3/4 not 3 inches, no slope needed unless you want it to, to get a slope to that floor would be more expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tile Jobs

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:59AM
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detroitmi: can you explain what the advantage of tiling over mud would be if there is no slope to direct water to the drain? I have been assuming that the entire point of using a mortar bed would be to create a slope to the drain. If I go with the other suggested option -- a drain under the washer pan only instead of a floor drain -- then I would think it would be much easier and thus less expensive to tile over CBU or Ditra rather than over a mud job.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Since when is better to install tile over Ditra(which is plastic?) or backerBoards instead of MUD? Go ahead and get it sloped.Nothing wrong with that. You can get flooded with or without slope.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:20AM
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detroitmi: I didn't suggest Ditra or CBU would be better than mud, just less expensive. I guess the way I see it is there are two ways to go: (a) a mud job sloped to a floor drain, or (b) a flat floor using a washer pan, with the drain attached to the pan. I'm going to cost out the job both ways and make a decision after I get some numbers.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:55PM
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mrblandings:"can you explain what the advantage of tiling over mud ". Well, the advantage is ,Mud lasts forever ,I am remodeling old houses "30,40 50 years old" the tiles are so strong on MUD ,unbelivable,( so ,using MUD is a money saver,that's my opinion),Ditra,BackerBoards ? you gotta change it in a few years or so,you don't want that.You were talking about saving money.So do it right the first time and you won't have to redo it again.Slope it, go ahead,nothing wrong with that .

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 2:37PM
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Who changes a Ditra installed job in a few years? You only do that if you change your mind and want a different tile. Who wants to step up into a room over a curb?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 8:18PM
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