What is the difference between a Pro shower kit and a Pro Advanced shower kit?
The differences are in the details. Pro kits have traditional drains familiar to most installers.
In contrast, Pro Advanced kits feature a modern drain system that has all the benefits of a traditional system but none of the drawbacks.
These drains are easier to install, replace, maintain, and keep clean.
What is included in a Pro Advanced shower kit?
Shower pan (with extension sets for larger sizes)
108 - 216 square feet of waterproofing membrane
33 - 66 linear feet of waterproof joint band
4 pre-shaped inside corners
1 drain flange with ABS or PVC neck (check your local standards for using ABS or PVC)
1 tube waterproofing sealant (NobleSeal)
Drain grate riser with construction plug and hair trap
(Optional) Curb pieces
(Optional) 2 outside corners for the curb
How do I install a Pro Advanced kit or an Ebbe drain? What are these black beads?
What additional tools and materials are needed to install a Pro Advanced shower kit?
Jigsaw (for subfloor drain hole) & Drill (for pilot hole)
Premium Modified (Latex/Polymer) Thin-set Mortar (no premixed)
Mixer, caulking gun
1/4" x 3/8" up to 1/4" x 1/4" square or V-notch trowel
PVC or ABS Cement, and section of coupler pipe for connection
Acetone (less than a pint) - consider your ventilation
What do I need to install a mud shower kit? (Also known as a PVC liner, or Mortar Shower Bed)
Tools: Trowels, buckets, screwdriver, drill, adhesive tape or others, depending on the specifics of the install
A method to level the subfloor (self-leveling compound or other)
A method to slope the liner of your pan toward the drain. A slope of 1 to 3 degrees is acceptable (Like the Pre-Pitch Sticks and extensions by Mark-E Ind.)
Enough PVC liner to go up the wall 6-12 inches (Be careful to put no holes, nails, screws, or staples through the liner in the inside of walls of the shower)
Dry-pack mortar (1:4 to 1:6 Cement:Sand ratio depending on preference)
A method to Slope the tile surface smoothly toward the drain. Most code requirements state a minimum of a 2 degree slope (1/4" rise over 12") and 4 degrees maximum (1/2" over 12"). (Like the Quick-Pitch sticks and Extensions by Mark-E Ind.)
Why can't I leave my PVC shower liner flat on the floor? Why do I need to pitch my shower liner?
Just like with the gutters/drains on your roof, the water flow to the drain must be uninhibited. No slope means no drainage. Without sloping your liner water can build up in your mud bed and break down the mortar, grout, thinset, increase the likelyhood of mold or bacteria growth in/on your shower as it will stay damp for longer.
Should I install a Mud Kit (drypack mortar and PVC liner, OR mortar and membrane) or use a pre-formed foam pan?
Pre-formed pans are easily modifiable and easy to install on any substrate. They are great for DIY, as well as for a fast and clean installation by a professional. These kits do not work well for tiles smaller than 2"x2" without additional work. If you have a very custom shower shape, or a shower much larger than 72"x72", are installing tile smaller than 2"x2", or just want an incredibly strong shower you should look into a "Mud Kit" like the Mark-E system for PVC liners or the PRO ADVanced Mud Kit which uses a modern waterproofing system.
Why is the PRO ADVanced shower kit better than the rest? (Schluter Kerdi, Prova, Pro custom)
The PRO ADVanced or PRO ADV shower system comes in pre-formed pan or mud (mortar) pans for your preference. They have the same level of warrantee as competing brands (Schluter Kerdi, Prova), but the PRO ADV system has many improvements and often totals to a lower price than competitors.
The PRO ADV systems use the PRO-WP membrane which is rated at .07perm for water vapor, meaning it is the best protection you can get in a membrane system. Nearly double the rating of Kerdi.
The PRO ADV systems are rated for use with Modified thinsets, meaning a stronger install and ease of material sourcing. (Modified thinsets are often required for installing porcelain or glass tiles)
Our preformed pan system is stronger. Featuring a denser foam pan, and a stronger drain flange.
Our drain flange is supported by both the pan and the subfloor, meaning it is much stronger than the competitors' flanges which rely only on the pan for support. Our flanges even include a built-in removable / cleanable hair trap inside the drain riser.
The PRO ADV systems are fully customizable with 5 pan options, your choice of curb length, and 10 grate cover finishes to choose from (including 3 variation of Nickel to pair with any Stainless Steel fixture)
What does "modified thinset" mean?
Modified thinset is an industry term for any thinset mortar which has additives (usually latex or acrylic).
Is "X" brand thinset a modified or unmodified thinset?
For shower kits most of the modified thinsets you are looking for are listed as compliant with ANSI 118.4 and ANSI 118.11. Unmodified thinsets will be listed as compliant with ANSI 118.1.
Why is Modified thinset better for my installation?
Modified thinsets are stronger once cured. Most have additional anti-crack features, and better initial tack / grab (AKA less “slump”). They also are required for use with porcelain and glass tile.
Can I use Modified thinset with the Schluter / Kerdi System?
Usually no. Schluter does not allow for use of modified thinsets with their system in nearly all installations - it will void your warranty with Schluter. The PRO ADVanced systems do allow modified thinsets.