insulation drywall bathroom waterproofing

Insulation, Drywall, and Bathroom Waterproofing: Essentials for a Successful Renovation

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Welcome to Episode 5 of Matt Risinger’s Real Rebuild series, where he delves into the intricate process of rebuilding Matt’s own home. Each episode has its insights, learnings, and hands-on experiences from one of Austin’s most experienced builders.

In this episode, Matt shares his journey through insulation, drywall, and interior waterproofing stages of his rebuild project. These are complex processes that have brought valuable lessons to the forefront.

Matt initially selected rock wool insulation for most of his house, thinking its fire-resistant and easy-to-install properties made it an ideal choice. However, as the build progressed, he discovered that it wasn’t the best fit for every situation. This realisation has greatly influenced his approach to choosing insulation materials, reminding us that every part of the house has unique needs.

Moving on to drywall, Matt learned a crucial lesson about the importance of solid blocking for structural connections. Overlooking this detail early in the process could have compromised the structural integrity of his installations. This misstep has underscored the importance of careful planning before proceeding with drywall.

The episode concludes with a deep dive into interior waterproofing. Traditional methods weren’t enough for Matt’s project. He had to go a step further to fully waterproof the interior and prevent potential flooding and water damage.

Join us in this episode as Matt navigates the challenges and triumphs of his rebuild project, providing invaluable insights for builders everywhere. Let’s get started on Episode 5 of Matt Risinger’s Real Rebuild series.

Insulation, Drywall, and Bathroom Waterproofing: Essentials for a Successful Renovation

The Real Rebuild, Episode 5, Insulation…

Video Transcript

All right my friends, welcome back to another episode of The Build Show. We’re taking a look back at the real rebuild, and at this stage in the build, uh, we’re basically done with all the interior mechanicals. So, we’re jumping into the drywall phase. So, on this episode, we’re going to walk through the entire insulation strategy at my house.

Uh, if you remember or if you watch any of these videos, I used rock wool about 95% of my house. I did use some closed-cell spray foam in a couple of key areas though. Uh, so we’re going to review that. We’re also going to spend a little bit of time going through the drywall phase, and actually one thing I needed to do prior to drywall which is really critical to make sure that you’ve got blocking in place.

And then lastly, we’re going to jump into the tile phase. You know, I used uh, both Schluter at my house uh, for the waterproofing, and I used Clay Imports for the tile pretty much everywhere. So we’re going to spend a little bit of time in all those categories.

That being said, today’s Build Show from The Real Rebuild, a Build Original series, is brought to you by James Hardy. This episode in particular sponsored by Rockwool. Let’s get going.

Okay y’all, before we jump into this episode, I do want to make a mention. You know, if you’ve watched the previous episodes, we’ve been giving you the abbreviated look back, and then we’re also spending some time going back to my house and saying, “You know, what is worked, what would I do differently?”

If you want to watch the entire, every minute that I recorded over there, I actually have a great playlist called “The Re-, The Real Rebuild: Matt’s personal house build” over on Build Show Network and YouTube. It’s 54 videos. It’s a lot of video time, but if you really want to go back and dig into the details, uh, that’s where I’m pulling this footage from.

Uh, also, I want to mention on this video, we’re going to jump into uh, the installation phase in a second, but in the installation phase, I did some sound testing that we’re actually going to go over to my house. We’re in the studio now. We’re going to jump over to my house and do some preview of uh… So that being said, let’s jump into today’s episode and let’s look at insulation.

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All right guys, so first off, let’s talk about the type of insulation that I used. As I mentioned earlier, this is rock wool bats. Now if you’re not familiar with rock wool, rock wool is a mineral wool insulation. If you look at their commercials, they basically said, “Look, this is made from rocks and the beauty of rocks is that rock is a very long lasting material, and it also has because it’s made from Rock some natural fire uh, resistance Tendencies.”

So for instance, if you just take a standard uh, household lighter and you were to try and ignite this, you’re going to notice that it will not burn. If you did this to a lot of other materials, you will ignite them, and this one is not going to burn. That cool, so fire resistance is a big reason why I like Rockwool.

But one of the things I also like about it is that it’s relatively straightforward to install. Now my house was framed on the exterior on 16-inch on centers, which means that these bats right here are a friction fit bat. Now this is unfaced, and you… I like unfaced bats because then I can deal with vapor and air separately, but it also means you got to watch these details like this right here.

I’ve got an electrical or pardon me, I’ve got a low voltage outlet down here that’s going to be a Cat 6 wire for Ethernet. The insulators did a great job on this by slicing the bat so we’d get full depth insulation in that cavity rather than stuffing it in and having a wire in there.

Now when you’re working with it, you don’t also need a whole lot of PPE, which is nice. Typically you’re going to wear long sleeves and gloves. Now I’m not installing, I’m just messing with it. That’s why I just have gloves on, and you’re going to wear a dust mask.

You don’t even need a full respirator, really just a dust mask, in comparison to a lot of products like you think about the guys that are using spray foam in a house. You have a giant rig, you have hoses, you have respirators, you have off-gassing to deal with, all those other things. With this, open the bag in here, pull the bats out, and you’re going to friction fit into each location.

Now one thing I really like about Rockwool too is that they’re telling you the actual bat right on there. So this is an R15 bat, and this is an exterior wall. Now if you pan around here and you look at this one, this has the Rockwool logo on there but no R value. This is their interior product. This is called Safe and Sound. This is a sound dampening bat, and that’s really the second thing besides fire that I really like about Rock wool is that it’s a very sound dead product.

We’re going to do a test a little later in the video. We’re going to show you how much sound control this is going to give to your house. But if you just stand here and I’ll be quiet for a second, incredibly dead air in this space. I don’t know if we can get room tone on the sound, but super super dead in here. And I actually have some guys working downstairs.

You can’t hear them at all. And often I’ll yell upstairs while this rock is in place, “Hey, what do you want for lunch?” or “Hey, come down, I got an appointment here,” and you got to physically walk up the stairs to do it. Now that sound is going to change a little bit once sheetrock gets in. The sheetrock will bounce that noise a little bit. But this absolutely absorbs it. In fact, I actually built my studio out of this and covered with a with a fabric so that it would give us that noise abatement.

The next thing that I really like about Rockwool is that it’s vapor open, meaning that there could be some drying that could dry through there by having these bats in here. I could actually dry through these bats if there were some incidental amount of moisture on the outside of the house. That’s a big deal for the northern Builders who really want to make sure that there’s drying both directions through their insulation. They don’t want a vapor barrier in the wrong spot.

Then the next thing that I want to mention about Rock Wool that I really like is that it’s very remodel friendly. Now a couple years ago, I went down to help after Hurricane Harvey down to Houston, and one of the houses that I mucked out was a house that had open cell spray foam.

And that area of sheetrock that got damaged and where those flood waters were, it was an absolute mess to get not just the sheetrock out. In fact, the sheetrock came off fairly easily, but to get all that spray foam out, you basically had to dig it all out. And because it was open cell foam, it absorbed all that moisture and it was like a big wet, nasty sponge pulling that out.

Now on the other hand, one of the things I like about Rockwool is that it’s hydrophobic, meaning if we were to take a water bottle and drip some water down this bat right here, the water would run off like water off a duck’s back. It’s… it’s not going to absorb that water. Okay, now we talked about seven pros. Let’s mention three things that could be perceived as a con.

The first one that I get all the time and is, “Isn’t this itchy?” You know, I don’t find it any itchier than any other product on the marketplace. Wear gloves, put long sleeves on, and it’s really no big deal. And the other thing I like about it is the fibers on this are very heavy and dense.

And so when I’m walking around in a house like this that’s been insulated, there’s not particles in the air. In fact, if you kind of look at the sun’s Rays coming through the windows, you don’t see particulate matter in the air. And I feel like some of the other, I don’t want to say their names, but some of the other insulations that are out there in the marketplace, they do have some of that particulate matter that’s as light as air and kind of floats around.

So for instance, if I go in a standard attic that’s been insulated on the flat with some type of blown in material, I… it’s absolutely mandatory for me to put a dust mask on because with my dust allergy, it’s almost triggered immediately when I go into that space. On the other hand, I’ve been in my house here under construction for a solid week and a half with this Rockwool in, and I’ve had no problems at all.

Now, I’m not installing it, like I said, I should be wearing a dust mask if I’m installing it, but in this case, I’ve had no issues with my allergy for dust, uh, triggering. It’s a very heavy particle and so it falls to the floor fast compared to the floating particles.

And you’re going to notice that basically every interior wall in my house has rock wool on these walls. You’re going to see the R value, and on these walls, you’re going to see their logo meaning that’s their safe and sound bats. And that’s going to be the last thing that I want to mention here today is how to bid this project.

If you got insulation coming up, definitely ask for rock wool, fantastic product. I mentioned also seven of those benefits that I think really set it apart from the competitors, but it is more expensive sometimes than standard insulations, so don’t just have them substitute. You actually want to ask for rock wool by name.

And lastly, consider insulating all of your interior walls and potentially most of or all of your ceilings where you’ve got connected spaces. In my bedrooms, in my family room, in the rooms that are separating my bedroom, my master bedroom let’s say from my living room, all those made perfect sense for me to do the safe and sound bats.

And these bats are a little less expensive as safe and sound than they are the true insulation, uh, bats on the outside of the house. So for a little bit more incremental money, a ton of benefit on sound.

Hey guys, one of the thing that I like about rock wall that I’d mentioned is I like that you can actually write on it. Let’s say if I was hanging a TV on this wall and I need to make a measurement, uh, I could actually use a Sharpie on here or Milwaukee markers which I actually use all the time, and check it out, you can, you can draw on that insulation and holds it, holds it real well, which means that it also takes paint really well.

And this is incredibly useful for a builder. Check this out, this wall right here actually didn’t need to make this Mark, but I do need to make this, this wall here is getting, um, sheet rock and not quiet rock, so I marked a bunch of my wall walls, SR or QR. And look that Rockwool shows up perfectly with that orange spray paint and takes it really, really well. And that is a benefit for me as a builder. Good job, rock wool.

Looks like a butt more than a heart. Not a very good heart drawer, am I? Before we close off the video, let me grab my sound meter here and I’m actually going to see if we can test what that sound benefit is. All right guys, little Rock wall sound test.

Uh, if you just look at my voice when I talk, although I am a loud talker, uh, I’m probably in the 50s or 60s for my sound for my voice on this sound meter. And so when I turn the shop vac on, let’s see what our sound meter reads here. All right, so it’s about 75 dB when we’re a foot or two from it.

Now, let’s walk up the stairs and we’re going to go to my daughter’s bedroom, which is literally right above that shop vac. If you can look back to see where the shop vac is, we’re going to go directly above that room. And remember, we don’t have any sheetrock installed, we don’t have any, uh, interior doors in place. Okay, so I’m still line of sight on the shop vac, but I’m, you know, a solid 15 or more feet away. Let’s call it 58 dB.

Now, let’s go up the stairs and we’re going to hang a right into my daughter’s bedroom. Now that’s directly below us. Remember, there’s no doorways in place. I’ve got the rock wall safe and sound on my eye joist, I’ve got some sound bats in her walls.

Let’s see what the meter says now. Can you hear that? You can’t hear anything. Even with my good ears, I can barely pick up that shop vac running downstairs. The the sound meter cuts off at 40 dB, so it’s going from 70-ish, 68 to below 40 on the sound meter. 30 D drop, no doors installed whatsoever. That is what I’m was telling you about sound attenuation.

Okay, two years later, let’s redo the test now that the drywall is up. I think this is the exact same shop vac, although the hose looks new. Let’s plug this guy in. I’ve got my Champion portable generator, this is by the way a battery operated guy, so we can run it in the house. And let’s fire up the shop vac. Unfortunately, I don’t have my sound meter, so we’re just going to have to go with my live mic.

That’s loud, that’s not quiet. All right, walk with me, same walk we did before. Okay, top of stairs where I out before, you can still hear it obviously, almost as loud as before. I didn’t tell my daughter I was doing this today. Okay, so door is open, we can still hear it. Can you hear that?

I wish I had my sound meter. I’ve lost track of where that went since the video is made. I can still definitely hear the noise. That drywall is bouncier than the dead air of the rock wool, but I got to tell you this house has been super quiet. My wife and I all the time are yelling upstairs with the kids for dinner, they don’t hear us, so this house has been amazing.

Now, however, this is a good sound, uh, proofing advice though, a good sound proofing advice. My undercut of my door is pretty small, I think probably a half inch, maybe. That’s where all the noise is coming through, solid core door, the walls, nothing’s coming through the floors, nothing coming through. It’s all about this airspace right here.

So if you are trying to do a soundproofing job, you really want to seal up your doors to the outside. And remember, that also means that you’re going to need both a supply and to return out of the space. So if you look at this register right here, this register is clean, that’s my Supply register. And this register that has a little bit of dust on it, you can tell that this one’s Dusty because that’s the return register.

So if I really wanted to soundproof this room even to a to a true soundproofing degree, I’d put a gasket on the bottom like a a, p a Pemco drop down door sill on this door, we’d be good to go. That would totally sound proof it. But in general, my house has been really quiet because of the Rockwool. Let’s head back to the studio.

Okay, y’all, now that we’re through the insulation phase and you got a chance to actually see how my house performed post drywall, I thought that was pretty fascinating. Let’s talk about blocking. You know, before you hang drywall, it’s critical to go through the house and really think about what solid blocking do I need?

So I thought I’d cut to a couple minutes of this video so you can see that what I’m talking about is things that are going to be installed later, they need to make sure they have a structural connection. That’s the kind of blocking that I’m specifically talking about in this video.

So I’ve mentioned five places. Number one, kitchen. This is where the massive amount of blocking is. Now the first thing I would tell you would be talk to your cabinet maker and verify where they want the blocking on the house. My countertops are a little bit higher than most, the top of my counters are actually going to be 39 in.

And so you’ll notice that the top of my blocks is from 39 on down, which means that my base cabinet is going to get screwed in right here. The base cabinets are going to have a ledger on the back that they’re going to get screwed in, so I place mine at 39 and below. My upper cabinets on the house, most of the time, uh, in an 8 ft or a 9 ft ceiling situation are going to go to the to the ceiling, and that’s the case here.

I’ve got 9 ft ceilings, you’re going to see I’ve got a 2×6 that I sunk all the way up. But I also wanted some support at the base of that upper cabinet cuz I’ve got some backsplash in a little countertop here. So this cabinet, you need to or this block I should say, you need to verify with your cabinet maker where that’s going.

So if you look at mine, the base of mine is 52″ down from the ceiling or actually, it probably makes more sense for me to think about it this way: I’ve got 39″ in uh countertop height, and then typically you’re going to have around 18″ is let’s say of backsplash, and then from there on up is where you’re going to need that blocking so that you can get it. And that’s basically where my under counter low voltage light is stubbed out as well.

So if you look at my kitchen, you pan this, you’re going to see all those lower blocks there. There are a couple places where I wasn’t able to install them because I had some utilities. Don’t worry about that but make sure you get a good picture of these walls.

And this is kind of a side tip, a bonus for you if you will: Make sure you take pictures of all those special places where you’re adding blocking, so that you can print those out. They don’t need to be anything special, just black and white. And that way your Carpenter, your cabinet installer, whoever, knows what’s going on in that wall. That’s really a great way to go, especially when you think about things like this. I’ve got this pipe right here which is venting my kitchen sink.

That pipe is coming straight up and then going all the way over. You’re going to see a bunch of stud shoes in the way. This is going to be harder to install cabinets. Now these have happen to be uh just about below where my blocking needs, so I’m able to make that, in effect. I talked to my cabinet maker David uh who’s installing my Crystal Cabinets with Benchmark Cabinetry pretty soon.

Two types of blocking I mentioned this earlier in the video: Most of the places I’m going to use two by material, and I would highly recommend you go as as wide as possible, but get this out of the trash pile as of in construction. Often when I talk to my framer I’m going to say, “Hey, store those 2×6, 2×8 – if you have any 2×8 uh 2×10 or 12s, store those in a spot so you can cut those up for blocks later.”

But there’s also a few places where for whatever reason I may not be able to get a full two by in there. Some 3/4 ply would works great. You probably have seen these before. This is a pocket screw. Craig makes a great jig. You’re just going to screw that uh or drill that out rather, drop a screw on there. Now we’ve got a nice 3/4 plywood in there, okay?

Number three: stairwells. Unfortunately, I missed this. I should have probably shot this video earlier in the day before the sheetrock guys got here. But let’s talk about stair codes. I need to have a handrail on my stair codes and those handrails are needing to be um blocked for. And what I want is 32″ off the finished tread.

Oops, let me drop my tape back on there. So in this case, if I were to drop a screw right here at 32″ off the Finish tread, but I need to add 3/4″ on my tread. 32″ and 3/4″, that’s where I need to block.

And I’m also going to want to do that at least at the midpoint, sometimes on the third points as well. And that’s going to be horizontal blocking. Actually you can see just a little bit up there at the top of the stairs. But I forgot to mention this, let me grab my story pole. I think it’s a great idea when you’re marking these blocks to make a story poll. This just a leftover piece of 1×4.

And what I did was I took the measurements that were critical, Mark those on a story pole. And then if you’re doing these yourself, you can um you can put those blocks in once you measure those and mark them, or you might if you’re a builder marking this for the frame Carpenter, use some orange spray paint uh use a Milwaukee Sharpie, any of those kinds of things.

This is my masterbath. I’ve got two vanities on either side and I’ve got some blocking over here from my main uh towel bar. I actually have a Mr them heated towel bar. That’s what this electrical for is, and with that specific towel bar it showed me where I needed blocking so I ran a ton of blocking so that I have nice solid two by material in the wall for that.

Now I okay. The next blocking that we want to think about is our toilet paper holders, and typically your toilet paper holders are going to be somewhere around 24″ off the finished floor. So what I did here was I ran blocking a little high and a little low on that, but I also added some blocking for a possible future grab rail.

I plan on being in this house for a long time. If I need to grab rail in this bathroom, usually grab rails are mounted at 36″. So I’ve mounted all this blocking right here so I could have a grab rail right there by my toilet.

Uh one more thing that I want to mention before we leave here, this is kind of a side note but wherever I had some specialty blocking is where where I use the plywood like I did for that HVAC vent. And in this case, I’ve got an access panel for a plumbing connection.

There’s actually a hose BB back there that’s just a little Odie uh branded frame we used a little bit of that plywood there where we could fit it in. And that shallow depth for the plywood is nice ’cause now I still have insulation and I still have some Plumbing on that outside wall.

All right, guys. I didn’t want to show you the entire video on blocking, but if you want to go back and watch it, I think ultimately the CRI phases are making sure You’ve thought about your handrails and the solid blocking there, thinking about all of your bath accessories, that’s really important, and then of course anything that’s going to be hanging on the wall, you know whether it’s a TV, whether it’s a HVAC controller, all those things really need solid blocking.

And what we started doing at my house, which you saw in the video, which was using some 3/4 plywood with some pocket screws, that’s something that we’ve kind of taken into our other builds and I’m a big fan of that. In fact, if I were to build a house again today, I think I think that’s several walls in the house, especially like my bathroom walls and some areas that might have uh bathroom future blocking for um uh what am I trying to say? For grab bars.

That’s something that I would maybe consider doing on the entire wall, maybe solid sheathing that entire wall with 3/4 or a half inch plywood for future upgrading use. So that’s something that I’m thinking about for my future builds coming up.

But let’s switch gears here and let’s talk interior waterproofing. Now we spend a lot of time talking about waterproofing on the outside ’cause water is our enemy, but on my house I spent just as much time thinking about interior waterproofing because you know, if you think about the insurance industry,

I forget the exact stat I think I said it in one of these videos, but there’s some ridiculous like trillions of dollars that are spent every year because of interior flooding. And with a little bit of prevention and some thought ahead of time, we could totally eliminate that risk. And that’s what I did at my house.

So really any water producing device has some type of belt and suspenders approach. You know, I put a pan underneath my dishwasher. I put floor drains underneath my washers and dryers. I did floor drains in both my kids’ bathrooms upstairs. I put a Schluter pan with a drain underneath my uh center-mounted or pardon me my uh centrally mounted uh 80 gallon water tank.

These areas were really critical for me and I’m really happy that I used the Schluter system. Now they’ve upgraded a few of the materials since then uh they’ve got an easier drain system that’s meant to be a floor drain.

So uh since my house has been built there’s a couple of new upgrades and material choices from Schluter that would make a great choice, but I stand by my choices for waterproofing my floors and you’ll see on this video that I used their DEES system along with CEE tie to waterproof the floors and bring that waterproofing the CI membrane up onto the wall so that my floors were basically a bit of a shower pan.

And then I put floor drains in everywhere, and I purposely didn’t do a flush transition between my bathrooms and my hallways or my Master Hardwoods, let’s say, by putting thresholds in so that if I had some type of water spill or, let’s say, a toilet that overflowed and I didn’t know about it, that water would want to stay into that space and into that waterproof area and go down the drain. Let’s go check out the videos that we made over there.

This is a preformed Schluter shower pan. In the past, I’ve done muds set showers, uh, in fact, I did those for years where we actually came and fiberglassed over those. Talk to me about how this system is different from that traditional fiberglass or maybe those big rubberized sheets that you see. Yeah, the rubber ones, I mean, I couldn’t tell you the last time we did a rubber one to tell the truth. It’s uh, those are kind of little older now. Um, you know, the fiberglass, if it’s not fiberglass, it’s Schluter.

There’s a couple, you know, that other ones that we do, but so the thing, the nice thing about Schluter, it’s pre-sloped. You don’t have to worry about, you know, miscalculating your dra, your your slope or anything like that. Um, and the system all ties together. That’s the best part about it. I mean, it’s, I think that’s that’s the big, it all ties together. They literally have a solution for every problem you run into, and it’s, it, you know, it’s just really smooth install.

We know what we need to get for the shower that we’re installing, and it’s all one pickup at the shop, bring it here, one install, and it’s, you know, it cuts back days of install. Really love it. Joe, okay, so in this case, we’re doing a zero threshold shower. We actually put a threshold in just to test this for City purposes. My city inspector wanted me to test the shower pan, so Joe and his guys put this in uh prior to my rough in inspections.

That’s not my preference. I would prefer not to do it. Then this material is better off uh to finish the waterproofing, you go right to the tile, y but we had to leave it so that’s why we got a couple of small dents or dings that we’re going to need to fix before we move on. We also ripped out the threshold that was here, but what you’re going to see is the shower pan that that’s pre-sloped is recess down.

Now you can do that in various ways. We’re slab on grade here, and I’ve got the subfloor detail that I did, so we’re able to sink this down so we’re flush. And then ultimately, we’re going to put a waterproofing uh membrane on top of the subfloor as well, and what’s that called Joe? That is the the CI tie membrane that’s going to be coming past our shower line, and then we’ll be putting the Ditra heat on top of that to uh bring the heated cable into your uh into your shower.

So basically, this whole floor will turn orange, and we’ll tell you about that in a minute, but one of the things that really sells me on Schluter is this right here. Linear drains have become super popular over the years. I remember 10, 15 years ago when Square drains were like, oh my gosh, we got a square drain, that’s so cool, but when linear drains came out, they really all the interior designers, architects, people that are doing cool stuff, they want the linear drains.

The first ones that came on the market though, I, I was scared to use them frankly. It’s, it’s a bit of a waterproofing knife nightmare. It is, yeah, when you have just a trough, yeah exactly. That’s, now how’s this different though? So this is nice.

So we have the the C, the C uh membrane that comes up, and you can kind of see back here, we, we literally brought it from the grain, the drain body up the wall so there’s no getting water behind that or anything like that. It’s it’s all One Piece, One Channel. Um, and this channel, you can buy in various sizes, all differentes stainless steel uh, it’s got a little hair grate in there, and then this membrane, which is their uh waterproofing membrane, this is C membrane.

This is pre-attached, pre, I don’t know what they’re using adhesive or what to the stainless, but this connection is waterproof, and then I’m also noticing there’s there’s plastic over there too, isn’t it?

Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So this uh, you know, every job we, the first thing we do is throw a sponge in into cover the to cover the drain because the last thing we need is a screw going down there, a knife, I mean whatever it may be, so just having this alone will save one sponge for us all the way through. That’s awesome, yeah, we definitely don’t want to screw down the all right, all right, all right.

<paragraph>The start of day three, the guys in two days have made some awesome progress. So day one was pretty much the shower install. A couple details I want to mention, you’re going to see this orange band being used. This is called CI tie, and this is the band form of CI tie cut into what is that, about 4-inch strip. They’re using that to waterproof all the penetrations.

These are the Fasteners, these are the seams, that sort of thing. And then this orange membrane on the ground, this is called Ditra. Now, you’ve usually seen Ditra as this, this, this is kind of the original version of Ditra, and what this is, is a membrane that’s often called an uncoupling membrane because or a crack isolation membrane because this membrane on the floor is going to make sure your tile doesn’t crack.

And specifically, if we were over a concrete floor, let’s say slab on grade like we use all the time in Texas, we don’t want those cracks in the concrete slab migrating up to the top of your tile.

I’ve made the mistake in years past of not using this, and you pay the price, that crack’s going to come right through the tile, and it’s a massive hassle to fix later. So this uncoupling membrane, which by the way is very thin, very lightweight, enables my, let’s say, 3/4 hardwood uh floors to flush up nice and flush with the top of the tile when you use this super easy to use, but I’m using a different version of this. See how this one is kind of a flat uh waffle, but here I’ve got these rounded kind of Nubs on here?

This is called Ditra heat, and this is meant to to take the Schluter heating cables, which is really the next step in this process, but a couple more details I want to show you that are a little unusual that I did here was you’re going to notice that CI tie band is on the whole perimeter of the space as well. The reason I’m doing that is I want to make this floor waterproof so that if I had a toilet overflow, if the shower backed up and and water ran onto this floor,

I want to make sure that water is not getting into underneath the drywall. Now there’s a couple tricks to this too that I need to be cautious about, like right here I’ve got a pocket door.

I wouldn’t want water to slide back into that pocket door, so I’m going to get a marble threshold, and that will keep that water back, but you’re going to notice we’ve did that on all the walls, and we use their specific angle corners or inside and outside corners to make sure that all those areas are totally waterproof as well. Now these are uh can be used inside the shower, but in this case, I used them on the floor as well.

Hey, we mentioned floor drains. Let me show you a critical one. If you have an upstairs laund room like I do, got this hidden by the way behind a nice cavity slider uh this stacking washer and dryer, if it ever were to explode, excuse me, Benny has a floor drain right here and a marble threshold to keep that water in that pan area. Now I ran the Schluter membrane up the walls and then put baseboard on so that this truly is a waterproof pan, but the key is that marble threshold so that that water would actually stay in the space?

Of course, you could probably do that with tile or something else, but I like the kind of old school look of marble. And now that drain would actually do it, and I wanted to put that drain somewhere visible, uh so that people in the future would know that was there, so I put it in a space in front of the washer and dryer.

Hey, this is that new product that I was mentioning from Schluter. They call it Schluter Cydrain F. I’m assuming that means “for floor drain”. I saw this at the International Builders Show a couple, I don’t know, two, three years ago, so I would call this a relatively new product. Uh, I did not use this at my house. I modified a shower drain, but this is really intended as a floor drain or as an emergency drain. You can see it’s a much more compact floor drain than their shower drains.

So this is a great choice. I did not use this in my house, but if I was building again, I would absolutely use this. Uh, and I’d really like to see this model uh being spec’d out there in the world and on my builds anytime you’ve got a second story washer and dryer, anytime you’ve got uh kids’ bathrooms, I think floor drains are really a great way to go.

And I’m not sure if I said it in the video, but just to mention again, my plumbing inspector made me put a trap primer into my uh floor drains because he was worried that they would evaporate and would start smelling because they’re tired into my sewer system. And my plumber found a really cool system that I’d never seen before, which is a P trap that has a Pex fitting at the bottom of the Trap, uh I take that back, not at the bottom of the Trap, towards the top of the Trap.

So that every time I use a kitchen sink, that P trap that gets wet from the, not kitchen sink, every time I use a sink nearby, I should say, that trap has a little bit of water in it and it dribbles into my floor drain trap so they’re kept wet.

And as a result, I’ve had no problems. My house now, I do have two drains that aren’t tied to the uh, sewer system. I have a drain pan underneath my uh washer and dryer on the first floor, and I have a drain pan underneath my dishwasher. Those just go straight outside, and I cut those into my slab. So in that case, I put an extra good uh, I guess bug screen or rat screen on the outside, and then I filled those traps with mineral oil.

But the other drains in my house that were actual floor drains tied to the sewer system, we’ve got a trap with a trap primer and it’s a automatic system that basically anytime that sink nearby has water in it, a little bit of water is flowing to that trap. So very, very cool system.

All right guys, thanks for hanging with me at the Real Rebuild. I think some of these phases that we talked about today are really critical phases, especially when it comes to uh both insulation and interior waterproofing. So I appreciate you guys and all your support out there. It’s been really fun to relook back at my house.

We’re almost to the finale episodes where we’re really going to get a full view of my finished house and we’re really going to look and see how the finishes and the hardware and everything’s been holding up. So stay tuned for that, we’re just a couple of episodes away. With that being said guys, follow us on TikTok or Instagram, otherwise we’ll see you next time on the build show.

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