Help me remodel my Mom's bathroom [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-10-2012, 11:30 AM
Please help me help my mom and dad. I am retiling the tub/shower surround in my Mom's bathroom. :) My parents have had respitory illnesses every winter and I believe it was the mold in the bathroom that has been one of the culprits.:crap: I have cleaned and removed the mold and am ready to tile (and have some plumbing done). I have followed this board for a long time. I even remodeled my bathroom with its advice years ago.

Pictures to follow later today of her bathroom.

The bathroom is a small bathroom with one external wall. I have ripped out most of the tile around the bathtub/shower combo up to a foot from the ceiling (so I didn't have to pull down tiled ceiling.)

1/2 Hardibacker 500
6 mil plastic vapor barrier stapled. I cannot afford kerdi or redguard.
Tyvek plastic tape to seal plastic edges/tears
Kohler Villager (I think) cast iron tub

Topic 1: The Villager tub has only a small 3/8 inch tub flange/lip. Keeping the Vapor Barrier (VP) draped over lip seems precarious at best. Can I tape the VP's bottom edge to the tub lip with the Tyvek tape?

Topic 2: The outside wall VP I extended to the floor and stapled as best I could by reaching behind the tub. (I cannot remove the 300 pound tub myself and it would be difficult even if I had help. This creates a vapor barrier that does not allow drainage back into the tub. Can I tyvek the plastic barrier to tub lip?

Topic 3: Shims. I have already screwed the cement board on one of the walls. But realize after rereading several threads that shims would be helpful for drainage. Are there special shims for this? If so, where do I buy them? I have access to Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards. Do the studs need to be furred continuously to attach the cement board I.E. continuous shims? How thick should the shims be for the Villager tub? I already installed two sheets of cement board and would dislike removing them because I would likely have to replace or patch with tyvek tape the VP.

Topic 4: Tile. Tile is porcelain and I also have some glass accent trim. Can I use Spectralock with the glass mosaic trim? I read in one thread that the epoxy would break the glass... I also am making a mosaic butterfly scene to install that may contain rounded glass beads/corian/and tile. Will sanded spectralock scratch the glass?

Topic 5: Plumbing. I want this to look great for my mom but since it is an emergency job (due to mold removal) I managed to buy a complete set of Kohler trim, including tub spout without diverter, handshower and slide bar, shower arm and head, valve trim and diverter valve trim from Habitat Restore for just $90. I bought a new k304 valve and a diverter valve. Question (I realize this is not a plumbing board so I apologize if this is innapropriate.) Can I turn the Kohler valve upside down (even though instructions suggest that I do not so so that the tub port flows up to the diverter valve? Then I can plumb the tub spout from the diverter valve. I don't know if this would void the kohler warranty or if it would work. I suppose I would have to flip the internal components of the valve so that the trim would fit properly.

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05-10-2012, 01:30 PM
Pics of mom's bathroom in progress. For some reason I think I am going to have to start over, but fortunately it is early in the process.

05-10-2012, 01:38 PM
Thanks BB!

A. So the Tyvek won't cause problems or would something like kerdi band be better to seal the plastic to the tub's edge?

B. Also you will notice from the pics that the old drywall still has mastic on it. Is it ok to thinset over this for these upper tiles (I want to reinstall just two rows (like on the back wall) of the gold dust tiles. The rest will be in the new tile. Would I be better off fooling around with taking down the remaining wall to the ceiling? I wanted to avoid having to tape the top edge which would mean removing ceiling tile.

05-10-2012, 01:41 PM

05-10-2012, 01:46 PM
Is there a brand of non organic shims that you would recommend?

Also what is the best way to return gloss to the enameled tub? Can I use car wax and if so, what kind?

05-10-2012, 01:56 PM
I left a 1/4 inch from the tub flange to the backerboard using a construction pencil for spacers; I left the plastic a little long because I was going to try and trim it after installing the backerboard. But now I think I may remove the boards and Tyvek tape the plastic to the tub lip and put shims to push the board out over the flange. Does that sound ok? Also if I shim over the plastic to create an air gap between the plastic and board, won't that create a potential problem where the plastic shims meet the plastic vapor barrier? Can I use roofing felt folded up in strips as shims (I think I have some around somewhere)over the plastic VP? Oh and will I be able to still use the hardibacker if I take it down or will the screw holes be compromised?

05-10-2012, 02:11 PM
Uggh. Now I remember why I chose not to shim, since I was going to leave some of the original drywall up (to avoid taping corner seams and removing ceiling tile). The walls would not be flush! So the question is whether I am obsessing too much about this and just make sure I get overlap of the tub lip with the tile? I don't expect much vapor getting thru to the cement board from the shower since it is porcelain and spectralock in any case, except where the mosaic might be located. Sorry about all the questions and disorganized writing. I just got over pneumonia and am still tired, but wanted to make sure my Mom has a beautiful bathroom.

Dave Taylor
05-10-2012, 03:07 PM
I just got over pneumonia and am still tired,

I hope that problem is now behind you, Greg.

05-10-2012, 03:31 PM
I think I have recovered. It felt like I was coughin up my lungs and then as if someone stuffed my chest with thinset. :postitbg: Lots of meds and now I am congested, and weak but taking this remodel very slow.

New Question 1: I cannot scrape off the old thinset without removing the paper backing. It is fixed on too well. Can I smooth coat some thinset over it and then set the new tile? I plan on shimming out the long wall and the plumbing wall.

New Question 2: I plan on putting in an epoxied corian soap niche (made by yours truly) It will have framing that will overlap the hardibacker. Normally you install corian with silicone. Can I silicone the corian to the cement board or should I use thinset? Also, since corian is a solid surface and water proof, do I need to extend a vapor barrier behind it when I cut out the hole?

John Bridge
05-10-2012, 05:49 PM
Hi Greg, :)

I don't think you need any moisture barrier behind your niche.

If you can set the tiles over the mastic dry, and they look good to you, go for it. :)

05-10-2012, 09:04 PM
Thanks! I will be sure to post pics after I am done, hopefully sooner rather than later.