Tile around bathtub and in shower [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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Stan
06-19-2001, 08:48 PM
Hello. I’m building a “slab-on-grade” house in northeast Florida and have a few questions about tile. From what I’ve gleaned from this and other forums, it is best to use a vapor barrier behind Durock with the Durock finished with thinset and fiberglass tape. I have two bathrooms – a Kohler cast iron in the family bathroom and a dedicated shower in the master.

Here are my questions: 1) Would silicone caulk between the sheets of Durock be an acceptable alternative to tape and thinset? 2) How are holes (showerhead pipe, spout pipe and faucet control knob) in the Durock sealed? Won’t the faucet hole be large and poorly sealed around? 3) How close to the top and side of the to the tub should the Durock be installed (the wall framing is about ¼ inch from the tub on the narrow ends and ½ inch across the back)? 4) Around the top of the tub, can wallpaper be applied over Durock? Not knowing exactly how high I will tile, is it safe to run Durock further than needed and smooth with thinset? 5) A vapor barrier is applied behind the Durock. Which is preferable, 15lb felt, 30lb felt, visqueen (sp?), something else? 6) In the dedicated shower, how far down the wall should the Durock go toward the poly? 7) Can floor tile be installed directly onto the slab (it is pretty darn level), or should something be between? 8) Is there a preferred method of applying the Durock to the walls – screws or nails?

I know these are several questions and appreciate the info and help.

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Bud Cline
06-19-2001, 09:58 PM
Hot dog guys we got a customer.

Here are my questions: 1) Would silicone caulk between the sheets of Durock be an acceptable alternative to tape and thinset?

I say absolutely not.

2) How are holes (showerhead pipe, spout pipe and faucet control knob) in the Durock sealed? Won’t the faucet hole be large and poorly sealed around?

The showerhead pipe gets a trim piece that will deflect water sufficiently I wouldn't worry there. The faucet trim has a seal that goes against the tile. Tub spout not abig deal but they sometimes get caulk or silicone.

3) How close to the top and side of the to the tub should the Durock be installed (the wall framing is about ¼ inch from the tub on the narrow ends and ½ inch across the back)?

I like to leave about 1/2" and silicone the gap. Use 1/2" Durock, that should take care of the 1/4" gap, sounds like you may want to shim the back to cover the 1/2" gap. You could always install greenboard first then Durock but that will change your tile trim style. At any rate you want the surface of your Durock to stand a little past of the tub lip.

4) Around the top of the tub, can wallpaper be applied over Durock? Not knowing exactly how high I will tile, is it safe to run Durock further than needed and smooth with thinset?

I like tile to the ceiling when practicle. If you use the right wallpaper (heavy vinyl) and heavy vinyl wallpaper paste I would think you could paper the Durock. How about that Sonny?

5) A vapor barrier is applied behind the Durock. Which is preferable, 15lb felt, 30lb felt, visqueen (sp?), something else?

This is a conversation just now taking place in these forums but I don't remember where the thread is. Look it up and see what you think. The only place I approve of vapor barrier is on an exterior wall for reasons I give in the other thread.


6) In the dedicated shower, how far down the wall should the Durock go toward the poly?

I don't understand the question. What poly?


7) Can floor tile be installed directly onto the slab (it is pretty darn level), or should something be between?

Are we talking floor slab here as in room floor or shower floor slab as in shower floor?

8) Is there a preferred method of applying the Durock to the walls – screws or nails?

Screws, by all means screws. Special screws. Wanta know what kind of special screws? Stan, we have to charge for that information.

OK guys lets argue about this one.

Rob Z
06-20-2001, 04:32 AM
Hi Stan

Thanks for stopping by. Bud just about got it. I'll add a few things.

2. Fill large holes for penetrations in the Durock with plumbers putty. Silicone around the fixture once it's installed on the tile.

4. Wallpaper and paint could go over Durock if the surface is skimmed with EZ sand or Durabond (USGypsum products). You will find detailed info at their website http://www.usg.com.

5. I install a vapor barrier behind the entire surround. Poly or 15 lb paper both work well.Gout and cement board are porous and allow moisture to pass through. The vapor barrier, if installed correctly, stops the moisture from getting into the wall cavity. Don't install a vapor barrier behind any drywall.

7. Yes, assuming there are not cracks or curing compounds in the concrete. Sprinkle some water on the concrete and see if it absorbs. If it does, then thinset will bond the tile to the concrete.

Rob

Stan
06-20-2001, 07:20 AM
Thanks for the info.

On question 3, I need less than 1/2 inch between the wall studs (against an outside wall) and the tub. Since there is a 1/2 inch gap, I have too much room. Wouldn't greenboard be too thick? Could I use 1/4 inch whatever and then the Durock?

On #6, the poly is the rubber under the shower pan.

On #7, I switched horses in mid-stream. It iw room tile.

Basically I'm wanting to either do it such that I won't have a problem or make sure it is done such that I won't have a problem.

Bud Cline
06-20-2001, 02:21 PM
On question 3, I need less than 1/2 inch between the wall studs (against an outside wall) and the tub. Since there is a 1/2 inch gap, I have too much room. Wouldn't greenboard be too thick? Could I use 1/4 inch whatever and then the Durock?

Stan,
Depending on your tub style and profile, there should be a "wall lip" that turns "up" from three sides of your tub, at the base of this wall lip there is a radius (wall lip radius) that gradually takes you out across the top of your tub ledge (side) and then to another radius that turns down into your tub.

The finish face of your cement board should extend from your stud to anywhere past this bottom wall lip radius. If you have to shim or fill with sheetrock no big deal. Remember to allow for the tile to also pass the radius without consuming too much of the top of your tub ledge. You want to consider the tile thickness in this planning. Usually (and especially if you already have a half inch gap you need to cross)usually a 1/2" of greenboard and a 1/2" of cement board shouldn't be a problem, in fact this should work out just right. DO NOT ALLOW your greenboard or your cement board to sit on top of your tub ledge. Raise them up about 1/2" so they won't wick water into your subwalls in the future.

On #6, the poly is the rubber under the shower pan.

The cement board should cover the poly as the poly turns up the wall, being careful where you place your fasteners and also being careful not to allow your cement board to curve as a result of the poly not being neatly tucked into your inside corners.. You don't want cement board fasteners to penetrate your poly anywhere below the top of your curb line.

On #7, I switched horses in mid-stream. It iw room tile.

In either case I say yes the tile can go directly on the slab. John, however does it differently I think and likes to have a full mud separation between slab and tile. My concern was your mention of your floor being "pretty darn level". In the room, that's a good thing, in the shower, that's a bad thing.

Stan, I'm not sure what your intentions are here as far as your shower so if YOU do it and have never done it before, go slow and ask plenty of questions. These things aren't cheap to do the first time, and they don't really get any cheaper to take out and redo.




[Edited by Bud Cline on 06-20-2001 at 04:33 PM]

John Bridge
06-20-2001, 05:31 PM
Hey Stan,

Maybe we have too many things going on here at once, and I don't think there's a hurry. None of us is going anywhere (yeah, that's good grammar -- ask Rob).

The space at the back of the tub: I would sheetrock (with greenboard) from the tub all the way up to the ceiling. If you are not going to tile to the ceiling, tape and float the area that will not be tiled. There is plenty of room on the horizontal surface of your tub to accommodate this and the tile, too.

If we're talking about a shower floor here, you need to pay homage to my buddy Michael Byrne, not because he knows anything more about shower floors than we do, but because he has posted a very good illustrated article to the Internet. Ask us questions after you've read the piece.

http://www.jlconline.com/jlc/archive/kitchen/mortarbed_showers/index.html

[Edited by John Bridge on 06-20-2001 at 07:33 PM]

Stan
07-14-2001, 07:11 AM
How important is roofing felt behind Durock? I put the felt in around my dedicated shower before the Durock was hung, but didn't get to put it around my tub in time before teh Durock was hung there. Is the benefit in the "from 50 to 99 more waterproof" department or the "from 90 to 99" department? If it makes that much difference, I'll incist the Durock must come back off. - Thanks

chip
07-14-2001, 07:24 AM
It's a 50 at best.

It is designed to stop moisture vapor, it's a good idea to have it. But not a death nell if you don't.

Art

John Bridge
07-14-2001, 07:37 AM
Hi Stan,

I wouldn't remove the Durock, but if the tub area it to be used as a shower, I would apply waterproofing to the surface of the Durock before installing the tiles. Otherwise, the lack of a moisture barrier will make no difference at all, as Art has indicated.

Rob Z
07-14-2001, 10:58 AM
Stan

I just demo'd a shower where the cement board/thinset/6 x 6 tile had no vapor barrier behind, and moisture got through and ruined the studs.

As John said, rather than take it down, I would use a membrane on the surface. Lots of products are out there for this purpose. What brands of tile setting products are available to you? We can recommend specific products.

Rob

Stan
07-14-2001, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

John - waterproofing on the surface? Like Thompson's Water Seal or something along that line or felt on the outside? If I used felt/plastic, would the thinset set on that?

Rob - sorry, but I don't understand your question "What brands of tile setting products are available to you?"

I understand the purpose of the moisture barrier. In my tub's case it's too late to put it behind the Durock, but I was wondering something if I had been able to get it back there. It would stop any moisture that got through/around the tile and Durock and prevent it from entering the wall cavity. Would the botton of the barrier go over the lip of the tub to channel the moisture toward the tub instead of letting the moisture fall to the floor behind the tub? I know it's a moot point for me now, but I'm currious.

Rob Z
07-14-2001, 12:31 PM
Stan

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was what brands of tile products are available in tile stores near you? Laticrete, Summitville, Custom, Bonsal, TEC, Mapei, Ultraset, Schluter, Noble, etc. These are all companies that make products for tile installation. If you have access to Laticrete, Summitville, Noble, or Schluter, I can recommend specific products. For other products, I would let the other guys have their say, because different parts of the country have different brands available.

Don't use Thompsons or any other similar product on the cement board.

The roofing paper goes over the lip of the tub, just as you described.

Rob

Bud Cline
07-14-2001, 12:55 PM
Hey, you guys remember an earlier conversation we were haveing about the need for moisture barriers behind wallboard???

John Bridge Hi Stan,
I wouldn't remove the Durock, but if the tub area it to be used as a shower, I would apply waterproofing to the surface of the Durock before installing the tiles. Otherwise, the lack of a moisture barrier will make no difference at all, as Art has indicated.

"Thanks John....I rest my case"!

John Bridge
07-14-2001, 06:24 PM
Bud,

Does that mean you apply waterproofing to all the Durock shower surfaces you tile?

I rest my case.

Stan
07-17-2001, 07:41 PM
Rob - I'll do some checking at local tile stores and post my findings.

John/Bud - Just want to make sure I'm doing things right.

On hanging Durock in a shower, how far should the tar paper and Durock be above the PVC liner?

John Bridge
07-18-2001, 06:26 AM
Hi Stan,

The tar paper should overlap the top of the shower pan an inch or two.

The backer board need to come down to about where the shower floor will finish up. The problem is that installing the backer over the shower pan, especially where it's folded in the corners, causes it to bend inward at the bottom.

To get around this you can furr out the studs -- nail thin rippings of plywood or lattice onto the studs. This will allow room for the pan material behind the backer board at the bottom.

When you install the bottom pieces of backer, you can butter a little thin set to the reverse sides near the bottom. When it sets, this thin set will keep the backer from flexing toward the studs.

I always get in trouble for saying this, but if I were building a shower out of backer board I would first sheet the walls with green rock down to the top of the pan material. I would then apply the moisture barrier over the sheetrock.

Doing this you have effectively furred the walls out 1/2 in. The backer board can then be run down over the vertical portions of the shower pan, using thin set behind it to partially fill the cavity between the backer and the pan material to provide support.

The sheetrock also provides positive backing for the backer board, which in my estimation is too flexible to be installed directly to the studs.

Like I say, though, the Tile Council of America and everyone who follows its edicts will disapprove of this procedure. I don't know why. Maybe Rob knows (Rob went to the tile school).

Please remember, too, that I am a mud man. I've never built a shower using backer board.