Questions: tile grout, vapor barrier [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-08-2004, 02:04 AM
Hi there,

Asking for advice.

Putting in a steam shower and it is a self contained acrylic
unit -do the surrounding walls need a vapor barrier - no tile installed with this self enclosed unit. Huge Panasonic vent fan installed. Would the felt vapor barrier attached to framing studs be what I want??

Haven't seen a recommendation for latex modified grout to be used with porcelain tiles. Is this necessary in a tub surround? Anyone have a manufacturers name? Or is this some type of latex that I buy and add to sanded colored grout mix that I bought?

Does the thinset need to be "liquid latex modified thinset mortar" made
just for porcelain tiles?? Does this mean I add latex to dry thinset??
What is modified thinset??? Any special brands???

Anyone heard of Grout Easy?? Sounds like it will help get the grout off travertine floor tiles.

Finally last question: The tub surround is porcelain tiles, but will also have
a decorative strip of travertine. Same for countertop. I wondered if I could
seal the grout and travertine with SBS sealer as well as the travetine floor.
These two products are made by Aldon and only reason I ask about them is that the sealer was used on outdoor marble table that I bought. It has held up well. I do not work for company or know any thing more about them.

Thanks for your help. donna

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08-08-2004, 06:40 AM
Welocme aboard, Donna. :)

I'm only qualified to answer the first question: A self contained, waterproof, vaporproof steam shower unit doesn't need any further moisture barrier for the installation. But it's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for such installations. What do they say?

There is a lot of information on the other questions you've asked floating around out there. You may be able to find some enlightenment with the search function. Or not. Real big-time tile persons will be along with answers by and by, though.

Except for the sealer - I don't recall ever hearing that brand name. But we've got folks who probably have. Worst case, we'll hafta send that one over to the Cleaning and Restoration forum.

My opinion; worth price charged.

08-08-2004, 07:19 AM
Hi Donna. :)

08-08-2004, 10:35 AM
Thanks Carpe - - glad to know that the shower will be fine.

Thought I was logged in when I asked the questions - -and
made sure I logged in first this time.

What is buttering??? Treating the travertine tile like a piece
of toast and spreading thinset all over it.

When you have the decorative small pieces of travertine
attached to the mesh net --- how do you put it on wall?
Do you also butter the net and try to squish it in the
thinset on wall. Do you let the thinset ooze thru the net??

Thanks for any help. donna

John Bridge
08-08-2004, 10:39 AM
Hi Donna, Welcome aboar. :)

I've heard some pros say Aldon products are good. No personal experience, though.

I would recommend using Versa Bond thin set. You can buy it at Home Depot. You can also buy Polyblend grout there. Mix it with water only. Works on all types of tiles.

I've never heard of Grout Easy. Maybe it's a grout release?

08-08-2004, 10:50 AM
Thanks John - -got up and checked in the middle of the night and I
bought an unmodified thinset and latax from HD - -have the receipt
and will return it and get the Versa Bond.

Yes the Grout easy is a releaser and I hoped it would help with the
grout cleanup. Glad to know you have heard of Alden.

Second nightmare: soaking tub in a framed surround in corner.
Does this need a vapor barrior?? At present the drywall above
the tile surround is textured and painted - -no vapor barrior was
installed in the walls. Does the vapor barrier just go around the tub?
The wood frame is open and the hardibacker was just purchased to
start completing this - -but nothing for vapor barrier.

What is the set up?? Where does the vapor barrier go?? On the
wood frame?? Won't the hardibacker screws make holes in it like someone
else was reporting? Or does it go over the hardibacker and what
should I use - -plastic, felt??

Thanks donnacat

John Bridge
08-08-2004, 11:32 AM
I take it this tub is not used as a shower. You don't need anything on the drywall. Just make sure the paint is on tight. Try scratching it off, and make sure it won't wash off. Then use your Versa Bond to set the tiles.

Place the vapor barrier over the wood, and then install the backer board on top of it. It is not a waterproof membrane. If you want a waterproof membrane, omit the vapor barrier and apply a paint-on membrane such as Red Guard over the backer board. Thin set sticks to the membrane.

08-08-2004, 09:05 PM
Thanks John.

There seems to be so much to learn if one is trying to DIY.
Does the Red Guard need long drying time before applying tile. Do I put it
on after the hardibacker seams are covered with tape or before?
Is this item available at the big box stores??

John Bridge
08-09-2004, 05:29 PM
Check it out at Home Depot, Donna. :)

You can read a description on the Custom site: