Kerdi mortar-bed and thinset [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-28-2005, 07:25 PM
Please help !

I'm confused. I just purchased the kerdi-drain and will be installing on a mortar bed. I asked the pro at home depot here in Montreal which dry-mortar to buy (this is what is said in the instruction). He tell me they don't have any dry-mortar mix ?

So I go to the building box (called Reno-Depot in Montreal another home renovation store) and they say they don't have that either. He does send me to the flooring departement where the have a dry-mortar called kerabond but this, he says, is not good for what I want to do since it cannot support a thick shower base (only a small thickness for this product).

Now I was all existed about installing this product and the membrane and I will take my time and do a good job, I just want to know the product to use and where to buy ??

I just finished watching the video that came with the drain and I believe two differwent mortar are used for the bed and the installation of the kerdi-drain. One is dry and is used to build he screed and the mortar base (this is to my understanding what you guys called the dry-mortar). On the video, he use a different mortar (I believe since it looks not as dry) to build the ring in which he pressed the drain into (install the actual kerdi-drain to the sub-floor)

Anyway, please help. I just want to know which mix to buy


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05-28-2005, 07:27 PM
This is what a local store recommended:

Mortar Bed:
Mapecem Readymix (I will need about 6 bags of this stuff)

Install membrane on cement board and mortarbed:
Kerabond (thin-set mortar) + Keralastic (polymer additive)

Install ceramic on Membrane:
Kerabond or Type 1

Does this look good ?

What product can I buy at the homedepot instead?

05-28-2005, 07:34 PM
No cbu on the floor in the shower! They should have what you need, if not already in a bag, then you can buy what you need and mix it up. Check out the 'libery' on the menu bar above or do a search on shower base. One of the pros can probably direct you in more detail...course, not sure who's around - it's a holiday weekend here in the USA.

05-28-2005, 08:09 PM

For your mortar bed, you can use Quickcrete Sand Mix(the yellow bag) at Home Depot. It will be in the section that they have all the cement in, not in the tile section. The Kerebond is a good choice though for the rest of the project :)

05-28-2005, 08:13 PM
Yep, except you want to skip the additive for the Kerabond. Installing Schluter's Kerdi over drywall or CBU you use an unmodified thinset. Home Depot sells Masterblend which would be another brand that would work well.

05-28-2005, 08:18 PM
Yes, except HD in Canada doesn't sell Masterblend, they only sell that not so good Custom blend stuff...and you don't want that stuff. :uhh: They do have the Premium Plus though, and that works pretty good. I think the Kerabond is better though. ;)

05-28-2005, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the quick responses

I asked the pros at home depot for a dry-mortar in order to do the bed and install the membrane. I told them I watched the video and the product "looked more like sand and the hit it to make it hard". Obviously, you can tell my experience... He then asked if I wanted to mix the product myself or premixed bag. I said premized and just add water. This is when he said he did not have anything for me.

Bri, the Quickcrete Sand Mix what else do I mixed it with to do the base ? Is this a premix to do the shower base (just add water) or not?

Should I "modify" kerabond with keralastic ?
His the kerabond comparable to the versabond people talk about in the threads (I know kerabond is not modified)

Thanks all


05-28-2005, 08:22 PM
John's new book explains Kerdi in detail, I'd get my hands on one. :)

05-28-2005, 08:28 PM

I just got this

"There are many advantages to using the above ingredients to make Deck Mud, but for smaller jobs you can use Sand Mix which already has the sand and portland mixed together. All you need is water using the same consideration as noted above"

from the following website :

Is this the mix you are talking about ? If so I just mix with water to the test (ball in my hand) and that it?


05-28-2005, 08:36 PM
That's it, it will be used for the sloped mud bed. Have you got the Kerdi drain installed yet?

05-28-2005, 09:03 PM
No I don't have it installed.
I'm impressed with this website. I found all my questions.
Please tell me if I got anything wrong in the following:

1/ Quickcrete Sand Mix and add water (just a little and wil do the ball in the hand test) for the mortar bed. I will install the kerdi-drain at that time.
- should I add more sand to this bag?

2/ Versabond between my cement board or drywall (not decided yet) and the membrane. Same thing between membrane and the mortar bed.

3/ Versabond for the tile setting

Is this correct? I thought versabond was modified will this impact Schulter waaranty ?


05-28-2005, 09:14 PM
I can also replace versabond above by Mapei's product Kerabond sold here at the building box. It is not modified?


05-28-2005, 09:15 PM
I see you found Harry's info :)

The sandmix works fine the way it is. You can add more sand if you want, but it seems to work just fine the way it is when doing a mortar bed.

I use Versabond all the time with works well for me. It's a low end modified, meaning there isn't a lot of polymer in the bag compared to others. Plus it comes in white which is nice . I can't answer the warranty question though, all I can say is that the versabond works.

05-28-2005, 09:18 PM
The sand mix will work fine, it's a little rich and some will add sand. The liberry has this info.

Versabond works fine. :)

05-28-2005, 09:20 PM

How much sand mix will I need. Very small shower about 33 inch by 33 inch expecting to do a (I guess) 1.5 inch at the drain?

05-28-2005, 09:33 PM
Another questions on the mortar. I got this from the installation video I got with the kerdi-drain:

. a ring of loose mortar is set around the inlet hole and the drain is pressed firmly into it . then the mortar bed is done and slope using the bonding flange and the perimeter screed as a screeding guide.

The question is the following: The ring of loose mortar in the video look much more wet then the mortar bed. When the press on the ring mortar is squeezed out and through the flange. What type of mortar is this? It cannot be the same as the mud base. What should I use?

05-28-2005, 09:43 PM
It is the same mortar that you're using for the mud bed, just a little wetter to be able to form around the drain easily. The Schluter video says a 3-1 mix for this loose stuff, and a 5-1 mix for the rest, but I just keep it all at 3-1 like others here have recommended. It makes for a firm, non-sandy surface the next morning when the mudbed is cured. (dry) The drain flange has a slight pitch to it also to help you set the pitch in your mudbed. (just wanted to remind you :) )

05-28-2005, 09:44 PM
I used Kerabond when I did my Kerdi shower and it worked well. However, I Kerdied my walls before I started to work on the floor. That way I didn't have to worry about getting all of the globs of thinset on my pan. In fact I tiled the walls except for the bottom foot or so prior to working on the floor at all.

05-28-2005, 09:49 PM
In John's book it looks like wall mud under the drain. I would mix a small amount of sand mix a little wetter than dry pack to use around the drain. You want it wet enough to mash up thru the holes. :)

05-28-2005, 09:49 PM
Thanks Splinter, I did not get that from the video, I appreciate the help.

05-28-2005, 09:51 PM
I'm installing the kerdi drain on a mortar bed (not the kerdi-tray) and I have the concerns/questions:

I do not have access to the plumbing from below. Can I install the drain first on my abs pipe with the abs glue and then "slide" some mortar below the kerdi drain (below the flange) ? I'm just very worried of pushing the kerdi-drain into the loose mortar like showed on the installation video and at the same time gluing it to the abs pipe. Will I even have the time to ensure that it is level and at the proper height ? Im just scared the ABS glue with adheres very quickly before I can properly set the drain with the mortar.
What does the expert think?

05-28-2005, 10:18 PM
Yep, you can do that. Hold it 1 1/4 up off the floor if it's a wood floor, 1/2 inch if it's slab. :) Push mud up under it to support the drain. :)

05-28-2005, 10:20 PM
I'm installing the mortar bed directly on plywood. I will be using the quikrete sand topping mix. Do I go directly to the plywood?

Thanks Trebla

05-28-2005, 10:22 PM
Thanks Davy. This will greatly help. So I will install the drain without mortar first focusing on the ABS and then push mortar.

05-28-2005, 10:24 PM
Can anybody explain why the order in which the membrane is installed is not important. I always believed I needed to have a bottow up approach but saw on this site that this is not required?


05-29-2005, 12:34 AM
What Davy said.

When you mix the deck mud for your pre-slope, scoop out a gallon or so and add a little extra water to it so's you can moosh it under that flange real good and get it to come up through them holes inna top.

So long as you lap the joints in the Kerdi the required minimum of two inches, the material doesn't give a rat's patootie which side is on top. You're not looking for a mechanical drain as you would in overlapping something like rows of roofing felt. Once the thinset cures, the overlap in the Kerdi is completely waterproof, no matter which way the water looks at it.

My opinion; worth price charged.


Please don't start a new thread with every new question on the same project. Keep it all here as long as we're building the same shower to prevent duplication of responses and so everyone can keep up with what's been asked and answered.

I've merged as many of your threads as I could find into this one.

05-29-2005, 04:23 AM
Versabond between my cement board or drywall (not decided yet) and the membrane.


I completed my shower project almost a year ago. After reading a lot on this site and reading Schluter's installation instructions I decided to use the Kerdi over regular drywall. There is no need to use CBU under the Kerdi so if you haven't already got CBU up, I would recommend using drywall.

How much sand mix will I need. Very small shower about 33 inch by 33 inch expecting to do a (I guess) 1.5 inch at the drain?
Yesterday 11:18 PM

You'll need 2-3 bags (60lb bags) of sand mix for your preslope. However, you don't want to be caught short so buy 4 bags and return what you don't use when you're done.

05-29-2005, 06:18 AM
Thanks all,

cx, the onyl reason I started a new thread it because I did not feel it was the same subject: tis thread was about the mortar and thinset for the kerdi. I wanted to start a separete thread for the kerdi membrane installation. But this is not a problem.If you want I will ask all my project questions in this thread


05-29-2005, 06:27 AM
I'm asking so many questions that we've skipped over this one in the thread. Thanks

I'm installing the mortar bed directly on plywood. I will be using the quikrete sand topping mix. Do I go directly to the plywood?

Thanks Trebla

05-29-2005, 06:32 AM
I meant to answer that for you, saw it but forgot it.

Anyway, you will need to put down either roofing felt or plastic directly over the plywood. Next staple 2.5 diamond lath down. Mix and place your dry pack mud.

The lath looks like this...

05-29-2005, 10:37 AM
Hey guys,

I just came back from HD. I just want to make sure that I can use the same product. I purchased versabond grey. This is what I will use to attach the kerdi membrane to the gyproc (decide not to buy cement board).

Can I also use the versabond to attach the kerdi membrane to the mortar bed (which I will be doing with sakrete sand mix i also just purchased)?


05-29-2005, 11:17 AM
yep, versabond will work just fine....

05-29-2005, 11:40 AM
I'm ready to start.
I cannot thanks you all enough. in two days you all have convinced me.

I will post pictures to show progress and will aks questions as I go (I'm sure of this...)

I will post a before picture soon

THANKS ALL :yipee: :yipee:

05-29-2005, 12:43 PM
I just read other threads discussing of white and grey versabond. I just purchased the grey to install the membrane and tiles. Is this OK?

05-29-2005, 01:09 PM
Yes, they are both the same. But if you intend on grouting with a white or light coloured grout, then using the white Versabond makes cleaning up the grout joints a little easier.

05-29-2005, 01:42 PM
we used grey under the kerdi so we could tell instantly that we had excellent coverage and no air bubbles. we'll switch to white to set our stone. by the way, red fingernail polish covers up the grey thinset if you can't get it all off! :rolleyes:

05-29-2005, 06:40 PM

I'm thinking of putting some tile on the ceiling. Can I use the exact same stuff (gyproc / versabond / membrane / versabond / tile). Any tips/lesson learned for this ?

05-29-2005, 08:18 PM
A wise choice trebla! I tiled the ceiling in my shower last year (link in my signature). 6x6 porcelain tiles, set diagonally over Kerdi. No real problems, tiles stayed put once set into the thinset. I used a 1/4" square notched trowel and also backbuttered the tiles. You will probably drop a bit of thinset so cover your floor with cardboard to ease the cleanup.

The only difference I had from what you are planning is I used Masterblend non modified instead of Versabond. From everthing I've read since my project was finished, the Versabond is a great choice.

05-31-2005, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the ceiling pictures.

Do I need to put kerdi on the ceiling and on the top portion of the wall above the shower head? I'n not sure it worth it

By the way, demolition finish and started the rough

06-01-2005, 07:08 AM
As long as you Kerdi above the showerhead you should be ok. I Kerdi'd all the way up the wall and the ceiling too.

John Bridge
06-01-2005, 04:35 PM
"by the way, red fingernail polish covers up the grey thinset if you can't get it all off! " -- Diane.

Thanks a lot. I've been using those high-end translucent half-tone colors. I'll switch to red right away. ;)

06-01-2005, 08:50 PM
OK now the new frame is moving along and so is the plumbing.

I m gluing ABS kerdi-drain prior to my mud bed (please previous discussions in this thread on why.) I just want to make sure that I leave the proper height for the mud.

Picture A shows the kerdi-drain and dimensions.

Picture B illustrate the drain installed on the floor if I set at 1.25 or 1.5 inches of mud at the center.

Is it a problem if I do like in picture C? Just under an inch at the center and 1.25 inches at the end of the flange. The reason is that I prefer the way the floor hold or ties up against the drain. Will this be OK?

I looked at some images on the schluter site and I believe this is OK but previously in this thread I was told to leave 1.25 inch.

Thanks for the help

Brian Barbier
06-01-2005, 11:53 PM
Picure C looks like how I've done it on plywood subfloor. Also, I glue my drain at the same time as setting the 'doughnut' of mud under it. I basically prefit my drain, check to see if the flange sits level naturally or if I will have to tweak it as I glue it on, then pull it up and get the glue ready. I pack my doughnut around the area, with a piece of newspaper or rag covering the abs pipe so no mortar falls on it, and make sure the inside hole diameter will not be too small for the portion of drain that goes down inside it. Next, I swab my parts with the glue, remove rag, stick drain on carefully, then pack the mortar further under it with my margin trowel until the flange is level each way. This way, the glue is still wet if I have to slightly tweak the drain unit one way or another to level it. If you wait till glue dries, you will have to rely on the stiffness of your mortar and give in your piping to tweak the drain level.


John Bridge
06-02-2005, 06:40 PM
yeah, looks about right. :)

06-02-2005, 06:50 PM
Thanks all,

Brian thanks for the tip. I'm a bit surprised you are able to work with the drain at the speed abs glue dries.

06-04-2005, 07:41 PM
Im building the new frame (that I would love to complete tomorrow) and I need your opinion on the where to stop the curb.

My shower stall is small and represented in figure 1.

Im thinking of doing the following:

Option 1/ I can install the curb a couple of inches before wall A as represented in figure 2.

Option 2/ I go and get the extra inches and install the curb level with wall A as shown in figure 3.

I prefer option 2 and even tiling wall A. But this is where I have an issue. How do I complete the corner where the curb meets the wall A (see corner B in figure 3) and continue tiling wall A. Any corner tiles? Pictures? Proposed designs?


06-05-2005, 11:12 AM
It can be done either way, It's probably going to be easier for you to hold the curb back from the corner an inch or two, you can still tile wall A.

If you want the curb lined up with Wall A, hold back the 2x4's about 1/2-5/8 from the sheetrock on wall A. Make the mud on the outside of the curb even with the sheetrock on wall A. I'm figuring you are going to stick the tile directly to the sheetrock on wall A. Doing it this way will give you an inch or two more room in the shower.

I don't have any pichers showing this arrangement. :)

06-05-2005, 01:26 PM
Davy, Thanks for the response. I will not "mud" the curb, I'm using the kerdi with thinset. I figured i would line up the sheetrock on wall A and the curb wall at the same level then use thinset and the membrane on the curb and wall A.

Is this OK?

John Bridge
06-05-2005, 01:51 PM
Looks like you should probably hold the curb back the thickness of the tiles so that the tiles will end up in line with the outside of Wall A. If you line the rough curb up with the outside of the wall, then the tiles will stick out past the wall.

Here's a pic of a curb the ends up with the tile flush with the wall. You'll see that the curb has to be build back far enough to allow for the tile thickness.

06-05-2005, 01:58 PM
But if I intend to also tile the wall should it not be all level :uhh:

06-05-2005, 08:32 PM
Yes, in John's picher he wasn't tiling the wall to the left so he held the curb back the thickness of the tile (for Kerdi). Make the curb even with the wall if you plan on tiling it and you want them to line up. :)

John Bridge
06-06-2005, 04:03 PM
Now I gotta try to find a new pic. ;)

06-06-2005, 05:20 PM
Excellent Thanks

I'm not sure of the tile I will use but I will put the curb flush with the wall because I want to tile that wall. :) . I;m wife is not so sure :uhh:

If I don't tile the wall, then I'll bring up the floor tile to the wall same height of the curb and also use a trim from the curn up to the ceiling :crazy:

My wife still need to choose the tile ....


06-06-2005, 08:02 PM
Find a tile that has a bullnose if you can. You'll need to run a bullnose up that corner regardless if the wall gets tiled or not. :)

06-06-2005, 08:15 PM
Thanks Davy,
I will do that. Going shopping tomorrow.

What is the maximum size of the wall tile I can install over the kerdi?

Brian Barbier
06-07-2005, 12:04 AM
546.1" x 342.33" is the maximum allowed over kerdi :crazy:

Just kidding. Any format that will look well in your space, except for the floor where I'd recommend 4" x 4" maximum. The drain is 4" so that works out well if you can tile off the drain. Smaller will allow a smoother floor.


06-07-2005, 02:33 PM
I got this picture from John's site.

This is exactly what I want to do as a trim from the curb up.
Was a trim used here ? or are the tiles just overlapping ?


John Bridge
06-07-2005, 03:46 PM
Jason used some sort of stone on that shower. Can't tell, but he probably just profiled the edges.

06-10-2005, 07:45 PM
Hello all,

Ok the rough is finished :yipee: Step 1 of 99 complete :)
I just purchased the sand topping bags. Will be doing the bed this weekend.

My wife and I found the exact tile we want to use.

Its from Daltile and its called Wheatland (color) GoldRush

I want to use the 2x2 mosaic for the shower floor, 6x6 for the wall and 12x12 for the bathroom floor. And will also need some trims

Anybody kno where I can get these in Montreal ? I went to the homedepot and they only have the mosaic 2x2

Thanks everybody

06-11-2005, 10:03 AM
Hello All,

Thanks for the support up to now. This project would clearly not be the same and working without this site.

Just two little question,

1/ I purchased the sand topping bags at HD (yellow) and Im wondering if the consistency of the product once mix with water is really that important. I will try my best to get it like the pros say I should --> I'm just wondering if it is a little wetter than everything I've been reading if it still going to be solid. I figure it will be harder to slope but once cure will it be solid? :uhh:

2/ how much time will mixing a bag take and how much time before the mud already down cannot be mixed with the new batch? I will not have the help I expected tomorrow and was trying to see if I can mix a 66lb bag at a time and lay them down one by one (I believe I need three 66lb bags for my job which is 32 inches by 32 inches. I purchased four in case :rolleyes: )


06-11-2005, 10:33 AM

1. It isn't too hard to get the right consistency, as shown in the link you provided. Just add the water slowly and mix, if a little too dry add a little more water. If you should end up with a slightly wet mix it will still cure solid but will be a bit harder to work with.

2. When I mixed for my shower, aboout the same size as yours, I did it myself. One bag at a time in a plastic mixing tub like the one pictured below. I found I could mix a bag in about 10 minutes or so. Make sure you've got everything you need when you start mixing, I was able to mix and place 3 bags in under an hour. I did a mud screed around the perimeter which worked really well.

Edit - Oops, forgot the picture! Also, a mason's hoe or garden hoe makes mixing much faster.

06-11-2005, 10:39 AM
Someone explained it well when they said "sand castle sand", that's about how wet it needs to be. If it's too wet it'll be harder to work with and won't be as porus. You want it porus so water will fall thru it quickly making it's way to the weepholes. It will be plenty solid. :)

06-11-2005, 10:48 AM
Hehe, Davy - Kerdi being used here, no weep holes, so a little less porous shouldn't matter in this case. :)

06-11-2005, 10:56 AM
Thanks Joe, someone needs to keep an eye on me. :) Make that mud as hard as you want. The dry pack will still be easiest to work with. :)

06-11-2005, 12:59 PM
Joe and Davy
thanks for the info

Joe, once you finished mixing your first bag did you just "dump" it in the shower stall (if I may say), then mix a second and dump until you had all the mud needed and then started working with it or did you place and work with the mud after each bag ?

I'm glad to see that I do have time before the curing really start.

How big is this plastic container? Did you get this at HD?


John Bridge
06-11-2005, 05:05 PM
Don't know how anyone else did it, but the BEST way is to mix all the mud at once and dump it in just as soon as you've leveled your screeds. You can mix the mud on the garage floor with a flat shovel and wash up the mess with a sponge when you've finished. Either that or get a wheelbarrow large enough to mix 15 shovels in.

A problem arises when one batch of mud air dries a little on the surface. There is so little cement in deck mud that one batch usually won't stick to another. It needs to be a continuous operation. You don't have to get in a hurry, but you can't screw around either. ;)

06-11-2005, 07:21 PM
I defer to JB on this one. However, I mixed mine a bag at a time and it seemed to be ok. Pretty much mixed the three batches one right after the other then worked my preslope.

It probably helped that the weather was cold and damp when I did my preslope, not like down in Texas! I hear you have to drink twice as much beer in Texas due to the extreme evaporation from that hot Texas sun. ;)

Oh yeah, the black plastic tub is about 20"x30"x8" and should be available at HD.

06-11-2005, 07:36 PM
Thanks John,

I have another question,

I have a 1/2 inch space between my gyprocs sheet for about 10" long. Not much. Should I worry about this? Its at the corner and I will be putting 6x6 tiles on the wall. Should I close it with tape and duroc 90. Here is a picture. Thanks.

John Bridge
06-12-2005, 12:44 PM
I would not worry about that unless I planned to put half-inch pieces of tile there, and I know you're not going to do that. :)

Joe, I guess what I really meant to convey and failed is that you can't float a bag of mud and then let it lay half an hour while you go mix another, not in MOST areas of the country. Yankee Land and Canada are different, I guess. :D

06-12-2005, 01:51 PM
I wouldn't want to do it today in Dallas, we're starting to cook down here. :)
I try to mix enough to do the whole thing too, make a yard bunny from the extra mud. :)

06-17-2005, 05:33 AM
hello all

any problems if I put and staples the mesh floor on the plywood and forgot the tar paper. :uhh: I can still remove the mesh since I have not strated the mud bed :tongue:
... although everything is purchased just can seem to get the time with the kids and work, can't wait for the vacations in July... :rolleyes:


06-17-2005, 07:07 PM
OK, we purchased the tiles

Porceline 6x6 for the shower stall wall, 2x2 for the shower foor and 12x12 for the bathroom floor. The don't have any trim do :uhh:

So two questions:

1/ will the exterior corner and the curb look good if I just overlap the tiles? Any ideas?

2/ please see previous reply questions about the tar paper


06-18-2005, 12:25 PM
Sometimes if you look through a few boxes of tile you'll find a few that has glaze overspray on the edges. If not you can find a bullnose in a color that matches well.

Well, this is up to you, it would be better to pull up the lath and put down the paper. I will say this, I have seen plumbers put the mud down right on the plywood without even the lath, it didn't go anywhere. I wouldn't make a practice of doing it that way myself. :)

06-18-2005, 12:33 PM
Like mentionned in another thread. Can I just use a router with a diamand bit to create a bullnose. Is water required ?

06-18-2005, 12:50 PM
I know some diamond blades are for dry cutting but I can't say about diamond bits. The ones I've seen have been run in water.

A profile blade on a tile saw will get the rough cutting done, polishing would need to be done. You might be better off getting a fabricator to do it. Do you know someone that does countertop slab work?

06-18-2005, 12:56 PM
No, I don't know anybody who does this but I can find. I don't have many pieces requiring this.

What if I just leave it square?

06-18-2005, 01:03 PM
You can, sometimes it doesn't look bad at all. :)

06-21-2005, 07:07 PM
OK, I removed the mesh and will be putting down the tar paper. But now, I'm requestionning the order. Please advise if what I intend to is OK. My shower stall is 32x33 inches (small :tongue: )

1/ Install kerdi membrane on the wall except the bottow two feet. Do this prior to the mud base also.

2/ Install a 2x4 on each wall of the shower stall as "guides" or "level" and install the ceramic bottom up (again nothing on the bottom two feet and even if the guides are drilled in the kerdi, I will cover when I complete the bottom)

3/ remove the "guides" or "levels", install drain and mud base. Complete kerdi for the base and bottom two feets.

4/ Install cermaic on the floor and bottom two feet.

The reason I'm thinking of doing it this way is that I can work in this small space without worrying about breaking the mud base or cracking the ceramic on the floor.

Is this approach OK?


John Bridge
06-22-2005, 06:10 AM
Install the Kerdi all the way down to the floor. After you remove your starting boards you can put little patches over the screw holes.

Then build your mud floor, install Kerdi and Kerdi-band. Then install the rest of the tile in any order that suits you.

06-22-2005, 12:07 PM
Yep, Kerdi down to floor as John has shown. When I did my shower I didn't want to poke any holes in the Kerdi so I stacked up some boards to the height I needed for starting my wall tile. In retrospect, doing it as John shows would have been a bit easier.

You could use Schluter's "Jolly" product for the exterior corner and curb issue. I used it on my project, no worries. I'll snap some closeups and post them when I get home.

06-22-2005, 08:48 PM
Pics as promised. 1st is shower curb from outside the shower. 2nd is closeup shot. 3rd is left wall of shower from the outside looking in. 4th is closeup where drywall meets Schluter JOLLY and tile.

John Bridge
06-23-2005, 06:18 AM
Nice work, Joe. :) The pics are actually too big and close, though. Give us a panorama. :)

06-23-2005, 07:22 AM
Geez, if I gave you a panoramic shot you'd see all the clutter on the niche. :eek:

Still haven't bothered with a shower door yet, we just have a shower curtain. One of these days we may put in a frameless glass door.

06-23-2005, 06:56 PM
Way to go Joe, looks good. :)

John Bridge
06-23-2005, 07:05 PM
Well, I can almost see your jumbo size bottle of Sam's Club shampoo as it is. Why not show the whole mess?


06-23-2005, 07:13 PM
Yeah Joe, lets see it. :)

I've got two niches and a seat that stays full of shampoo bottles. My wife thinks you're not supossed to use the same shampoo two days in a row. :crazy:

06-23-2005, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the pics. I'm convinced now that even if we selected a tile that have no special trim pieces that it will look OK with the jolly type trim. Thanks.

06-24-2005, 12:55 PM
ok so we decided on the tiles and after the pics (thanks again) I will use the Jolly trims.

We talked about the tiles yesterday and then my wife looks at me and said, what about the grout? :uhh:

True, forgot...

Before I purchase,
1/ any special grout that I need to use in the shower stall floor and wall ?
2/ Must I mix a sealer in it or Do I seal afterwards?
3/ Do I even need to seal?

Thanks again. I'm buying maye I should start installing :rofl:


06-24-2005, 01:08 PM
The grout you choose will depend on the width of the grout lines - up to 1/8", unsanded, 1/8" or larger sanded. As long as you get the type made of cement you mix up like thinset and not a premixed variety, you should be okay. Most of them have some latex in them for flexibility. You seal after the grout has cured, at least 3-days is good, a week is better, check the instructions on the one you buy. Depending on the sealer, you can use the shower a day later after sealing. My unprofessional opinion.

06-24-2005, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the quick response.

What do you means when who say for the grout "the one that you mix up like thinset and not a premixed variety" ? The only tiling I ever did was the backsplash in my kitchen and the grout for this was already colored and I only mixed it with water. But I'm not sure if this is what you call a premixed grout?


06-24-2005, 02:04 PM
There are a couple of companies that sell what they call grout, that comes sort of like toothpaste - already mixed. One actually comes in a can sort of like cheesewiz. These are actually more of a caulk, but they call them grout. The powdered stuff you mix up with water will be fine, just make sure you get either sanded or unsanded depending on the size of the grout line.

06-25-2005, 01:15 PM
OK, I'll buy the grout that I need to mix. Not the premix. Thanks.

So now that we are talking grout line, what would be a good size for the wall tile (6x6 porcelain 12mm think) and floor (same tile but 12x12).

1/ Any minimum to respect ?

2/ Also should I really use sealers or not?


06-25-2005, 06:51 PM
Grout line width is subjective. I did my shower with appr. 3/16". Looks good to me. Wall tiles are 6x6. Floor is 12x12, 6x6 and 6x12 tiles. Same size grout line as in the shower.

I used Aquamix sealer on the grout after several days of curing.

06-25-2005, 07:16 PM
Are we talking about the bathroom in the pics you sent me?
If so, I do like that grout line size.

06-26-2005, 05:45 AM
Yep, same bathroom. I just measured for you - my shower walls and floor tiles are 1/8" grout lines. (Wall tiles are 6x6, floor tiles in shower are 2x2)

Bathroom floor is a windmill pattern with three sizes 6x6, 6x12 and 12x12 tiles. Grout line is 3/16"

I used a sanded grout, Custom's Polyblend from HD. Canvas for the shower, Delorean grey for the bathroom floor.

06-27-2005, 04:50 PM
Hello all,

Just received the "Tile your world" book today. :yipee:

I already started my work but with all the helpful advice I have been receiving, this site has been a great confidence boost and probably will feel the same when reading the book


P.s. Im stuck repairing the plumbing and the supporting joist in the kids bathroom. Can wait to back to the kerdi shower in my bedroom.

John Bridge
06-27-2005, 06:57 PM
I hope you like the book. :) Patti has already spent the royalty money. :D

06-27-2005, 07:19 PM
Easy come easy go eh John! :laugh2:

06-29-2005, 07:10 PM
Hello all,

another three questions / concerns

1/ In John's book (page 139) and after watching the installtion video it is mentionned to use a 1/4 x 3/16 v-notched trowel to apply thinset and fix kerdi. I can't find this size in any of the home centers here. What other size do you recommend? I'm setting a 6x6 inch tile to the wall (I believe its 12 mm thick)

2/ Should I buy plastics trowel to push the kerdi on and remove the excess thinset so I don't damage the kerdi?

3/ At the curb, I will use the set provided with the drain (I believe this is called kereck). I will install like in the video and again like in John's book on page 142. Do we agree that the above corner of the curb (illustrated below) will not be covered with Kerdi? I just want to make sure I got it right.


John Bridge
06-29-2005, 07:52 PM
Use a drywall knife. Just be careful with the ends of the blade. A plastic trowel should work, too. I've never tried it.

Get a 1/4 x 5/32 if that's what they have. Close to the same size.

The curb end gets both corner pieces. Kereck 51 and Kereck 5A. The one goes over the other like I did it in the book. :)

There are other ways of doing this. You could cut the curb piece of membrane extra long and make the tabs on the end of it, but why don't you just use the pre-cut pieces? :)

06-29-2005, 07:55 PM
John, I will use the pre-cut pieces. I just want to make sure that I see it right. The excat corner where the two pieces meet will not have any membrane on it (see red arrow in previous picture). Correct?

I know the have a 1/4 x 1/4 square notch is this OK?


John Bridge
06-29-2005, 08:06 PM
I illustrated putting the corner pieces on first and then putting the curb piece of membrane on top. You could put the membrane on first and then put the corners on top. Either way, but the material ends up being doubled at the ends of the curb.

06-29-2005, 08:11 PM
John, I guess I'm worrying about nothing. I'm talking about the corner identified with a little black hole on your picture.

Will the 1/4 x 1/4 square trowel be OK?


John Bridge
06-29-2005, 08:19 PM
That little corner is what I called a "vortex" in the book. As long as everything is jambed together there, it won't leak. :)

You can use the larger trowel, but keep it laying down when you spread the thin set. If you stand it up you'll have way too much. You'll make a mess. ;)

06-29-2005, 08:23 PM
Is that the "vortex" ? I got to admit I was not sure. Ok so they will overlap very very little in the "vortex" .

Maybe they should build a pre-fab piece for the curbs?

John Bridge
06-29-2005, 08:29 PM
They have made a preformed corner, but it's not widely distributed yet. I use the same piece you are using every day. I do two or three Kerdi showers every month. I've had no problems with corners leaking. ;)

There is another "vortex" down in the corner at the bottom of the curb. Don't worry about it. :D

David Taylor
06-29-2005, 08:38 PM
Here are the two pre-formed corner pieces that don't have the vortex: KERECK FA and FI.

I like using the outside corner (KERECK-FA) in niches, instead of having a lot of overlap where the niche meets the shower wall. :)

John Bridge
06-30-2005, 03:47 PM
What I wanna know is how they get that thin set on there so neatly. No smears. Nothing. :D

07-01-2005, 03:07 PM
John, I'm reading the book in the wrong order. Just read about the vortex on page 140. Should have read before all the questions I had after reading p.142

John Bridge
07-02-2005, 12:45 PM
Geez. Everybody knows you read a book from front to back. I even tell you in the front to read front to back, but you didn't start in the front, so how would you know?


07-02-2005, 01:54 PM
Another question for my little kerdi shower stall.

Do I grout or caulk the vertical inside corners where the walls meet? I know John says in his book that he grouts for tub surrounds (page 148) but he does say to use caulinking anywhere there is a change of plane in a shower on page 143.

So what is recommended? I personally like the grout. Also, is it correct to assume that for one wall, the tille will come up flush againt the corner (or other wall) and for the other I leave the same spacing at the corner like the grout lines?

Thanks again.

John Bridge
07-03-2005, 10:49 AM
I said to use caulking in the Kerdi shower because the TCA says it and so does Schluter. The truth is, though, that I grout everything except when tile goes up against windows. Windows are sure to move a lot due to temp. changes, so I use silicone there.

I've not had any problems with grout cracks in Kerdi showers. Of course, I make sure the corners are framed and screwed together before I install the sheetrock. Plus, the membrane wraps through the corners making them stronger and more monolithic.

I just HATE caulking. I use it only when I determine that grout won't work. :)

07-03-2005, 11:59 AM
Thanks again,

Also, is it correct to assume that for one wall, the tille will come up flush againt the corner (or other wall) and for the other I leave the same spacing at the corner like the grout lines?

07-03-2005, 01:36 PM
Tile corner would be done something like the attached pic. Caulk at change of plane is the correct way but JB has mentioned a few times that he grouts instead. I grouted last year, no adverse effects so far.

07-05-2005, 08:19 PM
OK all, ready to install the kerdi membrane.
I found a 1/4 x 3/16 v trowel as recommended.

Two questions:

1/ I purchased 25lb bags of versabond grey. How much should I mix at a time and install kerdi (what size piece to I attack). This is my first time so I don't want to mix too much or too litlle.

2/ I do want to make it right and take my time, how long will the mixed verabond be good for before I actually use it (half-hour, one hour)?


07-05-2005, 08:51 PM
Don't mix it until you're ready for it. Put about an inch of water in a bucket and mix until it's about like pancake batter. That much should make up about 3 inches of thinset in your bucket. You can adjust it from there. It will last a hour or so, depending on temperature. :)

07-06-2005, 05:20 AM
Thanks Davy,

and just for reference, this amount (about 3" in the bucket) should be able to cover what size kerdi membrane?


07-08-2005, 11:37 AM

I started putting on the kerdi today and I may have a problem. PLEASE TELL ME I'M OK.

The consistency of the tinset was good(thanks Davy) and I applied it with a 1/4 x 3/16 v trowel.

Putting on the band was pretty easy. The problem started with the membrane. I applied it and then I started working the material in the thinset and working and working and pushing and pushing .... I pushed quit a large amount of thinset using a plaster knife.

I just did not know when I needed to stop, the more I pushed, the more came out and the surface was not fully even anymore for the tile. So I kept working and pushing and pushing it in. I pushed so hard that I even believe I runned the fleece? (see picture).

Is this normal? Did I remove too much thinset? I just completed and its not dry yet.

UPDATE, Other problems:

Ok, all is dry and the membrane is clearly set. But nevertheless I'm worried about how too proceed. I have three air bubbles that I will remove and also I have a 4" x 10" patch for which the color of the membrane was still very orange versus the rest. I removed/cut out this portion and as a matter of fact it did not glue. Another patch. Is a patch this size a problem ?

Also, if I pass my hand on the pieces I have set, I fell waves everywhere. Now don't get me wrong, If I use a level it still is straight. But when I pass my hand, you feel that the surface is not flat anymore. I can fix this when installing the tile.

I'M WORRIED ABOUT THE REST. If it continues like this, I will have many seems and patches in a small 32x33 shower stall. IS THIS AN ISSUE

John Bridge
07-09-2005, 11:02 AM
You apparently pushed way harder than necessary and removed some of the fleece from the face of the Kerdi. I'm not worried about that as long as you haven't poked holes through it. You should be mixing the thin set "loose," not watery, but is should spread easily. You should not have to push quite that hard to get it smoothed down.

It is not unusual to have small waves in the Kerdi. If you thin down your thin set just a bit more you'll be better off. What size tiles are you using?

07-09-2005, 12:50 PM
The wall tiles are 6.5 X 6.5

Is it a problem if I have a 4" x 10" patch (I cut out the kerdi that did not stick)?

Is it a problem if I totally require this membrane piece? I'm thinking of going directly from the bottom to the top and not just overlap.

Holes in the kerdi. No I pushed hard but I don't believe I made any holes. Visually and when I pass my hand I clearly don't see any holes.

Just to give me an idea. How much time should I be on a 39" wide piece by about 4 foot high? This is the first piece I put up. I'm thinking of doing the other wall with one piece (39" wide , 7 feet high)

John Bridge
07-10-2005, 11:34 AM
I don't think you are experienced enough to do the one large piece. You'll have fewer problems if you use two pieces on each wall. The overlap is easy to make.

The large patch will be fine as long as you get it overlapped all the way around.

Depending on how flat the backs of the tiles are, you can use a 1/4 in. square notch for the tile installation. If you start having problems with excessive thin set coming through, flatten your approach and make lower ridges. You can also back-butter individual tiles to level them in places if necessary. I'm not pushing you. I just want you to know that your Kerdi job will be fine, and that the tiles will go over it okay. :)

07-10-2005, 07:18 PM
Thanks for the support John
I will re-attack the project tomorrow.

07-10-2005, 08:38 PM
The first piece of Kerdi I installed was full length floor to ceiling (appr. 7') and the full width of the Kerdi (appr. 39"). I wish I had installed it in smaller pieces. Getting that big of an area combed out with thinset is really hard for the inexperienced. To make life more difficult I also mixed my first batch of thinset too stiff. After cursing my way through that first piece I adjusted my thinset mix to be a lot looser, this did make it fairly easy to comb out quickly and get my next large piece of Kerdi installed. I don't recall the exact amount of time spent working the Kerdi. Probably in the neighborhood of 15-20 minutes for a 3' x 6' area.

When I next do a Kerdi install I will be taking John's excellent advice and work with smaller pieces of Kerdi. The seams are easy to handle with some KerdiBand .

Don't push too hard! The harder you push, the more waviness you'll get. Big patches aren't a problem, cut out any areas that have bubbles and patch as needed.

07-10-2005, 10:10 PM
Good thread. I am researching and have all but decided to do the Kerdi shower. I have some concerns that I hope someone can address. I have found some great limestone for the shower walls, but they are pretty hefty. The tiles are 18" x 18" x 5/8" and weigh 16 pounds each (that's 7.1 lbs/sf). Can a base of Kerdi over drywall support this weight? If I had to I could probably find some thinner tiles, but I am happy with the price ($4.75/sf). I initially thought I would apply them over cement backer board, which I thought would provide a strong enough bond for the tiles, but I have no experience with the Kerdi product, so I would like to know if I am buying myself problems.

Thanks for the advice--

07-10-2005, 10:46 PM
Welcome, DR. :)

If you're gonna stay with us through your project, please copy your post and start a new tread. You'll get hopelessly lost in here.

I don't think the weight of your tiles will be any problem at all, but you might wanna contact Schluter directly and get a reading on it.

They have a place on their site for you to request a call from their tech people here. ( Might make you feel a lot better hearing it directly from them, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-11-2005, 01:26 PM

Followed your advice,

thinned down the thinset and did not attemp to attack the big pieces. I pressed down on the kerdi but not as hard. I pushed evenly and with consistency everywhere.

I could also tell where I needed to push since I was using grey thinset and the kerdi changes color when thinset is under it (Thnaks dianelouise).

One concern, everything is drying up (did it about 3 hours ago) and the last piece I put up (the one facing you on the picture) clearly still has some orange spot and patches that look like the origanal orange of the kerdi. Although when I pass my hand or press hard I don't feel or see any air bubbles. I don't feel like there is much thinset there either ... Will I be ok?


07-11-2005, 01:49 PM
It looks OK to me. I wouldn't stress much about the orange patches as long as you don't have any areas bubbling you should be just fine.

07-11-2005, 01:58 PM
No areas bubbling. Actually, very flat, some waves on the first pieces.

07-11-2005, 07:08 PM
OK all, I'm going to start tiling. What size trowel should I purchase ?

Shower wall --> 6.5 x 6.5 porcelain tile
Bathroom floor (not shower floor) --> 13 x 13 porcelain tile
Shower floor (will only be doing this at the end after the mud bed) --> 1x1 mosaic


07-11-2005, 07:13 PM
1/4" square notch for all but the 1x1 on the shower floor. something smaller for that, not sure the best size. Maybe 3/16" V notch? Better wait for one of the pros to chime in.

07-11-2005, 07:32 PM
I figured I'd put some pics up so you guys can help in the trowel recommendations


07-12-2005, 10:18 AM
Hi Trebla,

Woo! You were going along so good and here it looks like you're installing tile over carpet... Don't think that will fly.

Ha! Just kidding -- good looking tile and work so far. You're taking the Kerdi plunge a few weeks ahead of me, so I'm watching you closely.


07-12-2005, 01:35 PM
Hello all, got another question, yes yes again !

As we already discussed in this thread, I don't have access to the plumbing below so I will glue the ABS drain first and then when I do my mortar bed I will push mud under it to support it. I will make sure to have a minimum of 1 1/4 up off the floor at the flange. As already discussed in this thread, I will have less in the middle of the drain.

Here is my problem. I cut the drain height before doubling the plywood and finishing the floor but I did not check the level .... oups begineer mistake :bang:

My drain is not level from front to back. This is what I intent to do please tell e if this is OK. I will add a very small piece of 3/4" plywood under the drain in the back (about 1" by 1"). This will bring everything to level. Then, I will push mud under the drain as much as I can and leave the little piece of plywood there. Is this OK?

Please note that I have not glued the drain yet and I tested what I want to do and I do have enough "flexibility", if I may say, with the abs drains to do this.

07-12-2005, 02:05 PM
That piece of wood should be OK, since the Kerdi will keep it dry under there.

07-12-2005, 06:23 PM
Thanks Bob. So I will do it like that, put I will tile my walls first.

Please see above, I do have questions on the proper trowels to use (especially for the mosaic)

07-12-2005, 06:36 PM
I'd much rather see you shim under there with a stone, or some tile scraps, or something other than wood. Just don't seem right. Shim it up and pewt a little mud under there and let it set up and take the shims out, maybe.

You want me staying awake worrying about you havin' that little piece of wood under there? :twitch:

Injineer Bob won't worry, though. Injineers don't worry. They just go add up some more numbers. Don't care if there's a little piece of wood swellin' up under someones shower drain. Nope, not for a minute. :rolleyes:

C'mon, use a rock or some mud or somethin', won't ya? :)

07-12-2005, 06:41 PM
I could find some old tiles somewhere in the basement ... Stack up some pieces to reach the 3/4 inch...

07-12-2005, 06:48 PM
Don't say nothin' to Bob, though. I don't want he should get his feelins' hurt or nothin'. :)

Injineers gets really sensitive somethimes, eh? :D

07-12-2005, 07:02 PM
OK, thanks for the help with the drain.

I do need help with the trowel I need to purchase. I'm reposting since I believe we lost this talking about the drain

Shower wall --> 6.5 x 6.5 porcelain tile (joe suggested 1/4 inch trowel)
Bathroom floor (not shower floor) --> 13 x 13 porcelain tile
Shower floor (will only be doing this at the end after the mud bed) --> 1x1 mosaic

Please see pictures of the back of the tiles posted yesterday

John Bridge
07-12-2005, 07:31 PM
I would use the V-notch you used to install your Kerdi. Hold it straight up when you apply the thin set.

I have never set mosaic tiles on a Kerdi wall. they are going to want slide down, I think. You will have to keep the thin set a little stiffer than normal, which means it won't want to stick to the Kerdi too well until you work it a little. In a mud shower I would nail the sheets while they set. Can't do that in the Kerdi shower. This might actualy be a drawback to the Kerdi system. ;)

07-12-2005, 07:37 PM
Hi John,

I don't mean to correct you :stick: but the 1x1 mosaic's are for the shower floor. 6x6 for the walls and 13x13 for the bathroom floor outside the shower.

I recommended 1/4" square notch for all except the 1x1 mosaic where I thought a 3/16" V notch would do the trick.

John Bridge
07-12-2005, 07:58 PM
Thanks, Joe. I lost track. Yes, of course. Quarter-inch for the larger tiles.

In fact, I think I said that in one of my earlier posts to this thread. Trebla, you paying attention?


07-12-2005, 08:55 PM
OK, so 1/4 x 1/4 square for all expect for my mosaic on the floor where I will use the 1/4 x 3/16 v notch that I used to put up the kerdi.

John, I'm trying to follow ... :rolleyes: We talked about trowel earlier in this thread and you did recommend I use a 1/4 x 1/4 square but it was to install the kerdi since I could not find any 1/4 x 3/16 v

Thanks all, will post pictures of the tiles and mud floor progress :rolleyes:

07-13-2005, 11:28 AM
Started the tiles :yipee:

I clearly had the thinset to thick the first time I put the kerdi and too loose the second time (it was a little runny). Although, the second time is want is holding the kerdi up... Sometimes I'm worried about this but no air bubbles and it looks solid.

The thinset mix was perfect this time and setting the tile was fun. :rolleyes:

Two questions:
1/ Should i change trowel. I use a 1/4 square for the wall tile and there was a lot of thinset coming out between the tiles (lots of cleaning...)?

2/ When can I remove the brace and the spacer.


07-13-2005, 06:28 PM
Looks like you're on your way. Good job on the ledger board. :)

07-13-2005, 07:32 PM
The 1/4 square should be fine for those tiles... are you holding it at a 45 degree angle? Maybe pressing the tiles too firmly?

The brace should be left on there for at least a few hours... Leaving it overnight until you start tiling again certainly couldnt hurt.. :)

07-13-2005, 07:55 PM
Yep 45 degrees. I did "backbutter" all the tiles and I did press then firmly. I did remove some to look at the coverage and its wa very good.
Can you press to firmly?


John Bridge
07-13-2005, 08:48 PM
Remove the ledger in the morning. :) No, you can't press the tiles in too hard, not unless you are from the Planet Kripton. :D

07-14-2005, 06:16 AM
I won't press as hard on the next wall but I'm not worried about the one I put in (even if I pushed hard) since you can tell, there not moving


07-14-2005, 06:36 PM
Moving along. :rolleyes:

I'm really getting the hang of it. The thinset is better each time and clearly putting the tiles better. :)

I was getting a bit frustated at the end :tongue: so I decided to stop grab a beer and continue on Monday :rolleyes: (going to the beach with the kids for three days)

I purchased the THD saw blade at home depot and worked very nicely with the 6.5 x 6.5 porcelin tile (

07-15-2005, 07:41 PM
How do I cut my 1x1 mosaic tiles (12 x 12 mesh grid)
Can I use the saw I purchased (see previous reply)


John Bridge
07-15-2005, 07:48 PM
Trebla, you can't get the sheets wet. They will come apart. You can remove individual tiles and cut them on the saw or on a tile cutter. :)

07-15-2005, 07:51 PM
Just to make sure, are we saying that I need to cut each individual 1 x 1 mosaic ?

John Bridge
07-16-2005, 05:23 PM
That's what I'm saying . . . unless your mosaics are "spot mounted" with rubber dots that won't come apart in water. You might be able to cut two or three at a time on a cutting board, but on a wet saw the paper or net backing will come loose.

Most setters just pull them off the sheet and cut them individually. It's a pain, but that's it. ;)

07-19-2005, 07:23 PM
ok, now please don't panic.

I have decided to also tile the bulkhead thats in my shower stall. I used versabond everywhere and I'm thinking of using Mastic (yes, yes mastic) for the underside of the bulkhead (basically like a ceiling). Its very small, 10" x 32". I'm thinking of using this for the following reason: using the versabond, my tiles kept sliding on the wall and this is way I put a ledger and used spacers. I'm worried that using this on the ceiling will prove difficult.

Please see previous pictures to see the bulkhead.


07-19-2005, 07:31 PM
Using mastic on the ceiling is fine as long as it's tall enough to stay dry. :)

07-19-2005, 07:38 PM
Davy, thanks for the quick reponse. Its above the water. See picture (older picture)

John Bridge
07-19-2005, 08:29 PM
I'm gonna tell the Tile Ranger on you. :D

Naw, mastic is fine on your bulkhead.

07-19-2005, 08:53 PM
I didn't know it was required that we use nautical terms just on accounta we're tiling a wet area. :confused:

But if we are, let's all recall that a bulkhead is always a vertical surface. That horizontal section of your fur-down would be part of your overhead if we're staying nautical, eh?

So, where is it you're fixin' to use that unauthorized pookey?

All of it looks pretty close to the shower head in the picher.

And I seen the ol' Tile Ranger on here just the other day. Been so long I thought him and that Caped Caulking Crusader done both died and went to that great shower stall inna sky. :D

But I bet he's watchin' this thread real close. :shades:

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-19-2005, 09:07 PM
As a DIYer I'll comment - try the thinset for that area. The thinset will hold the ceiling tiles just fine. There are some threads around about best ways to install ceiling tiles. I did my shower with 6x6 tiles on the ceiling. Used Masterblend thinset. Burned the thinset on the ceiling and then combed it. Backbuttered my tile and pushed it into place. I didn't have one fall down, in fact it took a bit of effort to pry one off to check coverage.

John Bridge
07-20-2005, 05:45 AM
Yo, Nautical Head, it's the bottom of the bulkhead, and it may or may not be overhead. It could be overshoulder. ;)

07-20-2005, 10:48 AM
Hi Trebla,

If you want to try thinset, there was a thread recently about creating a thinset "suction cup" -- backbutter the tile and put a nice ridge of thinset near the tile's edge, all around. Press it onto the underside of your bulkhead (being sure to trim the sheets and batten the hatches) and it sucks onto the ceiling. No experience with it myself, but if it's too close to water for mastic to keep you comfy, it's a thought. Then again, JB and Davy gave you the high sign if it's tall enough to stay dry...


07-21-2005, 02:55 PM
OK, guys I used mastic on the underside of the bulkhead.

Another question, I have some versabond grey left. Can I use this to set my tiles on the bathroom floor directly on plywood ? thanks

John Bridge
07-21-2005, 04:59 PM

John Bridge
07-21-2005, 05:00 PM
and NO. ;)

07-21-2005, 05:05 PM

07-21-2005, 06:36 PM
John and CX, I'm not talking in the shower stall. I'm talking outside the shower in the bathroom. What thinset should I buy for this if versabond is a NO.

07-21-2005, 06:39 PM
I'm reading and I can't understand why not ... Again, I'm talking outside the shower in the bathroom not the stall

07-21-2005, 06:51 PM
It's not the choice of thinset, Trebla, it's the procedure. You don't install tile on plywood with anything. There are exceptions, but you don't have one.

Don't do that. I gotta run but somebody will come by and 'splain you. :shades:

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-21-2005, 06:54 PM
So what do I use to set tile on plywood. John says in his book that plywood is an excellent sub-floor. Mine is doubled.
Mapei KEr121 is another option ?

I also believe Gary in the following thread --> directly went to the plywood. He used modified but I don't know which.

07-21-2005, 07:03 PM
As the pros have said, tiling directly to plywood is not recommended. It can be done, but is not usually recommended for the DIYer. Two choices remain - Install 1/4" CBU on top of the plywood and then tile or install Ditra (or other uncoupling membrane) and then tile. I used Ditra in my bathroom. Side benefit if you splash a bunch of water outside the shower, the Ditra is waterproof (seams need to be overlapped with KerdiBand, 2" minimum). Other benefit to Ditra is it is only about an 1/8" thick. Downside would be cost, somewhere around $1.40 sf.

And oops, looks like nobody ever told Garry about not tiling direct to plywood. :eek:

07-21-2005, 07:13 PM
well I still can put ditra. It is a small bathroom (4 x 5).
OK, so some ditra questions:

1/ Versabond grey to bond to plywood?
2/ what size trowel?
3/ Tile direclty my 13 x 13 porcelain with what size trowel.

Do I need tio wait between the layers?

07-21-2005, 07:17 PM
OK, since I put down ditra in my bathroom I think I can answer correctly here...

1. Versabond is a great choice for putting down the Ditra.

2. Same trowel you used to install the Kerdi will work here.

3. 1/4" square notch for the porcelain to the Ditra. Schluter says unmodified thinset, like Masterblend.

PS - Your project looks good so far! Keep up the good work and don't forget to post some more progress pictures! :)

07-21-2005, 07:22 PM
I got plenty versabond left. Any issues setting my tiles on Ditra with this instead of the unmodified?

07-21-2005, 07:26 PM
Versabond is a "lightly" modified thinset so you are probably OK to use it in this case. Your porcelain tiles are kind of large so you may have to allow more time for them to set up before walking on or grouting.

07-21-2005, 08:42 PM
What Joe said.

Don't know how Garry's tile-on-plywood slipped by there, Trebla, but he shouldn'ta done that. In fact, I'm hopin' he didn't and we're just missing something in that thread. Otherwise the Tile Ranger's gonna be on him like stink on Pepe la Pew.

I would also recommend you go buy you a sack of Master Blend to set those tiles. Divide the total cost of your tile installation into the cost of that bag of thinset and gimme a percentage, eh? Careful you don't run outa zeros. :shades:

And tell us if Trebla is a he or a she. The truth. I got money ridin' on this. :D

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-22-2005, 05:33 AM
Not sure we have Masterblend here in Montreal, I'll check. :uhh:

Trebla is a he. Cx did you win :rolleyes:

07-22-2005, 06:20 AM
Home Depot in Canada doesn't sell Masterblend... Any other choice. I do have acces to the Mapei products...

07-22-2005, 06:53 AM
Trebla is a he. Cx did you win Of course I won. :rolleyes:

If I hadn't won, though, I'd lie. :D

I don't know Mapei products, but we have folks that do. You just want a good quality un-modified thinset. Masterblend is made by the same folks that made your VersaBond. Where'd you buy that?

If it's gonna be a really big PITA to get the un-modified, use the VersaBond as Joe suggested, but be sure you give it an extra couple days to dry before you grout.

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-22-2005, 11:44 AM
CX, got the versabond at the home depot but they don't have masterblend in canada. They have something I believe is called Customblend and based on my reading is not to be considered.


07-22-2005, 12:25 PM
They have something I believe is called Customblend and based on my reading is not to be considered. You have learned well, Grasshopper. :shades:

Don't use that stuff for anything but potting soil, and only for plants you give to your neighbor whom you strongly dislike. :D

It would be a good turn on your part to suggest to the manager at your local Homer's that he cease stocking that and instead stock some MasterBlend.

My opinion; worth price charged.

07-22-2005, 12:42 PM
I'll need to do some serious talking. I was told no Masterblend in all HD in Canada.

07-23-2005, 01:00 PM
Thank god for this site and the pros.

I just came back from HD. I went to price and check out the potential use of Ditra for my bathroom floor. I was told by the HD guy that I can install this using mastic. :sick: In fact, he said I can also use the mastic for my 1x1 mosaic in the shower stall :sick: :sick: :sick:

I stopped for two seconds... :uhh: took a deep breath and then told him I was not a pro but a DIY doing his first project and that I clearly was told by the pros that mastic is a no no in the shower stall (especially the floor..) and for the Ditra. He actually looked interested in what I was saying so I told him about this site / forum. I told him to stop giving this advice.

Hope he will read a little on the subject.

07-23-2005, 05:33 PM
I told him to stop giving this advice.

BRAVO!!!! :yipee:

John Bridge
07-23-2005, 05:59 PM
The problem is the high turnover rate at the Depot. Get one "associate" trained, and he or she leaves for greener pastures. The process then starts anew. I go into Home Depot all the time to buy cement products, lumber, etc. If I see anyone at all in or near the tile aisle, there's a good chance it will be someone I've not seen before. :)

Rd Tile
07-23-2005, 06:07 PM
They train them, since when?, I met a guy in the tile isle the other day who's been there for god knows how long, doesn't know a thing, said he get's all his info from the labels on the products, you know, the label on the pre-mixed thinset that says good for walls AND floors.:)

John Bridge
07-23-2005, 06:52 PM
Home Depot actually runs a "school." That's all I know about it. :)

I also know that Custom Building products has a force of about 15 people who travel around trying to educate associates on Custom products. 15 probably isn't enough, but an effort is being made. Schluter also has people assigned exclusively to HD. I'm sure other vendors do something similar. In a perfect situation the training might be adequate. But the turnover is tremendous, at least here in the Southland. Don't know about out on Lon Gisland. ;)

Rd Tile
07-23-2005, 07:15 PM
Over 1800 stores and a new one every 48hrs., I'll say they're busy, maybe they need some help, where do I send my resume?:)

07-23-2005, 10:36 PM
John- HD put the kabash on most manufacturer reps in the stores these days. Every company wanted their reps to score primo shelf space, and write orders for their products, instead of just letting the HD ordering team do their jobs. They wound up with so much extra stock in the stores (usually up in the overheads), and so many useless merchandise displays (which added to theft).

Hell, I brought in $60K worth of crappy wire shelving into one of their smaller stores, just to win a t-shirt and lunch from one of my bosses when I worked for a Home Depot supplier. I'll send it to you John, if you send me a Felker shirt... :yipee:

The HD store service division of that company went under when HD banned all manufacturer reps. Everyone I worked with lost their jobs. Now all HD stores are serviced by seperate service companies that have no loyalty to one particular manufacturer. They just build displays and downstock the shelves acording to Home Depot's master plan. Pay attention, and you'll see them occasionally snapping pictures of merchandise on shelves with their little palm pilots. (PDA's)

07-24-2005, 12:14 PM
OK, so no tiling directly to the plywood. I don't want to raise the floor, its already higher from the joining room one. Any membrane alternatives to Ditra ?

07-24-2005, 12:36 PM
The Noble Company ( makes such products, too. Maybe thinner by a sixteenth or less.

Making transitions between floorings is not a major deal in most cases, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.

08-15-2005, 06:46 PM
Hello all, I'm back an need to finish this project.

I will be doing the mud bed tomorrow but have one question (Please answer that this is not a problem).

I only left one inch height at the flange of the kerdi drain. Is this OK? The piece is glued and I do not have access from below. Not much I can do now ...

I will be doing the mud base tomorrow and will push as much mud as possible under it. Thanks

08-15-2005, 07:14 PM
An inch is alright... Is that at the outer edge of the drain flange, or close to the center pipe? The kerdi-drain has a taper to it, y'know... (makes forming your slope easier too) Make a small batch of your mud a little looser to help pack it under that drain...

08-15-2005, 07:19 PM
Back in post #133 you promised you would have 1 1/4 inches at the flange, Trebla. I will make sure to have a minimum of 1 1/4 up off the floor at the flange. As already discussed in this thread, I will have less in the middle of the drain. So, are we now to assume that your word is of diminished value and that you only say such things in an effort to move on to the next topic without benefit of corrective advice? I, for one, am sad of heart to learn this. :(

As I recall, you installed extra plywood on your subfloor in the shower area, did you not? If so, I agree with Splinter. :)

But don't let it happen again. :shades:

My opinion; worth price charged.

08-15-2005, 07:29 PM

woah... :)

08-15-2005, 07:41 PM
ouch cx,

no the advice is used .. it was a DIY mistake....

Yep, the subfloor is about 1 1/4 plywood (one piece 3/4 and one 5/8). Splinter, its one inch in height at the flange not in the middle.

Will this be OK ?

08-15-2005, 07:45 PM
That's lotsa subfloor, Trebla, you'll be fine. Tile on! :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

John Bridge
08-15-2005, 07:46 PM
You will be fine over that very stiff subfloor. In fact, some of the Schluter reps suggest there can be less mud at the drain. I haven't run into a lot of old-timey tile setters who will go along with them on that, though. Most of us think more is better. ;)

08-17-2005, 06:28 PM
Did the mud bed today. It was a little hard to work with, made it too watery. Nevertheless, seems to be drying nicely. Will be "kerdying" tomorrow.


08-17-2005, 06:49 PM
Hmmmm... watery? as in, it was semi fluid, and you had trouble keeping a slope?

How watery is watery? The mud should still look crumbly when you mix it, just wet enough that when you squeeze a clump tight in your fist, it stays together...

John Bridge
08-17-2005, 06:56 PM
At this point if it is smooth, slanted toward the drain and hard (won't break up) I'd say you're good to go. If you can go in there in the morning and push your finger down into the floor, we may have a problem. ;)

08-17-2005, 07:24 PM
No, no, not that watery. I did the famous ball test and it was sticky and stayed together but with a little too much moisture. When I took my trowel to even out the surface, some water came to the surface. But its down and sloped and drying hard. I will test with my finger tomorrow morning.

08-18-2005, 06:40 PM
Hello all, I completed all of the kerdi on the mud base and the curb today. Used the prefabricated inside and outside corners. Pretty net.

Two questions:

1/ Can I do the wet test tomorrow morning ? ( I completed the kerdi at around 3h00 PM today) ?

2/ What do the pros use to block the drain? Balloon and Water (how do I make sure I don't have water going between the balloon and the drain down into the pipes during the test.)


08-19-2005, 06:02 AM
You can test today (Friday AM). Kerdi drains don't have weepholes, so you can use a cork or an expansion plug (at plumbing supply houses) for the test. Just eyeball the fit and snuggness, it'll work.

08-19-2005, 03:50 PM
Is it a problem is the kerdi is not sticking at the junction between the curb wall and the top of the curb ? It is stuck on the curb top and on the side. It having some problem sticking at the junctions of the two (about 6" long of the 32" curb lentgh. I figure this is not really a problem since the tile against the curb wall is only about 3" high and over 95% of the kerdi holding that up is stuck.

I tried redoing it today but I just looked and its seems to be doing the same thing...

Is this really and issue?

John Bridge
08-19-2005, 08:20 PM
That is common. It's really not a problem. You're in good shape. :)

08-29-2005, 08:35 AM

Water test passed. :yipee:

I repeat water test succesful. :yipee: :yipee:

03-20-2006, 08:17 PM
Hello all,

Im back and ready to finish this project soon (probably in May during my vacations) and getting ready now. I might actually do some work during the weekends until my vacation. I started this project last year in June and was hoping to complete before the arrival of my beautiful baby in August but no chance. Since then, been busy with the family. :nod:

Ok, so I posted pictures of where I am but for your info everything is tiled except the threshold, I need to measure and order the marble piece. So basically, I need to install the threshold and then grout. By the way, I did go with Ditra on the bathroom floor using versabond grey. Very easy to install and use and I do believe the versabond is dry by now being install months ago ;) . Thanks

Ok, so now lets go to the good stuff: Grouting. I basically have three questions,

1/ Sanded vs . Unsanded
2/ Sealing
3/ Caulking vs. Grout in the transitions (vertical shower corners and between the shower walls and shower floor)

Lets start with answering the first question and then we will move on.

In this thread, post # 89 ( I was informed to potentially use unsanded for less than 1/8 of an inch joints.

But reading this thread, Sanded or unsanded or mix ( it was recommended to go with sanded even if the joints are 1/8 and even 1/16 in some cases.

Even John in his book, on page 125, John says the following:
I have found, however, that sanded grout works well in some joints narrower than an eighth. Square porcelain mosaic tiles come to mind. I almost always use sanded grout for them no matter the joint width . This is exactly my situation; I have porcelain mosaic tiles on the ground and 6.5 x 6.5 porcelain tiles for the walls. I also have a small tile border where I ended up with 1/16 joints (see picture 1). I also have 1/16 on the floor (some 1/8, see picture 2).

So should I go with sanded for the entire job? How difficult will this be to push that sanded grout in the small spacing? What are the advantages? Let start with this first question and we will move on

Thanks, Trebla

03-20-2006, 08:25 PM
Hi Trebla, sanded grout will be fine.

03-20-2006, 09:26 PM
Hi Trebla and welcome back!

I agree, sanded grout seems like it would work just fine for your project. Hey, those wall tiles in your shower look kind of like the ones I used in mine! :D

03-22-2006, 06:20 PM
OK, so sanded it is. I just hope not to struggle with it.
I will start with the bathroom floor, small area 25 sq. feet to start and practice.
I will then move on to the shower floor and wall

OK, second question Sealing.

Is this really necessary? I read a lot of different article and web sites and not clear. Do I seal because I don't want discoloration or for other reasons? FYI, I will be grouting with a Mapei product called Ultracolor. I read about grout stain in John's book. What is this exactly? As anybody used this with the Mapei grout I just mentioned?


03-25-2006, 08:44 AM
OK, I don't seem to be getting any recommendation / answers for the Sealer so I guess I will move on to my third question. Not sure I'm going to seal. I did the test with the vinegar and lemon juice and I clearly don't need to seal the porcelain tile. I was just wondering for the joints but I don't believe I will

Question number
3/ Caulking vs. Grout in the transitions (vertical shower corners and between the shower walls and shower floor)

Joe, I believe you did not caulk, are the transitions holding up? I doubled up the kerdi in the corners and I built the shower myself and its pretty solid. I simply hate caulking so I will use the grout in these transitions. Am I doing a big mistake?


03-25-2006, 10:17 AM
Hi Trebla,

I don't like caulk either and yes I grouted alll the changes in plane. It's been two years, no cracks in the grout at all.

I sealed the grout in my shower, used Aquamix Gold (I think). I've totally forgotten about it since. I don't know whether or when it needs to be resealed! :scratch: Guess I should look into that sometime. :D

03-25-2006, 11:05 AM
Excellent, thanks

I figure if it cracks with time then I caulk.

I will not seal the grout. I just don't understand the advantages.

I will moved on and post pictures.


03-25-2006, 03:12 PM
Porcelain by its nature is pretty impervious. A sealer would likely do nothing to it except streak. The grout on the other hand will benefit from a sealer, unless you happened to use an epoxy one. Just don't let the stuff dry on the tile, as it then becomes a pain to clean it off (since it won't be absorbed).

03-25-2006, 05:28 PM
Thanks jadnashua

I'm not sure what I will be using is an epoxy based grout. Here are the specs, pdf file. It a Mapei product called "Ultracolor" sanded based grout.

Why will the grout benefit from a sealer ? Avoid discoloration ? Water penetration ?

Thanks Trebla

03-25-2006, 05:38 PM
Grout is basically cement with color added. Just like your garage floor will stain, so will the grout. Adding a sealer helps it repel water and stains.

04-29-2006, 02:11 PM
Hello all,

will the grout sealer (looking at aquamix gold) actually darken the grout color (will be using mapei sanded keracolor S, #39) ?


John Bridge
04-29-2006, 06:09 PM
Hi Trebla, :)

I don't think you'll notice a difference once the sealer is dry.

06-11-2006, 08:31 PM
:D :yummy: :D


We finally have a shower and a beautiful bathroom. Yes, it took a full year. Ended working on it some weekend and the arrival of the third kid clearly slowed things down.

Ive done a lot of renovations in my life but none as satisfying as the kerdi shower. Newbies, go for it. Its a great system and its not hard, jus follow what the pro say and take your time (well maybe not as much as I did :rofl: ). To all that gave advice, a huge Thanks :tup2:

06-11-2006, 09:06 PM
Good job Trebla! Let's see some pics. :clap1:

06-11-2006, 09:08 PM
Good on you, Trebla. :)

But aren't you forgetting something? Surely, sometime during that year, you read and understood the requirement for "Finished" pichers at the end of the project, eh? :shades:

Note that I remembered to write that in Canuck just for you. :D

Tool Guy - Kg
06-11-2006, 09:13 PM
I love the feeling of finishing a project down to the last detail. Nothing like it, eh? :tup1:

Since nobody has mentioned it....we need pichers! :stick:

John Bridge
06-12-2006, 05:47 AM
Way to go, Amigo. :) Get the pictures up here.

06-18-2006, 06:50 PM
Very hard to take pictures of such a small bathroom
Here it is (5 first pics)

06-18-2006, 06:53 PM
The next pictures

06-18-2006, 06:54 PM
This is the second page of pictures, make sure to see previous page (15)where you see the tile work a little better.


John Bridge
06-18-2006, 07:55 PM
Small bathroom or not, that's some impressive work. Very nice indeed. ;)

06-22-2006, 07:30 PM

this would have been impossible without your site

08-01-2006, 02:10 PM