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achimbos
08-17-2001, 03:37 PM
I have been absorbing information from this forum for the past week and decided it was time to get involved. I just ordered both books listed on this site and cannot wait to start reading them.

I am in the process of building a new home that I plan on tiling myself.

Here is the question I have:

1. I will be using Travertine (12x12) in our master bath including the walls in the shower. I have already installed an acrylic shower base (34x42) which has a lip on it of about 3/16". I understand that the wall should be water proofed using either roofing felt or some other membrane, but I need to know the best method for installing the backerboard. Should I use 2 pieces of 1/4" backer and set one on the top of the 3/16" lip and then set the other a 1/4" above the shower base or should I use a piece of 1/2" backer and notch the back to sit over the lip?

I will be tiling 3 bathrooms as well as a kitchen/laundry area. I plan on using 1/4" hardie backer over the 3/4" OSB floor. Any advice regarding my installation would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

Alex Chimbos

PS - I have done some tiling before.

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John Bridge
08-17-2001, 04:32 PM
Hi Alex, Welcome to Tilemania! If you've been hanging around here a week you know we don't always argree with each other. So I'll get my two cents worth in before the others know you're here.

Don't use travertine in the shower. It is one of the worst choices you could make. It is nearly impossible to maintain.

Okay, got that off my chest. Now I'll wait for the others to tell you how to install the backer.

Bud Cline
08-17-2001, 05:33 PM
I'm not clear on how the 1/2" wallboard (2x1/4" or 1x1/2") is compatible with the 3/16" lip and how will the tile meet the bottom of the acrylic base.

To laminate two 1/4" CBU's would be a big hassle I think, to notch the 1/2" would be much easier.

John is right about the travertine, and keep in mind most stone tile products are 3/8" thick, not a major deal but you need this information if your trying to "hit a mark" sometimes.

I also would not use travertine in a kitchen, "sorry". People do it I suppose but I think it would not be the wisest choice.

Hardibacker I have no experience with, I'm a cement board guy myself.

John Bridge
08-17-2001, 07:33 PM
Bud,

Isn't it okay to just stop the 1/2 in. backer board above the lip on the receptor and let the tile/stone go down to the ledge? It'll carry that far, won't it?

Bud Cline
08-17-2001, 07:56 PM
I think so but I'm confused about the 3/16" lip. To notch the cement board in lieu of laminating 1/4" board is where I'm lost. If the lip is 3/16" thick then what happens with the other 5/16" thickness of the 1/2" board and then where does the tile end up on top of this?

Rob Z
08-17-2001, 09:58 PM
Hi Alex

I run cement board down to just on top of the flange or lip that you describe. The tile continues on down to within an 1/8" or so of the shower base. For that short (1/2" or so) vertical dimension, the tile has no backerboard behind it.

Is this what you were asking about?

Rob

achimbos
08-17-2001, 10:08 PM
To answer one of the questions, the kitchen will actually be tile only the master bath would be travertine. I have been reading enough information to know that travertine is not a good choice for a bathroom, but I have a wife that thinks she can take care of it. The lip on the show base is about 1 1/4" inches tall so the tile would actually be hanging down a little over an inch. I think my best bet would either be to notch the backer board or to pull the shower base out and notch the studs so the base sits flush with the wall (which might a alot of work since the drain and stuff is already attached.

Thanks for your help.

Rob Z
08-17-2001, 10:19 PM
Hi Alex

John Bridge Forum Moderator Rule #1: DO NOT try to talk Forum user's spouse out of doing something they firmly want to do. We are not here to cause marital discord.

And so, if that's the way it is, we'll advise you about sealers to use once the stone is installed.

As for the concerns about the lip or flange. Rather than pull the whole thing out and notching studs, you can add strips of lattice or door stop to fur out the face of the studs past the thickness of the flange. The backer board can then run down to within a 1/4" of the shower base. Fill this 1/4" gap in with silicone to prevent wicking.

Check where the plaster guard(s) are set for the shower valve(s) to make sure that this extra 1/4" to 3/8" won't cause a problem when trimming out the valve. It shouldn't be a problem-there is lots of play for most valves and their trim, but I have seen valves that were set too far back in the wall, or almost too far, so that by the time some tilework was done, the plumber had a problem.

BTW, if the valve is too far back in the wall, there are extension kits for some brands. that saves you from having to tear out the valve and redo it.

Rob

achimbos
08-18-2001, 07:24 PM
If I fir out the studs a 1/4", and use 1/2" backer board, the backer board would then not be flush with the sheetrock. From what I have read in other threads, 1/4" backer would not be strong enough. Please let me know if this is correct.

Alex

Rob Z
08-18-2001, 08:33 PM
Hi Alex

That's correct - the extra quarter inch brings the plane of the tile out farther than the drywall in the bathroom.

I deal with this by either furring the rest of the wall in the bathroom (easy and quick, if the drywall is demo'd anbyway) OR skimming some drywall mud from the tile out into the field of the drywall for a few feet to minimize the 1/4" gap OR filling the gap with caulk.

The one rule I follow is to set the tile the right way, and let the consequences ride out in other parts of the room.

rob

achimbos
08-18-2001, 09:30 PM
They just finished taping and painting the wall this weekend, I don't think they will be willing to redo it right now. I think I will end up feeding the 1/2" sheets through my radial arm saw to remove the 3/16" from the back.

Rob Z
08-19-2001, 07:54 AM
Hi Alex

I would not undertake running Hardibacker through a radial arm saw just for this little overhang issue. Think how many passes you're gonna have to make. I don't think anyone makes a dado head cutter for Hardiboard. The mess and the dust will be tremendous.

I have put up truckloads of backerboard in showers over the years, and I just don't worry about that unsupported portion of the tile. I have never seen a tile broken at the bottom of a shower base except for ones that were set directly on top of the base with no room allowed for movemant. Even if someone was in the shower deliberately kicking the bottom of the tile, I don't think they could break the tile because it's unsupported along the lwer one inch.

Rob

kalford
08-19-2001, 08:11 AM
Float the gap with latex mod. thinset.A time tested method for dealing with this.No need to do all that cutting on the Hardi board.

This works very well because the mod. thinset is "flexible" and very forgiving.If wicking is a concern,seal it with a trowel on membrane before installing the tile, then just caulk the inside corners as usual.

achimbos
08-20-2001, 01:04 PM
Should I rest the 1/2" backer board directly on the top of the flange or should I leave it a 1/4" up and caulk the joint? I am assuming I should put additional blocking behind the backer board since it will no have the flange to help support it. Is this correct?

Eric CTC
08-20-2001, 02:04 PM
Stone installed in a shower is never a good choice because of several conditions. Moisture, temperature, and maintance considerations. Stone and grout are absorbant materials, the water they absorb go through them and then may be trapped. This water trapped behind stone can result in job failures and staining etc. Hot temps from water in the shower sprayed on cold stone can cause cracking and release of minerials in the stone. Depending on where you live the domestic water supplied to your home may have high TDS or minerial content(hard water) Combine this with the natural minerials in the stone, body and soap oils and you have a very dificult surface to maintain. Polished stones soon loose their "shine" due to the cleaners used and after a short while your once attractive stone looks ugly. You can seal the stone and using proper and frequent cleaning procedures maintain the stone and keeps its beauty. It is a lot of work. See the Aqua MIx web site for proper procedures. I love stone but have installed a fiberglass type material in my shower to avoid the maintance. If you really want the "look" I would install ceramic look a like tile, looks like stone and is far easlier to maintain, make sure you use a high quality sealer to seal the grout and avoid cleaners that contain bleach or acid to clean the tile and grout.

John Bridge
08-20-2001, 04:12 PM
Hey Eric, We went through that, but Alex's wife has mandated stone whether we like it or not.

Dave Gobis
08-21-2001, 10:02 AM
Eric, Gray is standing here with me and says the course obviously didn't take well with you. Fiberglass Shower? What was going to be your subject for your two year renewal?

Eric CTC
08-21-2001, 04:23 PM
John and Dave;
So Grey didn't like my reference to "fiberglass" Sorry Grey, I love stone and grout, just not to keen on keeping it in new condition in a shower.Having been involved in the manitenance wars for to long its still the easiest to clean and since my wife runs a home cleaning company she has developed a hatered of grout in bathrooms. As to my 2nd. year subject I'd probably go into greater depth and rant about how the industry shoots itself in the foot by not providing enough education to the end user on how to maintain their new installations. I still don't see much in the way of care and maintance provided by the distributers and dealers to their customers. Some of the misconceptions by vets in the field is unbelievable, at least that is my humble opinion.

John Bridge
08-21-2001, 04:32 PM
Yeah, I was going to get on him about that fiberglass shower, Dave, but he's kind of new here, and I didn't want to upset him right off the bat.

Why don't you introduce us to Gray/Grey?

Eric CTC
08-21-2001, 04:53 PM
John;
Gray (not Grey my typo)LaFortune is the Executive Director in LA of the CTIOA. He was my instructor when I took the CTC class and is one of the most knowledgeable people I have meet. I'm surprised his name hasn't surfaced before. He has, to my knowledge, taught most of the CTC classes the last couple of years and was trained by George Lavenberg, who is like a god to the local tile industry in the south west. Gray also has a good sence of humor, he put up with me in his class.

John Bridge
08-21-2001, 04:57 PM
If Gray has a good sense of humor, he just might be able to put up with us. Do you think we could get him to shed some light in this field of darkness? Geez, if he can put up with Gobis, he can put up with us. :)

Eric CTC
08-21-2001, 05:46 PM
John;
Not sure that Grey has entered the computer age or not, of course his would have to be the last and final word. He can be reached via phone at 310-574-7800. I don't know if he has e mail. With the CTC program he is very busy and may not have time for this.

John Bridge
08-21-2001, 06:19 PM
Well, I'm afraid this is where we may disagree. There is no last and final word that I know of.

Eric CTC
08-22-2001, 07:33 PM
mmmm...well I usually go with the most well founded point of view however on many topics there may be many points of view that make sence. When I was in the trades the super or boss would often point out to me that it was "my way or no way" and if you don't do it my way there is the highway. Any more the course of wisdom is to try to see the others view point and then decide if it will work for you.

Dave Gobis
08-23-2001, 04:57 AM
Eric and John,
Gray is not likely to get involved on the board. He is fighting the computer age, that is why he did not type the reponse himself. He is my west coast counterpart more or less. The difference is I am lucky enough to have industry funding and he is not so he has to make a living and is not going to get caught up in dispensing free information. He is the Executive Director of the Ceramic Tile Institute of America. We are both pretty opininated as we both make a living flying around the country doing educational programs. That gives you a lot wider perspective on things. After nearly 30 years in the field I thought I had this stuff pretty well down pat. Three years of doing this job has cast a new light on some things that I would have disagreed with ( like John does a lot ) in the past. Gray also does inspection which I am prohibited from doing. Anything from a bathroom to a high rise. He goes to Vegas from here for a peek at a Casino.

John Bridge
08-23-2001, 03:52 PM
I hope I didn't sound abrupt. My only point is that we are all open to new ideas (even though we may argue like hell).

Bon Chance, Gray.

Dave Gobis
08-23-2001, 04:34 PM
John,
Gray says no problem and thanks for the offer but he would have to have his son do the surfing and the typing. We did talk about doing Power Point in the future so there is hope for the guy. I was hoping I could retire without learning to type myself but it didn't work out that way.

Eric CTC
08-23-2001, 06:23 PM
To bad we can't get Grey's imput. Every time I speak to him on something related to the field I go away having learned something new. I didn't know that Greg did the same type of thing as Grey so I'll be paying close attention. Always looking for more knowledge to build on.

achimbos
08-29-2001, 02:24 PM
Sorry I have not responded in a while, I am getting ready to start this job and I have a few more questions.

1. Two of the bathrooms that I am tiling are on an upper floor. Are there any special precautions I should take? (waterproofing, caulking ...)

2. When installing backerboard against a fiberglass bathtub should the joint be caulked or filled with mortar?

3. What is the preferred method for attaching hardibacker? I used screws on my last installation and it seemed to take forever.

Thanks.

Alex

Eric CTC
08-29-2001, 03:00 PM
I'll give you my take on your 3 questions;
1. Upper floor bathrooms should have a waterproof membrane installed over the wood subfloor. Make sure the plywood is in good shape and replace any that is damaged by water. There are several manufactuers of water proofing, some involve a 2 part system with a sheet and liquid, others are liquid only. Make sure they meet ANSI 118.10 On top of that float a 1 and a quater to 2 inch mortar bed with wire mesh inbeded in it. Thin set your tile to it.

2. Caulking is used where the backer meets the tub, hold the backer up quater inch off the tub to allow for a caulking joint. Over the backer Schuter makes trim (Dilex)that applies between the tile and tub and in the corners. These are the areas that crack if grouted due to expansion/contraction or discolor due to mildue when caulked. I have used them and eliminated this commen problem.

3. screws, get the type that cut into the backer setting the heads flush with the backer surface. You don't want the screw heads above the surface of the backer. Easy job if you have the right screw gun.

achimbos
08-29-2001, 03:07 PM
Eric,

This project is all new construction on 3/4" OSB. The tub face I was refering to is on the floor not the wall. The tub has an integrated surround.

Thanks for your help.

Alex

Eric CTC
08-29-2001, 03:29 PM
Regardless of where the tub is located you need to provide a expansion joint between backer bd. and tub which is caulkied. New construction on a second floor should be water proofed.

John Bridge
08-29-2001, 04:17 PM
Yeah, but what he's sayin' Eric is that he ain't gonna float the bathroom floor with mud. He's usin' backer board. Whether it needs to be waterproofed is a judgement call. I dry myself before I get out of the shower.

[Of course, I don't have an upstairs, either.]

Caulking is needed between the front of the tub and the backer/tile.

And most do-it-yourselfers don't go out and buy ANSI standards. We try to save 'em from that. Ain't that right, Dave?

Eric CTC
08-29-2001, 05:15 PM
OK, ANSI standards are there to protect the consumer. I don't think they add that much to the finial cost. Having been part of many field test nightmares of new products I don't recommend a product that isn't ANSI approved except chemicals (which is a different story)

I don't like backer bd. on floors, I've inspected a few jobs that have cracked on the butt joints. The fault is usually with the installer not following the procedures or a problem with deflection of the subfloor. In my humble opinion, floating a floor with wire mesh is usually the best way to insure a trouble free job, granted its kind of hard for a do it your selfer or if pressed for time.

achimbos
08-29-2001, 09:27 PM
OK, So let me ask this question a different way... I have two upstairs bathrooms, one is used by a 5 year old and eventually my 2 year old. What can I do to make sure water does not make it downstairs? What product/method should be followed? I am getting ready to lay the backerboard tomorrow. Once again, this is new construction with 3/4" OSB.

Thanks.

kalford
08-29-2001, 09:51 PM
Tape all the joints and use Schluter Ditra and Kerdi-Band...or...use a trowel/roll on water proofing membrane.Both will raise the cost between $1.00 & $2.00 sq.ft.

John Bridge
08-30-2001, 06:23 AM
Laticrete 9235.

http://www.laticrete.com

Of course, mud is best, but we are talking about backer board, which is approved by the various approving agencies, has been tested by ANSI, etc.

Eric, Make a post over at the hangout, and we'll hash it out. Not here.

Dave Gobis
08-30-2001, 06:56 AM
Don't start the ANSI arguement now, I am packing my truck and have to cut the grass. Can it wait a week?

Rob Z
08-30-2001, 07:42 AM
Dave

We can wait until you get back. Have a good vacation.

Rob

achimbos
09-10-2001, 09:58 AM
OK, it has been a while since my last post, but I am now ready for some more help. Since my last post, I have installed and grouted all the tile and I am in the process of installing the travertine. It has been recommended to me that I apply a penetrating sealer before I grout the stone. I have purchased AquaMix Penetrating Sealer but I have not apllied it yet. Should I apply before and after I grout? I have been told that if I don't seal it first, the grout could stain the stone, is this correct.

Alex

Rob Z
09-10-2001, 02:54 PM
Alex

In general, the answer to your question is "yes". Porous stones can hold the grout and resist clean up. Sealers and grout releases help prevent this. Use some of sealer on scrap pieces and grout them. See if you mind the darkening of the stone that may result.

Rob

John Bridge
09-10-2001, 04:36 PM
Alex,

If your grout color pretty much matches the general color of the stone, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other as to whether you pre-seal. Follow Rob's suggestion and do some testing.

Eric CTC
09-10-2001, 05:55 PM
Sealing with the Aqua Mix product will not darken the stone, it is water based, unlike some brands of solvent based sealers that will change the color of the stone. Grout stains, smears etc. really look bad on stone. The sealer will act as a grout release and also give you a head start on sealing which should be done to provide protection against contaminates. Keep in mind that the Aqua Mix sealer you choose provides protections against dirty water stains only. The better, and more costly sealers provide protection against food stains, makeup etc. Long after the cost is forgotten you will be happy you spent a few dollars more and got the best protection you could afford. You should test on a extra stone to make sure nothing strange happens (strange is always a possibilty with stone)

Eric CTC
09-10-2001, 06:00 PM
One other item. After you grout wait 48 hrs or 2 days and then apply 2 coats of sealer to the stone and grout. Grout is porous and needs to be sealed as well. The number 1 area of dissatifaction with stone and ceramic installs is stained grout. So seal it and clean it with a nutural cleaner that will not damage the stone or grout, just get the surface soil off.
Happy trails...

Rob Z
09-13-2001, 06:13 PM
Eric

My container of Aqua Mix Sealers Choice 15 gold lists that "a slight darkening or lightening of some tiles may occur."

This backs up my own experience with the product. some tiles do in fact get a shade darker after the sealer is applied.

Rob

Eric CTC
09-13-2001, 07:17 PM
Agreed, the reason that warning was put there was for the very small percentage of stone, unglazed teracotta, or grout that this may occure in. During my time with Aqua Mix I was testing Aqua Mix product constantly as well as other compeitors products as a service to customers as they brought new stones and tile in. In most cases the water based products, across the board , did not darken the tile. Usually solvent based products would, because of the petroleum or silicone used as part of the formula. The best stone enhanseing products are all solvent based.

I think it was pointed out when this issue was raised to test. That is the only sure way to know what effect the sealer will have in terms of shading or darkening. And this can play false because of the effect that the setting materials, water, or grout may have when the tile is actually installed and sealed vs loose and sitting on a counter. So the best test is after install in a place that is out of view, under a table, rug, furniture etc. The trade off is a slight color change vs the unsightly look of staining due to food, grease or some other source that can't be cleaned off with netural cleaners and a white scrub pad or brush.

John Bridge
09-13-2001, 07:30 PM
No question about the advantages of sealers, but once again, fellas, please start a dialog over on one of the other boards. This place is supposed to be for people to get straight answers to their questions without having to take Tile 101. If they choose to take Tile 101, they are more than welcome at the deep end.

Eric CTC
09-13-2001, 07:35 PM
OK

[Edited by Eric CTC on 09-13-2001 at 09:53 PM]

Rob Z
09-13-2001, 07:45 PM
John

I just posted that because I wanted to make sure our original customer didn't come away from Eric's posting thinking that a water based sealer was foolproof.

Rob

John Bridge
09-13-2001, 08:45 PM
No problemo, amigos.

achimbos
09-14-2001, 07:40 AM
No problem, I enjoy reading your arguments. I did seal the tiles with auqamix and there was no noticable darkening. I was told by the store where I bought the Aquamix not to use any other type of sealer after I have used a penetrating sealer. Is this correct? I did seal the stone before I grouted, so I still need to do it again.

[Edited by achimbos on 09-14-2001 at 09:48 AM]

Eric CTC
09-14-2001, 09:46 AM
Stone usually requires at least 2 applications of sealer to insure the job is completed. Limestone is somewhat absorbant and needs more sealer to complete the job vs granite wich absorbs very little and usually is protected with one coat rubbed in. Because of the need for compatable chemistry you should use the same sealer for the second coat and any future sealing that might be required years from now. Drop water on the stone about 2 hours after sealing and see if any is absorbed into the stone after 5 mins. Wipe it off with a cloth, if a dark spot remains after 5 min. then it is still absorbing liquid and requires additional coats.

Rob Z
09-14-2001, 08:49 PM
Eric

Thanks for the good info.

Z