Does my tile guy kno what he is doing?? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-31-2007, 02:19 PM
Hi All! I'm a newbie here.

I have been working on my attic addition, which includes a full bathroom, and decided not to attempt the shower pan and tile job because I have family coming into town next week and I just don't have time to get it done before they arrive. I have two friends that are general contractors (both are very well respected and build beautiful, multi-million dollar mansions) and they both referred me to their tile guy. He came over today and installed three stacked 2x4's for the curb for my nea-angle shower and then he painted over it and the floor with Hydro-Guard 2000. When I asked about the next steps involved he said he plans to put the 40mil liner over the Hydro-Guard and then fill in the sloped mortar bed over it. He said I do not need the metal lathe because of the mud he uses. The tile would then be installed over the sloped mortar bed. Is this ok, or should I have him build a sloped mortar bed with the wire lathe first, then the 40mil liner, followed by a layer of mud, and then the tile?

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05-31-2007, 02:25 PM
I looked in the garage at the bags of mud he left and it is Bonsal Floor Mud. Not sure if this helps RE my question about needing the wire lathe.

05-31-2007, 02:34 PM
Yes, you want a preslope under your shower pan. Alot of guys don't install them, they don't see the importance in it.

I would staple down felt paper and lath first, then the mud. :)

05-31-2007, 02:35 PM
I am no expert here but you definatly need a presloped bed under the liner or the water that gets under the tiles will never get to the drain. Not sure about the wire lathe or not. Hopefully someone who knows what they are taking about will give you a better answer.

05-31-2007, 03:11 PM
I called my tile guy and asked that he do a pre-sloped mortar bed under the 40mil liner and he asked if wanted it done with mud or if he could use thinset and durock to slope it towards the drain. What do you guys all think?

Btw, thanks for the input!


05-31-2007, 03:13 PM
A properly prepared mud bed will save you lots of headache (and money too) down the road.


05-31-2007, 03:16 PM
Yep, mud bed over felt paper and lath. :) Ask him how the water will find its way to the weepholes without a preslope.

05-31-2007, 03:19 PM
My old shower had no pre-slope and plugged weep holes. It wasn't a good situation.

05-31-2007, 04:00 PM
I called my tile guy again and told him I wanted a pre-sloped mortar bed with imbedded lathe. He was cool and didnít have a problem with that. When I asked about the curb he told me he was planning to use durock over the curb, which would have meant penetrating the 40mil liner with screws. Although he was planning to use Hydro-Guard over the top of the durock, I insisted that he do a mud pack with lathe. Based on everything I have read here that seems to be the right way to do it, right? I told him I want the belt, suspenders, and rope method because I donít ever want this puppy to leak or break down over time. He mentioned it would take another day, but I donít care if it gets done right. Out of curiosity, why do tile installers get away with installations like this? Iím assuming they are doing just enough to follow the building codes, but not taking the extra steps and time to do it right?

05-31-2007, 04:19 PM
Lack of training is probably the biggest problem with the industry. They just don't know any better. There's also those that are just in it for the money. It takes extra time to do things the right way...

05-31-2007, 04:52 PM
Patrick, make sure he uses shower pan corners too. They glue onto the curb where the jamb meets it. These are very important too.

The curb needs to me mudded with wall mud (fat mud). Dry pack is used on the shower floor for both beds. :)

05-31-2007, 04:54 PM
Oh, check out "shower construction info" in the liberry. Good reading there. :)

05-31-2007, 05:19 PM
Where can I find a picture of shower pan corners? I've never heard of them and I'm not quite sure what they are. Does it go under or over the 40mil liner?

05-31-2007, 05:23 PM
Same material, come preformed, glue in. Reinforces the corners and helps with the waterproofing the hard to seal corners by the curb.

05-31-2007, 05:28 PM
Can someone educate me on why the pan corners are necessary? I understand from a theoretical standpoint, but does code require that a shower pan hold 6" of water (or something to that affect) without damage to the structure ?

Is the idea that people will let a clogged drain force water to a height that will spill over the curb? Does that EVER really happen? If so, damage to the studs near the corner of the curb is probably the least of your worries, as most people don't waterproof the floor outside the shower.

I know it is better to be safe, but I was wondering if there is any building code requirement for the pan corners.


05-31-2007, 05:40 PM
James, some codes may require them, not sure. I'm just speaking from experience. The top of the curb takes a pounding and you know the grout isn't watertight. Water will get behind the tile in those corners and right into the wood if something isn't there to turn it back. I add the corners to all my showers if the plumber doesn't have them already installed. Then I run felt paper up the jambs overlapping the corners. I've tore out alot of showers where the corners weren't used and have seen alot of rotted curbs. It starts right in those corners. Some showers are worse than others, depends on how much water hits the top of the curb.

I looked at one a few weeks ago. The shower is only 5 months old and the bullnose on the jamb down near the curb are pushed out and the grout joints have opened up. Of course the wood is getting wet and pushing on the tile. I talked to the contractor on the phone yesterday, The homeowner says he has ants (hopefully not termites) running in and out of there. No telling what's living in there.

Rd Tile
05-31-2007, 05:47 PM
James, what Davy said, the curb corners are usually the first place you see damage, water always get's through there if not done correctly and very few are, use the corners if installing with a liner system.:)

05-31-2007, 06:13 PM
Davy, I see what you mean....water can easily get on top of the curb without a flooding situation, and since its a nearly horizontal surface, its likely to sit there for a while.

05-31-2007, 08:12 PM
If my tile guy covers the entire pan liner with Hydra-Gaurd as the last step before setting the tile, doesn't this do the same thing as these corner guards?

05-31-2007, 08:31 PM
What does the manufacturer say about that on the liner? If you do the liner correctly, it isn't necessary. I'm not sure it is compatible with the other materials, either.

Dave Taylor
05-31-2007, 08:52 PM

I have the same concern Jim does. Applied Technologies markets Hydra-guard as a building foundation and basement sealing product..... in either a 10 year or 35 year warrantee application. Adhesion is for cement/concrete surfaces and no mention about other applications is made.

05-31-2007, 09:00 PM
Look at the second to last picture on this site:

Laticrete looks like the same stuff as Hydra-Guard. I'm starting to consider doing the shower pan myself and just have the tile guy do the tile. Hmmmmm.....decisions, decisions.

05-31-2007, 09:09 PM
My mistake. I looked at the bucket and it is Hydro-Guard 2000, not Hydra-Guard.

This is the stuff:

Dave Taylor
05-31-2007, 09:09 PM
Nice pics Pat....

and TYW has some proponents of Laticrete 9235 but.....
look at the same picture close again. You may already know but see the extra matt (corners) used around the curb ends and other plane changes.... Laticrete requires it when using 9235.... check their instructions.

Save yourself the hassle and expense and mess.... use dam corners like Davy says.

06-01-2007, 05:42 AM
I have a Neo-angle shower. The 90 degree dam guards for the wall jamb will work fine, but what do I do about the two angles in the middle? Do they make dam guards for the weird angles? Where can I get them without having to order them?

06-01-2007, 08:56 AM
Sometimes the pan corners are hard to find. I usually get them from a plumbing shop. :)

06-01-2007, 02:45 PM
I put down the pre-sloped mortar bed this morning and I plan to do the 40mil liner with dam guards tomorrow. Thanks for the advice thus far!

My question is - how do I transition from the CBU to sheet rock at the curb? See attached picture. Do I need to cut out more sheetrock for the 40mil liner to extend out further?

In case you are wondering, the black stuff plastered all over the 2x4 curb is Hyrdo-Guard.

06-01-2007, 03:14 PM
Yeah, too much sheetrock there. Draw a plumb line with a 4 ft level starting against the outside of the curb up that wall and get that sheetrock out of there. I'll add a stud or two sometimes if there isn't one so that the sheetrock can be nailed back and also give you something to nail your CBU to. :)