Jdtopgun71 Bathroom remodel [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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10-07-2006, 02:45 PM
Hi, my name is Jon and this is the first time I have posted a question on here but I have been lurking for some time and have found the information on here extremely insightful. My home was built in 1968 and I want to redo both the bathrooms in the house. I am going to begin with the small bathroom which has a stand up shower stall and in total is probably only 4' x 10'. I have many questions but I will start with only a few:

I want to completely remove the walls (exposing the studs) and hang 1/2" backer board for the walls. I also plan on using 1/2" backer board over the subfloor. Not sure of condition of subfloor as I have not yet begun demo.

Does this sound like a good start? Can I do the same thing inside the shower stall?

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10-07-2006, 03:24 PM
Welcome aboard. Yes it wsound you are off to a good start. Look in our Liberry (link is in blue bar above) and also you can search specific questions.
Keep all of your posts related to your project here and others will be able to follow along.
For the floor you will want to also look at the Deflecto link in the blue bar. It will help determine if you floor is solid enough for a tile installation.
Good luck and come back with any question.

10-07-2006, 03:25 PM
Hi Jon,

Well, are you tiling all the walls? Seems like you should use drywall except in the area where your shower is going. The floor should only need 1/4" CBU, no advantage to the 1/2" stuff for the floor, unless you need to make up a height difference.

I know you said the room is on the small side but what are your floor joists like? Spacing, longest unsupported span, etc. Also, you will need to know what is down now for subfloor/underlayment.

10-07-2006, 05:30 PM
Not sure on the subfloor yet. I am still early in the demo (removing fixtures etc). Yes I am going to tile the walls. Right now the walls are tiled up to about 4' but I am going to be adventurous and tile the whole thing. Someone told me tiles would adhere better to backer board on walls but if you are saying drywall would work that sounds much easier.

What size backer board for the shower walls and ceiling? Also am I going to put backer board on the shower floor an then cut my 1' circle in it to install the Kerdi drain?

Also concerning the Kerdi drain,

I am going to try to add pics as I go along to show my progress. I am a complete novice at this so any help is very much appreciated!

10-08-2006, 06:45 PM
Is there a way to avoid tearing up the basin in my stand up shower? It is approximately 36" x 36" and I am contemplating removing the shower walls and ceiling and putting new backer board up then covering that with a membrane (ditra??). Would it be feasible to remove the floor tiles then smooth the surface out with mortar then put new tiles down?

10-08-2006, 06:53 PM
Hi JD, there is a shower pan under the tiled floor in your shower. It's best to replace it while you're at it. If it's a fiberglass set-in type, then yes you can just replace the tile as long as the floor isn't leaking.

Check out the shower construction info thread in the liberry.

You don't have to start a new thread for each question, keep your shower questions here on this thread. :)

10-08-2006, 06:53 PM
Tear it all out and use the Kerdi system. You will be much happier down the road. Believe me. Our fearless leader John has an excellent e-book on Kerdi installations. Click on the TYW link in the blue bar above. Has all the information you will need to DIY.
JD give us a first name and would you also now try and keep all of the posts regarding your project here. Bookmark it and when you have a question as the project moves along post it here and everyone will quickly be able to catch up with what's going on and respond.
Good Luck

10-08-2006, 07:01 PM
Thank you again for the info. I actually already started a thread on my project and will use that from now on. Wasn't sure of procedure here but thanks for the scoop. Great forum here and you guys are great to share your knowledge with us DIYer's out here.

Thanks again

10-10-2006, 05:56 PM
Can someone please help shed some light on where else I might find preformed shower pans? I think I have decided to go with a preformed pan because I am not confident in created my own mortar bed and this seems light the most logical alternative. I have yet to demo my current shower but once I do I believe a 36" x 36" pan will work.

I have only found a couple of companies that sell these. One is Bonsal and the other is Tileready.

Can someone give me some links to others that offer this size?

10-14-2006, 07:50 AM
I ordered the Kerdi Shower ebook as well as Johns Tiling book. I haven't received the Tiling book yet but look forward to it. The Kerdi book is excellent but I had a question regarding the walls and ceiling for the shower. The book shows installing sheetrock on the walls and ceiling. I thougt I needed to use backer board. Is the reason that you can use sheetrock because the membrane will be installed over it? Also should I use 1/2" sheetrock?

Thanks for the great website and books.


10-14-2006, 08:38 AM
Welcome, Jon. :)

I've merged the three threads on the shower project here. Please bookmark this thread so you'll be able to find it thorughout the project. Threads never get too old to be revived with a new post.

Look again at your Kerdi eBook. Page 14. Chapter 2. That's where the discussion of sheetrock begins.

You'll use half-inch sheetrock so long as your stud spacing is no more than 16" on center. You can use 5/8ths if you want, of course, but you may have trouble matching the thickness of your other walls.

You can also use CBU if you want, but it's not necessary. Check the book. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

10-14-2006, 09:32 AM
Anyone have any ideas on where I can find a good quality preformed shower pan? I have seen the ones at Bonsal and Tileready but wanted some more options. Am still debating on whether or not to attempt the Kerdi shower or go with a preformed pan. I am hoping that the Kerdi book will give me more confidence in trying that method as it appears to be the best I have seen.

10-17-2006, 06:23 PM
Anyone have any suggestions on a preformed shower pan? Specifically where is the best place to purchase one and are there any drawbacks to using one?

10-17-2006, 06:46 PM
Hopefully someone can shed some light on shower pan manufacturers for me.

But I wanted to add here that I just received my copy of Tile Your World and absolutely love it. Have not been able to put it down. I highly recommend this book and John even signed it!

Thanks John for a great book and great website!

John Bridge
10-17-2006, 06:55 PM
Hi Jon, :)

Thanks for the compliment. It's always great to have someone say something nice about you. :)

Forget the preformed pan, and do a mud floor. You can do it. Do you have The Kerdi Shower Book yet? You'll need that one, too. :)

10-17-2006, 07:01 PM
I do have the Kerdi Shower book and have really been debating the issue because I have never done any of this before, but with your vote of confidence I think I just made up my mind and will try it. It is only a 3' x 3' shower stall so really should not be too bad. My main concern is getting the slope correct.

Wish me luck and thanks again. I am sure I will have more questions before I am done, because I plan on doing our main bath after this one and then maybe the kitchen.


10-17-2006, 07:22 PM
Mud shower pans ain't rocket science, Jon. You should have no trouble with it. And that little one will be a good warmup for your big shower. :)

Besides, this way people won't make fun of you for using one of them redy-made shower receptor thingees instead of buildin' your own pan like real men do. :D

10-18-2006, 08:56 AM

I am, in the homestretch with my shower stall and although I have done many tiling projects over the years, this is the first shower that I have tackled. I echo your comments about this site...it is super and a wealth of information for just about anything.

I opted not to use the Kerdi method and have done a decent job working with mud beds for the first time. As I encountered a situation I just jumped on this site and would get help.

My stall is about 3' x 5'. I went to the studs all around. I had to replace some floor beams and the subfloor as the wood was moist all the way through. I highly recommend (if not too late) that you resign yourself to making this harder before you get going on the building meaning take it all the way while you can. What I found that needed work was amazing (beams, subfloor, drain, p-trap, etc.).

The other advice to heed is be patient.

Chime in at will.

Good luck.


10-21-2006, 04:29 AM
Quick question. I was going to put 1/2" backer board on the walls in my bathroom then tile from the floor to the ceiling, but I was wondering if I would be better served to use 1/2" drywall and a membrane over the walls since it is such a small space. Are both of these options feasible?

John Bridge
10-21-2006, 09:13 AM
Outside the shower, plain old drywall is fine. Inside the shower use drywall covered with Kerdi. What's the question? ;)

10-21-2006, 09:21 AM
I really didn't tell the whole thing before. I am tiling the walls and floor in my bathroom so here is the breakdown of what I planned on using

Floor - 1/4" backerboard over subfloor
Walls outside of shower - 1/2" backer floor
Inside shower walls and ceiling - 1/2" drywall with Kerdi covering

Sound ok?

John Bridge
10-21-2006, 09:34 AM
Jon, Plain drywall is fine outside the shower. You don't need backerboard on any of the walls. :)

10-21-2006, 09:46 AM
And I can put tile directly to the drywall?

02-15-2012, 01:17 PM
Good afternoon. I wanted to start a thread for me to ask questions regarding my bathroom remodel that we are attempting. I joined this forum in 2006 because I was going to attempt redoing my small bathroom but I only made it part way through the demolition mainly due to lack of time, but mostly because of lack of confidence in what I was doing.

My son who is almost 22 has now shown an interest in helping and we are going to definitely make this happen this time. We have already visited a local tile shop who held an informative class on tiling which really got us motivated.

We have removed the tile floor down to the sub floor which I believe is 1/2" plywood but not sure just yet. We have also removed all the tiles on the wall and the toilet. We still have to remove the double sink vanity. My plan is to leave the tub and repaint it white (it is currently PINK!)

I will start with just a few questions.

1 - The sub floor around the toilet flange is weak and needs to be replaced. By the way the house was built in 1968 and this is the original bathroom. I want to remove and replace about a 3' by 3' section of floor. What is best method to do this so that you will have room on joist to secure new piece of flooring.

2 - What does gapping the sub floor mean?

Thank you in advance for your time. I am going to post pictures at some point to show my progress.

I really enjoy this forum and look forward to your responses.

02-15-2012, 01:30 PM
1) Sometimes it is easier to cut next to the joist and install nailers on the joist to attach the new patch. If you set your saw to the exact plywood depth and cut along the middle of the joist, you'd hit a lot of nails. The patch won't care if it lands on the joist or a nailer.

2) Gapping means leaving a 1/8" gap between each sheet of subfloor, and 1/4" where the sheets abut a fixed object, like the sole plate of a wall or a pipe penetration.

02-15-2012, 01:51 PM
When you say nailers you mean fasten another piece of 2"x6" next to joist to nail plywood into?

02-15-2012, 01:58 PM
Also when I put the patch in do I leave an 1/8" gap around it?

02-15-2012, 02:09 PM
The nailer can be a 2x4. ;) Yes, gap the patch the same way you would if installing a new subfloor.

02-15-2012, 02:47 PM
I was told that when I get to tiling I should do the floor last.

I planned on putting backer board on walls in bathtub surround area and dry wall on the remaining walls. I then planned on tiling the walls completely.

Should I wait until walls are tiled before laying backer board on the floor. I was going to also save the base tiles for last as well once floor is complete. And then once all tile is in place (walls and floors) I was going to do the grouting for the walls and lastly the grouting for the floors.

Is this the proper order?

02-19-2012, 10:12 AM
We have everything out except the walls and we came across this when we started on the walls inside the tub area. It is some sort of metal sheeting. Can someone tell me what this is and give me some tips on the best way to remove these walls?

02-19-2012, 10:18 AM
If your base tiles must be flush with your floor tiles (like a base cove tile), you will have to know exactly where your floor will end up and that it will be perfectly level. That means the leveling and backerboard must be in place before starting the walls. If your base tiles are simply walls tiles at floor level, then make sure you account for the slope of the floor by laying out your wall tiles from the floor's low point.

I dunno what that metal stuff is. Grab the edge and pry/pull/tear it out. Wear gloves and use pliers or vice-grips to handle the metal.

02-19-2012, 12:29 PM
The metal is nailed int the studs and it looks like it is part of the backer board. I am assuming that this was how backer board was made 50 years ago.

chuck stevenson
02-19-2012, 12:38 PM
Looks like metal plaster lath.
Then mud.

03-22-2012, 02:39 PM
We are almost done with our demolition and I had a few questions. I had planned on leaving the tub intact but I think I have decided to remove it. I saw a tub in the local tile shop that was raised up about a foot off the floor and was tiled on the sides and I want to try this myself.

Any suggestions on raising a tub and tiling it in? Would I just build a frame to raise it? Are there any guidelines to go by for determining the weight limit for any sort of frame?

03-22-2012, 03:42 PM
Jon, you'd need to tell us exactly what tub you're looking at and post a link to the tub online. Otherwise we'll all just be guessing at a question like that. Need to see what you'll have and what the manufacturer says about installing it.

08-27-2012, 05:04 AM
As you can tell we are taking our sweet time on our project, as we are now not much farther along then we were in March. We have most of the demo work complete, except have not tackled taking the tub out yet. I will add some pictures tonight to give everyone an idea where we stand. I am going to remove the tub next. The only think we are not going to remove is the ceiling. I am hoping to keep it intact and once we are done do a textured finish on it.

After we get the tub out I am going to replace plywood around toilet area and there i also another week spot in the floor in closet area.

I was thinking that instead of just replacing a couple sections in such a small area, would it not be better just to go ahead and replace all of the plywood?

Houston Remodeler
08-27-2012, 06:05 AM
You can if you'd like, but decent blocking will make for a very nice patch.

08-27-2012, 06:15 AM
Thanks. Once we have the tub out I will start hanging drywall and backer board. I planned on tiling from floor to ceiling. Is drywall okay for the walls in the areas other than the tub surround?

I was going to use backer board on the floor and tub surround area and drywall the rest. Is that the proper way to do it or should I use backer board throughout?

08-31-2012, 08:17 AM
Have a couple questions.

We next have to remove the tub and I am trying to figure out the best way to go about it. I have used a drain removed to remove the drain. What do I need to detach underneath the house prior to removing tub? I planned on just using a sledge hammer to break it into pieces. Is this typically the best way to get them out?

Also for the backer board around the tub surround area, I wanted to use red guard waterproofing membrane. Once we have the backer board installed I was planning on applying red guard. Is that all that needs to be done in this area? Also how many coats should be used and should it be used on the plywood area underneath the new tub?

08-31-2012, 11:27 AM
If you've removed the tub drain from above, that's all you need to do for now. Plug the drain with a rag to keep stuff out til you're done with the demo. If the drain is not disconnected from the tub, what kind of pipe do you have? Be careful with the sledge around the plumbing regardless of what kind of pipe too.

For Redgard, follow the manufacturers installation instructions for backer board prep, coat thickness, how many coats, etc... No, you don't need it under the tub. Suggest getting a "wet film gauge" to measure coat thickness. You can get them at quality paint stores, not box stores. Make a few calls. :)

08-31-2012, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the tip. So basically just backer board and redgard applied per the instructions and that is it right? Then i can tile right on top of that correct?

08-31-2012, 02:08 PM
Yes, Jon, you can do that.

Your CBU must lap over the tub's tiling flange on the drain side to make that work, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.