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Old 08-12-2017, 09:01 PM   #1
steveroof
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How to regrout vitrolite shower stall from 1930s

Hello,
I am a new homeowner and my house has a shower stall tiled with vitrolite which is an old type of glass tile. This house dates from 1933 and some of the tiles have spaces between them, but most are butted up against each other with no gap or a gap less than 1/32". The grout was in bad shape and some was missing, so I removed all the grout with a razor blade. Now I am not sure how to proceed, I can try non-sanded grout but I don't know if it will stick to such tiny/non existent joints. I also contacted the gentleman who runs a site dedicated to vitrolite. He recommended caulking every joint with "siliconized latex caulk". What are your thoughts? I am new to things like this and I don't want to make a bad decision that will harm the shower. Thank you.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:06 PM   #2
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Hi Stephen, welcome. I don't see the caulk hurting anything but it might be hard to keep the joints full and smooth when washing it off the tiles. I would grout it with non sanded grout.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:46 AM   #3
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Thank you Davy
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #4
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Preslope vs setting drain 1/4" lower than the rest of the floor

Hi all,
To make a long story short, I hired a contractor to do work on my bathrooms, mostly plumbing related. The shower stall was not in scope at the beginning, but later it was added because we found mold in it when the walls were opened up. The stall shower has now been gutted.

After that, I educated myself on this website about the proper construction methods for a stall shower. The contractor trusts the tile guy/foreman to do it right, but I know there are problems. Some examples are a hardibacker curb screwed in at the top, no gravel near weep holes, weep holes covered by pan liner in between the two halves of the drain, no waterproofing in front or behind hardibacker walls, and no pre slope. I raised my issues but I think they view me as a construction hypochondriac, and they are getting frustrated.

The only thing built so far is the plumbing. Just a drain on the floor right now.

The way they are setting up the shower, it will be a drain on plywood subfloor, but all the rest of the floor will be built up a 1/4" with hardibacker. So in other words, the pan liner will be flat on the floor, but the drain will be the lowest point by 1/4". Will such a set up still allow water to drain assuming the other issues about the weep holes are corrected too?

Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:21 PM   #5
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Nope, without a slope to the drain the water will simply sit on the liner. Tell them regardless of how many years they've done it that way, you want a shower built to industry standards.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:29 PM   #6
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The Tile Council of North America publishes a handbook, updated annually, on the tested, reliable, methods of making a successful shower. Ask them to show you where in that manual, the industry bible, where it shows building a shower that way works...they can't, because it doesn't.

Plumbing code requires the waterproof layer to:
- be sloped at 1/4"/foot MINIMUM
- no fasteners through the liner within 2" of the top of the curb (how are fasteners IN the curb going to pass that requirement?)
- extend at least 2" above the top of the curb

There are other details that are required. It really scares and irks me how many people out there think they know how to make a shower that works, when history proves them wrong. They don't necessarily fail immediately, but a good shower should last until you decide to, not because it fails.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:25 PM   #7
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Product to install large glass tile (vitrolite)

Hi All,
I am looking for the right product to install vitrolite tiles in a shower wall application. The tiles are a type of antique glass. Most of them measure 12"x8"x3/8" and weigh 3.13 lbs. They are flat on the front and ribbed on the back. I am trying to decide between a "glass tile" thinset, a mastic, or a silicone adhesive like GE Iron Grip.

The original installation method was blobs of mastic onto drywall. 85 years later and none had fallen off. But of course the drywall was all moldy.

The new shower will be either redgard on hardibacker or plastic sheets behind hardibacker.

You can't tell from the photos, but the tiles are really nice looking in real life. They are pinkish with grey swirls.

Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:32 PM   #8
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Laticrete GTA is a non shrink and will give you the best protection against cracking.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:37 PM   #9
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Thank you Paul.
Is that the same thing as custom building products glass tile thinset? Asking since I am not sure where to get the Laticrete.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:38 PM   #10
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They are quite similar but I can't speak to the exact chemistry. Either would work
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:13 PM   #11
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Welcome, Stephen.

You have more than one shower project under way or are your three current threads about the same "vitrolite shower stall from the 30s"?
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:20 PM   #12
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My apologies for starting three threads. I see in the rules that I should have continued the first thread.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:23 PM   #13
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I'll combine them all here and we can give the thread a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.
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