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Old 01-13-2018, 02:46 PM   #1
DLap67
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Variation in Tub Height/ How to Address?

I am laying out the tile for the walls and need some advice on a couple aspects as I am reusing a 1950s cast iron tub tin an alcove hat has some variations in the height around the perimeter. In case it is of use, the tub is 48" long on all three sides that will be tiled.

The tile will run from tub to ceiling, which is 80" along the back wall and increases to 80 1/4" along both sides along the forward edge the tub is not level but cannot be lifted. What is complicating matters is that the tub itself is not true, and both edges are concave approximately 3/16" from front to back [thankfully the rear edge is true in addition to being level.

The primary tile to be used is 10x20 [the tile actual measurements are 9 13/16" x 19 5/8"], and when combined with the decorative mosaic will not result in a full tile from top to bottom.

QUESTION 1: Should the full tile be at the tub and the ripped tile along the drywall ceiling?

QUESTON 2: How to deal with both the plumb and true issues of the tub from front to back?

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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1. Depends on how large the tile ends up at both the top and bottom. You don't want slivers, but generally, when the bottom of the tub is not straight, it's probably better to use less than a full tile there with the bottom cut to follow the tub surface.
2. Same as above. Note, if this is also being used as a shower, not being level can be a major problem.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. To help clarify the condition of the variation from level as well as the concave aspect of the flange I tried to put together a basic drawing and section through the tub flange and tile.

To clarify the concave of the tub is on the horizontal portion of the tub apron, which is also what is not level rear to front. The flange extends high enough I am not concerned with water getting behind the tile.

I guess what I am really trying to understand is if I carry the level line around the three walls [left side/ back/ right side] and if so that means need to rip the bottom row of tiles on the left side and right side? IF that is the way to go, do I cut the tiles in the middle with an arc to the bottom or instead cover the 'wow' with caulk and?

OR instead should/ can I drop the left side and right side to be parallel with the tub and if so again, cover the wow in the tub with caulk?

I just hate the idea of a cut edge on the bottom row that will abut to the tub and using a full uncut tile for the first course will result in the tile along the ciling being approx 1 3/4 shorter than the outher coursed. Maybe I am over thinking this. Sorry if this is confusing.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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I'd split the difference between top and bottom courses somehow and cut both.

Following the tub precisely would likely look not-so-good. I'd try and trend up and down and fudge caulk line at tub a little.

Absolute best would be to at least level tub from corner to corner, but would not address the belly in tub side, so you'd want a game plan before going to the work of removing and replacing.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:33 AM   #5
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What about fixing the tub before proceeding?

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Old 01-14-2018, 02:40 PM   #6
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Unfortunately this is in a multi story unit and access below is not possible, attempting from the top would require removal of the existing tile floor and I am not sure worth the effort.

Appreciate the guidance, I feel more comfortable with a cut edge at the bottom now.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:19 PM   #7
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Yea. Start at your lowest point, run a full height tile there and trim the rest to make them fit. Try to keep a consistent grout joint. Caulk it

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Old 01-14-2018, 11:26 PM   #8
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3/16" ?? That's all ??

The last tub we tiled was out of level by 1 3/16" the tub was so crooked. We trimmed the bottoms of the entire first row.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:45 AM   #9
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During my remodel, my tub was level, but the ceiling was out over an inch from one end to the other. I ended up essentially using a strip of the tile as a crown molding around the tub at the ceiling (granite tile) that has held up well and hides that fact unless you really study it closely. I used a hot-melt, polyurethane glue to install them, and then grouted the joints. The glue set up in about 10-seconds and has a stated bond strength of over 1000psi. I edge glued a test strip to the flat, polished side of a tile, and while I was able to break it off, it literally pulled some crystals out of the edge of the stone in the process...it's also slightly flexible, so thermal expansion/contraction has not affected it for the last 12-years or so it's been up. I'm not sure Tite-Bond still makes that stuff, but it was convenient for that application.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston Remodeler View Post
3/16" ?? That's all ??

The last tub we tiled was out of level by 1 3/16" the tub was so crooked. We trimmed the bottoms of the entire first row.
Lol. I didn't catch that part. I am crazy anal about this stuff and I don't think I would let that bother me.

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Old 01-15-2018, 11:22 AM   #11
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1 3/16" out in five feet? I hope it was sloped toward the drain.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:05 PM   #12
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Luckily yes.
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