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Old 03-22-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
mariner72
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New Bathroom Project - Need Advice

Hello eveyone - I am new to this forum and just started a bathroom project - gutted to stud & original 1/2 inch floor sheathing. I have many questions and will understand if I get flagged for asking all at once. But I'll give it a try.

(1) the subfloor is 1/2 inch 4Ply plywood sheathing butted (no spacing) on all seams - nailed with a Common 4D - squeaks no matter where you walk. Joists are 2x10 on 16 Center. I removed a Mud floor with wire mesh from this sheating. There was an issue with the toilet flange - mud & new tile would have buried it 3/4" below tile surface - in addition was not level - so Job one - I removed a small area of sheathing & changed the plumbing allowing me to set whatever height I want on the Toilet flange - also will be level now. Job 2 - Choices - Mud the floor again, or add 3/4 ply to 1/2 inch subfloor and 1/4 inch Hardie tothat. Floor is bascially Level except for a 4 ft x 3 ft section that actually drops 5/8 of an inch at the wall - The floor is 8 1/2 feet wide - runs 4 1/2 ft level & then pitches down the next 4 feet - 5/8 of in inch. I'm thinking Mud is easier to compensate this problem - any thoughts on that ?

(2) I was going to mud a shower pan and then lost my nerve - Bought a 48" x 34" Jacuzzie shower pan - For those of you familiar with shower pans this one had about four or 5 foam pads under the fiberglass - supposed to be part of a self leveling process ? Any way what type of Mortar is best suited to set this in - I plan on placing 3/4 plywood over 1/2 inch subfloor and laying pan on 3/4 inch with some type of mortar.

(3) As you can tell by the shower base I have 3 walls - back 48", 2 sides 36". I was going to use Hardibacker for walls and Redgard for an inside Membrane. I think I understand RedGard requires a particular thinset for tile. I also think I understand I should use the same thinset for fiberglass taping seams that I will use for tile - Does that sound right ? There will be an 8 Foot Ceiling so should I use Hardi and a mebrane on the ceiling also ?

Any help would be appreciated
Tony
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Welcome aboard, Tony.

I'll answer a few of them.

Unless it's a steam shower there is no need to waterproof anything above the level of the shower head.

Half-inch plywood is a bad way to start off a floor that is to be tiled. I might add another layer of half-inch and then mud it. Otherwise, I think I would remove the half-inch and go with something that will hold a screw for the first layer.

Your shower receptor may be the type that doesn't require mud under it. Check the instructions.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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Use a modified thinset to set the tile over the Redgard. Versabond from Home Depot is popular round these parts.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
mariner72
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Thanks for the reply - I thought gravity would take car of any moisture above the showerhead - ie not going up into grout or backer board

The floor I do not like either - I think I've read too much the past few weeks - It seems the 1st layer on the floor should be screwed into beams and the 2nd layer not - If I were to keep the original 1/2 sub floor - I would run my skill saw down the seams just to open it up the thickness of a blade instead of edges rubbing against each other and them Screw the 1st layer into beams and run a 2nd layer of 1/2 inch over that - no nails to joists on the 2nd layer of 1/2 inch - does that sound right ?

I did read one of older posts and you stated to use "brick mortar" - mine does need mortar or as instructions stated mortar or leveling compound - didn't know if any in particular was better -
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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Thanks Davy - I was in HD tonight looking at the Versa Bond - in fact I ran into a mud guy there and he highly recommended it also - I was looking for the word modified on the bag and it said fortified - I didn't know if there was a difference -should I be looking for the word Modified on the bag ?

- RedGard is made by Custom Products and HD sells all of their Product Line -
(1) MULTISET MODIFIED THIN-SET MORTAR or
(2) MARBLE, GRANITE & TRAVERTINE PREMIUM MEDIUM BED MORTAR

Both are made by the company that makes Redgard and both are approved for RedGard - I will be using a Porcelain tile - any one better than the other ?
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Welcome, Tony.

There are, to my thinking, only a couple ways to keep a nominal half-inch plywood as the first layer over the joists for use under a ceramic tile installation.

A. You pretend it's not even there and install over it a layer of at least nominal 3/4" T&G, exterior glue plywood with no face of grade lower than C, fastened to the joists.

B. If your existing plywood is in nearly pristine condition and very clean, you can glue-laminate another layer of nominal 1/2" exterior glue plywood over it, using a full spread of wood glue and many screws.

On top of either subfloor you can install the tiling substrate of your choice and your tile.

You don't need a medium bed mortar for any of you applications in this project.

When looking at the bonding mortar bags to determine what's in them, pay little or no attention to the words modified or fortified, which are used interchangeably and are equally nebulous. What you want to find is a number or numbers. To qualify as a "modified" thinset mortar the bag will say the contents meet the requirements of ANSI A118.4 when mixed with water. If it doesn't say that, it's not a modified thinset mortar. It may say it also meets A118.11, which is only important to you if you're spreading it on plywood, but it does indicate a higher quality than a mortar that meets only A118.4. So look for the A118.4 if you're wanting a modified - or fortified - thinset bonding mortar. The one that says medium-bed will also say it meets that same standard if it does.

It would help with some questions if you would put a geographic location in your User Profile for our folks to see.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply and the information - I will checkout the Versa Bond product further - Geographicaly I am in the heart of Hurricane Sandy area - Central New Jersey - 1 mile from the Ocean - Fortunately for me on the night Sandy came over - I am 85 feet above sea level - my damage was limited to about 6 - 70 foot oak trees snapping like twigs in a 95 MPH wind. I feel fortunate - I'm only mentioning this stuff as a matter of interest to others - When you walk into a local Home Depot or Lowes around here the 1st person you see is a FEMA rep sitting at a desk in the store and in the lumber depts countless piles of sheetrock - the flooding was extraordinary - Back on subject - I will remove 1/2 inch - put new 3/4 inch plywood (appropriate grade) - screw into joists, Felt, Wire mesh, & Mud - Sound OK ?
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CX
It would help with some questions if you would put a geographic location in your User Profile
If you don't do that, the information is gone with this page, Tony.

I try to remember where everybody is from, but it started gettin' a little fuzzy for me after the first forty or fifty thousand new visitors. Least I think that's about when it was.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #9
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2 Shower Questions

Installing 1/2 Inch Hardie on new shower walls - 1st question - do you space hardie at seams 1/8 of an inch - I checked the Hardie literature and they mentions spacing on a counter top and butting for flooring - no advice on shower walls. I'm thinking 1/8 spacing might allow thinset to fill edges and bond edges. Or is just taping & thinset on butted panels surface enough.

2nd question - and this may sound strange but here it goes - I installed a fiberglass showerbase (because I'm a coward and wouldn't make one) so I have a fixed dimension - 48" wide. I will install a frameless shower door set. Dreamline makes a nice set - Radiance model for a Non Adjustable 46" opening - must be perfectly square - plumb walls etc. After my Hardie is on I will be left with 1 1/2 - ie 47 1/2. I need to lose an 1 1/2. My tile is 3/8 marble - both sides will close it 3/4 inch. Now I'm at 46 3/4 - Can you lose 3/4 inch with thinset 3/8 under tile on both sides - after tile is pressed down thinset flattens - would 3/8 be excessive - I'm guessing a 1/2 inch notched trowel would flatted thinset to 3/8 ?

Any help would be appreciated
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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Tony,

Traditionally spacing sheet goods is to allow for expansion but filling the seams with non compressible thinset pretty much eliminates expansion. Only reason I can imagine that Hardy wants a space on a counter top is to bind the two sheets but then I can't figure out why they wouldn't want the same onna floor. But regardless of my conjectures I don't think you can go wrong either way.

How large are your marble tiles? That'll dictate to some extent what size trowel you'll need to use. However, I believe a 1/2 X 1/2 inch trowel will leave you with 3/16th - 1/4" under the tile. Ish.

What style is the door? A single large opening panel or a smaller panel + an opening panel?
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #11
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Tony, I find the Hardi instructions on panel gapping for counter tops and floors to be the same. They do appear to be silent on that matter on wall installations. Only way to verify that would be to contact James Hardi. Please complain about the online information if you do that.

Some of us have had a problem with James Hardi's rather poor and frequently changing installation instructions for some time, but can't seem to get his attention. Perhaps you'll do better.

If I were to use Hardibacker in a wall application, I'd gap the panels the same as is recommended for floors and countertops. But I'm not James Hardi.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:56 AM   #12
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The tile are actually 3x6 - not really big - just trying to achieve the exact width of the frameless shower doors - I think I solved the thinset problem - searched further here and came up with standard thinset after tile install should not exceed 1/4 inch - There is a thinset called Custom Building Products 50 lb. Marble and Granite Fortified Premium Mortar - formulated for heavy tile that you can lay on as thick as 3/4 inch which would allow me the get pressed tile with 3/8 backing - The standard frameless shower door with 2 panels - 1 fixed comes with a metal jamb/frame on the wall - a little over an inch so you can move the fixed panel in & out of the metal jamb (adjustable for plumb & width). I'm looking at a Dreamline Radiance - 2 glass panels which eliminates the adjustable jamb - pure glass - fixed width - truly frameless - but your width better be 46" to 46 1/8 - that's all she wrote - challenging - so many variables - I'll buy the doors after I'm done with the tile - if I'm dead on 46" great if not I'll go with the adjustable type -

Thanks for your response
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:06 AM   #13
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Thanks CX - I agree - I went as far as watching the video and on a 3 second clip I saw the installer was spacing the wall panels (they don't tell you to in the literature) - I'm banking more on bonding the edges then the expansion idea - even 1/2 inch Hardie is somewhat flexible
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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New Mud Floor Question

I am making my 1st attempt at Mudding a floor - approx 54 Sq ft - approx 8 bags of Sand top Mix + 4 bags of Play Sand - about 600 lbs of mix. Anyway reading the John Bridge advice for Mud you have 30 to 45 minutes to work the mud after you mix it - and also it is recommended all perimeters are set 1st. Maybe a dumb question - I just don't see myself mixing 8 bags of dry pack and getting it all down in 45 minutes- my concern is the far wall - the last area I do - If I do the perimeter 1st will it be an issue let's say 2 hours later mixing fresh mud with a perimeter I laid down 2 hours earlier ?

2nd question - should I bother buying a tub or mix on old sheet of plywood I have - probably overthinking this but after the 1st mix the wood will be moist - any issue ?

Thanks for any help
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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Tony~You have 30-40 minutes of working time with each batch you mix, not the entire floor. Yes, do the perimeter first. Having it "firm" is a good idea so that you're less likely to damage it when using it for a screed.

When packing fresh mud against the perimeter, mix up some very loose thinset and slop...er, paint it on the sides with an old brush before packing in the fresh mud. It'll bond....
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