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Old 01-10-2014, 03:49 PM   #1
seasss
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Tile a Bowed Wall

I am going to be installing new wall tiles in a shower soon and just recently noticed that the walls are not completely flat. What to do here? New cement board was put over the existing 60 year old studs. I am noticing some bowing.

The tiles I had planned on using were 4" x 16". Will leveling spacers work in this case? Use smaller tiles? Bigger tiles? Build up the depressions with thinset? (how to ensure it ends up flat??)

Thanks. (And I also have a question about discolored grout, if anyone has any additional advice on that http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...d.php?t=110917)
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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Gwen,

Normally we flatten the studs before installing the ceement board.

Taking down the board and spending some time with a level will make for a far easier and neater installation.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:29 PM   #3
Bodie Powers
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Hi Gwen,

Is your wall "wavy" or is there a single stud that is bowed in? (I assume bowed in because you mentioned backfilling with some spacers). When you hold a straight edge horizontally, how deep is the depression? Are any of the studs bowed out as far as you can tell?
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:13 PM   #4
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Hi Bodie, bowed out is what I meant (perhaps I used the wrong term, sorry). I have this issue on at least two walls. It is a very tiny bathroom 35 sqft. Tub across from toilet and vanity. Well we removed the tub and are installing a shower in the space the tub was. I first noticed a large bow out on the far wall at the end of the shower and continuing out of the shower. Stud in the middle sticks out a lot and the ends are quite depressed - I think maybe 1/2"... Then along the long 5' wall in the shower, I noticed something similar, but to a much lesser extent.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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Hi Paul, as much as I would love to take down the cement board and flatten, it's not going to happen. Already applied Kerdi Band to the seams. Also my partners in crime are not going to go along with that
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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Gwen, with walls out of flat by 1/2" and no plans to fix that situation, I recommend you abandon the large tile and go with something smaller....much smaller. You're likely to have lippage problems.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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It will be really hard to set large tile without lippage on a wall like that.

You could try to level it beforehand. There are some materials you could use along with a screed to fill in the low spots so they are flat with the high points.

Then, your choice of the large tile has a much better chance of being able to be set properly and you'll appreciate the flat wall.

Some medium bed mortars can go that deep, but it takes more skill to set tile when you have a deep bed of mortar verses a typical thinset installation.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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Gwen, why did you only Kerdi Band the seems and not Kerdi everything?
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Tom, we used DensShield which I am confident will be sufficient.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
seasss
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If I cut some strips of Kerdi board and attach in the edges that are dipped in and then fill in/flatten with mortar, is this a ridiculous idea?
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
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Kerdiboard can be used to flatten a suitable wall, but I do not remember the minimum thickness they specify for this. You place big dollops of thinset on the back, and then embed it using a long straightedge (a long level works).
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:27 PM   #12
Bodie Powers
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If that were my project, which it isn't, I'd stop now, remove the substrate and straighten the walls, reinstall the substrate and proceed. The OP indicated the bowed wall extends beyond the shower side wall into the bathroom, and to a lesser degree across the back wall. Attempting a mortar repair of that scope would be a challenge for a pro let alone a DIY'er, and in the end may take more time than fixing the studs. Just my 2 cents worth.
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