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Old 01-14-2015, 04:31 PM   #1
t2jeff
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Kerdi vs. Kerdi Board vs. Hardibacker and Redgard vs. Poly Sheet

About to start my 2nd project (small master bath) with the assistance of the John Bridge Forum (first was a successful gut and remodel of our kitchen). I'm racking my head trying to figure out the best approach to waterproofing a tub surround.

Details of the project include a complete gut of existing tile and plaster walls down to studs and installation of a new 32x60 tub. Tub surround doubles as a shower.

I originally planned on using Hardibacker with Redgard (have experience with Hardi), but after searching this forum, found there may be issues with Redgard bonding to the Hardi. I saw you can primer coat with the 4:1 mixture, but thought I would investigate other options first.

So, I would like to hear pros and cons for:

1. 6mil poly stapled under Hardibacker.

2. Hardibacker sealed with Redgard (my first choice or so I thought).

3. Kerdi on top of drywall.

4. Kerdi Board.

Besides price differences, what would the pros endorse?

Thanks in advance,
Jeff
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:05 PM   #2
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LIquid waterproofing membranes work, but I think they actually take more skill to apply properly. Give two people the same brush or roller, and the actual thickness and smoothness of the applied material will differ. A run can be a pain if not caught before it cures. The liquid stuff only works when it is applied to the proper thickness in two coats without thin spots or pinholes. Too thick or too thin, and you can have problems. I prefer a sheet membrane.

Now, for simple ease of use, KerdiBoard will have you waterproofed and tiling in something like an hour. The stuff is easy to cut, easy to install, already waterproof (both the tileable covering and the extruded foam itself), and all you need to do is cover the seams and the screw hole penetrations with a the Kerdiband. You can start to tile immediately. You'd want a tube of KerdiFix to make the seal between the board and the tub surface, but again, you can begin tiling as soon as you're done.

IF you want to install a niche, it's easy to make the hole and insert a pre-fabricated one, or build your own, too. Easier than waterproofing it with either Kerdi fabric or a liquid IMHO.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
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I agree with the Kerdi-board approach EXCEPT that when you look at the price, you go running for the hills.

I'm planning to do my alcove tub with Kerdi (over 1/2" drywall) and sealing to the tub flange with Kerdi-fix.

See a link to my project for a new shower enclosure below my sig.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:01 PM   #4
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A waterproof foam panel backer that worked well for my bath/shower was ProPanel made by FinPan. Ran about $22 per 3X5 sheet and needs nothing added to it to make it waterproof, except the urethane caulk where the panel meets another panel.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:21 PM   #5
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Interesting stuff, Bart.

ProPanel
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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Any of 1 thru 4 will work just fine if properly executed, Jeff.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:48 AM   #7
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Chris, The Pro Panel is what I was looking for as controlling water after it soaks thru a backer or have to apply surface coating with the possibility of improper thickness or voids didn't make sense to me. I wanted to positively stop water at the surface, and that backer, with a urethane grout - Quartzlock - seems to be a fine combination.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:10 AM   #8
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Hey Bart,
Fin Pan is coated with Hydro Ban. Although Laticrete makes their own niches, Fin Pan are cheaper and exactly the same product.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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The ProPanel is a foam backer that needs no additional coating applied.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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I'm working on my second bathroom with Kerdi-Board. I really like the fact the boards are 4x8 and go up very easy. It may cost 100 -200 more, but I'm only doing the baths in my house. A small price to pay since the porcelain and glass tile are a lot more that the Kerdi-Board.

Use whatever floats your boat.
Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:00 PM   #11
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Leaning towards the kerdi or kerdi board. I will need to find a local source for the kerdi board. I'm really attracted to just using drywall around the surround before the kerdi. Please confirm if I go the kerdi route:

1. I do not tape and mud the drywall (I plan on tiling to the ceiling) anywhere that kerdi goes.

2. Do I fill in the recess on the edges of the drywall (the affordance for tape and drywall mud) with thinset and let it dry before the kerdi application?

3. After thinset and kerdi application, what is the thickness of the two once dried (what is the offset between the drywall surface and the kerdi surface)?

I find it funny that you use a porous material (thinset) as the "glue" to apply the kerdi band to the kerdi and its waterproof at the end of the day......

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:40 PM   #12
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I'll tell you what I did for my Orange Tile project:

I mud/taped the factory tapered edges within the shower because I wanted a smooth surface for the kerdi/tile to go onto and I didn't want it done with thinset. I did NOT mud any of the drywall screws, however. I primed all the mud within the shower with Kilz2 to seal so it would not steal any moisture from the thinset.

I also purposely (thoughtfully?) installed my drywall such that I ended up with the dreaded butt joint in the shower stall but I did not mud/tape it. The tile hides this challenging area to mud/tape so it was the perfect place to put it I figured.

Kerdi is like 20 mil thick plus some thinset which ain't much. I dunno, call it a 1/32"? However, you'll also have build-up, potentially, from the seams with Kerdi-band and the corners.

Are you concerned about dealing with the tile to painted drywall transition area? That is where Schluter profiles come into play or bullnose tiles, thinset, and grout. It is not a biggie to deal with. Prepaint if possible in this spot to give a clean edge and to make thinset and grout cleanup cleaner.
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
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@Chris....

Thanks for the feedback. 50/50 on if I'm using profiles in the bath, but had great success using them in my kitchen. They are nice if you like the look.

Does Schluter suggest the primer (Kilz2) over mud method for kerdi? Just curious...

BTW...nice write up on your bath project, and yes, I'm using Sketch Up for my bathroom remodel. I wouldn't know where to start without it!
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:45 PM   #14
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I have never seen any documentation from Schluter for priming drywall mud before adding Kerdi and I never called them to discuss it either.

I interviewed 7 tile setters for my project, 5 of 'em were Schluter certified, and a couple said mud was fine and couple said to prime the mud. FWIW, the tile guy I hired didn't care one way or the other if I had no mud, some mud or mud+primer. "Thinset sticks to all of it." I used Kerabond from Mapei.

I dunno...priming the mud made sense in my head. If my tiles start falling off, I'll post here about it and become the sounding board for either no mud or no priming the mud before Kerdi.

Thanks for the kudos on the project. I do need to get some more pics up...have made progress.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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Jeff, I make every effort not to have drywall mud under my Kerdi at all, but if there's some there I don't worry about it and just install my Kerdi over it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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