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Old 01-21-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
SemiDriven
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Chris & Heidi's DIY Shower Installation

Greetings,

Iíve got a pre-sloped concrete floor (baked into the foundation) 5í x 3 1/2í shower area.

Contractor studded the walls, I put up most of the DenShield on ceilings and walls and used RedGard over everything (included the concrete). Iíve got some of the tile cemented down. Thatís when I noticed that I was a little off on my lines (crap). Thatís also when I realized that the side walls were bowed between 1/8Ē and 1/4Ē. (double-crap). Silly me for thinking that studs are always lined up perfectly!

So, my options are to:
1. Start over with side walls. Rip-out, shim/shave, reinstall, re-RedGard.
2. Feather / Screed thinset where needed on side walls to plane them even.

Option one, in the long run, is the obvious choice.
Option two could punch my ticket into the looney asylum.

As far as I can determine, either option would work for helping me match up the tile lines to the walls.

If I decide to go with option 2, how weird would it be to tack 2 sets of drywall strips on various sections on the walls and screed between the strips? Then rip the strips off and RedGard the holes and mud the gaps. Doable? Insane?

All advice appreciated!

BTW, turned onto this forum through reading John Bridgesí Tile Your World. Good stuff there and here.

Backstory on this project:
Rather than send my wifeís 90-year Aunt to an elderly health care facility to live out her remaining life, my wife, kids, and I made the decision to move in with Aunt Frieda and take care of her. With Friedaís blessing, we doubled the size of her ranch house so we all would all fit under one roof. My wife is the general contractor (more time than I have) and Iím the grunt guy. We hired a contractor and his crew to do the rough work as well as some of the finishing work. He also has coached us in how to do a lot of the finishing work (very grateful for his advice!). My wife and are not retired so weíre doing all the work primarily on the weekends and are around the half-way point in the entire project.
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:58 PM   #2
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what size tiles are you putting on the wall?
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:48 PM   #3
SemiDriven
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One quarter up the walls from the floor we're putting 13" x 13" (1/4" thick) tile turned at a 45-degree angle (same tile as the bathroom floor). Then some sort of decorative strip tbd. The upper section will be a 17 3/4" x 12" tile (1/4" thick).
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:28 PM   #4
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I've found some links that are helpful towards reaching a decision on this matter.

However, since I believe I do not have enough posts to add the links quite yet, I'll throw this one on the "wall" and see if it sticks.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:29 PM   #5
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:34 PM   #6
SemiDriven
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Thanks bud!

Here's the links:

Walls:
Crooked Wall
How to Float Wall out?
Level a shower wall on Hardibacker
How to Tile Walls that are Bowed in the Middle

Floors:
Why is leveling with thinset bad?
Thinset Skim Coat

Still haven't decided which way I'm going to go.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:50 AM   #7
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Contractor friend suggests using mastic (premixed ďthinsetĒ) to feather the walls where I need them to be. Then use thinset to attach tiles to the wall after making sure the mastic is dry.

Any problems in thinset adhering to mastic?
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:20 PM   #8
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1. I hope your "contractor" friend doesnt do showers
2. Do Not use mastic in any part of your shower assembly
If you need to build out or feather out imperfections in your walls I would start with calling customs since it will be going over redguard and see what they reccomend.
There are lots of products that are made to do what you need. Mastic would be the worst thing you could use to do this.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice Ryan!

My contractor buddy is quite good at what he does ó general contracting. For specialized areas, such as showers, letís just say thatís why Iím here in getting a second opinion.

Good idea calling Custom ó Iím using their FlexBond Premium Crack Prevention Thin-set Mortar product for the floor and possibly the walls and ceiling.

No mastic in shower area ó got it. I read today that when Mastic gets wet after itís dried and remains wet, it will likely become a breeding ground for mold. No thanks!
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:26 PM   #10
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Exactly, mastic is organic and if it's in a shower mold and nastiness will show up.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:28 AM   #11
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Custom Building Products advised the following:

1. Donít RedGard over DenShield except for seams and nail/screw holes.

2. Tile over RedGard within 3-weeks.

3. Use their Natural Stone & Large Tile Premium Mortar for feathering out the walls / ceilings.

4. Use a medium mortar for tiling the walls and ceiling such as their Fortified Large Format Tile Mortar.

They also implied that feathering out the walls in certain spots would be a good test to see if the mortar would bond to the RedGard since A) I covered all the DenShield with the RedGard and B) it has been months since the RedGard was applied.

Anyone have experience with tiling over RedGard on DenShield? Or just tiling over RedGard?

How long have you let RedGard sit before tiling over it?
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:05 PM   #12
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Feather testing a small area on the ceiling.

RedGarded first and then used medium mortar.

Will have to go over it a 2nd time to achieve the level / depth I need. I found that leveling it off multiple times was a lost cause as the mortar wanted to peel away from the ceiling. Doggone gravity. Good thing I mixed more mortar than I needed since I was hearing a lot of "plops".

So I'll see how it looks next weekend and then put a 2nd coat on. Hopefully that will do it.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:28 AM   #13
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Having 2nd thoughts about feathering out the walls prior to tiling. However, tearing out the walls and making them flat and square has been vetoed by my better half. That would be too much commotion for her 90-year old Aunt living in an adjacent room.

SoÖnow Iím thinking of feathering out the walls while Iím tiling row-by-row.

And the lower 1/3rd of the shower walls will be angled at 45-degrees.

Because of the feathering that needs to be done, should I start at the very bottom of the wall and work my way across (going from narrow feathering to wider feathering)

OR

build a ledger at the 2nd row, finish that row, and then work down and then up. Starting at the 2nd row makes me nervous as the feathering might be a little off (as compared to starting on the bottom row).

Also, will a tile leveling system such as RLS to help hold the tiles where I need them to stay on the walls (and ceiling)? Not sure how well such a system would work in the feathered areas (up to 1/4" of thinset).


Found some helpful links on 45 degree angles and tiling the ceiling:

Tiling A Wall on a 45 Degree Angle

Tiling a 45 degree angle

Best thinset for ceiling tile

Good stuff!
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:30 AM   #14
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After tackling other needed projects around the house, Iím back at tackling the shower.

Recap: Walls arenít level (square). So, either I need to rip off the existing DensShield and start over or try something else before tiling.

Iíve decided to shim out the walls where needed, and put another layer of DensShield over the other layer.

Two questions:
1. Should I be overly concerned about moisture/mold entering into the space between the 2 layers of DensShield? Iíve already RedGarded the first layer of DensShield and will RedGard the 2nd layer of DensShield as well.

2. Per DensShield instructions, caulking the seams with 100% Silicone is the way to go. However, from what Iíve read, RedGard does not stick to silicone that well. Should I skip the silicone and apply tape and thinset over all the seams and then RedGard over that? That makes more sense to me.

Appreciate your wisdom in this matter!
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:55 AM   #15
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I would pull it out and start over if it were me. What you propose is a one off science experiment that nobody can answer. It is real easy to see moisture vapor getting trapped in there and making a smelly mess.
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