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Old 07-12-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
BruceL
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Bruce's Master Bath remodel

I'm in the process of remodeling my master bath. This is the classic story of a 1990 bathroom with a gigantic two-person whirlpool tub that was never used. I'm converting it into a two-person shower with a soaking tub in the shower space, which seems like a nice design and is the best use of the space I could come up with.

For the shower I'm using Kerdi-board and a kerdi shower-pan. Using 12x24 porcelain tile in the shower set vertically with an 8" stagger between tiles (though I'm still debating not staggering them). There will be two 4" pebble strips horizontally on the shower walls. The shower floor will be mosaic hex tiles.

The rest of the bath will have the same 12x24 tile but set in a herringbone pattern on a ditra heat setup on plywood.

A couple questions I have:

Thinset: I had planned on Kerabond for the kerdi and Kerabond T to use for the tile in the shower, because I thought it was a non-sag version of Kerabond. But after learning that it isn't recommended for either wood or Kerdi, I need to find a different adhesive. I had thought non-sag would help avoid the need for ledger boards to hold space for the pebble strips---is that a good plan and is there an unmodified non-sag thinset that should work with the kerdi and porcelain? Or should I just use the ledger boards and regular kerabond or laticrete 317? (or just use the versabond I can get without an hour or so drive to a tile supplier?)


Construction adhesive: The other question I have is whether it's important to attach the kerdi board to the walls with only the schluter screws, or if I can use construction adhesive for the field. It seems like adhesive would be better b/c there are fewer holes, but I haven't seen it discussed much. Would it damage the foam? I've certainly gotten a lot of experience with how strong it holds from removing all of the drywall (and then the adhesive) that was used on my walls.

Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:51 PM   #2
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Welcome, Bruce.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce
Kerabond T to use for the tile in the shower, because I thought it was a non-sag version of Kerabond. But after learning that it isn't recommended for either wood or Kerdi
Not sure where the "not for use with Kerdi" would have come in, but it would be fine for that. MAPEI does, however, recommend their additive instead of water for large size tiles. I have no idea why that would be.

If you have Versabond more easily available, I would use that for all your current applications, recognizing that it voids the Schluter warranty, but you have no need of that, anyway. And I would recommend ledger boards or/and spacers or shims regardless the thinset mortar you elect to use.

We have many reports of successful use of construction adhesive with KerdiBoard. The adhesive should never be touching the foam, so that should not be an issue. If in doubt, call Schluter at 888-472-4588.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'll go ahead and use some construction adhesive

Quote:
Not sure where the "not for use with Kerdi" would have come in, but it would be fine for that. MAPEI does, however, recommend their additive instead of water for large size tiles. I have no idea why that would be.
So I hadn't looked into it much, but there was a recent thread discussing that Kerabond T couldn't be used on wood. So I downloaded the product data sheet from Mapei and it says not to use for (among other things):

• for the installation of non-absorbent tiles
(quarry tiles, single-fired tiles, klinker tiles,
etc.) on other non-absorbent wall and floor
substrates.

My reading of that is that they don't recommend it for porcelain on kerdi. (Though that may be the same as Schluter not recommending Versabond...)

Bruce
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:56 PM   #4
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Bruce, you'll find that all thinset mortar manufacturers want you to use a modified thinset mortar to set any porcelain tiles, but a whole lot of porcelain tiles have been successfully set with dry-set (unmodified) mortars for lots of years. It's certainly easier to work with the modified mortars in most applications and you can certainly get a greater shear bond strength with modified mortars, but when bonding to any waterproofing membrane such as Kerdi (A118.10) the minimum requirement for shear bond is still only 50psi and that can easily be exceeded by any good quality unmodified mortar.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:52 AM   #5
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CX beat me to it but I can't think of any reason why you couldn't utilize construction adhesive on the back of the kerdiboard at the studs.

I would not use that as a reason to deviate from their recommended fastener spacing pattern pattern though.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice so far. I misunderstood the concern in another thread that the problem with Kerabond T was using an unmodified mortar over wood than anything else.

Another question. I had to raise the bathtub a bit because the drain had to pass over i-joists (not going to notch them), and I want to raise the shower by the same amount, so I'm going to put a couple layers of plywood down before the pan (I'm using a schluter pre-formed, which I know not everyone likes, but I feel a bit better about that than forming a large shower pan with mud).

My understanding is the best way to bond this is to use wood glue to glue the plywood to the existing floor, then modified mortar to bond the styrofoam to the wood (will get versabond for that), then unmodified mortar to get the kerdi onto the foam.

Anything I'm missing with that set of adhesives (whew)?

Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:23 AM   #7
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If you plan on using glue in between the multiple layers I would use a full spread. If everything is fastened properly I'm not sure you need the glue. How many layers are we talking?
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
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Just two layers---I raised the tub enough for the drain to clear, and since the tub is in the shower area I don't want it to be too big a step in. I was planning on a curb anyway, so while I may need close to a 6" curb, I think it should still be fine.

I was basing my plan on advice that if adding plywood for a floor it should be wood glue spread with a trowel + screws to make sure there are no gaps/voids.

Bruce
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:25 AM   #9
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pattern changes with accent strip

For the tile layout I'm planning on what I think is called a staggered vertical brickwork pattern: 12x24 tiles vertical with 8" offset spacing per row. I also have a 4" pebble accent strip.

When I place the accent strip, what do I change in the 12x24 layout. Do I maintain the 12x24 layout as if the accent strip isn't there (so there wind up being some 4" vertical pieces) or do I shift the 12x24 pattern up (so there are never any pieces smaller than 4"?

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Old 08-02-2017, 08:38 AM   #10
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Can't see what you have in mind from here, Bruce, but I wouldn't want any 4" cuts of a 12x24" tile anywhere if I could avoid it.

Generally, the best method of answering aesthetic question about your tile layout would be to ask Mrs. Bruce.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:45 PM   #11
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Start putting tile on wall before putting in kerdi shower pan?

Thanks CX. The question was originally whether in a vertical layout the stair step pattern would continue as if the pebbles weren't there or if everything would be shifted up 4 inches. My wife and I looked at both and decided we preferred having the stair steps regular, so essentially like we would be cutting the pebbles into the tiles without moving them. Unfortunately when I started looking at the layout with the location of the niches, I couldn't come up with anything I liked---I either would have to cut L's in the tiles on both sides of a niche or cut the tiles on both the inside and outside of the shower. I decided I would go with the conventional horizontal layout after all, because I think it lets me fit the niches in without any odd looking cuts.

But now I'm thinking about ordering the steps to get the tile in. I had planned to put in the kerdi-band and shower pan (I'm using a kerdi shower pan), leak test the pan, then tile. Obviously I would put in padding to keep the shower pan safe. But since I'm using ledger boards anyway, is there a reason not to do the tile above the tub (really above the first ledger board) before putting in the shower pan? I figure that even if it leaks and I have to start over, I would just be removing the bottom foot of kerdi-board, and it wouldn't really matter if there is tile a foot above that.

Thanks,
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:31 PM   #12
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Bruce, when doing showers with Kerdi or similar membranes I never install the drain before the ceiling and walls are tiled except for the bottom row and sometimes even grouted. I then install the drain, mud the floor and install the membrane, tying it in to the wall waterproofing, and tile the floor and finish the walls.

One of the very best features of those waterproofing systems.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:25 PM   #13
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Actually have some tile up

Thanks for all the advice so far---both here and elsewhere on the board.

Slow progress, but as you can see from the picture I've gotten to where I'm putting the tile up. I'm using ledger boards for where the pebble accent strips will go and saving the bottom for last. I've found that as much as I read warnings that large format tile is tough to get coverage on and get level---wow is it hard. I'm using kerabond T with a 1/2" trowel and making sure to slide it around at least 1/2" to get coverage. Then using Rubi tile levels to help get it flat.

I've spent a lot of time working on what layout to use. The general pattern is the 12x24s vertical with a 1/3 stairstep offset (you can sort of see that in the picture---it's more obvious with more tiles in the picture of course). The bullnose with this tile is only 2 3/4" and I wanted deeper niches, so I am face framing the niches with the bullnose. The niche on the left in this picture is how I'm trying to get the layout to work---one side aligned with a joint between tiles. In a perfect world I guess I would have gotten one of the horizontal joints to line up as well, but that didn't work out---I could have shifted down a little bit to line up the left side in this picture, but the same thing would have happened elsewhere (or my horizontal joints wouldn't be lined up around the shower).

Anyway, I'm still somewhat torn about what layout to use on the wet wall. What I'm leaning toward is having the vertical joint on the left side of the niche. That requires me to have partial (6" and 9") tiles on the left and right side of the wall and centers the valves on a tile joint. I'm a bit nervous about having to cut half circles in the tile, figure that either with a guide and a hole saw or the a diamond bit for my rotozip, I can get that to work.

The other option I have is to have a full tile on the right side of the wall. That moves the valves to the inside of a tile (no joints crossing). But then there is no vertical joint that lines up with the niche---wind up with L-shaped tiles on both sides, 3" and 5" I think.

I suspect either one will work (and I'm probably overthinking this) and am leaning toward the first, but would appreciate any design hints or wisdom on how to achieve something that will look naturally here.

Thanks again
Bruce
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:45 AM   #14
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As a DIYer I find Iím a bit frustrated that the quality of my tile saws isnít up to what I see the pros using. While I have a lot of nice tools, I havenít been able to persuade myself that the high-end tile saw will get enough work.

OTOH, the benefit of having a wood shop below the shower remodel is that I have a full-size drillpress I can set up to drill holes in tile. This worked so beautifully it made me cry.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:02 AM   #15
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sealing around shower valves

So the walls of my shower are kerdi board. For shower valves I have a koehler temperature control valve and three separate flow valves. The picture below is the back of the trim for the flow valve, with a 3Ē gasket to seal to the tile. The mud guards for the flow valves are 2 7/8Ē. They arenít big enough for the kerdi-seal valve gasket so Iíll use kerdi-fix. Since the mud guard and trim gasket are essentially the same size, I canít really cut the tile bigger and then kerdi-fix the difference after I put the tile up.

My plan is to trowel on the thin set except for maybe an inch around the valve, then kerdi fix that, then put the tile on top of that. The only problems I see there are getting the right thickness of kerdi-fix to stay there, and that I wonít be able to slide the tile around much because there isnít any playground the mud guard. The best approach Iíve found for coverage with the tile Iíve put up so far is to slide the tile around half an inch (itís 12x24 and Iím using a 1/2Ē square trowel).

The other approach Iíve thought about is doing the kerdi-fix, but removing the mud guard and putting painterís tape around the valve while putting the tile up, then replacing the mudguard once I slide the tile around.

Whatís the best approach to handling these valves?

Thanks,
Bruce
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