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Old 12-27-2017, 06:36 AM   #1
MikeCurranto
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Shower stall ceiling

I am in the process of building a shower stall in my attic bathroom. 2x4 and 2x6 construction. 2x6 for deeper niches and strength for the glass frameless door. No shortcuts. Pre-sloped the floor with relief and reinforcement. 40 mil rubber pan.
Through color 12x12 porcelain tiles on walls, natural stone 1x1 for the ceiling and 2x2 on the floor. The issue is the ceiling. It runs 2.5 feet level then turns at a 60 degree angle and runs 2.5 feet to the back wall.
Will the sheet tile stay attached to the modified thin set on the ceiling or will I need to add support while the thin set cures? The ceiling tiles are natural stone and a bit heavy. Should I cut the sheets in half and apply half at a time? Any advice would be appreciated as I only want to do this once.
Pics are of early construction. All seems have been filled and waterproofed and I am currently hanging wall tiles.
Thanks.
Mike
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:25 AM   #2
rmckee84
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If you use a quality non-sag mortar, and get proper coverage you shouldn't need any type of support. In the rare case that they do sag, then yes the best thing to do is to cut the sheets into smaller sections.
Ardex x77 and laticrete tri lite are 2 excellent non-sag products
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:30 AM   #3
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DIYer here... and I had similar concerns when I went to tile the ceiling of a tub/shower that I installed.

I actually found tiling a flat ceiling to be easier than tiling a wall... because the tile don't shift due to gravity. While I don't know 100% what is going on... I would sort of describe it as suction. Once you put the tile in place, it can't fall off unless air can get behind it to fill the void that would have to start getting created for the tile to pull from the ceiling. But the thinset seems to have enough cohesion that it doesn't come unstuck to the tile nor the ceiling, and doesn't let air pockets form.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
MikeCurranto
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Thanks for the advice!
Don't see Ardex sold locally. Went to Laticrete website to find a local dealer. Well, their search doesn't work.
I could visit a few places in my travels since I live in Providence RI, I'm sure there must be some local dealers.
But, I was wondering if something like Pro-Lite, sold at HD, being sag resistant is a close alternative?
Description mentions a "beat-in". What is that? Could not find a definition on Google.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
All seams have been filled and waterproofed and I am currently hanging wall tiles.
What is your waterproofing for the field (away from the seams)?

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:57 PM   #6
Davy
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The Pro lite works pretty well. The heavy tiles may still sag a little but if you start on the low end of the ceiling, you can add wedges or spacers as you go up, similar to tiling a wall.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:26 AM   #7
MikeCurranto
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I added the backsplash to my 2 shower niches last night. Used the same tile as I will use on the ceiling. Used the same modified thinset I've been using on the wall tile. Lightly pressed it in with a grout float. Found the first piece I installed wanted to sag a bit. Had to re-position several times. Added a wedge under each 1x1 and found that caused the bottom of each wedged tile to tilt out and the top to tilt in. So I kept pushing it up until the thinset started to set up. Now it's fine. The second niche was much better since I waited 30 minutes or so and the thinset in the bucket was getting thicker. Only had to re-position it once. So I see how a better quality thinset should make the ceiling go smoother. I don't mind moving the niche backsplash a few times but don't want to think about moving several pieces on the ceiling. That could be a disaster.

No waterproofing in the field other than the seat. The pics only show the start of my waterproofing. The blue stuff is hydro barrior and the tough fiber tape they recommend be used with it. I used the Hydo on the full field of the seat and the wall just below the seat. That black coloring on the seat is some factory finish. It's not Durock. It' a leftover piece I had in my basement from 30 years ago. I used the cement board of the day to tile my tub surround. Still looks fine after a couple re-grouts. That stuff was tough as nails. Not like today's junk. Could not score it with a knife. Had to cut it with a power saw. Used it on the seat because it barely flexes. I just could not see myself using thinset to attach tiles to the bare foam seat as advertised by Laticrete. The foam may be strong but it still has some give to it. contractorsdirect.com/LATICRETE-Hydro-Ban-Bench
I tend to over engineer and build things code plus, plus. But I usually only do it once.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCurranto
No waterproofing in the field other than the seat.
The field needs waterproofing because CBU is water impervious, not waterproof. That means that if the CBU gets wet, the water won't affect the CBU, but water can still penetrate CBU.

Same thing about tile and grout. These are impervious to water, but not waterproof. The entire shower should be waterproof before you lay the first tile.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Impervious is probably not a clear term for what you mean, as one definition of impervious is "not allowing fluid to pass through," i.e. impermeable. So the way I would put it is that concrete backer board is undamaged by water but is permeable, like tile and grout.

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Old 12-28-2017, 08:05 PM   #10
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I haven't noticed lately but years ago just about every tile shop you went into had a little clear plastic container at the order desk. The container was full of water with a small piece of Hardiboard inside. I realized Hardi was trying to demonstrate that Hardiboard could tolerate being submerged without being damaged but I often wondered how many installers walked away thinking Hardi is waterproof after seeing that. Not the same thing at all.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:07 AM   #11
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I completely understand the Durock, tile and grout is not waterproof. Any water getting to the boards will permeate. And I am all about overkill when I build something. Mortise and tenon trumps dowels or laps joints.
One has to ask, where are the common leak points in a shower stall? Corners, curb, the area where wall tile meets floor tile and the drain. This thing cannot leak as it is above my bedroom. I even installed a drain in the bathroom floor, just in case. Toilets can overflow as well.

I did waterproof every seam, corner and horizontal surface, other than the floor since I installed a rubber pan. The grout will be sealed. The curb is literally triple sealed. Rubber pan, waterproof durock tape attached with thinset and Hydro barrier over that. I'll be using a silicone caulk in the corners and wall to floor joints. I made sure to set the wall boards one inch above the floor, not touching.

I pulled down a plaster and lathe wall that separates the first floor tub surround and a bedroom. Plaster was falling off. I thought the tub surround was leaking. It was, but only a small amount in one corner. The rest of the cement board was dry and mold free after 25 years of showers and baths with a family of 5.

So I gotta ask, how difficult would it be to remove a single 12x12 porcelain tile from the wall? Corner tile. I got distracted and allowed one tile to sag about 1/8 inch. walked away and found It the next day. Oops. I have not installed any tile above of next to it yet. I can live with it since this will be a rental space but I would rather replace it if I can. Thinking the Durock will crumble.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:17 PM   #12
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It depends how many days since it was installed. It will usually come off the wall fairly easy the next day but after that can be tough without doing some damage.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:01 AM   #13
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On a different subject, a friend recently purchased a house. It has a detached garage apartment. There was an old leaking shower stall. He decided to replace it with a new tiled stall. He poured a pre-slope for the floor using portland cement and sand. He mixed the portland 4 to 1 sand rather than sand 4 to 1 portland. I took a look at it. it's been down for a week and looks and feels mighty hard. Is this an issue or will he need to remove it and start over? Thanks.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:19 AM   #14
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If it looks and feels solid, I guess it might work. I'm surprised it hasn't cracked already.

I bet it was a mess to work with.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:42 AM   #15
MikeCurranto
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Did a bit of research and it seems what he has done is poured a pre-slope using almost 100% hydraulic cement. Apparently very hard and quick to cure, initially. Used for plugging holes in leaking concrete, among other things.
I tapped it with a hammer. No cracking occurred. The hammer basically bounced off.
I'll just tell him it may crack under the pressure of the hard pack he is going to install, and leave it at that. He can decide if he wants to remove it and start over. Should keep him up at night lamenting about it.
But anything is an improvement over that old metal shower someone installed 30 years ago.
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