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Old 09-09-2010, 12:12 PM   #1
Boontucky-girl
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Tile above Tub/Shower surround

I apologize before hand if this gets too long, but I have have a lot of questions. My DH and I are building a new house finishing the basement first, live in it, then finish the main floor a few years later. We're still in the rough-in stage and we'll be getting ready for drywall in a couple of weeks.

I'd like to tile above a one piece fiberglass tub/shower unit. It has a flange coming up vertical on the front and then all around the top. So my first question is how to drywall my specific situation.

The problem is the the framer made the space a little more than 3/4" bigger than the tub, and the tub was installed in a bed of mortar, so it's not moving. Our framer did a beautiful job of making the walls true square and plumb, the tub is nice and level but the tub was installed so that the left side and the back of the tub butt to the studs. Studs were not notched, so the front of the flange is not flush with the face of the studs, plus it was installed using screws, so they do stick out a little as well.

On the right side, the gap between the studs and the flange has been filled with wood shims with screws attaching the tub flange through the shims to the studs.

My DH doesn't really want to furr out the whole wall to meet the tub. So this is what the drywaller proposes. Use two layers of 5/8" sheetrock on the right wall stopping the sheetrock about 1/8" above the top edge of the flange. (this was before deciding to tile up there). The face of the sheetrock will extend past the face of the flange a bit. This will get filled in with what he called "hot" mud when they add the texture to the sheetrock. That alarmed me since all I could think of was water sitting on the top edge, soaking this "hot" mud and wicking into the sheetrock. That seems to be asking for trouble down the road. He said with green sheetrock, we're fine.

After googling for many hours there's so much conflicting information that I'm not sure what to do.

I thought to go about it this way, so please help me out:

1. furr out the left and back wall 1/8" so that the face is flush with the front of the flange (or should I make it flush with the screws that stick out a little bit?)
2.On the right wall, along the top, sister in small pieces of 2x4 with a notch so that face is flush with the flange.
3.On the right vertical flange, add 2x4's to make a plane flush with the flange and big enough to accommodate a row of tiles vertically along the front.
4.Cover the studs with a sheet of poly that overlaps the flange, use caulk to seal the poly to the flange, extend poly on the walls beyond the joint of sheetrock to FCB.
5.Use fiber cement board. A narrow strip along the front vertical sides, then along the top of the tub to the ceiling. Should I do the ceiling with FCB? I wasn't planning on tiling the ceiling. Leave a 1/8" gap between the FCB and the tub?
6. Would I need any sort of waterproofing on the FCB? What size FCB should I use?
7. How do I transition from FCB to the drywall. On the left side if the FCB is 1/2", would using 5/8" drywall be good enough to be level? Do you use bullnose tiles to transition from tile to drywall?
8. On the right side, there would be a "step" between the surface of the FCB and the surface of the drywall. How would I transition here? I've attached a small drawing to illustrate what I mean.
9. Would I tile after drywall is hung, but before texture is applied to the walls?

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #2
bbcamp
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Hi, BG!

You have answered most of the questions yourself, so I'll just tidy up.

1) You can do either. I think it better to fur flush with the flange, then remove a little backerboard material where the screws are so the board sits flat on the flange.

2) OK.

3) Good idea!

4) Not necessary. The surround is the wet area. You don't need to waterproof beyond that.

5) You can use drywall for this, see answer 4.

6) 1/2" or 5/8" sheetrock, no waterproofing.

7) Again, you can sheet rock outside the shower, so your drywall guy can do his thing.

8) You can tile that step, paint it like drywall, cover it with a wood molding or anything you want. Be creative!

9) Either way. You need to mask off any area where you don't want texture. I'd wait and grout after painting, if I had my druthers.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
Boontucky-girl
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Thanks for the reply Bob.

I am concerned about going with only sheetrock and no waterproofing. My DH is over 6 ft tall, and after hopping in the tub/shower to measure where the shower head needs to be installed, the shower head will have to be above the tub surround in the drywall area. From past experience whenever he took a shower at an apartment we used to live that had a similar tub, I clearly remember that lip of the tub surround holding water and the upper walls getting wet during showers (not to mention he loves his water hot enough to boil lobster and there was a lot of steam in there). Would that make a difference in your recomendations?

I was reading a bit on this forum, and it seems that using sheetrock with redguard (whatever that is) is popular. (Besides the obvious love for Kerdi, of course). Maybe not for above tub surrounds, but could that be an option? Would I still need the poly behind the drywall for this route?

On the step in number 8, if I were to tile that, can I cut tiles that thin? If so, what do you use for cutting tile that small?

Thanks.
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Last edited by Boontucky-girl; 09-09-2010 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Add comment about Kerdi.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #4
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You can use backerboard and Redgard above the fiberglass shower if you want.

Some folks can use a snap-cutter to cut tile as thin as you need for that strip. I'd suggest a wet saw instead. You can rent these at HD or tool rental yards.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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BG, if you are going to go the redgaurd route, you will want to use the backer board and not drywall. Other than the Kerdi system, drywall is not a good idea in a wet area, even behind a layer of backer board. Also, with the redguard, you want to make sure you get it thick enough. Two thin coats applied with a roller will not waterproof a shower. Just ask the home owner at the shower I looked at this morning.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
Boontucky-girl
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Thanks Bob and Greg.
I think I know enough now to go try something out and get the framing and substrate done.
I'll do a little more reading about setting tile, then I'll be back for questions about the next step in this tiling project. I gotta go think about what tiles I want and what pattern too!

BG
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
Boontucky-girl
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Ok, so several miscommunications later, this is where I stand:

The drywaller did not put poly behind the walls, and he must have thought the FCB were for decoration, so my bathroom was sheetrocked with moisture resistant drywalled. At that point I thought no problem, I can still use Kerdi and be fine.

Well, now the texturing crew has come and gone and the area to be tiled above the tub was not covered, so I've got texture on the wall. It's a very fine light orange peel, so you still see drywall quite a bit, but now I'm wondering what to do? Do I scrape the texture off or can I put Kerdi still over texture?

Thanks,

BG
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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BG,

That happens all the time. Give the shower area a good coat of primer, and you'll be ready to kerdi.
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