Master bath remodel sanity checks [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-03-2017, 08:37 PM
Hey all, I'm finally getting around to hiring someone to remodel our master bath. I have had one guy in for an estimate so far and I really liked him. Then I started asking about his technique for laying the tile and waterproofing and now I'm not sure how I feel and it's making me question everything. I'm trying to set up other estimates but nothing is scheduled yet.

Anyway we have a smaller bathroom - maybe 10x10 but that's just a guess. I want tile floors, tile shower and tile wrapping around the wall from the shower all the way behind a standalone tub. I'll attach a terrible picture of the layout of how it looks now. 191627

We're going to put a standalone tub against the far wall, under the window. Right now it's in the corner in a huge tiled surround, so we'll just make it parallel to the back wall under the window.

My first idea for the shower is to have a half wall of tile with glass to the ceiling when you first walk in on the right. I wanted no door at the end, just linear drains and have the shower be a walk out. There is a window there though on the right wall, and I'm worried about the splashing from the water hitting it so I wonder if we need to redesign and have a door.

Anyway, I asked the contractor what he would use on the floor, since it would definitely be a wetzone at least where there is no door. And then what he would waterproof the shower walls. I think he said RedGuard for the walls. But for the floors, I asked about Schluter Ditra and he said he never uses that. He uses USG Fiberock (made a point to say NOT Durock) and that he would do subfloor, thinset, Fiberock, thinset, tile. He said that would provide enough decoupling to prevent cracks and that it was enough waterproofing. I asked about deflection and joist measurements and I'm not sure if he just didn't understand what I was asking, or didn't think I knew what I was talking about, but he kind of blew me off and said he could figure out what the joists were - but no mention of why it would matter. Maybe it doesn't - our bathroom is on the second floor, if that matters. I just really don't want cracked tiles, grout, or water issues.

Am I being over the top worried about his idea for the floor? I just assumed he was going to use Schluter Ditra but maybe that is because I see it so much on here. Now I wonder if I need to grill him on types of thinset, etc.

Any thoughts?

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01-03-2017, 09:59 PM
You are not being too worried, I would make him lay out his entire process. The fact he didn't react well to the deflection question is worrisome. I would get a complete rundown before you hire anyone.
How he builds his pans
How he constructs and waterproof his walls
How does he extend his waterproofing from pan out onto the main floor?
What setting products does he plan to use? Brand and exact product
How does he treat the change of plane between walls and floors, and corners?
Basically get a start to finish on how he plans on doing the job, from there we can help or you can do your own research. If he blows you off or uses the this is how I've always done it answer then find someone else.
I've never been questioned by a customer but if it ever does happen I have no problem laying out my plans for a job or answer questions why.

01-05-2017, 06:49 AM
Thanks for the reply. I got a chance to ask some more questions and I feel better - but still slightly confused.

For shower walls: Fiberock covered with redguard

For floor: Fiberock, thinset, fiberock, thinset, uncoupling membrane. I asked him which membrane and he said he uses a company called Independent (I think, we were on the phone and he has an accent). All my googling could not come up with what this company is or what products it has. Has anyone ever heard of it??

Houston Remodeler
01-05-2017, 11:57 AM
The walls are correct, but the floor should be plywood > thinset > ceement board > thinset > tiles


Plywood > thinset > membrane > thinset > tiles

Gotta get the exact name on the membrane