Ditra'ing the tubdeck [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-22-2004, 04:51 AM
I am about to embark on the next phase of tiling our new house and that starts with laying Ditra on the whirlpool tub deck, but alas I have a couple of questions.

What thickness of drywall or Durarock is used for the side of the tub deck 1/4” or 1/2”?

The the plan is to glue and screw the deck down, thinset the Ditra down using modified thinset and the laying the tile on the deck before the plumber sets the tub.

Since it seems I have to leave the sides of the tub deck off until the plumber sets the tub how to I handle the tub deck side to tub deck transition if the deck is pre-tiled?


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John Bridge
07-22-2004, 05:51 PM
Hi Peter,

1/2 in. sheetrock works well. I have two approaches: I either make two access holes and pre-tile the covers; or I make an entire front panel that is tiled but removable.

When all connections have been made underneath, this panel is caulked in place with matching caulking. The bullnose is installed as part of the deck.

07-22-2004, 06:34 PM

I have some porcelain 12x12 floor tile and 8x12 ceramic wall tile with bulnose. Which on would you use for the tub deck? The floor tile and the wall tile don't look anything alike. They are AO Jersalem. The designer who never say the tile figured 12x12 on the deck and the 8x12 on the sides of the tub, along the wall behind the tub and for the shower.

Your thoughts?


07-22-2004, 06:46 PM
Sounds good to me ,plus you could run the 12" diagonal on the deck to further separate the cause.

07-22-2004, 06:48 PM
John, how do you guys get the 2x2 mudcap and i have to special order them and install them after the owners move in 3 months later.:bang:

07-22-2004, 07:33 PM
Looking closer at the picture, I think I am missing something.

If you make access panels or pre-tiled covers, since the panel/cover is 1/2" + tile, thats tells me that the tile on the deck must extend past the the deck so that it will overlap the pane/cover once they are installed.



07-23-2004, 04:57 PM
More questions,

I spoke with the women that designed our master bathroom as it regards to what tile (12x12 floor tile or 8x12 wall tile) was more appropriate for the tub deck.

She originally thought the 12x12 but now after discussion thinks the 8x12 would be a better choice since the tile on the skirt of the tub deck (wall tile) should match the tub deck itself.

The only problem she has is the size, 8x12. She thinks that I should cut it down to 8x8. So I have 3 questions:

1)The wall tile is a glazed ceramic tile, not porcelain. Will that be a problem for the tub deck and tub shower seat?

2)If I cut the 8x12 down to a 8x8, how do I bevel the cut edges so they don't look so “cut.”

3)Would I be better off using the 8x12 on the tub deck?

I have attached I copy of the designers plan.


07-24-2004, 04:16 AM

07-24-2004, 07:33 PM

John Bridge
07-24-2004, 08:04 PM

You're overwhelming me with design again. ;) I wouldn't cut the tiles down. Make the tub deck/surround look like it belongs with the shower. Either way will work, I think.

Dave, you mean the down angles -- AN4200? I just order them when I order the rest of the stuff. ;)

08-17-2004, 09:15 PM
John, is that access panel just sheetrock and thinset under the tile? If I wanted to make a full length access panel like that with Kerdi underneath, would that work?


08-18-2004, 03:32 AM

From what I can tell the access panel is just sheetrock with tile. I plan on wrapping the edges of the sheetrock with Kerdi just so the hold up over time. It seams that any time you even bump sheetrock it cracks.

08-18-2004, 09:24 AM
That sounds like a great idea for the sheetrock edge, Peter.

So I'm assuming John and other experts have no objection with using sheetrock, right?

Another question I have is, if I'm going to do the tub before the floor as I am planning how far down towards the floor does the bottom of the access panel go? I can't see behind the panel in that picture, so I'm unsure if I leave an 1/8" or so gap off the floor at the bottom of the sheetrock, then tile evenly along the bottom there? Or do I bring the access panel material all the way to the subfloor, then Ditra and tile the floor to it? If this question makes no sense please let me know.


08-18-2004, 09:48 AM
If your access panel is going to be big, I'd suggest plywood or at least gluing some stiffeners on the back of the sheet rock.

08-18-2004, 10:04 AM

You ask a lot of good questions.

I figure its kinda like the chicken and the egg. I can't make the final panel until the floor is in (thinset, ditra, thinset, tile) because I need to know the final height, however, I need to know how far the bulnose needs to extend past the tubdeck so they overlap the panel.

So what I have decided to do is to set the field tile on the deck and make the field 1/8" to 1/4" greater than it should be. Then once the panel is set I will trim the factory edge off of the bulnose 1/8" to 1/4" so that it overlaps the panel just right.

Any other idea for this? I am all ears.

John Bridge
08-19-2004, 06:55 PM
Actually, I usually let the panel go down nearly to the floor. I support it with a couple spacers that I cut off flush so they don't stick out in the way of the floor tiles. I caulk the joint in front of the panel before grouting the floor. As Peter says, it's the chicken or the egg. It matters not so long as it's possible to remove the panel. And it doesn't have to be easy to remove; it just has to be removable. ;)

Sheetrock is the best material I've come across for the panels. Plywood warps terribly, and so does cement backer board. If you can hold the sheetrock in place when it's grouted and allowed to dry, it'll remain straight thereafter.

08-20-2004, 10:00 AM
Thanks for all the answers everyone.

I put the birch on the deck top, now I have two very important problems that just arose. We don' t have a camera so I can't offer any pictures, btw.

To set the stage my deck is for a corner tub and instead of using sharp angles in the verticle face I rounded two corners, thinking it'd be easy to bend and rap 2 seperate pieces of 1/4" around the corners. That isn't happening without cracking the sheetrock. I guess the turns are too sharp. They each turn for about 8" at 45 degrees.

(1st set of Questions) I tried putting one piece of sheetrock down then I scored the piece every inch, 4 times, to bend it but it still looks like I need to double the amount of slits I've created on that first layer. So, before putting a second layer on I was wondering if I wouldn't be better off using 1/4" hardibacker. Do you guys know if that material would bend better than what I'm using? If it doesn't, then after I put the second layer of sheetrock on should I cover the slits with joint compound and round it off? Will either of these options telegraph through to the kerdi?

(2nd Question) It looks like my drop in tub lib is almost a 1/2" higher in the rear than the front. This worries me in that if I try to make the lip level up with extra caulk the tub won't drain. Otherwise I'm lost as to how to make up that large gap with out water splashing in the back of the tub then seeping under it off the deck top. How do I fix that? I've had this tub for a long time and I'm sure I can't send it back.

These are two very important issues and I can't proceed until I hear from you guys, so thanks for your geneous support.


08-20-2004, 10:05 AM
Sorry, I screwd up. it seems I should have put this question in the thread I started, Birch/Tub question. I'll do that now.