Porcelain Tile Shower [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-10-2001, 11:36 AM
I've read your reservations about marble tile in showers so i wanted to get your ideas about a porcelain tile shower. It would seen to be a good idea as 1) I could used large 16x16 tiles in the field 2) I could cut smaller pieces as needed using my wet saw (MKD 101) plus 3) I could make my own bull-nosed trim pieces by knocking down sharp corners by using the 45 degree fence on the wet saw then polishing with sand-paper.
Also, how do I handle tiling the sloped/rounded shower floor??? A mat of 1x1 ceramic tile????
Thanks for the help.

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John Bridge
07-10-2001, 03:35 PM
Okay, you be bad, you be bad.

I think all your ideas are super, except for being able to sand the edges of porcelain tiles. Don't even consider it without diamond tools. It's a lot easier if you choose a tile that comes with a bullnose piece.

Other than that, we do a lot of showers with porcelain floor tiles. In fact I've got a picture of one on the site. It's at the bottom of the following page.


You can use 1x1s on the floor (Daltile currently has the best ones), or you can saw your porcelain into 3x3 in. pieces. We've done a lot of that on the high-end homes where people screw up their faces when you show them the 1x1s. (My own shower has 1x1s, though.)

If you haven't read the obligatory article by my friend Michael Byrne, now's the time. Then come back and talk to us. The others will have their comments to add.


Bud Cline
07-10-2001, 07:08 PM

Your going to cut 16" tiles on a MK101? Are you sure?

As far as the bullnose manufacturing, first of all you'll never hold a true continual 45 along your cut with that saw and that is only the beginning of your problems. Ordinary sand paper (aluminum oxide) ain't gonna do it for you either.

As far as shower floors around here everyone settles for the 1X's or the 2X's porcelain.

I did a shower floor a long time ago that was made of red quarry rubble, cup ground then belt sanded every single edge, every one of them damned edges. It's amazing what some guys will put themselves thru for a buck.

John Bridge
07-10-2001, 07:21 PM
Yeah, but, Bud, I'll bet you still smile when you think about how that shower floor came out. I mean, we don't get a chance to do that many really "neat" things.

07-10-2001, 07:48 PM
Are you sure the 101 won't rip 16"? It will diag. a 12x12.

If you have a lot of time and a ton of sand paper, you could polish at least 1 edge of that porcelain.

Why can't they make flexible 16x's for shower floors? Just ain't fair.


Bud Cline
07-10-2001, 08:12 PM
A retailer I work for has a 101.

I can't remeber if it's a ten inch or a seven inch. I don't think it will diagonally cut a 12" tile without lifting the (yourside) of the tile over the push fence. Even if it will there will certainly be problems with some cuts clearing the arm with 16" tile, if the tile can be cut upside down without chipping the face then it would work.

The only way short of a tile router and diamond bits to bullnose that porcelain with any accuracy is to use silicone carbide paper on a belt sander. But that won't do it unless a corner relief is cut first, and there-in lies the problem.

07-10-2001, 09:14 PM
Do you realize that not only can you rip longer cuts with a smaller blade, but it will cut straighter? Less blade wobble.

I sold against the "101" for years, and it will cut a 12x diagonally. I sold Felker, and the tile master will cut a 13x diag. The funny part was our sister company Target, TA 10100 would only diag. a 12x .

They never could figure out why we were so succesfull, that is why they ripped the company apart, and one of the reasons I'm in Sunny South Florida.

Long story, I wouldn't want to bore you with all the gorrey(sp?) details.


Bud Cline
07-11-2001, 05:12 PM
Main Entry: gory
Pronunciation: 'gOr-E, 'gor-
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): gor·i·er; -est
Date: 15th century
1 : covered with gore : BLOODSTAINED
2 : BLOODCURDLING, SENSATIONAL <wanted to hear the gory details>
synonym see BLOODY

"Just trying to help Art"!

07-18-2001, 10:30 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I've found I can rip and "bullnose" a 17 1/4" porcelain tile w/ my MK 101 with quite satisfactory results. I've put up cement board, taped and thin-set the joints, and constructed the pan (as per Michael Byrne's protocol). I did not install poly nor a vapor barrier, just cement board on 16" centered syp studs.
Should I now 1) waterproof the cement board, with what???, brands??? 2)waterproof then use normal thin-set to apply the tiles??? 3)use a waterproof mastic or thinset?? types?
brands?? 4)waterproof and also use a waterproof mastic or thinset....Oh, the possibilities boggle the mind!!! And finally, if you can recommend specific products, where to buy in the Houston, Tx. area. Thank you in advance.

John Bridge
07-18-2001, 04:10 PM
Okay, since you didn't use a moisture barrier, I would at least waterproof the bottom couple of feet. Rob or someone else will have to tell you about the waterproofing stuff, because I don't use it.

Because you are using porcelain tiles you'll need a modified thin set to install them with. Home Depot sells Versa Bond (white) at about $15 per sack, which is a fair price. Or you can go to any major tile supplier. Tell me where you are in Houston, and I can point you to a store.

We currently deal with Master Tile, Daltile, American Tile Supply and Ceramic Tile International. There are probably another 20 good size ones in the area.

Don't even consider using mastic in your shower.

Bud Cline
07-18-2001, 04:45 PM

Tileable waterproofing? Laticrete Product #9235, and be sure to use the fabric at all junctures. One coat may not do the trick you'll just have to determine that after the first application.

07-19-2001, 12:48 PM
I use a sharpening stone from a hardware store to smooth the cut edge of a tile(if it's going to be visible)It's a brick-shaped stone with two sides,grey and brown.When I use it wet,the grey side is quite effective to create a slight bevelled edge on the cut,serrated edge of a tile,whether porcelain,granite,ceramic,etc.Guess you wouldn't be able to make a bullnose with it but great for smoothing the edges.

Bud Cline
07-19-2001, 05:21 PM
Sporting Goods stores sell a pocket style knife sharpener that folds up. The sharpening surface measures about 1-1/8" X 6" when open. Diamond. Comes in different grits, $25.

Rob Z
07-19-2001, 07:59 PM

These are the products I have used for waterproofing:

1. laticrete 9235
2. summitville S 9000
3. Noble TS
4. Schluter kerdi

Bonsal 6000 is new at my local tile store. It's selling well, with no complaints (so they tell me. i haven't used it yet).