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Yersmay
09-28-2005, 08:30 PM
First, I've read both of John's books and I've been lurking for nearly two years in preparation for my bath re-model. I learn something new everyday. You guys have a remarkable website... so in advance, thank you!

The basic challenge for me in all this is that I am determined to earn my mud wings. I've had a bit of experience with plaster but I've never actually used a screed to get things plumb. And, of course, mud is a different material. A lot to learn. To make life interesting, I'm incorporating two elliptical arches that will be formed in mud. One is over the shower entrance, another over the bath. The shower arch (doorway) is set at an angle to the walls, a neo sort of thing. The end of the shower arch will be in close proximity to, but not actually adjacent to the beginning of the bath arch. Where those two arches nearly meet at this obtuse angle will be a wet wall that the shower and the bath next to it share. There will be a crease running vertically where these angles meet. I am sufficiently confused about how this obtuse angle intersection will be framed that I decided to make a full scale plan view drawing. In this drawing I am also including the approximate thickness of things, underlayments, plaster, total mud thickness, thinset, tile thickness, etc. My fixation with the thickness of things has more to do with avoiding an untenable layout on these angles... like finding I've ended up with a lousy skinny somewhere.

Ordinarily, I would configure a trammel and lay these arches out on a big sheet of 3/8 plywood. I'd jigsaw these arches out and sandwich blocks of two by fours between sheets and voila... the arch. This plywood sandwich would then fit over the header and cripples and on up to the ceiling. The rest of that wall underneath the arch would be furred out with the same ply. For the sake of clarity -- the inside and outside walls that incorporate these arches would be sheated in ply. My plan is to then wrap this up in felt and diamond mesh, and then begin to mud (I'll leave the quandry of elliptical arch screeds for another time).

Here's my question -- it seems that you guys are quite negative about the use of ply in bathrooms except as an underlayment for the floor. I had hoped to avoid using CBU. Drywall seems rickety. Am I in for problems?

It's probably worth mentioning that the inside of the shower will be tiled, including the ceiling. But the outside shower (and bath) elliptical arches will be mud-capped, with plaster going on up to the ceiling. All plastered areas will have blueboard and diamond mesh as an underlayment.

As you can see, there's a lot to juggle here and in order to begin planning I need a better understanding of a sound way to build those arches. Is 3/8 ply a bad start?

Thanks again.

Best,

Paul

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cx
09-28-2005, 08:48 PM
I'd suggest you use half-inch ply for the arches, Paul, and use the plywood only where necessary to make the arch. The half-inch will allow you to use sheetrock everywhere else without too much difference in thickness. Since you'll be mudding/plastering over all of it anyway, it may/may not make much difference, but that's what I'd use anyway. Also easier to keep it flat while building such form sections in my experience. leaving a bit of ply above the actual arch to allow you to attach to the header is a good plan, but I'd just try to keep the plywood to a minimum for all the reasons you've read about. A little bit of it isn't gonna do you harm, and it's the best method of making the arch. You could make the arches only the thickness of the framing and sheetrock over them, but I don't think I'd bother with the kind of finish you'll be putting over it.

If you're making elliptical arches rather than segmental, you won't need/want to set up the trammel. You'll want to draw it using three screws and a piece of picher-hanging war. If you're not familiar with the method, I bet you can google up a site with good drawings of it. Actually, I may have one stored somewhere, but I'd prolly hafta use google to find it anyway. :D It's simple and effective.

I don't see why a fella would need any special screeds for those arches. If you form them correctly, you should only hafta square them up with the walls. Only gonna be 4 1/2 or 5 inches thick, eh?

Maybe I'm missing something there?

My opinion; worth price charged.

Yersmay
09-28-2005, 10:19 PM
Thank you, CX. I have a much better idea of how to proceed, at least with the plywood part. As far as screeds for the arch... I dunno. I will save mudding those for the very last and hopefully I'll know a lot more by then. Something tells me one day I'll be back asking about this. By the way, I got the idea for a trammel at www.geocities.com/Heartland/8108/ellipse.html. Is a pitcher wire any easier? Thanks again!

Paul

cx
09-28-2005, 10:30 PM
Ah, I see. I was thinking of just a radius-type trammel. I've seen that method described before, but never tried it. Yes, I think the war method is simpler.

At his point A you put a screw or nail, and one at the same point on the opposite side of the center. You put one more at the centerline at the top of your arch. You put a wire (string streatches too much) tightly around all three screws and tie it tight to itsownself. Then you remove the screw at the top of the arch. Put your pencil in the loose loop now made by the wire and draw a line wherever you can make the wire go. You'll find it will only let you draw an ellipse.

More simpler to my pea brain. Plenty accurate for your purpose. After you draw one, do lay it atop another piece of plywood so's you can cut'em both at the same time, eh? Then won't one side be any less wrong than the other. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

Yersmay
10-18-2005, 02:16 PM
Well, I destroyed my old bathroom. I tried attaching a picture but I have to figure out a way to downsize it. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

I'm hoping you can help me figure out the subfloor. Here's what I've got -- 2 x 6's (actually 5 1/2) joists that span the length of the room, 12 feet. The joists are 16 inches on center. There is a girder that is perpendicular to the floor joists. It is a 3 x 4 beam set up on piers and it is six feet from the exterior wall (in other words, it bisects the room).

For now I've left the solid wood planks that are nailed to cleats between the joists. The previous builders set the cleats so that top of the plank is 1 1/4 inches below the top edge of the floor joist. So they had the mud bed running in deep channels and the mud that ran over the top of the joist was much thinner, about 3/4 of an inch. The previous floor was cracked, by the way, but then again, this is Los Angeles.

As I said in a previous post, I'd like to work with mud on this project and part of that is to learn to lay a mud deck floor. But now that the old floor is up, I'm worried about the height of the transition to the hallway outside the bathroom.

Here's my plan, but I don't think it works.

First, I'll rip out the solid wood planking between the joists. And I'll rip out the old cleats.

I'll install new cleats that will support flooring grade 3/4 inch ply set perpendicular to the joists. The ply will be flush with the top edge of the joist.

From everything I've read, I almost certain that I'll need a second layer of ply, again perpendcular to the joists. I'll screw the second layer into the first layer of ply but I'll avoid screwing it into the joists or the cleats. Let's say the second layer of ply is 5/8. That will bring me just about to the top of the subfloor in the hallway, which is 3/4 inch planking.

Now, this has me worried because I was hoping to lay 1 1/4 inches of deck mud and then a nearly 1/4 inch porcelain tile. That brings me to a transition that is nearly 1 1/2 above the finish floor of the hallway! And that's without a threshold, which will only increase the height. I fear that's a hazard.

Is there any way I can configure this and still build a deck mud floor? For example, what if I lowered the cleats to 1 1/2 inches below the top of the floor joist and inset two layers of ply between the joists? And then put deck mud on top of that? Is that a dumb idea? Did the original builders have a good idea about running deep channels of mud? Or is deck mud history and should I start learning more about Ditra?

Thanks,

Paul

Yersmay
10-18-2005, 04:17 PM
Okay! I think I can now post a picture!!! Let's see if this works!!!

Paul

bbcamp
10-19-2005, 06:48 AM
You've got 3/4" from the top of the joists to the top of the subfloor in the adjoining hallway? That's just enough for a mud floor, although the pros like to see 1-1/4". You would set your subfloor like you described, flush with the tops of the joists, add tarpaper and lathe, then your mud.

However, the way your floor was build before will work, although the tops of the joists should have been beveled to help prevent the cracking you described. I'd just add an antifracture membrane, Ditra, on top of the deck mud. This will help in 2 ways. 1) you live in LA, and you'll need all the help you can get, and 2) you can get to the tiling a bit faster

Yersmay
10-19-2005, 08:14 AM
Bbcamp,

Thank you for the response. I'm heartened that I'll be able to do a mud floor after all. One more question, just for clarification sake -- do you feel that lowering the cleats and adding a second layer of ply set between the joists will add stiffness, or is it unnecessary? Thanks again.

Paul

bbcamp
10-19-2005, 08:23 AM
It can't hurt. JB and Davey are real mud men, so if they don't show up by supper time, send them a PM and ask their opinion.

jdkimes
10-19-2005, 09:22 AM
Just curious why you want to use plaster instead of drywall?
I see you're house has plaster but probably because it was built pre-drywall.

Yersmay
10-19-2005, 10:06 AM
Jeff,

Good question because most of my friends (one of whom is an actual builder) think I'm nuts. But my eye sees the difference between a drywall wall and a plaster wall. There's something hand hewn about plaster that I like, even if the undulations and texture are kept to a minimum. I'm not sure it's analagous to say plaster has been overwhelmed by drywall in the way that mud has given way to CBU... but as an amatuer construction enthusiast I like learning and honing skills in methods that still have value or may in some cases be even better than what has superceeded. I'm hardly an experienced plasterer, but my past forays have been really fun. At the risk of sounding a little loopy, there's something terrific about taking a mound of glop and turning it into a wall (hence my interest in mud). I can't say that about my adventures with drywall. This bathroom will be the biggest plastering challenge for me yet, but I think with some careful planning and help (labor) I'll be all right.

Paul

jdkimes
10-19-2005, 11:25 AM
Makes sense, if I had the time (wife, two kids, and day job) I'd probably give the plaster a try some time. As it is, I'm until midnight putting the final top coat of drywall compound on and my wife yelling for me to get to bed (not for the "good" reasons either).
I've lived in 100 yr old houses w/ plaster and there were so many cracks that I wanted to drywall over it. But my wife thought they added "character", I thought they just looked like cracks.

Yersmay
10-28-2005, 01:43 PM
Soon I will be installing new cleats between my floor joists. This will give the future mud bed a little more depth. I plan to glue and screw them into place. Is 'one by' material okay to use for the cleat? Or do I need to use a 2 x 4? Thanks again!

Best,

Paul

cx
10-28-2005, 03:29 PM
One-by is fine, Paul. two-by material is just easier to fasten the subflooring to.

Be sure the plywood is still oriented with the face grain perpendicular to the joists, no matter how tempting to rip the long dimension. :shades:

The Tile Ranger is watching. :D

My opinion; worth price charged.

Yersmay
01-10-2006, 01:36 PM
A quick question concerning my Instaset shower drain. I have installed the ABS p trap in position so it is exactly centered in the shower floor. The floor is now a double layer of 3/4 ply, in a section that can easily be pulled up because it rests on cleats between the studs. I know exactly where to drill the hole in the ply so that it's centered, but I'm a little confused about the diameter it should be. After looking at the picture in the liberry, it seems that the hole for the drain is much larger than simply the outside diameter of the pipe. In fact, it's almost as wide (about six inches in diameter) as the bottom flange of the drain. There are three little feet that don't seem to rest on anything. Perhaps they help in restricting lateral movement? Also, I am aiming to have the mud thickness at the top of the bottom flange to be 1/2 inch. That means the bottom flange will float above the ply by about 1/4. So, if I'm correct -- the ply isn't supporting the drain at all, at least until I stuff some mud under the bottom flange where there will be about 1/2 inch of ply underneath. Gee, I hope this makes sense. At any rate, am I on track? Thanks again!!

Paul

bbcamp
01-10-2006, 01:42 PM
Paul, you can set the lower half of the clamping flange directly on the plywood, so the hole needs to be big enough for the little feet to clear. You can also set the little feet on the plywood, so the hole will need to be smaller, but this allows more mud thickness. Either way will work. Your preslope is not structural, but merely a form for the liner. The setting bed must be 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" thick. It floats over the liner, so it has to be strong.

I hope I haven't added to the confusion.

Yersmay
03-21-2006, 08:16 PM
It's been a while since I posted a picture and I'm not sure I remember how... apologies in advance if it's screwed up. Anyway, there should be a picture of a plywood form that is tacked up to the tub enclosure. It's an elliptical arch. There is a jog at the bottom. I put that there because otherwise the arch simply dies into the wall and for the life of me I can't figure out how I will lath and mud something that tapers to a feather edge. Before I really nail this together with backing and blocks, I thought I'd show this to you guys... the idea would be to have a picture frame mud cap (only there is no official mudcap, just two rows of quarter round with a strip of tile between) follow the line of the arch... then make that 1 3/4 inch horizontal jog, then become vertical again until it hits the wainscote. The walls of the tub enclosure would be tiled all the way, including the ceiling. I kind of like the detail but I'm worried that this may be extremely difficult to mud and tile. Am I in for it? Is there a better way to end that arch into the wall? Thanks for the advice!

Paul

Yersmay
07-03-2006, 06:54 PM
I seem to have a pretty good leak at the drain. I lost 1/4 of water in about six hours. I crawled under the house and saw dripping from where the ABS goes up into the subfloor. I suspect that the leak is from the infamous bead of sealant that is supposed to seal the outside perimeter of the lower flange.

I used Chlorolay. I made the bead on the outside perimeter of the lower flange with Nobelseal 150. The question is -- how do I go about fixing this? Can I just unbolt the top flange, peel up the chlorolay and insert more sealant? Would it be a good idea to cut out a square of chlorolay somewhat bigger than the drain, clean up the old Nobelseal 150 from the lower flange, make sure there are no offending bits of deck mud that are keeping the flanges from pressing against each other, then patch in a new piece? Or, (gulp) do I have to rip out the entire piece of chlorolay and start over?

Also, if water has infiltrated the preslope is that anything to worry about? Will it ever dry out?

Thanks in advance.

Paul

John Bridge
07-04-2006, 07:02 AM
Paul, :)

Unbolt the top of the drain and lift the liner. Dry the lower flange and underside of the liner thoroughly. Prop it up and let it air dry a couple hours to make sure. Then install a new bead of Nobleseal to the lower flange. You can do all this without cutting the liner.

Now, just because the water dribbles out the drain hole in the plywood doesn't mean the leak is necessarily at the drain. You didn't make any cuts in the corners of the pan, did ya? ;)

Yersmay
07-04-2006, 11:02 AM
Thanks for the reply, John. No... I didn't make any cuts except for the drain, bolt holes, and at the door jamb so the liner would overlay the curb. I can't imagine there is a breach other than at the drain which is especially vulnerable. A couple of questions -- I'm using an inexpensive cast iron drain, a two piece drain. There is no clamping ring, just the top piece that bolts directly over the liner. Red flag for any reason? Also... I'm not sure if this is a mistake, but I formed the preslope to be flush with the top surface of the top ring (where the bolts are, not the drain ring two inches up). That means the liner takes a slight jog down from the preslope to the bottom ring. But the surface of liner is in line with the top ring where the weep holes are. Is that okay or is that contributing in some way to this failure?

Thanks again. I'd never get through any of this if it weren't for this forum.

Paul

Davy
07-04-2006, 11:07 AM
Paul, the ideal preslope is flush with the top of the lower flange. That way the liner lays down flat without wrinkles. :)

Yersmay
07-04-2006, 12:53 PM
Okay, I'm going to try to post a picture. I wonder if what I'm seeing spells the end of my pan liner.

In screeding the preslope level with the top flange, the pan liner makes a downward jog... It didn't make wrinkles, but it did make a crease that I can see now that the top flange has been removed. Up close it looks like the pan liner has been stressed and I wonder if this could be the source of the leak. As you guys look at this, I guess the big question is -- do I need to replace the liner AND bash out the preslope to re-screed it level with the lower flange? Ye gads.

Paul

jdm
07-04-2006, 10:59 PM
This may be obvious, but make sure you apply a continuous bead of NobleSeal that goes around the outside of the bolt holes.

Yersmay
07-05-2006, 11:19 AM
Well, even though it sounds like famous last words, I did apply a beat of Nobelseal around the perimeter of the lower flange, behind the bolts. But something leaked... The more I ponder this, the more convinced I am that I need to peel this back and do it all a second time. I think screeding the preslope to the lower flange will help this a lot and put my mind at rest that the liner won't be stretched over the gritty edge of the preslope. In really examing the inexpensive cast iron drain, the upper and lower flanges have some warpage... not much (about 1/32) but I wonder if the two are pressing against one another evenly enough to really squish the bead of Nobelseal? And then again, I may just not have applied enough Nobelseal in the first place. Is a cheap two piece iron drain a risky thing or does this sound more like operator error? I bet I already know the answer. :think:

This is my first real setback so I have decided to be philosphical about it. :bang:


Paul

bbcamp
07-05-2006, 11:40 AM
Aw, heck, Paul! You're just beginning to have setbacks! Don't go beatin' yourself up too bad, there's plenty of time for that. :D


Seriously, this is part of the process: do some work, check your work, then fix your work. You want to be sure of your work before you go on, and this is the way to do it.

OK, back at it!

:D

Yersmay
07-06-2006, 05:07 PM
Okay, I ripped out the chlorolay and destroyed my pre-slope. Back down to plywood. I have suspicions that I bought an inferior (cheap) drain so I think I want to replace it with a better one. A lot of people recommend cast iron drains. Is it a general consensus that cast iron is better than plastic? Why? Also, I have ABS pipes... so I guess if I went with plastic, it would be ABS. This time I will look for a 3 piece clamping configuration, in plastic or iron... depending on your advice.

Someday I will be leak free.

Paul

GraniteGirl
07-06-2006, 06:27 PM
You've gone back down that far - why not start the new shower with Kerdi? :D

Yersmay
07-06-2006, 06:39 PM
I have my heart set on becoming a mudman.

I will prevail.

Paul

Yersmay
07-19-2006, 11:01 AM
A few days ago I completed my second try at the pre-slope. It came out pretty good, except when I vacuumed the loose sand some hollows appeared. I've read on this forum that sometimes people use a thin layer of thinset to lock down the fragile surface of the deck mud. So that's what I did. I tried scooping the runny thinset (white Versabond) from some of the hollows so that the thinset would remain -- thin. But there is a buildup to some degree in the areas you can see in the photo. These areas are dry to the touch. I can tap them with my fingernail and it doesn't make a dent. But the surface of these areas is shiny and glazed. Is this okay? I would like to mix up a bit more thinset, a little thicker this time and continue to fill in the hollows to be sure that I won't have even minor birdbaths. Can I add more thinset to these shiny areas? What you see in the photo is 24 hours old. Should I give it more time to cure? Thanks!

Paul

bbcamp
07-19-2006, 11:48 AM
If the bird baths are less than 1/8", forget about 'em and move on. Don't worry about the shiney or glazed surface, if you need to apply more thinset, it will stick to the shiney surface well enough.

Yersmay
07-26-2006, 07:41 PM
Tomorrow I will install the second chlorolay liner on my re-done pre-slope. A question -- I've read that sometimes people cut out a ring from extra liner and lay that between the clamping rings of the two parts of the drain. This is done for extra thickness so the drain really clamps down better and the pressure is better distributed. First, is this a good idea? Second, if it is a good idea... does this extra ring lay below the liner or above the liner as it sits between the two rings of the drain? Thanks in advance!

Paul

bbcamp
07-27-2006, 05:49 AM
Some folks have done that, but we don't think it is a good idea. Many of the clamping flanges have grooves cut in the underside. The extra thickness makes the liner compressible, and so the grooves get blocked.

However, if you're just itchin' to do it, put the extra ring on the bottom of the liner.

I would rather add a bead of 100% silicone caulk to the lower half of the champing flange, and let it go at that.

Yersmay
07-27-2006, 08:00 AM
Thank you, BBCamp. Do you recommend 100% silicone or the special Noble stuff that came with the Chlorolay?

Paul

Yersmay
07-27-2006, 11:06 AM
Okay, I opened up the box for my second go around with the Chlorolay... and this time they folded it instead of wrapping it around a nice tube. It's very wrinkled. Does this matter? Thanks.

Paul

bbcamp
07-27-2006, 12:13 PM
Wrinkles don't matter, crimps and tears do. Take your liner out and lay it in the sun on an asphalt driveway and then go back inside and enjoy your lunch. When you're finished, the liner should be limp as a, er, well, it'll be good and relaxed. Inspect the liner, then take it indoors to cool. Don't roll it up until it cools or you will have a different problem.

Either the silicon or the Noble-pookie will work for sealing the liner to the clamping flange.

Yersmay
07-28-2006, 01:34 PM
The new liner passed the leak test!! Onward!!!

Just want to thank the forum for helping me through this critical phase.

Paul

John Bridge
07-28-2006, 02:17 PM
Hi Paul, Glad things are going your way. ;)

Yersmay
10-08-2006, 09:27 PM
I have finally reached the point where I can begin mudding!! If my picture downloads, you'll see that I have installed screeds for the top and front vertical surface of a 47 inch high wall that defines the toilet area. The entire wall will be mudded and tiled... but I thought the first thing would be to establish the front and top... then after that has set, I'll do the sides with a scratch coat and then screed sticks... making sure to use soupy thinset to adhere the scratch coat to the edges of the top and front face. I know that's a cold joint but I just can't figure this out any other way. Am I on the right track? Obviously, the vertical surface will be done with fat mud. But what about the top horizontal surface? Should I treat it like a giant shower curb and use fat mud? Or should it be done with deck mud? Thanks!

Paul

Yersmay
10-09-2006, 07:10 PM
Bump.

Paul

Davy
10-09-2006, 07:21 PM
Hi Paul, I like the forms you have set, I do mine about the same way. I don't mess with adding thinset to the edge of the mud, the mud usually doesn't move unless there is a water problem and it's getting to the wood. ;)

Yersmay
10-20-2006, 07:25 PM
Okay. Tomorrow is the big day. I've already got the scratch coat up on the wire mesh for the wainscote. It's been up for about a week now so it's very dry. Before I start applying the brown coat, should I spray the existing scratch coat down with water? If so, how much? Does the suction from dry to wet help the two layers bond? Is it possible to spray too much water? Thanks again. I'm very excited!

Paul

Davy
10-20-2006, 07:53 PM
Sprinkle down the scratch coat, usually once is enough. Sometimes I'll slap the mud (scratch) with a very wet sponge to put a little moisture in it.

Yersmay
10-23-2006, 10:52 AM
My helper and I did about half of the wainscote over the weekend. I'll try to post a picture a little later today. All in all, it came out okay... but not perfect and I'm not sure why. I really took my time setting the sticks. I studied that bubble, making certain it was perfectly centered. Filled in the bays, screeded... but I didn't 'true up the walls' as described in John's book. I chickened out. I thought it would be better to leave well enough alone. And besides, those sticks were SO plumb. Anyway, today I find that I'm about 3/16 out of plumb, and this shows up mostly in one corner, less so in the second corner. The bottom of the wainscote is a little thicker than the top. I'm hoping I can compensate by using a bit more thinset when I actually lay the tile. I still don't really understand how those sticks could have been so plumb and then the next day, the walls aren't reflecting that.

My questions are:

1. Could someone talk more about 'truing up the wall'? It's my understanding this is done after the screed sticks are removed and that depression is filled in. So, it seems like this is freehanding things. How can that possibly work without destroying what you've already got? Could my failure to do this account for the discrepency in plumbness?

2. Could someone talk about the art of tapping the level with the rubber mallet? If the level needs to come in one way or another, do you start tapping at the center of the level and work your way down or up? The reason I ask is I detect a very slight bow and I wonder if tapping at the extreme end of the level to correct for plumbness created this slight bow?

Still, I must say that even with these problems, I'm encouraged. It's a lot of work but I see how this will create an excellent substrate. And while no one has said this would be easy, I can tell you it was really fun. It's a pleasantly insane feeling to wheel a couple of hundred pounds of mud through the house. Thanks again.

Paul

Yersmay
10-23-2006, 12:43 PM
Here's a picture of some of the mud work I did this last weekend.

Paul

Yersmay
10-23-2006, 12:48 PM
Here's another picture.

Yersmay
10-23-2006, 12:55 PM
Here's a picture of the level. Notice that the bubble is not on center and that there is still space between the level and the wall at the top of the wainscote.
Thanks.

Paul

Yersmay
10-24-2006, 12:01 AM
bump.

John Bridge
10-24-2006, 05:38 PM
Hi Paul, :)

Not bad at all for the first-timer. :)

By the time you block off the mortar, it's pretty much set. What you are doing is knocking off the high spots and truing it up. If your float is out of plumb, It will remain that way. ;)

You might have pushed really hard against the float strips and knocked one out of plumb. Who knows? Yes, you can probably fix it up with a little extra thin set. :)

Yersmay
10-30-2006, 02:01 PM
Things went much better for the second mudding session. Except for a very small section at the top and end of the wainscote, everything actually seems very plumb! The part that's off is off by about 1/8, and it's only for about six lineal inches. And, I followed John's instructions about 'truing up' the surface at the very end and I'm very glad I tried it! He's right -- it won't make things any more or less plumb, but it actually does help nudge it toward real flatness. So, having a slight bow or a concave surface will hopefully be a thing of the past. Next up, I have to tackle the bath surround and the overhead arch. I'll keep you posted. Again, thanks for the moral support and the sheer generosity in the way you all share your knowledge.

Paul

Yersmay
10-30-2006, 02:09 PM
Here's a look at the finished mud.

Paul

Yersmay
10-30-2006, 02:11 PM
Another angle of the new mud.

Paul

Yersmay
10-30-2006, 02:19 PM
Here's the level...

Paul

Yersmay
11-07-2006, 06:35 PM
I've moved on to the bath surround. First thing, I set up screeds for the elliptical arch. Then I scratched the three sides of the bath surround. I also scratched the ceiling of the bath surround, which was more or less a comedy. I nailed up some ribbed lath for the ceiling and for some reason the mud really wanted to fall out. I finally discovered that if I went a little at a time and really pressed while I made a crescent shaped pass, the mud would stick in the cells, sort of. I kept at it until it was done, but I'm glad this wasn't actually witnessed by anyone. Later, I will set up screeds for the exterior face of the arch and the front facing walls. I'm using a soupy thinset to glue the subsequent scratch coat to the existing edges. Here are some pics.

Paul

Yersmay
11-07-2006, 06:37 PM
Another pic.

Paul

Yersmay
11-07-2006, 06:38 PM
Another pic.

Paul

Yersmay
11-07-2006, 06:39 PM
One more pic.

Paul

Davy
11-07-2006, 08:57 PM
Nice looking mudwork, that header looks like fun. :tup2:

Yersmay
11-08-2006, 06:15 PM
I noticed something today and I wonder if something might be wrong. I'm getting a hairline crack, vertically, that follows one side of the space where the screed stick was. I smooshed mud in that space when the wall had pretty much set up. I didn't press too hard, though, because I was afraid I'm deform things. Maybe I didn't smoosh hard enough? Is the hairline crack a cause for concern? Can someone explain the proper technique for filling that void? Thanks!

Paul

tilelayer
11-08-2006, 07:58 PM
it might be where a sheet of wire meets another sheet, when i fill float strips i push the mud in with my margin trowel then clean it off with a wooden block and it cuts the mud really nicely.

Davy
11-08-2006, 08:09 PM
I wouldn't worry about the crack, tile away. :)

Yersmay
11-09-2006, 11:54 PM
One last question before floating the walls of the bath surround. Someone who is familiar with mud techniques suggested something and I thought I'd run it by you guys. He says that after mixing the wall mud in the wheelbarrow, finish it off by using a paddle and drill. He said to whip it up and introduce air into it. This would supposedly make the mud more 'workable'. To me, this sounds like a good idea, or at least something to try... but I'm a newbie at this. How does this sound to you? Thanks again for all your info.

Paul

Yersmay
11-10-2006, 07:40 PM
Bump... anyone? Thanks.

Paul

Davy
11-10-2006, 09:10 PM
Paul, I've never done that or heard of doing it. Good mud doesn't need it. :)

Yersmay
11-13-2006, 04:29 PM
Last weekend a helper and I mudded the tub surround. We started at dawn and finished around 10:30 that night. Aside from a minor spiritual crisis when the sun went down, it was a lot of fun albeit physically grueling.

The result is pretty good but not without problems, which I hope you guys will comment on. I can now get things pretty flat and plumb (well, for most of it) ... but now lets discuss square. I seem to have ended up with a bit of a parallelogram.

Here's my process that didn't quite work:

I used a framing square to try to get the corners square... but since the framing square didn't span to the distant stick on either side wall, I measured from the two inner sticks along the length of the tub... then matched that along the length of the tub with the distance between the two outer most sticks. So, in theory (wrong) I assumed this would assure that the two side walls would be square to the back wall. But the parallelogram God got me. At worst, it's out by about 1/2 inch at the outer reach of either side wall... I'm worried about the intersection of the ceiling/walls since that's where it will be most evident. I'm already wondering about how one goes about building up thinset to try to compensate for something like this. Is that even possible?

My plan for squareness in the next phase -- the shower -- now has an added element. I will build plywood squares that will span the width of perpendicular walls. I'm hoping this method will idiot proof this problem. Am I on a good track with this idea? Any comments you guys might have about how you go about making sure walls are square to one another would be greatly appreciated.

I'll try to download the pics... Thanks again.

Paul

Yersmay
11-13-2006, 04:31 PM
Here's another pic

Paul

Yersmay
11-13-2006, 04:33 PM
Another pic

Paul

Yersmay
11-13-2006, 04:34 PM
Yet another pic.

Paul

Yersmay
11-30-2006, 08:18 AM
I put the scratch coat up in the shower. This weekend my helper and I will float the ceiling and the walls. It will be a big day... and since the tub enclosure nearly killed us, I'm worried because this is even bigger.

I built big plywood squares that span the width of the walls... this way I'm hoping to avoid out of squareness problems I ran into with the tub enclosure. But I have a question that I could use some help with ... When I apply the strip of mud for the screed stick, it seems that the scratch coat sucks the water out of it pretty quickly. I found that I really didn't have that much time to set the stick before it wouldn't move inward against hardening mud. Maybe a few minutes. I sprayed water on the scratch coat to slow this down, but it still didn't leave me much time. Now with the shower -- and even taller walls -- I'm wondering if there might be some way, or method, in getting that strip of mud up there and the stick set plumb in the quickest way possible. Is this just a matter of experience, or do you guys have some technique that might be of help here? For instance, should the mud for the screed stick be mixed a bit wetter in anticipation of this? Thanks!

Paul

Davy
11-30-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi Paul, I hold a staright edge against the sticks on one wall and then hold the framing square against the edge and also against the side wall. Hope the picher helps.

I use the same mud for the sticks as the rest of the walls. I do give the mud behind the sticks time to set before pushing on them with a straight edge. Most of the time I'll set all my sticks at once, then apply a coat of mud between the sticks on each wall. Then go back and apply more mud. The mud is usually set enough by this time behind the sticks to start rodding off the extra mud. :)

Yersmay
11-30-2006, 07:44 PM
Hi Davy,

Thank you for your reply... As I look at the picture you posted, I realize there is a difference in our situations -- you seem to be mudding the whole thing at once, scratch, brown... the whole thing over bare wire. I did it differently. Since there is no underlayment of drywall in my installation, I applied a scratch coat over the bare wire which is now hardening. I had to do this in order to stiffen the wire. By the time I apply the brown coat that scratch coat will be thirsty. So when I mud for the screed strips, I don't have enough time to really futz with getting them plumb because the mud is sucked dry and hard so fast. As I said, I spray the scratch coat down with water to try to slow this, but it's a real race to get that strip plumb before it's so set up the wood strip just won't move. A number of times, I haven't won that race and I've had to strip off the mud for the stick and start over again. So, I'm looking for ideas or tips in how to get that strip of mud up there quickly and if there's anything I can do with the mud itself to slow it down. Thanks.

Paul

Davy
11-30-2006, 07:53 PM
Okay, I see what you're doing. Wet the scratch coat several times since it's setting the mud too fast. Use a water hose or spray bottle. You may hafta mop up the water on the shower floor. :)

Yersmay
12-17-2006, 12:47 AM
Well, my helper and I managed to float the walls and ceiling of the shower. It took us from 7 in the morning to 1 o'clock in the morning -- 18 hours! And it rained! But misery passes and mud endures... and all in all, I hope it's a decent job.

Learning from my parallelogram experience in the tub surround, I constructed rather sizeable plywood squares that would span the width of the shower walls. This idiot proofed my ability to keep corners square. And because the square was one solid piece, I was able to use it to shove the stick into place while I was checking for squareness. I recommend this for mud newbies, such as myself. Later, I will post a picture of one of the squares so you can see what it is.

The curb will probably need another layer because I'm not sure it will end up high enough. Besides, it didn't come out so level width-wise anyway. It was the last thing we mudded and we were pretty much zombies by then.

Here are some pics.

Paul

Yersmay
12-17-2006, 12:49 AM
Here is another picture of the mud we floated in the shower.

Paul

Yersmay
12-17-2006, 01:08 AM
I've posted a picture of one of the big plywood squares I used to keep corners at 90 degrees. First, on rosin paper I drew the lines at 90 degrees. I used the Pythagorean Theorum to make sure it was accurate. Then I lined up the plywood slats and glued and nailed the gussets.

One more thing that's worth discussing before moving on... Earlier I posted that in doing the tub surround I had some difficulty setting the mud sticks on the dry scratch coat. The scratch coat sucked the water out of the strip of mud so quickly that I had virtually no time to make it plumb. Davy answered that I just had to spray more water on the scratch coat to mitigate this... My Hudson sprayer didn't seem to be doing the trick, so the night before the float I dragged the garden hose through the house and really sprayed the bejesus out of it. The scratch coat retained much of this water for the float... and I used the Hudson sprayer for extra water under the screed stick mud. This gave me much more time to set the stick. Thanks, Davy!

Paul

John K
12-17-2006, 06:51 AM
Paul,

Awesome job! :tup2:

Davy
12-17-2006, 10:58 AM
Paul, you're doing a great job on the mud work. Way to go. :tup2:

You can use boards to start tiling on or make a mud screed like I do. The mud screed will give you a solid, level starting point for your tile walls and also will stick out from the tiles enough to rod off of when mudding the shower floor. Apply some mud (dry pack works fine) along the walls about 2 inches high and tap your level down to the right height then cut away any excess mud with the level still in place. :)

Yersmay
12-17-2006, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the encouragement!! Much appreciated!

Now on to the next phase -- I will be defining the arches on the front wall of both the tub surround and shower. As you can see in the pics, I've installed some 5/8 plywood as screeds. I picked 5/8 because that seems to be the right thickness for the quarter round to fit over... The screeds are installed over the plaster walls that I installed -- The base coat is gypsum plaster mixed with sand. The finish coat is a lime putty with gauging plaster.

The mud arches will overlay the plaster...

Here are a few questions --

1. Should I take a diamond wheel and grind away at most of the plaster that will be beneath the mud? This will expose the wire under the plaster and maybe this would make the mud happier than overlaying the thickness of the plaster? Or should I leave well enough alone?

2. Will mud adhere to the plaster? Or maybe a better question is -- Do I want the mud to adhere to the plaster? Do these two materials have different expansion rates, and if so, will that cause cracking if they adhere to one another? Should I keep them from adhering to one another, and if so, how?

3. If you think they should adhere to one another, do I use a bonding agent? If so, what bonding agent? Thinset? Plaster Weld?

Thanks again!!

Paul

Yersmay
12-17-2006, 02:51 PM
Here is a close up of the mud/plaster junction.

Paul

Yersmay
12-19-2006, 12:29 AM
Gee, I don't mean to be a pest but I'm very curious to know more about the plaster/mud union... if anyone has any ideas I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks!

Paul

Davy
12-19-2006, 07:17 PM
Hi Paul, you can use thinset as a bonder to get it to grab the plaster. I would want it to stick to it.

It's hard to tell how thick your plaster is, probably 1/2 inch or more. With the added 5/8, you're gonna have a thick layer to hang up there. You can try to get to hang up there but if it keeps falling you could do it in two layers by adding a narrow scratch coat on the edge of the mud and wire. Rough it up and let it set overnight. :)

Yersmay
12-19-2006, 08:08 PM
Thanks for the reply, Davy. Yes, I had planned to use thinset anyway to bond the new mud to the old mud edge you see in the pic. So I'll just smear more on the plaster itself. Interesting note -- during the plastering phase of this project I was fortunate to have a fourth generation plasterer mentor me through it over the internet. I asked him about this union of mud to plaster and he said that plaster will stick well to cement, but for some reason cement does not stick well to plaster. He doesn't know why this is. So, we'll help it along with some thinset.

And, yes... I had planned on at least two or three layers of building up the thickness for all this... I read in John's book that it's possible to build quite a thickness, but it must be done in layers, letting each layer harden before moving on.

I'll keep you posted and up to date with pics as I make progress.

Thanks.

Paul

Yersmay
01-11-2007, 12:35 PM
This seems to be a very sweet little saw! I have a couple of questions/observations.

Am I correct in saying the way to align the tray to the blade is to loosen the set screw and hex bolt at the end of the left rail (as you face the saw)... and that by moving the round rail laterally this will align the tray to the blade? I ask because I tried this and it seemed to make no difference... I ask for my own edifaction because as it turns out, I think it's a non-problem anyway. But I'd like to know for the future.

More on this -- If I guide the tile -- just a glazed wall tile, not porcelain -- through the cut and hold it down on the left side of the blade (as I face the saw), that piece will be out of square by about 1/32 over the length of 4 inches. That's not so good. However, if I hold the tile down to the right side of the saw and that's the piece I want to keep, that side cuts dead on square! I'll certainly settle for that but if anyone has any thoughts on just what's going on here, I'd appreciate it.

I'm off to buy tile today (gulp)! Oh, yes! I annointed the new TM-75 with my own blood -- didn't know tile shards are that sharp! Heads up to other newbies.

Best,

Paul

Yersmay
01-18-2007, 05:19 PM
I finally finished the last of the wall mud. I will post some pics. Thanks again to the forum!

Paul

Davy
01-18-2007, 08:00 PM
Nice looking mud work, not easy to do something like that. :clap1:

I like to rub the mud with a rubstone, knocks off all the high spots. :)

Yersmay
01-18-2007, 09:42 PM
Hi Davy,

There are two steps that I've tried to do at the end of the mudding process... one is John Bridge's technique of using a long straight edge to skim the surface to 'true' it up. I use it vertically, then horizontally. And then the last thing I do is take a resin float and rub it down all over, maybe even splash a little water on it so the works up a nice surface. But this has been my problem -- I'm so slow at all this that by the time I take the straight edge, the mud has already gotten really hard so I don't know how much 'truing' I'm actually getting accomplished. And the resin float would probably be more effective if I got to it sooner, also. Is the rubstone you use the same kind of rubstone you use to smooth the edge of a tile? Anyway, thanks for the responses and the encouragement!

Paul

Yersmay
02-13-2007, 03:39 PM
I'm tiling now... and I've discovered an error that I hope you guys can help me with. Through inexperience and probably a good measure of stupidity, I now realize that the height of my shower curb is about 1/2 inch too high. It's too high because now the horizontal grout line that runs across the outside of the curb will not line up with the grout line of the adjacent field tile. Either I've got a horrible 'skinny' to make up the difference or I have to forget about lining up that horizontal grout line. Is there a way to grind down the top of the curb about 3/4 of an inch? I could then zero in on that grout line by building up to the proper amount. I have the thickness that will allow me to take off 3/4 of an inch without digging into the wire beneath -- I bet I've got about 1/2 inch to go before the wire. But how does one go about this? Is there a tool that will make this miserable job more bearable? Thanks!

Paul

Yersmay
02-14-2007, 07:27 AM
Bump. Don't mean to be a pest. Thanks.

Paul

Davy
02-14-2007, 07:47 PM
I don't know of a way to thin down the step except to tear it out and mud it again. I'm not sure if it's worth doing that. Can you post a picher of the problem, maybe stand a tile up so we can see? :)

Yersmay
02-15-2007, 01:52 AM
Hi Davy,

Here is a picture of the problem. I've taped a field tile up where the grid says it will land and above it is a quarter round. The grid rules at this point because it follows into the tub surround...

So as you can see, I've got about an inch of space to fill.
I'm using a 3/16 grout line. So I'll have a skinny of about 5/8 to fill in. If I grind down to eliminate the skinny, I'll subtract only one grout line from the inch, which means I'll have to grind down 13/16 or so... Believe it or not, I think I've got the thickness on that top surface that will allow me to do that, if it's possible to accomplish in the first place. The other way to go is to disregard having a continuous horizontal grout line and simply divide the space under the quarter round in two and use two rows of tile... but that doesn't seem so good, either. If grinding or busting out the curb is possible, I don't mind the work but I'm worried I'll make matters worse structurally, like puncturing the chlorolay or some other consequence I can only imagine. What would you do in this case? Thanks again.

Paul

John K
02-15-2007, 05:26 AM
Paul,

Maybe you can take a rotozip and set the correct height and cut stripes across and then knock them out with a chisel. Little dust, but I bet it would work. :idea:

John K
03-09-2007, 06:54 AM
Paul,

How's the tiling going? ;)

Yersmay
03-09-2007, 07:37 AM
John K,

Thank you for asking! I am tiling... it's very slow. The tiles are hand crafted, which means each one has to be placed just so to accomodate for a lack of squareness or sameness from tile to tile. I'm using spacers and tiny wedges. I've done the field tiles for most of the wainscoting and about two thirds of the tub surround. Today if my neighbor is available to help, I'm snapping lines for the diagonal pattern on the tub surround ceiling. It will have a border of bricklaid tiles... just figuring it, plus erasing two previous attempts took more time than I can say without thoroughly humiliating myself. How you guys do this with blazing speed is nothing short of miraculous. I will post some pics to bring things up to date for the thread.

Paul

Yersmay
03-24-2007, 02:26 PM
I'm gearing up to tile this arch. It will have a quarter round on the top and bottom with a flat tile spanning the distance between. I'm not sure about any of this. For instance, is it desirable to have the grout lines be in line with one another from the top quarter round down through the flat spanning tile, through the quarter round on the bottom of the arch, then the big spanning tile(s) on the underside of the arch, and finally the quarter round on the bottom inside edge of the arch? Is that would a pro would do?

Also, either the tiles have to be cut in a pie shape,,, or the grout must be a pie shape. Would a pro try to keep the grout a straight line and the tile would be pie shaped? If so, how do you determine the angle for that pie shaped tile? Obviously, that angle would change as the arch changes radius. Ye gads.

More... do you begin tiling from the top/center and work your way down, keeping the tiles equal to each other on either side (even as tile size changes, what I mean is each one would have a corresponding tile on the other side of the arch). Or... do I begin on the bottom and work my way toward the top center? Should the top center be a grout line, or would it be nicer to have a tile span the center?

Help.

Paul

Yersmay
03-25-2007, 07:02 PM
bump...

Thanks.

Paul

Yersmay
03-28-2007, 09:16 PM
Geez, it's lonely out here.

Anyway, I hope someone can steer me in the right direction about tiling this arch. If my post is hard to understand, just let me know and I'll try to make my confusion clearer (????).

Thanks again.

Best,

Paul

John K
04-01-2007, 05:39 AM
bump :wave:

Yersmay
06-07-2007, 11:11 AM
I'm finally geting back to tile work on my bathroom. Life has a way of intervening. Anyway, this is a tile design I want to install over the tub. The picture you see is the design as it lays flat on the living room floor. First question -- Does this past muster? If you look closely, things are not altogether symetrical and I'd like to hear from people who've developed an eye for this. Should I keep futzing with this and if so, how can it be improved? Next question -- once it's ready to install, can anyone suggest the most idiot proof method for getting this up on the wall? It must be replicated exactly or things go way out of whack down the line. Templates? Story stick? Help! Thanks in advance!


Paul

river-wear
06-07-2007, 04:56 PM
Hi Paul,

Your design is almost symmetrical. It looks nice, but I suggest you move the middle field tile over a smidgen (see bottom row) to have the point of the center tile line up with the point of the border tile below. Then I think the center of the tile in the top row will line up with the center of the ... hmm, just opened another window to refer back to your picture. That would push the top off. Maybe better to center the point of the border with the tile in the top row of the middle field tile. That is probably the most eye-catching.

Honestly, if you hadn't mentioned it being off I probably would've had to really look for awhile to notice. Maybe the pros on here will see it quickly. :shrug: But I am a DIY-designer-picky-woman, so I have some "opinion" credentials. ;)

Yersmay
06-08-2007, 07:06 PM
bump....

Paul

Yersmay
06-13-2007, 03:42 PM
I re-configured how the 2 X 2's go around the corners... I think it's better than the last picture I posted. If anyone feels like answering, I'm curious to know if there are ways to improve... Also, take a look at the dutchman little pieces I used around the outer border. Is that the best way to deal with the left over space? Are the two dutchmen on the sides placed in the correct spot?

Thanks!

Paul

river-wear
06-13-2007, 04:52 PM
I think it looks much better. :yeah: I hadn't noticed the itty-bitty pieces in the corners before. You've adjusted them to end up with larger pieces, which looks good.

Let's see if any of the pros want to chime in. They have a really good eye for this sort of thing.

Oh yeah, down by the bottom, could you cut the corner pieces like an "L" so you don't end up with the extra grout line? That would be even better.

Yersmay
06-14-2007, 11:11 AM
First, thank you, Michele for you suggestions. I think this thing is shaping up! Take a look at the bottom two corners... I cut the 'L' shapes like you said and it looks better, I believe. One last question. For some reason I want to keep the border half rounds as full pieces. But they won't quite span the distance, so I put in these little 'dutchman' pieces to fill the left over space. A friend (a builder who has had some experience in this sort of thing) tells me my method for filling those spaces is lousy... He'd rather I cut up the full pieces and get them to fit that way or cut the dutchman in half and place one at either end of the distance. I dunno... Thoughts?

Paul

river-wear
06-14-2007, 03:00 PM
Hi Paul, I was wondering what "dutchman" referred to. I saw the little pieces on top & bottom and didn't think it looked too bad. It's hard to tell with the resolution, but I guess there's one on each side too? It might be better to stick with the "no skinnies" rule of thumb and make sure every piece is more than a 1/2 tile for the border. The difference in size might not even be noticeable then.

Yersmay
06-17-2007, 05:49 PM
I managed to install the mosiac (is that what this is called?) I used templates for the outer curves and story sticks to keep strategic spots aligned. It's not quite as good as it as when it was on the floor, but it's kind of a miracle it came out at all! I hope the pics come out.

Paul

river-wear
06-17-2007, 11:20 PM
It's a little hard to see, but it looks good Paul! :)
I envy you, getting tiles up today! Seems my project will never get back on track!

Yersmay
06-18-2007, 08:17 AM
I thought I'd post some more pics just to update... This is the arch above the tub enclosure.

Paul