Need help - she called audible!! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-03-2007, 11:54 AM
So after moving drain and installing new shower head to fit 48 x 44 - she decides - let's change things a bit. I'm planning on using Kerdi preform. With new measurements - one side of Kerdi pan will be one inch short of the new wall she wants moved. Can I do anything to fill in that one inch with mud to allow for new dimensions and keep my drain and shower head to be hitting center of pan? Thanks for any info you can offer here.

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Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2007, 12:12 PM
If you can center the tray in the new "footprint", you could fill-in the 1/2" on both ends with mud and use the tray as your guide to screed-off the excess mud. It raise the height of the tray on the 2 end walls, but only a tiny amount.

I see you are in Chicago, so am wondering if you have a basement below this shower that would make moving the drain pretty easy. :)

03-03-2007, 12:50 PM
Hi Bubba -So where in Beerland are you? This is second floor master bath - but I do have easy access as I removed a tray basin, cut into the floor joist to joist to move drain to be centered in my new dimensions, and put in cleats to nail down wood I took out. I have not adhered the replacement wood over the cleats so I still have access to the new drain. The problem is - I also moved/replaced shower fixture and head that are centered over the new drain. I still might go the mud route - I met a guy at Menards the other night - he said he just uses some sort of Quickrete that he just adds water and voila - he has his mud. Sure makes that a bit more attractive than having to mix my own. I did buy the sand and Quickrete mixture to make own mud if I want to -just a bit concerned I won't get it right, see too many horror stories that folks can't get the right consistency you need - so I also have the whole Kerdi system. As I'm putting in new wall to fit here, I can just steal an inch or two back and make this a bit more simple than I'm making it, and maybe chop two inches from one end of the tray. I realize it can throw off my tile alignment - I'll just have to make sure my first row of tiles are straight on all four walls. Any ideas/suggestions sure appreciated.

Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2007, 01:45 PM
Mark, I'm inna suburb south of beer central Milwaukee.

I'd just mix up a batch with the materials you have. You are only filling in a 1/2" space, so you can feel more comfortable knowing it isn't critical.

To help with the alignment of the tiles, fasten a straight ledger board to the wall exactly at the height you desire your 2nd row (from the floor) to start. That will allow you to start working with a full tile. It also allows you to stack tiles on top of them without tiles drooping. Use spacers or TileSpikes ( to keep your groutlines even. Then after you are done with the walls (and maybe the floor as well), you can go back to insert that last bottom row, cutting the pieces to fit.

Another good tip is to use a good level. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it has to read true to help install a grid of tiles plumb and level. Do you know how to check a level to make sure it's reading true? :)

03-03-2007, 02:27 PM
Thanks, I like that idea of filling in the one inch gap like that if I go with the Kerdi tray. I do have a few good levels - not sure exactly how to measure if true. Thanks for your advice on settting the tiles - I have the Kerdi Dilex EKE product to use for both the walls and floors - that's why I think it's key to have the corners aligned properly and might try the mud. I just tried to mix a small sample of the two products I have, and it seemed to work pretty good. I'm letting it dry now to see how it turns out. Not sure if true test like this but I think I can make the mud work using the mud calculator. Thanks again.

03-03-2007, 05:27 PM
If i move out the recessed bench one freaking inch - can I just trim 3 out of the 4 sides of the Kerdi tray evenly to allow me to now match my drain/fixtures? The one part of the tray that won't be trimmed is a small half wall that is only 20 inches - I can make sure tile is aligned.

Dave Taylor
03-03-2007, 06:22 PM
Do you know how to check a level to make sure it's reading true?
Jest' how is it that I know when my level is on the level? :suspect:

03-03-2007, 06:29 PM
It's elementary, my dear watson...set it on something, adjust it for level, then swap ends. If it still reads level, it's good. Properly adjusted, it should not matter which end is which.

Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2007, 07:22 PM

I don't know why you are asking if you can trim the tray. You can trim the tray, the only negative is removing too much from one side and the height of the tray being uneven around its perimeter.

Testing Levels:
Yes, Jim has it right. I can't emphasize enough how exactly you need to reposition the level after rotating it end for end because of wavy floors or particles of dirt that may affect 1/2 the test...making results inaccurate. I use the following tip to eliminate that chance:Tip for buy a level in the store that you can bank on reading true: I'll lay another equal length level on the floor, and carefully stack the level being tested directly on top of it. Make sure there's no dirt between the levels. I'll shim under the bottom level so the bubble in the top level being tested is dead centered. Then without touching the bottom level, flip the top level end-for-end and see if it's dead center again. Chances are, you'll have to test several levels to find a precisely true one.

If you aren't confident your eye is judging the bubble to be in the dead center, alter the test. Shim the bottom level again, but this time so that the bubble in the top level being tested is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust barely touching one of the painted bubble lines. Then flip end-for-end and see if the bubble is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust barely touching the line again.

You can test the "plumb" bubbles of the level using the store's vertical structural posts.My expensive levels read true, but there's always a need for a cheap level that I know will be that's how I buy a cheap level that reads true. :nod:

03-03-2007, 08:02 PM
I'm just going to go with the mud floor myself - that will solve everything. Thanks for all your input.

Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2007, 08:06 PM
Outstanding. :tup2:

You need any help, and there will be plenty of folks to help answer questions. :)