Bathroom remodel continued [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-06-2007, 12:31 PM
I couldn't find the post I made about a month ago :shake: Maybe I'm going senile? :sick:

Anyway, here is an update. We had the plumber disconnect the water, take out the drain from tub but of course, WE have to remove that sucker. Can't wait. We've started cutting the drywall and removing large pieces with tiles on it. Saves smashing those and making a huge mess. But why in heaven's name did they put up two sets of drywall? As we cut into the first layer with tiles, we found another layer behind. Was this to avoid using cement board? No wonder it smells musty in there.

Once all of that is out and we're down to studs, we'll examine everything to see if there is any mold, rusty nails, rotting boards etc.

Wish me (us) luck. I also want to get a prefab niche, see link. What do you all think of these? At least they'll be sealed.

Sponsored Links

03-06-2007, 05:18 PM
If you click on your user name a menu will appear and you can search for all your posts...

was it this one?

03-07-2007, 08:27 AM
I had used the search feature yesterday and gave up because there were more 2004 posts than anything else.

Thanks, I found that link but this is a different room so I might keep my bathroom separate from the kitchen?

03-08-2007, 02:28 PM
How much would I need for a 7 1/2' x 7 1/2' bathroom? Shower surround is standard size tub. Tiles will go to the ceiling but not on ceiling. Shower area is probably 8' high. We would need this on the floor as well before tiling, right?

Checked the price online and it's kind of high. What is an alternative to Kerdi but does the same job?

03-08-2007, 02:52 PM
You don't need to kerdi the whole bathroom - only the shower - and only up to the shower head - not to the full 8ft. The tile can go directly on the substrate above that.

Yes, you need to kerdi the floor as well. In fact, you'll need a kerdi drain too, because the mat works in conjunction w that.

John Bridge
03-08-2007, 05:11 PM
Hi Eli, :)

Are you saying it's a tub/shower? if so you'll only need about sixty square feet of Kerdi. If you want to waterproof the bathroom floor, use Ditra with strips of Kerdi-band connecting the pieces. :)

03-08-2007, 05:18 PM
kerdi on floor in shower, rest of room floor gets ditra. And yes there are alternatives, slightly cheaper up front, but much more expensive in the long run.

03-08-2007, 05:19 PM
you clicked post first john..kudos

03-08-2007, 10:00 PM
Well, I'm kind of confused by Kerdi and Ditra. Kerdi is the vapor barrier, right? Why do these people keep telling me how good tar paper is then? Another said that he always uses cement board and never had a call back or moisture problem, so he couldn't understand my fascination with Kerdi :shake:

This is a tub. I was too chicken to put in a shower without a tub (resale and all that), so at least we don't have to deal with that aspect. Ditra (from my basic understanding) is an underlayment that is *supposed* to help if your floor is uneven and perhaps even stop tiles from cracking, true? false? I was wanting to use something like this for the entry way (it definitely isn't level) and shows some major cracks on old tiles, and also in the kitchen.

But the bathroom flooring is wood so do I still need Ditra? John, why wouldn't you use all kerdi on the bathroom floor i.e. where we walk, use vanity and toilet? How the heck do I stop the creaking boards anyway? Screws? Nails? It's plywood on top of some joists so I guess we have to rip that out and inspect the joists? This is the part we do and we're clueless as you can see.

03-09-2007, 02:26 AM
Kerdi is the vapor barrier, right? Why do these people keep telling me how good tar paper is then? Lady, you got a whole lotta questions here, but I'll tackle this.

Apples and oranges. yes, Kerdi is a vapor barrier. that's where the similarity stops. Kerdi is also a waterproof membrane suitable for building a shower. Tar paper is not. Put Kerdi over drywall, tile, and call it done. Tar paper is used in a different kind of shower.

I'm gonna let the floor guys tackle the floor. Sounds like we got some work to do before we worry too much about Ditra. ;)

03-09-2007, 05:19 PM
I've combined your bath project threads here in the Advice forum, Lady. If you bookmark this thread you'll always be able to find it again and use it for all your project questions so people can keep up with the history. :)

03-09-2007, 08:36 PM
Sandbagger, thanks for the explanation. Creaking floor boards will be addressed this weekend. Can't wait :yeah:

We tore out most of the tiles and found two sets of drywall. Amazingly enough there was no moisture damage. I was expecting mold and mildew to be honest. They did not even use cement board.

Dave Taylor
03-09-2007, 09:03 PM
Glad yer' back and I suspect you got's DH whipped into "shower fix" overdrive.
That true?
Sounds like yer' makin' remodel headway and that's a good thing.

Can you take some pics of work progress along the way to post fer us?
Inquiring minds want's to know :---)

03-11-2007, 01:37 PM
Hi Dave, anything for you darling :D

We removed the tub and found a styrofoam base. Is that normal?

I can't believe how well this shower/bathroom functioned all these years without Kerdi/Ditra/Cement board bla bla bla :shake: No leaks, only a little water damage to the sheetrock right where the tub was sealed. Call us lucky :yipee:

Any thoughts? We *might* try putting this bathroom back together ourselves. I say *might* because we actually had some fun tearing it out.

03-12-2007, 08:23 AM
Sorry, I might have posted a confusing response. Forgot you were doing a tub. In that case, you don't need the Kerdi drain. You'd just kerdi the walls of the tub surround down to the tub flange. Wait till you think about caulking or grouting the tub/wall intersection. Now THERE's a debate...

03-12-2007, 06:10 PM
The tub was installed today with some mortar. I sure hope everything goes well. That was easy because I was just looking on at my husband and the plumber slaving away :dance:

Now for the fun stuff. Can I find Kerdi at HD or Lowes? I did take a look online but who wants to buy a whole roll for one small bathroom?

You have to fill me in on this debate :D

03-12-2007, 08:36 PM
I heard that you can buy it from HD (some places'll have to special order). You can also buy online by the lin ft.

10-04-2007, 05:44 PM

I was told today that the tile I picked out (not ordered, but have sample), is for flooring and that since we wanted to use it for the tub surround there would be a problem. The hardi-backer is already installed and is not flush with the remaining drywall. As a result, the tile guy is saying that we will have a problem working with my present tile since there is no bullnose made for it. He said that he could have something made for the edges but I'd end up with at least a 1/2 grout line. I'm confused.

Huh? That's two huhs :crap: The tile in question is from Emser and called Kromatica in case someone has used it before. Geez. Help. Advise. Please.

Brian in San Diego
10-04-2007, 06:00 PM

Have you checked out the profiles ( available from Schluter Systems? They have profiles for all kinds of situations. Perhaps one will suit your needs.


10-04-2007, 06:35 PM
Eli, that tile is unglazed porcelain so it will be feasible to have bullnose made up from it. It might be another $250 + but then again, bullnose is never cheap. Ask tile person what the charge per lineal foot of bullnose will be. Also ask for an explanation of the 1/2" grout line. I don't get that part. :)

10-04-2007, 07:13 PM
hey LG. go with mikes thought. or why cant the tile BOy use a bullnose blade and do something neat. or what about pencil rail or something that

10-04-2007, 07:41 PM
Almost any tile can be used on a wall, but wall tile should not be used on a floor. Is there a vapor barrier behind the cbu on the wall? If not, it's not too late to put up a surface barrier - RedGard paints on, or a sheet membrane from Schluter or Noble would work.

10-04-2007, 08:55 PM
The hardi-backer is already installed and is not flush with the remaining drywall. and this means.... ?? :scratch:

I'm assuming the Hardy is slightly below the drywall surface, but we really need more specifics with this, including some actual measurements.

one thing you might consider is trimming out the border with a bull or mudcap from another tile. Turn your problem into a feature. :nod:

10-04-2007, 10:13 PM
The contractor who put up the hardi board did NOT use any kind of barrier below or on top Hardi. Will he charge me for making him redo all of this? I spoke to him tonight and he said he always just lays the hardi board over drywall and it's been fine :smash:

Hardi is not slightly below drywall surface. Drywall is below with hardi sort of sticking out. Need to show a pic, don't I?

On the main wall, this is how he installed the Hardi-board. Is this correct installation? :confused: There is no taping in the corners.

10-04-2007, 10:49 PM
hmmmm..... looks like maybe he shimmed the Hard to be over the tub flange? Looks like you need a "mud cap" to wrap that edge. Don't know if there's Schluter profile that would work but worth a call.

There is no taping in the corners. there should not be any taping at all at this point. If you're going to Kerdi you don't need it. If not you want to tape as you tile so you don't get any speed bumps.

10-04-2007, 10:53 PM
Using the nails like he did was fine?

Yeah, he told me tonight that the tub flange was a problem. Apparently the tub was either too short for the space or something. Don't know. I thought a darn tub was a tub, and had the exact same measurements like the old one

So no need to ask him to redo the Hardi board install?

10-04-2007, 11:17 PM
Nope, don't have to change the hardi but you still need a vapor barrier. As Jim mentioned, you can get one that goes on TOP of the hardi. Don't let the tile guy convince you it isn't needed.

10-05-2007, 12:19 AM
tubs may be tubs, but installations are another matter. :shrug:

I might be thinkin' about driving a few screws just for insurance.

Like Michelle says, you need a vapor barrier. At this point I'd say your choice is Redgard or Kerdi. For my money it's Kerdi. And start shopping for that mudcap "accent." ;)

10-05-2007, 04:41 AM
Lg honey see what happens when ya dont come around. all the other men take advantage of you. dont me go and get dave and and come up there and fix that puppy the rite way. tell the tile man if he doesnt starighten up. ill come up and sit the bathroom while he works except ill be in my furry g string

10-05-2007, 08:23 AM
Dan, problem was that I had one guy install Hardi board and another suppose to do the tiles.

Anyway, I called Interceramic and they said Kromatica can be used on the walls and floor and that there ARE bullnose pieces for it :sick: So what's up with this supposedly experienced tile guy saying it's not for the walls?

Do I paint that vapor barrier on?

10-05-2007, 08:38 AM
Of course they make bullnose, but you need mud-bullnose. The tile guy is telling you that there is no trim that'll match, so he'd have to either cut small strips of tile or use some kind of plastic or metal trim, or just grout the gap. In any case you're going to shell out more $$$ and may not like the results?

Here is an option: and then click T channel


10-05-2007, 09:03 AM
Hi Lady G,

Another option might be to top your existing drywall (to the left in the picher I can see) with a layer of drywall to bring it flush with the Hardi. In the end that might be cheaper than custom mud bullnose or Schluter trim pieces. Don't know what other obstacles might be on the wall though. I can't see it from here.

RedGard is a paint on membrane. Other similar products include Mapei HPG and I believe Laticrete makes a paint-on membrane as well. I used Mapei's product and it was more easy to trowel on than paint.

The other material the guys are talking about, Kerdi by Schluter, is a fabric membrane that is attached using thinset. Noble Co., and possibly others, make similar membranes.

10-05-2007, 09:24 AM
I spoke to the Hardi people (tech support in California) and they said that they REQUIRE the Hardi-board be installed on the floor with mortar, so my contractor is coming back to pull it up and set it the correct way. Of course he's been bitching that he's always done it this way i.e. no mortar install.

As to the walls...wouldn't the bullnose trip be easy to install without a mud-bullnose? So if we use mud-bullnose I don't have to buy the extra trim pieces (bullnose tile), or do I? I'm confused, but wanting these guys to do it right!

10-05-2007, 02:39 PM
the problem is that lip where the Hardi meets drywall - you're gonna hafta fill that with something. a regular bull is flat, whereas the mudcap is designed to wrap an edge like that. HOWEVER - to work properly you need a certain minimum edge to accomodate that wrap. No way to tell from here if that is even a workable solution - you'll need to get some samples and try it out.

10-05-2007, 03:51 PM
From your pictures it looks like the nails/screws are about 1.5'-2' apart. They're suppose to be 6"-8" apart. I'd definately put in some more screws.

10-07-2007, 09:49 PM
Are you referring to the nails on the wall? I know on the floor the contractor put them about 12-15" apart. He's assured me that he ALWAYS does it this way and never had a complaint :scratch: I plan to complain.

He offered to come rip the flooring up, put a layer of mortar (anyone can tell me how much or how thick?), then lay the flooring down again and nail it down according to HardiB's instructions.

10-07-2007, 10:08 PM
Good lord people, FIRE THE GUY and hire a professional! End of story!

10-08-2007, 07:51 AM
I was referring to the pictures which appear to be the walls. I had a contractor who got up to the point of installing the hardi and putting down a preslope. Looked similar to yours and he kept telling me things like..."oh, 3 nails is enough, I do it all the time". I fired him, ripped out the hardi, and chipped up the preslope. Now I'm doing it myself thanks to this forum and JB's books.

10-09-2007, 10:28 AM
The contractor came back yesterday and re-did the hardi-board on the floor with mortar. He wasn't too happy. He also took the print out of instructions from Hardi site. I don't understand why some of these guys are unwilling to learn the proper way to install material :complain:

I noticed the warped area on the wall and pointed this out to him. He said the joists were not even so he worked with them the way they were :shrug: Will there be a problem when tile is installed? Thank goodness he isn't the tile installer! Also, I asked about a vapor barrier and he said he did install VB but on inspection there was only the OLD barrier from 17 years ago on one wall, not all around tub surround. WTF. Why lie? Do I need to use the RedGuard all around? Is it easy to work with? Any dangerous fumes to be aware of? We have lots of allergy problems at home.

10-10-2007, 09:58 AM
Another update. New tile guy said that I don't need bullnosed edge and that he can fill in with same tile at the edge. Good idea?

He showed me how he'd cut the tile and go around the edge. Yes? No?

10-23-2007, 08:02 PM
I am getting confused. Is the Hardi board supposed to totally cover the tub flange or not? One tile setter said NO and the other said it's okay.

What's the correct way? Apparently regular tubs these days have a different type of flange? I keep hearing that the problem is the flange! :shrug:

10-23-2007, 08:08 PM
I cover it half way.

10-23-2007, 08:21 PM
It depends on the tile im using. If Im doing the wall in 12x12's, I have no issue running the CBU down to the top of the flange. That still gives me 10+ inches of the tile on the backer. If you are doing your walls in 2x2's, you need to run it down over the flange, or that bottom run of tiles is not on the backer (or barely on it).

When running it over the flange, Ive found it helpful to notch out the bottom lip of the backer wherever there are screws.

10-23-2007, 09:30 PM
So you leave a bit of the flange exposed? What covers that? The tile?

This guy took Hardi right over the flange so you can't see it.