Setting tile ring at drain [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-22-2003, 01:31 PM
I am in the home stretch of my master bath remodel. I have gained much working knowledge from start to finish here at the forum. Thanks much to John and the rest.

One final (?) question. I am about to lay the tile shower floor using 3/8 inch thick stone 4x4s. (I know, 2x2s would be better and travertine is not a wise choice but the significant other must be placated). I put in a cast iron drain with just less than 1/2 inch neck exposed above the deck mud to lay the tile and thinset to a bit above flush. I would like to use the Oatey 3-1/4 inch chrome square tile ring around the drain to dress it up. As the ring is only 1/4 inch thick and pretty thin, what is the best way to set it? My idea is to just load up on the thinset to get it just slightly above flush with the rim of the drain and work off this line to lay tiles flush with the ring. Correct? Or should I build up the area directly around the drain with thinset, let it dry and then come back to set the ring?

Also, given the difference in materials, is it best to caulk between the drain rim and the ring and the tile and the ring for that matter, or just grout the whole darn thing (trying not to scratch up the chrome ring too badly in the process?

Appreciate the help.


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John Bridge
01-22-2003, 06:11 PM
Hi Tom,

There are two ways to go about it, neither of which involves thin set, which is too loose to build up to that thickness.

You can either lay the ring on there loose and cut your tiles around it, later putting it in with sanded grout when you grout the floor; or you can set it now with a little bit of sanded grout mixed very stiff. Keep the grout out of the way of the tiles you'll have to cut around it.

Unless you are starting with full tiles at the drain. Is that what you are doing, you clever fellow you? :D

I would use the sanded grout now, very stiff. Get the thing to the height you want it and wash the surface so the grout is smooth where you'll see it.

01-22-2003, 06:22 PM
Thanks, John.
I am a clever fellow in certain circles....I am planning to use full tiles around the drain ring. In my opinion, that's what makes the tile ring look good. It gets sloppy if you make cuts which sort of defeats the purpose, don't you agree...
I assume your advice also means the gap between the ring and drain should just be grouted.

John Bridge
01-22-2003, 07:18 PM
Tom, I wasn't insinuating that you are less than smart. Just running my mouth. ;)

That's the beauty of using the sanded grout. It will finish off everything, including that little void between the plate and the drain. Nothing will stick that well to the metal, but the grout will lock it in place and support it.

I would start at the drain as long as the cuts all the way around the walls won't be unpleasant looking. You might also consider turning the field on the diagonal. If you can't get a decent layout either way, I would lose the square ring and layout from the walls.

01-22-2003, 09:59 PM
John, don't worry, I know that it's only my bride that questions my intelligence. Here, I'm amongst friends.
Thanks for the suggestions. I did the dry run on the diagonal and it turns out ok. My drain is not centered lengthwise but I seem to be lucky this time. It should look good.
Thanks again for all the help.

01-23-2003, 10:42 AM
Not familiar with that trick. Can someone point out a link with examples/styles and vendor? Would sure appreciate it, as I'll be starting my shower this spring and trying to line up all supplies beforehand. Thanks in advance...Matt Clark