Hello - Starting bathroom remodeling project [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-24-2003, 10:12 PM
This is my first attempt at this type of project.

I'm hoping to install a ceramic tile shower for starters, and I'm a little unsure of how to get started. I read all the articles I could find on the subject, but I still have some questions.

I think I'd like to have an open shower without doors, but I'm worried about water splashing out and soaking the floor. Is there a certain size the shower should be before an open design is practical?

The space I have to work with is 5'4" long and 4' deep. Is that big enough? Should I make the entry to the shower smaller instead of having a huge 5' opening? Maybe I could add a half-height wall that extends out a few feet from the room wall that reduces the shower 'door' to a couple feet wide (and is a convenient place to sit things like shampoo...)?

Thanks in advance for any advice

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01-24-2003, 10:21 PM
The size of your shower is adequate.Perhaps a glass block wall built high for the first 30" or so and scalloping to a knee wall with a 26 or 28" entry area.Regardless of your choice here, Without a door you should consider a waterproof membrane throughout the bath area. A standard PVC membrane within the shower itself, And a paintable/trowelable membrane for outside the shower area.This will eliminate moisture concerns down the road....... :)
Welcome to the forum. Do you have a first name ?

01-24-2003, 10:44 PM
Hi Ohso,
Welcome to the forum. :)

01-25-2003, 11:30 AM

I'd thought about putting a waterproof membrane outside the shower area, but I'm not sure how to handle drainage from there, or if that is even a concern.

I'm also not sure I understand what you are saying about a paintable/trowelable membrane outside the shower area...do you mean separate from any waterproof layer I'd install under the rest of the bathroom area? What do you mean by paintable? Wouldn't this be under the flooring anyway?

01-25-2003, 11:45 AM

01-25-2003, 01:18 PM
C-Cures PRO RED 963 is very DIY friendly.Paint the outside area of the shower and run it right up the walls a couple inches.
This is a surface applied membrane which goes on before your tile.It will seal and protect everything and keep moisture from wicking up walls etc.

John Bridge
01-25-2003, 02:19 PM
Hi ohso,

The water that gets out of the shower would have to be wiped up each time. It's not practical to arrange a slope out there. Inside the shower you can use a typical PVC liner.

I would consider running the wall to the ceiling and leaving about a 2 foot opening. Glass blocks are nice. You would still need a curb under the blocks so you'd have some way to turn up the shower pan liner.

You can check out the Schluter and Noble products on their respective sites.

http://www.noblecompany.com http://www.schluter.com

01-25-2003, 11:08 PM
Thanks everybody.

Hmm, I think if I have to close it in that much I might just go ahead with a glass door. I'm trying to keep it as bright as possible.

Two more questions:

I was thinking of using the cinder block trick I saw on the site to install a seat in my shower. Is it practical or beneficial to run the pvc liner up to a height slightly above the seat to prevent any kind of leak? Maybe I'm just paranoid...

Given the shower dimensions I listed earlier, about how heavy will this shower be? This is going on the second floor over a garage.

01-26-2003, 08:49 AM
Actually, you are not paranoid. You are however using your head. :) This is another area where a paintable trowelable membrane can be used.Prep it for tile and before tiling use one of the aformentioned products to waterproof.Do th face top and above the seat about 8" Good Luck, You are doing your homework i see :)

01-26-2003, 09:40 AM
With the monument type bench, you don't need it. All possible leaks are contained within the pan. The walls have a vapor barrier (I used plastic) which laps ove the edge of the shower pan. So if water leaks at the joint where the top of the bench meets the wall, and makes it through the cbu, it will hit the vapor barrier and go down into the pan. :)

John Bridge
01-26-2003, 09:57 AM
When I first started building the "monuments" in showers I would float the walls down to where the seat began and then build the seat. So the seat went right back to the lath and moisture barrier. That worried me, so I began installing shower pan material behind and a little above where the seat top would be. I would not nail the lath over it but merely let it drape down behind where the seat would end up. I did that for quite a few years.

And then someone who had been building the seats (for years) told me the liner wasn't necessary and that he had never experienced a problem. The idea is to float the walls all the way down and then build the seat in front of them. You end up with a cold joint between the seat and the walls.

If the joint between the seat and the walls were to open, water would get in and probably soak the backer board (or the mud walls) eventually. But I don't think that will happen, number one, and if it did, a prudent person would caulk the opening.

There is also the problem of nailing the backer board over the material. You can't make any holes in it.

So the answer to your question (finally): No, don't do it.

But Todd's method of using a surface waterproofer wouldn't hurt. If I were going to do that, though, I would probably waterproof the entire interior of the shower. Why stop at the seat? :)

01-27-2003, 10:57 AM
Thanks again...so let's see if I got this straight:

Don't run the PVC up above the seat...float the walls all the way down and then build the seat in front of this?


After looking around the forums a bit I've become concerned about the weight of the tile on my floor. I was hoping to tile my walls and floors as well. My bathroom is on the second floor above a garage and I want to figure out if it is ok to tile everything, but I have no idea how to calculate this (I've seen the calculator app, but I don't understand the construction and lumber lingo well enough to figure it out.) Maybe if I knew what to look for, I could give a description to someone here who could figure it out?

01-27-2003, 11:43 AM
The calculator app uses a live load of 50 pounds per square foot, which is based on 40 psf as requiared by most building codes, and another 10 for the tile. Your shower stall occupies so many square feet of floor space, which uses up the live load, and much of it is hung from the walls, and is transferred to the foundation without going through the floor joists. In other words, unless our are planning something really concrete intensive, stop worring about it.

First thing to do is find out what size joists you have. Just measure them. The calculator has the width and depth dimensions in drop-down tables, pick the closest ones to yours, but don't go over size.

The next thing is to measure the spacing, and pick the spacing in the table closest to yours, but not less. Measure center to center.

The span length is next. Measure the length of the joists between load bearing supports. Wall to wall or wall to support beam. Again, pick the nearest to yours, but not less.

If you can't find the grade stamp that says #2 or better Douglas Fir or Southern Yellow Pine on your joists, use the second line for the species. If the wood looks crappy with lots of knots, insect damage or holes, pick the third.

Hit the calculate button, and the magic happens! You will be notified if your floor meets the deflection criteria for ceramic tile or stone. IF it meets neither, get back here and we'll talk about options.

On the other hand, I will do the calculation for you, but I will need all the information the calculator asks for. Joist size, spacing and span.

Tony A
01-27-2003, 12:11 PM
I've been lurking for about a week now and this forum is great! This topic is very close to what I will be tackling in a couple of months with our new home. I'm trying to read as much as possible about the subject of tile showers and floating shower pan floors. I'll be following this post for sure.

If I may, I would like to toss in a few questions related to this in hopes that maybe some questions that Ohso might have will be answered as well. I'm sure I'll have several more questions in the future since I have discovered a wealth of information here that seems to be somewhat overwhelming at times!:twitch: If I should post my questions in a separate posting, please let me know since I'm not sure if I would be violating the rules of this forum by not doing so. :confused:

My first question:Is there a difference between PVC and CPE pan liners? If so, is there a better choice? I checked my local Lowes store and they have Oatey PVC liner in 5' width rolls. My MB book says to use CPE.

Next question: I'm sure you've all heard of this but I'm not sure of the pros/cons of it. DensShield vs. Durock for shower walls and general tile floor applications. Any comments?

Thank you. I admire the patience and professionalism I've seen on this forum. :bow:

01-27-2003, 12:18 PM
Hi Tony welcome aboard. As far as your membrane goes,Most of us in here use a PVC Membrane. If you do so we will all be on the same page. ;) As far as Denshield goes, I am not overly familiar with the product ,but the general consensus seems to be avioid it for wet areas at this time. It has not been around as long as other proven products.Wonderboard durock etc. These are proven winners so be your own judge. I realize they are a bit heavier,but its not like you need an entire pallet or 2 like i do on occassion.:) I have a tendancy to steer people in the direction of proven sound substrate material.the above mentioned all qualify.If you only want to do this once, lets let the other guys do the experimenting ;)

When you are ready to begin your project or have any additional questions, lets get your own thread started.We will be able to keep track of your progree easier that way. Thanks and good luck Tony and now:whip: Back to work :D :D :D

Tony A
01-27-2003, 01:53 PM
Thank you!
I'm looking forward to receiving the patient and informative help I saw in the thread initiated by Todds with his project.:) Very cool! :D

John Bridge
01-27-2003, 05:36 PM
Hi Tony, Welcome.

Building a new house affords you the opportunity of making sure the floors will support tile or stone. But yes, let's get you on your own thread so we can track you like the government does. ;)

Tony A
01-29-2003, 08:27 AM
Will do John. I'm really glad I found this forum! Lots of really good information and patient advice!