Kurt's Shower & Bath Project [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-25-2008, 12:07 PM
Hello everyone. I am doing my first tile job and the forum here has been invaluable. This is my first post as I have been able to use the search to answer my previous questions. I'm probably not entering the correct search term, so I apologize if this has been answered before.

I'm doing a Kerdi shower and I have several areas where the kerdi overlaps and creates a build up or bump. I'm using 2" hex tile on the floor and 3x6 subway on the walls, so these bumps will affect how the tiles lay.

For example, in the shower floor corner where I have a kerdi kereck, kerdi band, and kerdi overlapping, my mosaics want to tip over the seam and lay flat or even tip into the corner instead of toward the drain like the rest of the floor.

A friend recommended that I use thinset to feather the seams in the same way a drywaller would feather the drywall seams. He also recommended that I put a little bit in the floor corners to keep my mosaics sloping properly. He recommended that I do this a day or so before I started setting the tile.

Is this what the pros would do? Or do you guys just build up the thinset while you are laying the tiles?

Is there any bonding issues that I need to be concerned about when putting fresh thinset over dried thinset? I'll be using Versabond.



P.S. Can anyone tell me why the message editor will not let me post if there are any URL links in my message? I wanted to post a couple links with pictures, but every time I try I get an error message that reads "Your Post contains one or more URLs, please remove them before submitting your message again"

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02-25-2008, 12:18 PM
Hi Kurt, and welcome to the forum.:)

Feathering with thinset is fine; just keep your thickness under 1/4". Thinset bonds to thinset as good as it bonds to anything. VersaBond is lightly modified, so give it a chance to dry thoroughly after feathering it.

The spam filters here won't let you post a link until you have about 3 posts.

02-25-2008, 12:37 PM
Thanks Dan, How nice to get a reply from someone in my birth state. :)

I can't see where I would need more than 1/8" of thinset anywhere to feather everything out smoothly.

I'll probably do that today. I would think that versabond without anything over it would dry pretty quickly. I should be able to set tiles tomorrow. Yes?

Only one more message and I can post links :)

K--born a Michigander, now an Oregonian.

02-25-2008, 02:16 PM
Hi Kurt,
Actually you can attach pictures anytime. Scroll down when typing in a message and you'll see a "Manage Attachments" button. Use it to upload your pictures directly into the forum. Most times this is better than an outside link as those aren't always as permanent.

Images must be no larger than 600 x 800 pixels and 50 kilobytes.

02-25-2008, 03:13 PM

I uploaded a three pictures. But they don't seem to come up when I preview a post. I assume you use the v8 IMG command and then link to the picture location in the forum, but I'm still getting an error telling me to remove the URLs.


02-25-2008, 03:14 PM
Kurt you need a couple more posts before you can post images. Anti spam measure.

Edit: NVM, looks like you got it now.

02-25-2008, 03:20 PM
Ah, I see, they don't come up in preview mode. They just get added at the end.

A bit of explanation: The first pict shows the lipage in the corner because the mosaic tips over kerdi bump.

The second picture shows, the dry fitted hex tiles.

And the third picture shows the freshly Kerdi'd (is that a verb?) shower. I'm doing an extensive remodel on the 2nd story of my 1.5 story bungalow. Because of plumbing access, I was limited on where I could put the bathroom. Unfortunately the shower had to be put under a sloping roof. It will be tight for someone in the 6'4" range or taller, but as I'm the tallest in my family at 5' 10" I think we will be very happy with it...

02-25-2008, 03:23 PM
...the freshly Kerdi'd (is that a verb?)...It is 'round these parts.;)

02-25-2008, 07:02 PM
Looks like you got it Kurt. Forgot to mention - don't preview your post when attaching pichers. :D

02-25-2008, 07:34 PM
Insurance! Especially on 2nd flr. Nice work - professional!

02-25-2008, 09:03 PM
For those who care, here is shower project so far: http://picasaweb.google.com/kuzimmer/shower

It looks like I'm finally allowed to post a link. :)


02-25-2008, 10:17 PM
Looks good Kurt,

keep updating the pictures for us.


05-01-2008, 05:47 PM
Hi everyone, its been a while, but I have made progress. I've completed the floor of the shower and bathroom. What a nightmare of a job. I mixed the thinset a bit stiff which allowed me to keep a very even floor height between batches. Unfortunately, my mosaics were almost never uniformly arranged on their meshes. I had to spend a lot of time keeping my gaps even. However, because my thinset was stiff, I would end up breaking my bond if I tried to adjust a tile after it had been set for a few minutes. One of the attached pictures shows a bunch of popped tiles. This turned out to be about 1/3 of the total popped tiles. I popped six more while grouting. In the end, I thought it turned out pretty well given that it was my first tile job.

Next week I'm going to attempt to tile install a Better Bench and tile the shower. Wish me luck.

05-31-2008, 12:30 PM

That's a very informative picture gallery you posted. I'm about to embark on a similar adventure so do you have any tips for another DIYer on laying the mortar bed. I assume the perimeter screed it is still soft so how did you avoid deforming it and did you use a couple of different screed boards since the distance from drain to wall changes as you work your way around. I'm just trying to visualize myself doing it. :eek:


05-31-2008, 02:20 PM
I changed the title, since this had digressed away from a Kerdi overlap discussion.

To answer Ron's question:

I assume the perimeter screed it is still soft so how did you avoid deforming it and did you use a couple of different screed boards since the distance from drain to wall changes as you work your way around.

My deck mud, mixed exactly like John describes here: http://www.johnbridge.com/deckmud.htm turned out to be rather stiff, so it did not deform much. Yes, I used a couple different sized screeds.

06-02-2008, 06:43 PM
Thank Kurt, that's good to know. I think I'll mix some up and practice so I'll know how it behaves.

06-02-2008, 09:26 PM
Smart man. I just mixed it up an went for it. I suffered a panic attack when, at 30 minutes, I was only 1/2 done with the deck mud. John says that you only have 30 to 45 minutes to get it done. Thankfully, my deck mud stayed workable for the full hour it took me to finish. YMMV.

06-14-2008, 12:25 AM
Another quick update:

I started tiling the shower walls (finally!). I cut some strips of plywood, to run across the first row. Because of the Kerdi overlaps and my inexperience, I ended up with a bit of a bowl along the walls. The strips of wood give me a level starting point. I'll go back and custom cut the first row after I'm done.

A guy who was doing some tiling down the street stopped by and gave me some tips. One tip was keep some thin cardboard (like from a cereal box) around to use as shims. The subway tiles are not perfect and sometimes you will need to shim the tiles to keep things lined up. As noted in the second picture, I've already used some.

The second tip was to tape my 6' level along the wall end. Partly due to the Kerdi, the wall end is not straight. It will be when I'm done. Thanks to this tip, I can butt the tiles right up the the level.

The Better Bench was actually the easiest part of this segment. I just followed the instructions on the bottom of the bench. I also put horizontal 2x4s in framing, so I was able to screw into wood everywhere. Its pretty solid.

06-19-2008, 11:37 AM
Hi Everyone quick question.

I have a sloped ceiling in my shower. Currently, the back wall of my shower is tiled in first, then the side wall tiles abut the back wall tiles like in the first picture.

In the second picture you will note that my back wall changes to a sloped ceiling. To break up the subway I will insert a decorative trendacis band just below the transition, then continue with the subway tile up the ceiling.

I would like to continue tiling in the ceiling first then tile in the side wall, but I fear that I am asking for trouble. It will be much easier to make an even grout gap if I tiled in the side wall first then tiled in the ceiling. That way, rather than having the angled cuts on the side wall visible, I will have the straight cuts on the ceiling visible. Is switching the overlaps going to look odd? Or do you think that by having the band break up the field tile at the transition that it will look fine?


06-19-2008, 02:20 PM
When you caulk the corner, no one will be able to tell which wall you tiled first.

06-19-2008, 10:03 PM
I wasn't planning on caulking the corner. I was just hoping to grout it. Considering the way I built it combined with the kerdi membrane, its not going to move much....

It sounds like I should reconsider caulking it, as it would take care of the problem...


07-19-2008, 08:33 PM
I went ahead and kept the overlap the same. I was able to cut the diagonals pretty accurately. It looked pretty decent after grout.

Here are some pics of the completed shower.

Thanks all for the advice. I'll probably post a couple more pics when the bathroom is complete.

07-19-2008, 08:47 PM
Nice work! You should be proud, Kurt. You had a couple of tricky situations to cope with there.

07-19-2008, 08:52 PM
Nice job, Kurt. :)

07-19-2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks guys,

It took a long time, and I surely could have done some things better, but I'm pretty happy with the results.