Big bath build/remodel [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Steve C
11-19-2009, 07:27 PM
So, I'm in the process of turning a kind of unusual Jack and Jill bathroom into two separate baths. The master bedroom is approx. 600 sq. ft., while the other bedroom is around 500, with the J & J between them. I'm using the space from a 7' closet and 10' marble vanity to build the new bath for the master bedroom, leaving the original tub, toilet, and smaller vanity for the small (ha) bedroom.

So far the job's entailed tapping into a 4" cast T; routing drains and supply for a second toilet, Kerdi 6' shower, and two new vanities; framing the shower and water closet, etc. All work has to be done through the floor as the space below is the foyer and main floor bath.

Several questions for the true experts will be forthcoming, but for now I'm going to try to post a few pictures to give some idea as to what I'm doing.

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11-19-2009, 07:37 PM
Hi Steve, looks like you are well underway. Keep all your posts on this project here on this thread and we'll help all we can. Looking good.:tup2:

11-19-2009, 08:12 PM
Hi Steve,

I'll bet Master Plumber over at Terry Love adores your use of Sharkbite style fittings with your PEX. I used these in quite a few places in reno, but they prefer sweating copper. In the second pic, it looks like one big bathroom on the left, and one narrow one on the right?

Did you worry much about getting the right placement of the valves relative to your future tile install, depth wise? 1/2 for the CBU, 3/8 for the tile, 1/8 for the thinset, another layer of thinset with Kerdi...

Steve C
11-19-2009, 08:28 PM
Daniel: on the left is framing for the shower and w.c., and on the right is a hallway of sorts. The plumbing you see on the right will eventually go to a new 6' vanity which we're pushing out into the bedroom. Hard to describe and hard to take pictures of. The smaller bath (existing) is through the doorway (now closed off) that you can see in the first picture.

I like my PEX and Sharkbites.

Yes, I paid quite a bit of attention to the shower valve depth. I'm not using any CBU. The valve trim has a pretty wide range of adjustment depthwise, and I'll be in good shape there.

Steve C
11-21-2009, 07:49 AM
:bang:Well, due to a brain fart (one of many, I'm sure), while I was framing the bench I failed to account for the 1/2" of drywall on the front of the bench. I have 1/2" drywall on top of the bench, but an extra 1/2" on the front of the bench will give me a lip where the bench meets the shower wall, so that's not really an option.

I had a partial pail of Redgard left over from another job so I covered the bench front with that (after I took this picture), hoping that would be satisfactory to install the Kerdi over.

If y'all think that will work, great. If not, I can take the plywood out and replace with drywall without plywood backing, or I could even get real creative and recess some plywood backing with room for drywall in front of it. I'd rather stay with the Redgard option, but will do what I have to to make it right.


11-21-2009, 07:59 AM
The RedGard buys you nothing so far as a Kerdi installation is concerned, Steve. You could just apply your Kerdi over the plywood with a modified thinset mortar if you're willing to deviate from the manufacturer's instructions.

Better would be to make room for your sheetrock. I don't understand what your problem is, but you can get sheetrock as thin as 1/4" if that would help.

And having nothing on the front of that bench except a sheet of half-inch sheetrock would be fine, too, so long as your framing is adequate. That's all you'll have on your walls, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.

Steve C
11-21-2009, 08:51 AM
Thanks, CX. I was kind of thinking the same thing (that the walls don't have plywood under the drywall), so I'll just replace the plywood with drywall. I'm trying to stay with Schluter's recommendations as much as possible.

In the attached picture you can see where part of the bench ends and the wall begins, just south and east of my little Bosch helper. If I added drywall to the plywood the dw would lip out 1/2" past the wall surface, while the plan is to tie the front of the bench in with the adjacent wall.

Steve C
11-21-2009, 04:56 PM
The floor of the shower, where I will install the Kerdi tray (6' tray cut with an inch cut off each side - shower floor will be 70" x 70"), is out of level about 1/4" in 70" in one direction and about 1/8" in the other. Floor is flat; 2 layers of 5/8" plywood over 9 1/2" YP joists on 16" centers.

I've used LevelQuik RS a couple of times and have no problem using that; in fact I've already caulked the wall plates to the floor to contain it. I'm assuming that this is necessary with this amount of slope but wanted more opinions before I do it.

11-23-2009, 05:50 AM
Steve, if I understand your slope dimensions correctly, your floor slopes a little over 1/32" per foot in the worst direction. You may not end up this good with an SLC pour. Why not skip coat the plywood with some modified thinset, feathering to the drain, before you place your pan?

Steve C
12-02-2009, 07:22 AM
So our 39" wide "hallway" will get Ditra and 12" ceramic tiles. Looking down the tape, the first 6' is level then over the next 11' eventually drops 3/4" (it drops 1/8" / foot for a little ways). I marked off 1' marks on the floor then measured my laser dot at each mark. The floor also undulates just a little from 5/8" to 3/4" drop down toward the far end, so it's not flat or level.

I'm thinking SLC will be my best option here. I'm intending to end up with a feather edge as I reach the level part of the floor.

I've poured Levelquik RS on concrete a couple of times but never on plywood yet. As I understand from the Liberry, I need to put down 2 coats of primer and some metal lath, correct? Any other tips besides plugging all the gaps, having a helper and having everything ready? Looks like a 2 bag job near as I can figure.

Steve C
12-04-2009, 06:26 PM
Homeowner and I poured Levelquik RS this afternoon to take care of the 3/4" drop and un-flatness. We poured 3 bags in about 10 minutes. Looks to me like it turned out pretty good. Went ahead and leveled the water closet floor at the same time so no height transition required there anymore.

Just about ready for Ditra.

Steve C
12-19-2009, 06:45 PM
Got the first tiles set today. Got Kerdi hung in the shower last week. We won't make our original goal of Christmas to be done with the new bath, but still waiting on the new vanity and top anyway. Main thing is everyone's very pleased with the progress.

Looks like we get to try out the Spectralok next week.

Steve C
12-26-2009, 04:50 PM
The 3 rows of lava stone we're accenting the shower walls with have a mesh backing and adhesive clear plastic memrane on the front. The tiles come off of the backing real easy, but the plastic membrane on the front is real tenacious. By the time I've peeled a single tile off of it, it's already come loose from the backing. It pulls off so hard I'm sure the mortar would have to be completely set before I could remove it, then I'd never get it out of the grout lines.

Anybody have any ideas other than setting them one by one?

12-26-2009, 06:13 PM
Yeah, leave the plastic on the face until the thinset is dry. You might want to trim it back from the edges so it won't be in the way when tiling. :)

Steve C
12-27-2009, 09:07 AM
I guess I just need to make sure I don't sqeeze too much thinset out from between the tiles? I'm using Laticrete 317.

Then pull the plastic off after maybe 2 days?

12-27-2009, 09:11 AM
It should be set enough after 24 hrs. I've seen some of the plastic hard to get off. You'll know if you have some barely stuck. :)

Steve C
12-27-2009, 09:58 AM
Here's what the stuff is:

Steve C
01-05-2010, 07:02 AM
In the Kerdi shower book, John mentions using grout instead of caulk for changes of plane, since the Kerdi is waterproofing everything and hairline cracks in the grout are harmless and barely noticeable.

We're going to use Spectralock, and the homeowner and I are both interested in using grout at change of plane locations. The shower framing is rock solid.

Input from those more experienced? I know most everyone recommends caulk. John Bridge, what's your take on it now?