Andy's Bathroom Project #2 [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : Andy's Bathroom Project #2

02-07-2010, 10:21 PM
Hey all,

Well, after a long fiasco with my grandmothers house and greedy cousins,
I finally got to tackle the 'pink' bathroom which hasn't been upgraded in over 40 years.

So everything is ripped out right now except the bathtub. Cast Iron is HEAVY! LOL. I'll get to that soon.

anyway, I know the answer since I've been on here for a while reading lots of posts, but here goes.

I'll post a picture, with measurements, dimensions, etc. The short and skinny of this is that the bathroom is about 10x5. Its a strange setup so when I post the pics you'll get a better idea. Anyway the subfloor consists of planks, 3/4 thick and run from one joist to another. The main joists I think are 16" on center.

Now here goes this question. I do have to rip up these planks right? Say it ain't so! LOL

Sponsored Links

Jim wood
02-07-2010, 10:30 PM
You should be able to lay a sheet of plywood on top of the planks and go from there. Remember no glue between and screw into the planks and not the joist.

02-07-2010, 11:00 PM
I thought planks were not acceptable for a subfloor?

btw, i'm going to laydown ceramic tile.

02-08-2010, 05:20 AM
Nominal 1" planks topped with 1/2" plywood is a good subfloor for ceramic tile.

02-08-2010, 05:49 PM
I was hoping 1/2 or 3/4 ply. 3/4 ply would be too high I think. I still have to look at this. going to take pics in a bit.

02-16-2010, 11:21 PM
Here's what this looks like. I have the write up where I measured where the nails were and how some places were a bit soft.





02-17-2010, 06:25 AM
Andy, please use the "manage attachments" feature to upload your pictures to our database. That way, when you close your account at your web hosting site, your pictures won't go away. Also, some folks :dance: are behind a fire wall that blocks web-hosted pics, and they can't help you with your project. ;)

02-17-2010, 05:32 PM
Will do bob. I understand now. I was at working and I couldn't see this either. I'll do it when I get back from teaching tonight =)

02-17-2010, 09:18 PM
How do you plan on installing a toilet on that old lead closet flange? I would chase that closet bend back to the stack Which is right there and install a donut where it connected into the hub and stick a short length of pvc into your donut and then an elbow then run your vertical pipe up glue it to a pvc closet flange but leave it unglued at the elbow and a bit longer then necessary. Then after your floors tiled you can cut it to length and install it correctly. Lead is outdated and toxic.

02-21-2010, 04:46 PM

changed the pictures but they are kind of small. Can't show what I wanted to tell you guys about the subfloor. I'll see if I can go another way about it.

**edit. sorry, I know what I did wrong. I'll fix it.

02-21-2010, 07:51 PM
here ya go

oh read this

To remove a poured lead and oakum joint take a 3/8" drill bit and drill a few holes down past the lead and into the oakum.. Push a screwdriver under the lead ring and lever it up. Once it's free you can began to peel the lead ring out. Now pick out the oakum and you can pull the joint apart. The hub is the bell part of a fitting.

03-07-2010, 09:12 AM
Hey all,

I was wondering where in the layer do you place the heating wire for floors? I know you should use SLC do you don't nick the wires but I'm not using SLC.

Do I put that on top of the ditra/durock? Or under it then tile it? CUrious to know.

Thank you.


Brian in San Diego
03-07-2010, 09:33 AM

I merged your new question into your project thread. Please use your project thread for your questions no matter how diverse.

If you are using Ditra then the floor warming system goes under the Ditra. If that conflicts with the wire manufacturer's instructions then I would let the Ditra instructions be the trump. You want the tile applied to the Ditra with nothing but thinset between the Ditra and the tile. You can thinset over the wires. Just be careful not to nick the wires and ohm them as you go along.


03-24-2010, 06:38 PM
Here's an update.

We pulled the tub and it wasn't cast iron. I was a steel tub. Pretty light.

So the question is this. The joists are pretty strange. I"ll take more pictures for you all. But as mentioned before, there is 3/4 planks running across the joists. I was planning to put down a 1/2 ply but should I put it where the tub is located also? When I did my co-op, I didn't put that down under the tub since it was steel. I'm going to put down a cast iron tub so thinking that would be more reinforcement for the tub. Are the planks ok or should I add in the extra 1/2 ply?


Brian in San Diego
03-24-2010, 07:40 PM
If it were me I'd put the plywood down on the entire floor.

03-24-2010, 07:44 PM
Sounds good. Thats what i'll do. thanks!

04-04-2010, 09:55 PM
Got another question. I figured why not since this is my home now.

I want to put down heating mats but I'm not going to use SLC. I'll probably use ditra or durock for the install.

Here's the question. If I put down the heating mat in the area where I'm going to walk on, the other areas (such as the vanity, etc) will not have the heating mat. That will bring up the floor on the heating mat side. What do I do to bring up that layer? Do I put down more thinset to level everything else out?


Houston Remodeler
04-04-2010, 10:02 PM
Thinset has a normal maximum of 1/4" After that you need medium set. Or layer in some 1/4" cbu. Whatcha got against SLC?:shake:

04-04-2010, 10:30 PM
I have nothing against SLC. Just that I have never used it before and I've used CBU. I"m just comfortable in using CBU.

Houston Remodeler
04-05-2010, 06:05 AM
I think you should try the SLC, just once in your life. Think of it as a growth experience :postitbg:. I am sure you won't get addicted and later find yourself hiding bags of it under the car seat.

04-08-2010, 10:05 PM
I want to try SLC but not right now. The faster I get this done the better. I don't want to mix the SLC, come out wrong and redo it. Its $$ that will kill me also.

04-09-2010, 05:03 AM
You can use 1/4" cbu in areas without heat mats. Or, you can screed the areas with thinset or mediumset mortar. Keeping the thinset level and flat will be the problem, but there are several ways to help. One of them is to burn in the thinset as usual, then comb it out with a notched trowel that's just under the thickness you need. Let the thinset dry, then go back and skimcoat the entire area, using the ridges as screeds to keep a uniform thickness. This works best in smaller areas.

04-10-2010, 07:49 AM
Hmm interesting, I just saw an episode where they put the heating mat on the subfloor, then ditra on the entire floor covering the heating mat. Did I miss something here with the height adjustment?

04-11-2010, 12:11 PM
The CBU around the edges of an in-floor heat job can be used as guides (screeds) for leveling thinset over the heat wires. Not required, but may be easier for someone who doesn't do this every day. After the CBU & wires are set, and mortar troweled over the wires, use a straight edge and drag it over the mortar with the edges riding on the top of the CBU. May take a few applications as Bob mentioned. :)

04-20-2010, 09:03 PM
I actually understand what bob and dhagin are talking about.

Here's my plan:

1. NIce subfloor
2. Heating element in 1/2 the bath
3. Thinset where there is no element but screed it out at the same height as the element
4. Put down thinset/ditra over the element and the area where there is no element. Hopefully the height will be the same.

Did I get this correct?

04-20-2010, 09:15 PM
Not quite, Andrew. In numba three you gotta spread your thinset mortar over the whole floor, heated areas and non-heated areas.

You don't wanna be trying to install Ditra over a heating mat that's not been filled.

My opinion; worth price charged.

04-20-2010, 09:30 PM
Thanks CX..Makes much more sense now

1. NIce subfloor
2. Thinset the entire floor and then lay down the heating element in 1/2 the bath
3. Screed the thinset where there is no heating element.
4. Put down thinset/ditra over the element and the area where there is no element. Where there is not element, probably use more thinset to built a little height to match the other side. Hopefully the height will be the same.

04-20-2010, 10:21 PM
Again, I don't understand number 2. Perhaps I'm missing something here?

04-21-2010, 07:19 PM
I guess I'm trying to make up the height difference. I know you have to embed the mat into thinset but watching the videos and stuff they don't do that.

From reading the forums, you have to embed the wire into thinset so it doesn't move. Then some sort of CBU/Ditra over it. But where there is no heating mat, I would have to figure out how to make the height the same.

I was tossing out ideas but I guess they would fail miserably..LOL

04-25-2010, 08:14 PM
ok ok, now I might try the SLC. Its not a big area so doing this would be an experience plus I get to use Ditra after for the first time :)

I have a few questions though. In the Library, it states that plastic mesh should be put down with the heating wire. Can I find that at Home Depot or Lowes?

Also, I was going to put down 1/2 ply on top of my 3/4 planks. I should still continue to do this correct?


Houston Remodeler
04-25-2010, 08:28 PM
Normally the heating wire I use comes with the plastic mesh. If yours doesn't just place the wire down with lines of hot glue. Don't burn your fingers or melt through the wire. Low temp glue will work just fine. Speed helps.

04-25-2010, 09:15 PM
oh ok, I was reading the library and didn't notice that the heating wire he layed down had no mesh. I'm going to buy Thermosoft and that has the mesh in it. Sorry my bad! :)

05-01-2010, 10:47 AM
Question before I tackle this SLC. The heating wire/mat from Thermosoft is 1/8 thick. The SLC from custom building products can cover 1/4 inch with 1 bag. How much SLC should I use to cover the wire and the entire room? 1/4 inch of SLC or 1/2 of SLC?

05-01-2010, 02:11 PM
The less product you use of course will be faster, easier,cheaper,and more heat efficient,but do what the mat manuf. recommends.

05-03-2010, 11:58 AM
Thanks Dave.

I think I'm going to put down 1/4 of SLC in the room. I'll have to look at it when I'm pouring the SLC if that will cover the mat. I presume so since its only 1/8 thick. I'll lay down the ditra when it completely dries though.

When I pour the SLC, should I make 1 big batch in a clean empty garbage can or several 5 gallon buckets?

Brian in San Diego
05-03-2010, 03:00 PM
The SLC from custom building products can cover 1/4 inch with 1 bag.The data sheet I'm reading says a 50 lb. bag will cover 50 sq.ft. to a depth of 1/8". To lay down a 1/4" layer you will need two 50 lb. bags per 50 Sq. Ft. I looked back through the thread and didn't fnd the dimensions of your bathroom. (Not saying they aren't there...just didn't find them.)

A pro here once told me that he got a 35 gal. trash can and mixed up to thrre bags at a time and then got a friend to help pour it. Probably whatever you are comfortable with. If you do 5 gal buckets someone should be mixing the second while you are pouring the first. If you are using CBP you might want to order the ES from HD. It gives you a little more leeway on your working time.


05-03-2010, 03:52 PM
Thanks Brian. This is what I wanted to hear. He was probably successful at it. Now that I'm typing this, this stuff would be HEAVY to get a 35 gal trash can. I mean, 5 gallon bucket is heavy already imagine it 35 times!

I'll get the dimensions just to double check with you.

As for the ES from HD, if I can find it at another store other than special ordering it, I'll do it. I'll get back to you on this. Thanks

05-03-2010, 04:41 PM
If you're going over a wood floor, there are typically minimum thicknesses for SLC's, usually 3/8 - 1/2. Also usually lath required. If you mix in a big clean trash can, do it right outside the area you're pouring in. You dip a 5 gal bucket in after mixing or lean it over and dump it.

08-18-2010, 09:22 PM
Ok back to the bathroom

I'm laying down the 1/2 ply on top of the 3/4 planks.

first I layed the piece by the bath alcove going perpendicular to the planks. I hope ths is correct.

Second, when I put down the first piece of ply on top of the planks, the end of the ply falls on top of the joist. I don't want to screw into the 1/2 ply, then to the 3/4 ply and might hit the joist. What do I do? Do I screw the ply 2 inches before the edge? If so will the edge come up? Please help!


Dave Taylor
08-18-2010, 11:31 PM
Use shorter screws :---)

The important thing is..... all ply underlayment should lay perpendicular to the floor joists.

I spose' you may also rip cut this piece of ply underlayment so it does not end over a joist but...... I doubt that fastening it two inches in from one edge will harm much.

I hope this helps.

PS ANDY: In reviewing your thread, I see mention of using Self Leveling Cement (SLC) over this plywood underlayment but..... nowhere do I see any mention of first coating this ply underlayment with a SLC specified primer.

Better check see if your SLC product requires this pre application.

Brian in San Diego
08-18-2010, 11:33 PM

You want ALL plywood face grain to be perpendicular to the joists. This is critical. If you have installed the face grain parallel to the joists then you must take it up and do it again. Also you DO Not want the edges of the plywood to land on the joists. Next you really need to read this thread ( in the Liberry. Pay particularly close attention to the article in post #3.


08-19-2010, 05:54 AM
Crap. Thats something that I didn't want to hear. Ok, I'll go ahead and redo the piece then. I had a nice piece in the alcove but it was running parallel with the joists. Thinking I put the second layer on top of the first which was running perpendicular, I thought it would work. I haven't done this in 5 years so a little refresher would help. Damn, I made the cut in the plywood for the drain also. arghhhhhhhhh

thanks guys. I'll keep you posted

Brian in San Diego
08-19-2010, 06:03 AM
Andrew, your refresher course is this thread ( in the Liberry. Post #3 has an article that should be committed to memory (or close to it). Post #5 has a link to the APA handbook that answers many plywood questions. While you are at it make sure you aren't using sheathing or any plywood that has a face grade lower than "C". I prefer BC exposure 1. I know I'm repeating myself but it's important.

08-19-2010, 07:42 AM
Got it Brian! I remember about the BC exterior grade or better for the plywood.

Just that I have to spend money on another piece of plywood...sigh....

thanks though. Thank goodness you guys are here. Love this forum!

08-19-2010, 07:44 AM
Got that covered as well. Before I do any SLC, I will remember to prime the floor before coating it with SLC. You guys have me covered here :)

Plus I'm going to tell you what I'll be doing before I dive into the SLC. That way my checklist will be outside of the bathroom so I won't miss a step.

Thanks Dave.

08-19-2010, 10:41 PM
Took up the plywood but didn't screw it in last night.

Cut the boards perpendicular to the joists. And yes..its coming back to me now. Its nice and sturdy!

Now for the cast iron tub. ughhhhhhh

question though. I want to put down heating wire, SLC and then ditra.
Can I work on the ditra for the rest of the bathroom until I tile the floor? Or should I do the floor last? Or should I just work on the SLC until I"m ready for the floor? Sorry for the newbie questions. If I was doing CBU, I would put down the CBU, sheetrock the bath, etc and then do the floor. Just not too sure abou the ditra/slc


Houston Remodeler
08-19-2010, 10:43 PM
I'd put down the SLC leaving off the Ditra. It can be crushed and you can't puff it back up. Ladder legs are a prime killer.

08-20-2010, 10:03 AM
ok, then when I'm ready to lay down tile after i put down the ditra, Its ok to step on it? I won't crush the Ditra when laying down tile? I see it all the time on Holmes on Homes but never worked with it.

Dave Taylor
08-20-2010, 10:09 AM
ditra, Its ok to step on it?

Ditra is hardy enough that a full footprint should not crush it.

Step lightly first and see...... and don't wear no high heels. :---)

Brian in San Diego
08-20-2010, 10:09 AM

I laid the Ditra in my entry and walked on it for a couple of months before it was all finished. You can walk on it as long as you aren't a "foot stomper". The Ditra is quite sturdy. Just make sure that when you are ready to set tile that the Ditra has been properly vacuumed to remove all debris.


Houston Remodeler
08-20-2010, 10:14 AM
I'm 135 pounds of rock solid manly muscle (work with me here) and when I kneel on it I get dents in the top of my ditra.

Just sayin.

Flat soled shoes will be fine.

08-20-2010, 10:31 PM
I'll just wait then. WIth my luck, I'll wind up tearing it up for some reason. LOL.

I wont' take any chances. Like I said, my luck stinks. =)

08-26-2010, 07:52 PM
Ok, laying down the subfloor and I have 1 question.

I'm cutting a piece of 1/2 ply and its 56 1/2 x 4 ft. But this was the piece that had a cut out for the drain (9inches by 10 or something like that).

If I put this down, could I put in a piece of wood to fill in the cut out or should I buy another full piece of ply? This cutout will be under the vanity next to the wall. I will have SLC on top after (yes you guys have convinced me!)


08-26-2010, 08:19 PM
The whole cutout piece will be under the vanity? No chance for visible cracking to translate up from it? I'd consider it a viable risk if you were in a pinch for wood. Not optimal, but not likely to cause too many problems in this case.

08-26-2010, 08:21 PM
ok, forget it then. I'd rather spend $22 on a sheet of ply than worry about that stupid little piece then.

10-04-2010, 08:14 AM
Ok almost there. Have the heating wire on order and need to get the floor prepped. Looked at TJ's project and that helped alot.

One question though. Can I use the metal wire mesh at HD? Or do I have to use plastic mesh? I can't find the plastic mesh except for the ones that hold in chickens, etc. The metal is the closest that I can find.


Brian in San Diego
10-04-2010, 08:31 AM

Metal lath should not touch the heating cable but I believe in reality many people do use it. If you want to use a plastic lath, look into Mapelath from Mapei. Don't know if Lowe's can special order or not.


10-04-2010, 10:11 AM
Hey Brian,

Thanks. The metal lath will not touch the plastic mesh on the heating cable or the cable itself.

I only need about 9 feet x 1.5 feet. Not that much.

I'll get the metal lath and install it. I have to use galvanized staples. Does HD sell these as well?

thanks again

Houston Remodeler
10-04-2010, 10:14 AM
yes just takes some careful reading

10-24-2010, 08:42 PM
Hey all,

Quick question. I'm about to lay down the SLC but here's one question.

I'm not sure what vanity I'm going to get for the bathroom. I know its either going to be one or the other (in depth).

Can I put the heating wire under the vanity? Its not going to be much but would that affect the structure/stability of this later on? Knowing that the bathroom is steamy and such over the years.


10-24-2010, 09:05 PM
I would hold my heating wire back to accommodate the deeper cabinet, Andrew.

But there ain't no law.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Houston Remodeler
10-24-2010, 09:57 PM
Hold the wire back for a good reason:

masonry is a fairly good conductor of heat, which is one reason you're embedding it in masonry. The heat will easily spread those last few inches where the wire falls short of the cabinet, even if the distance is a little more than half the distance of the wire spacing in the mat when you got it from the manufacturer. I don't think the difference between the two cabinets will be all that much unless you're going to switch to a floating or pedestal.

10-25-2010, 09:57 PM
Thanks CX and Cabot. I know what to get now.

also, when pouring the SLC, what does feathering mean?

Houston Remodeler
10-25-2010, 10:00 PM
feathering = tooling it out to a very thin layer on one edge from a thicker layer elsewhere

this is commonly done to flatten a floor to lay sheet linoleum for example.

10-26-2010, 04:00 PM
I know I asked this before but I have about 4 bags of Custom LevelQuik ES to pour. Should I mix all these in 1 garbage can then pour or 4 different buckets?

The Kid
10-26-2010, 04:51 PM
I would just do 1 bag at a time personally. 4 bags really isnt enough to worry about a time issue IMO. One thing I do is use a new bucket for each bag, so for a 4 bag pour, i like to have 4 buckets with the proper amount of water already in them. Makes things a lot easier and less "scrambling" around.

10-26-2010, 05:32 PM
Just a side note for the future and for anyone else having to deal with cast iron tubs. I have a ton of rental properties with old cast iron tubs. I remember I used to try and remove the tub all at once, which is insanely heavy.

If you don't care about keeping the tub, you can actually break it into pieces with a sledge hammer. It looks like it would just dent, but trust me, it breaks into small pieces (essentially shatters). You can then haul out the pieces.

Make sure to disconnect from drain and supply lines first to avoid damaging them. Obviously wear all the safety gear, the porcelain tends to go everywhere and can get sharp.

Houston Remodeler
10-26-2010, 05:47 PM

You may also want to throw a blanket or such over the tub before breaking it to control the sharp flying shards of flesh cutting porcelain from getting in the air.

11-05-2010, 11:11 PM
Ok here goes. Ordered the vanity and will mark out where everything will go.

SLC Prep:
I'm plugging up all the holes, even the screw holes with caulk. Foam weatherstripping around the entire perimeter of the bathroom. Caulking under where the foam meets the plywood. Have a big empty 3 liter plastic bottle covering the toilet flange with duct tape.

Now here's the plan:
Wire mesh under the cabinets and the heating wire under the non cabinet area, and toilet wax ring. Using stainless steel staples (they were expensive), nailing the mesh and wire down on the plywood.

Now, should I apply the primer before putting down the wiremesh and heating wire? Or can I apply the primer over this several hours before I mix the SLC? I'll be using the LevelQuik Latex Primer.


11-08-2010, 09:04 PM
I read the SLC tip in the library. I'm gonna prime, put down the mesh and heating element. Then prime 2 hours before I pour the SLC.

Now here's an insulation question for everyone.

I have a wall that faces the exterior. Tub is in the alcove. The part of the wall thats not in the tub surround, I will put up insulation with the paper. The part that will NOT have paper on it is inside the tub surround correct? I'll be using Redgard for the tub.

Also, the other wall which is in the tub area, the adjacent wall is next to the bedroom. I want to put insulation there for sound control but i'll be having Durock up then Redgard. Should I also pull the paper off the insulation as well?

If you want a pic, I'll post it. Sorry for the confusion.



11-08-2010, 09:15 PM
Let me shed some darkness, Andrew.

In upper Yankee Land, where y'all generally want, and maybe should have, a vapor retarder on the inside of your exterior walls, I would allow whatever barrier I had to encroach upon the shower walls maybe half a foot or so. The waterproofing membrane on the interior of the shower wall will be sufficient for that portion.

Your friendly local code compliance inspector might argue and you're on your own there.

You can do the same on the interior walls of the shower area, but I think it far less important. I generally have all bathroom walls, interior shower walls included, insulated with paper-faced batts. On the shower walls, if a direct bonded waterproofing membrane is to be used on the shower side, I'd simply defeat the paper barrier by cutting vertical slits it it.

My opinion; worth price charged.

11-08-2010, 09:24 PM
Thanks. I did that previously on my other shower but insulation was on the exterior wall along with durock/redgard.

I'll cut the slits on all the paper faced insulation on the entire tub surround then. No slits on the outside of the tub.

Thanks for the refresher. :)


01-14-2011, 10:49 AM
Hey all,

I'm going to make a niche in my bathroom but I'm just stuck on thinking on how to do this.

The tub surround is still without CBU and just the studs are up. The other side of the wall has sheetrock. When I create this niche, I'll be using 2x4 blocks for the shelves and evenentually CBU or Kerdi. What do I do about the inside of the niche? What do I need to do for the backside of the niche? I don't want to put any screws through the wall then it would come out the other end which is a closet. Any suggestions?

Houston Remodeler
01-14-2011, 11:15 AM

You can locate your niche before tiling begins or after.

To build the niche, frame the sides with 2x4's, with screws from the bath side. Use the drywall of the adjoining room for the back of the niche OR add an additional piece of CBU or drywall. Waterproofing is your choice and effects how you build your niche, if you use kerdi or another surface waterproofing such as Hydroban, then the above description will work just fine.

To locate your niche after tiling starts, read this thread ( Ignore the bits about kerdi board, as the math and principles are the same for your method.

03-31-2011, 08:28 PM
Thanks Paul.

I'll post up pics. You have a good idea about stopping before the niche and then forming it. Well, I was thinking about the same. Just that I want to try and use a whole piece of 3x5 durock and then cut out the niche. By the time I'm tiling, I would have the durock up, then redgard. I'm just worried about the placement of the niche. THis is guess work.

While writing this, I should put up 2 pieces of Durock if I wanted this to look right correct?

I'm having 6x13 tiles hopscotched on the bottom, then a decorative tile going around, then 6x6 diamond shaped. Just don't want to hit the decorative tile inside the niche.

Oh the joy of placement of tiles. =)

04-20-2011, 07:45 PM
Ok after a heating issue with my house, got a conversion from oil to gas. Man, 9K wasn't cheap at all!

Anyway, about to lay down the SLC this saturday. Have a question about priming.

I want to prime the floor on Friday night, lay down the heating wire and mesh. The next morning, Saturday, can I prime again let it dry and then pour the SLC?

I worried that the day difference with the priming would affect the SLC.

I'll be using the Custom Level Quik primer.


04-20-2011, 09:10 PM
You can do that. When you prime on the day of the pour (do it early), you have to wait til the new primer is dry. D R Y dry. Very important. :nod:

You can use fans to help it along, but turn them off when you pour. It's a good time to double & triple check everything... like making sure every potential leak is sealed, water measured, bags cut open & staged, etc..... :) Good time for a break too cause once you start slc, you go til it's done.

04-21-2011, 05:56 AM
Thanks. I'll do that tonight cause I won't have time on Friday. Don't want to do the 'hurry up shuffle' to get this prepped.

thanks again

04-24-2011, 08:32 PM
Just did the floor. On the last bucket (4 out of 4), I think I hurt my back. I didn't realize how much a 5 gallon bucket of this stuff actually weighs. I need to lay down for a bit. I'll post pics up later. Thanks for everything guys. Will keep you posted

04-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Fun stuff eh Andy? :D

04-25-2011, 07:46 PM
Hey Mike,

Yeah, It was fun. I think I would do this again.

I do have questions to show you though. Its been over 24 hours. I guess it still needs more time to cure. When I went to check it out, it was 80% cured from what I saw. The last part I poured was still..well tacky. Is this normal?

I'll post pics. Its not as smooth as I thought it would be. Perhaps we didn't mix this long enough? It doesn't look clumpy but looks like a coffee crumb cake.

I'll get the pics up.

04-25-2011, 08:19 PM
what do you guys think?

04-25-2011, 08:31 PM
Its still drying..looks like. Plus the fact its humid as hell today. I guess I'll open up a window tomorrow since it will be 80 degrees tomorrow :)

04-26-2011, 09:08 PM

Most of it is 'dry' from the top but at the doorway is still wet. Humid as hell today. Opened the windows for a couple of hours but can't keep them open since it will rain tonight. Will keep you posted.

I did put a level on the dry part. NICE and LEVEL :)

06-08-2011, 07:13 AM
Hey guys,

So now I'm up to the Ditra. I have a roll of it from Home Depot, figuring it was cheaper and I only needed 44 sq ft.


1. According to my pics, I can lay the ditra down in 2 ways. One way is long from the radiator to the door (3x10) and the second piece will be the same but smaller (2x9 or something). Or should I cut it 3 times so it goes across the room, 3x5, 3x5, then the left over?

2. What trowel size should I use to put the Ditra on my SLC? 3/16 vnotch?

3. Also, I know I've researched this up and down. I'm going to use the Versabond on the bottom of the ditra. Not too concerned with the warranty since most of you guys did it like this.

06-08-2011, 10:32 AM
The great thing about ditra is that it doesn't matter how you lay it, where the seams end up, or how big the pieces are. I think I would prefer the 3x5 plan so you always have somewhere wide enough to kneel while you trowel down the mortar, but I'm no pro.

06-08-2011, 09:13 PM
Interesting Wendy. I can do the longer runs cause I can get out of the room from stretching.

Thing is that I have to keep this floor level and flat.


06-09-2011, 08:52 AM
What Wendy said. :)

For trowel notch size, the Ditra Installation Handbook lists a few options.

And Versabond will be fine over slc. :)

07-16-2011, 10:45 AM
I just put down the Ditra on the floor. I never knew that this was SO easy. Its a price to pay instead of putting down CBU, but man o man, I didn't bust a sweat carrying this. No more dust, measuring a few times, etc. Get out the carpenter blade and scissor and its all good to go!

Keeping you updated. Pics will come later =)

07-20-2011, 06:24 AM
Hey all,

I have a question. Just purchased the TLS (Tuscan Leveling System) and wanted to ask about using the tool that sets the straps and caps.

There is no setting on the tool so when I set the straps/caps on the tile, how do I know how far to tighten the strap? Do I use another cap to run it across the tiles so there is no lippage?


Houston Remodeler
07-20-2011, 06:52 AM
1- Experience. This is sort of something you have to figure out for yourself. Try it a few times on a counter top with dry tiles and no thinset to find the breaking point for the straps.

2- Another cap works fine, also fingers and palms are usually close by enough to use.

07-21-2011, 05:43 AM
Thanks Paul,

By breaking point, do you mean that the straps will break if I overtighten? Also, If I put the straps on the caps, can I take them off and reuse them when I dry test them?

Also, I was going to get the Tavy Puck. Save my money or do it the old fashion way with fingers or another cap? Would the more expensive gun work instead of the ergonomic one?

Thanks again.

09-09-2011, 08:27 AM
ok update

The floor came out good with the TLS. Good product!!!

I have a few questions though...

1. When tiling the floor, I made all the cuts first before thinsetting the tiles down. At the end, the thinset started to dry on me and wanted to set the last tile. The last tile was set nicely but it didn't line up with the door jamb. Now its off but its covered by the door. You won't really see it unless you are looking at it. I haven't grouted the floor yet, but would it be hard for me to bust the tile up (ditra underneath) and recut, thinset the tile back down..or just leave it? I guess a pic would do huh?

2. I'm planning to put a niche in the wall but don't know the height. When you guys build niches, do you also plan out the height of the tiles (for purposes of cuts, etc) or just put in the niche and deal with the tiles later?

3. I'm planning to use redgard on the walls. For the seams, I saw a video where they put the mesh tape on and then put redgard on it. Usually you would put the alkaline resistant tape on, thinset and then redgard. Any reason not to thinset first?

thats all for now. Thanks guys and gals!


09-09-2011, 09:20 AM
2. The better the plan, the better the overall tile job.

3. If the video was made by the manufacturer of the CBU, follow the instructions precisely. If not, pay no attention at all.

My opinion; worth price charged.

09-09-2011, 09:27 AM
Thanks CX. The video was from another manufacturer and I wasn't too keen on doing it their way. I like the mesh tape, thinset then the redgard. Makes it sorta bulletproof.

10-04-2011, 09:22 PM
Hey all,

another question.

I have the CBU all the way up to the ceiling. I have to tape the seams now inside the bathtub up on the ceiling. What do I use? the Alkaline mesh tape and then thinset on the CBU side..then spackle on the ceiling?

Just wanted to make sure I'm doing this right.


10-04-2011, 09:35 PM
What do I use? the Alkaline mesh tape and then thinset on the CBU side..then spackle on the ceiling?

Wherever tile goes, use the alkali resistant tape & thinset mortar between boards. At the ceiling, no tape req'd. Run the tile to within about 1/8 of the ceiling and caulk after drywall finish/paint. I typically finish drywall & paint before tile. :)

10-04-2011, 09:38 PM
wow dana

never thought of that. Thanks for the tip!

10-04-2011, 10:07 PM
Yer quite welcome. :)

10-07-2011, 11:21 PM
Hey all,
I have a question.

Is the insulation here ok? ( I did fill in the little void on the left hand side by the window..made sure of it!) This wall is against the outside wall and I just wanted to make sure that the insulation is ok before I screw it in and seal it up with Redgard.

I'm worried that if I have to replace the shower valve that the torch will make the insulation go up in flames. But then again, I'm afraid of the pipes bursting behind the walls.


12-10-2011, 03:17 PM
hey all,

quick question. I'm having tiles go down to the floor tiles. But last time I did this, I caulked the edge where the tiles meet. I was hoping for other ideas. Any pictures perhaps of ideas? Thanks

12-10-2011, 03:23 PM
Insulating the pipes individually isn't helping you out here.

Insulation doesn't create heat, so if you'd like to keep those pipes from freezing, you should keep them on the warmest side of your insulated wall, and I wouldn't suggest individually wrapping them.

12-10-2011, 03:49 PM
What Daniel said. But since you already have the pipes on the warm side, and you already have the pipes wrapped, i'd leave it. Won't hurt anything. :)

12-10-2011, 04:21 PM
I wouldn't leave it.

The water lines are actually being insulated AGAINST the warm temperature of the room in some circumstances.

12-10-2011, 07:34 PM
Well, lets look at this logically. I know, I know, dangerous territory. :D

The temp inside of the wall at the location of those pipes will be very close to the temp of the room. The temp of the water lines with water in them will be some temp above freezing. Therefore, the temp of the water lines with the insulation wrapped around them in that wall will be between freezing and room temp.

Like I said, won't hurt anything.

AND, if the power goes out, and the room temp approaches freezing, the foam wrap might help prevent the pipes from freezing. ;)

12-10-2011, 08:03 PM
You're very optimistic.

So what you're saying is that if the power goes out the insulation might save the day.

I wasn't talking about the power going out, if that happens you're in big trouble everywhere in the home. Insulation is just going to slow the heat loss, not prevent it.

12-10-2011, 08:12 PM
You're very optimistic.

Naaaaa, I just know a bit about temperature gradients in walls.

And slowing the heat loss if the power goes out is exactly what i was referring to. :)

12-10-2011, 08:20 PM

12-11-2011, 09:17 AM
Staying away from the freezing pipes argument, the pipe insulation will make your shower quieter and will save you some water heating $$ by keeping the heat from bleeding out from your excellently conducting copper pipes into the wall. Also, it's a good idea to insulate the cold water pipes. They are often running cooler than the surrounding space and can act as a condenser for any vapor in there, which can lead to wet fiberglass.

I've been insulating every pipe I can reach when I have the walls open, even when they are in interior walls (and since I live in Minnesota, we generally put as many of our pipes in interior walls as possible).

12-11-2011, 10:00 PM
awesome. Thank you all.

Actually, I couldn't wait any longer. hahah I had to seal it up and start the tiling. I"m on it now and as my original question stated, just wanted to know how you would finish the tile to the floor :)


02-18-2012, 12:35 PM
ok question.

My tiles are up on the wall with thinset. I had regard on the walls prior to this.

I noticed 2 tiles (separate from each other) that should be replaced.

1 tile I notched out a little square for the shower head. Low and behold I didn't need it and would like to replace the tile now.

The second one, I cut the tile crooked and now it looks 'ok' but I'd rather put in another piece that is fairly straight.

How hard is it to replace these tiles that are on the wall? If I break these tiles would the cement board come off along with the tile? Also, I didn't grout yet.


Houston Remodeler
02-18-2012, 06:19 PM
If the tiles are under 2 days old then they may pop off without too much damage. Use a wide margin trowel and gentle wiggling force on the broad side of the tile.

If the tiles have been installed for a while there will be CBU damage.

06-05-2012, 09:05 PM
Hey all,

Cleaning up doing the finishing touches. Seems that I had a few small blotches of Redgard on my cast iron tub. I can peel it off but a few spots I can't get it out. Mostly where the feet have those non-skid pads on the tub.

Horrible, scrubbing for minutes with something dull and it won't come out. Any suggestions?

06-06-2012, 09:35 AM
Try one of those Mr. Clean magic erasers. They aren't magic, but I've been able to get some really tenacious caulk off a window frame with one.