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The77boudreau 03-04-2021 08:50 AM

Some questions-noble shower
I'm doing post hurricane repairs and renovations (still....) and my wife and I decided to remove the fiberglass 80s shower/tubs to do tile showers in two of our bathrooms.

-- With a hex tile in a mosaic format, approx 2" chips, what big box thinset would be good for a shower floor and that tile? I know very little about the specifics and differences of the Mapei and Custom Building Products thinsets.
It's going on top of a Noble ValueSeal membrane. Our joists are 2x10 with 2x8s sistered on the bottom with a 5'2" span. Double 5/8" subfloor currently but I need to take it up to move the drain. Tub to shower reno.

-- The other question currently is for the walls. We are looking at a 12x24 porcelain to also go on the Noble membrane bonded with Noble Bond EXT to Durock. Will that be a different thinset? Something like Versabond LFT I assume?

-- The last question currently is about thinset color(s). The Mini hex mosaic on the floor is matte black and the porcelain wall is a raw cement look. Would it be best to use a white thinset for the wall and a gray for the floor? I have no idea here and reading directions pretty much specifies things like modified or not, trowel dimensions, substrate, etc.

I'd be more than happy to answer any more questions that may come up or take critiques of any selections thus far. I've learned a ton here lurking the past few years but hurricane Laura dumped 20 years worth of projects on me all at once.

Thank you,

The77boudreau 03-07-2021 12:14 PM

I'm at a point now where I was curious if there are benefits or drawbacks of embedding backer board (durock in this case) in my mud bed?

I'm using a surface membrane ,and if I understand correctly, a cement backer can go either way with my choice of materials.
It may make marking a level screed line easier if embedded but that is just a noob guess looking at my next few steps.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, this is new ground for me.

cx 03-07-2021 12:35 PM

Welcome, Russ. :)

Looks like you got missed with your first post. Sorry about that.

We don't know the actual difference between Custom and MAPEI products, either. Both Custom and MAPEI will know, but neither will tell you. Both make some good products, each makes at least one I would not recommend you use.

I would use white thinset mortar for all your applications because I can. No technical reason to use any particular color in any application you've described.

If you'll read the installation instructions for the Noble product (and I recommend you always do that) you'll find they require you use a modified thinset mortar meeting ANSI A118.4 over that product.

The joist span that's important to you is the unsupported span of the joist, not the span of the area to be tiled. That's what you measured at only five feet?

Your new subfloor requirement will depend upon your joist spacing, which we do not know.

Embedding the CBU wallboard in the top mud bed of a traditional shower receptor is a good thing and the only real way you have to anchor the bottom of the wallboard where you cannot use mechanical fasteners.

My opinion; worth price charged.

The77boudreau 03-07-2021 12:45 PM

Thank you, the wall board detail helps. The joist span is 61.5" unsupported. As far as the noble value seal membrane I'm using their noblebond ext adhesive.

Would it be a big mistake to use the versabond LFT for the 12x24 wall tiles. I went and bought that and the versabond modified thinset for the floor, unfortunately they only had the grey. Is there a difference in bond, set time or anything I should be concerned about with the gray vs white for the floor mosaics?

I appreciate the help, reassurance or even correction as this is new ground for me. I felt more comfortable diy'ng my mini splits or uprading my service entrance, although I was a little nervous when it came time to flip the switch....lol.

cx 03-07-2021 02:28 PM

I understand you're using the EXT to bond your ValueSeal to the wallboard, I'm reminding you that you must use a modified thinset mortar to bond your tile to the ValueSeal.

Technically no difference between gray and white VersaBond, but whomever "they" are can get you either color.

I've never used the VersaBond LFT, but it should work. If your walls are flat and your tiles are flat, the regular VersaBond should work just fine.

My opinion; worth price charged.

The77boudreau 03-07-2021 02:35 PM

Thank you again CX. I appreciate the assistance. I didn't even explore the use of non modified thinset as I thought that unless it was specified for a system or specific product there were no benefits to using it.

Back to work now!

The77boudreau 03-11-2021 06:23 AM

I'm back with another question. Is it necessary to use membrane flashing gaskets for a diverter valve and shower head arm that bonds to a surface membrane?

I'm guessing that its necessity in a steam shower, but this is a pretty modest 2 head shower. One rain head in center of ceiling with a handheld mounted chest high on a side wall.

My apologies is my terminology is off on some of the components, plumbing is a new area to me.

ss3964spd 03-11-2021 09:39 AM

I'd consider those gaskets necessary only if the penetrations in question will see a lot of water or, in the case of the valve/diverter, if the cover plate for it will be mounted on tile that has such an uneven surface that the integral gasket on the back of the cover plate cannot seal against the tile face.

The last two bathrooms I demo'd, both 40 years ish old, had standard shower head arms installed through plain old drywall with simple escutcheons, and there was zero water damage to the drywall. Similarly, once the tile was removed from around the shower valve there was also no noticeable damage to the drywall (yes, the tile was installed directly to the drywall).

The gaskets certainly won't hurt, and may offer peace of mind, and are cheap insurance.

The77boudreau 03-11-2021 10:11 AM

Thank you sir, I'm just not sure if the noble diverter trim would work on the delta ara trim and rs22000 rough in I'm using since it has 2 valve body penetrations that are different sizes about an inch apart. For $29 though I may roll the dice and detail it as good as I can. I'm sure I can either help or do nothing extra.

I appreciate the help.

The77boudreau 03-12-2021 12:17 PM

Question on screed boards
I've seen mention of using 1Xs for screed boards cut to workable lengths for pan shape/size....is the reason for 1Xs vs 2Xs more about the shape than dimensions?

One bys tend to have rounded edges rather than square edges on most or all sides on 2Xs.

Or is it the sectional width helps pack better since it's thinner edgewise for more pressure?

I like to know the why's that go with approved and optimal practices and methods. Thank you in advance and sorry for such a trivial question.

cx 03-12-2021 12:25 PM

Russ, you need only try screeding that small area with 2x material and 1x material to see the difference. I think you'll choose the 1x every time. Or something thinner.

Originally Posted by Russ
One bys tend to have rounded edges rather than square edges on most or all sides on 2Xs.

In my experience it's just the opposite. It's the 1x that usually tend to have square edges, which is just what you want for the application. In fact, the 1x material that I use more than once go through the jointer after cleaning and drying to sharpen them for the next use.

No question here is trivial if you need the answer. :)

The77boudreau 03-14-2021 08:47 AM

Thank you for the advice....and yes, 1xs are better screed boards all day.

The question at hand is about access for upper wall tiles. Once my pan is cured (24 hr cure), will I be able to setup a rubber footed ladder on it? Would it be wise or unnecessary to put some dense closed cell foam under the feet for weight distribution?

I'm probably overthinking it and underestimating the strength of the deck mud. It's seems like a lot of point loading directly under the ladder feet. I'm not a very big guy if that at all matters(~170lbs)

Thank you in advance and for the past help. This forum is amazing as so many trades guard their stuff like it's top secret info.

ss3964spd 03-15-2021 08:33 AM

Russ, your point load assessment is correct - you should definitely consider placing something under the ladders feet to spread the load. If you have any 1/4" sheet goods laying about that would be great, flexible enough to conform to the pan without the corners digging in, thick enough to distribute the load.

The77boudreau 03-19-2021 11:39 AM

Thank you SS. The dry pack was every bit as easy as said by the experienced forum members. I would rather not have to redo it since time is precious for me since my paying job takes up so much.

Current question is regarding schluter trims, specifically Rondec on the seat edge of a framed corner bench. I intend to use Quadec to frame a niche, Jolly or Schiene ( I get the application confused) for wall and outside corner edges, and Rondec for the seat edge. Quadec is pretty foolproof with it's corner pieces, but how to I cleanly terminate the Rondec at the walls where the bench edge intersects?

Would a 45 degree miter, cope the wall tile to accept the profile and leave room for some Color-sil to seal at the change of plane be best? I imagine it's installer choice but that is the cleanest option I can think of rather than butting the miter to tile face or forcing it to meet in a grout line.

Any other ideas or would a different profile be better perhaps? I'm a little ahead of myself currently but I believe I need to iron this out in order to layout my wall tile. Thank you in advance.

The77boudreau 03-23-2021 04:56 PM

Saw blade and schluter trim Q's
Another quick question to go with my previous about the Schluter trims. Would the Pearl Turbo Mesh be a decent go to blade for my tile selection, all porcelain, no glass and 7" wet saw?

ss3964spd 03-24-2021 06:11 AM

I haven't used that blade personally, Russ, but any high quality blade intended for porcelain should do the trick.

The saw, and blade alignment also plays a role. Too much arbor run out, or a blade that isn't square and/or parallel to the table can also cause problems. Best to install your blade and make any adjustments necessary to the extent that your saw allows.

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc 03-24-2021 07:09 AM

Pearl P4 is a great blade

The77boudreau 03-24-2021 02:55 PM

Thank you James, I was just checking to see if it was still considered one of the better selections nowadays. My saw isn't too of the line or anything (Rigid 7") but I figure I should eliminate any variables where possible.

Do you by chance have any input on terminating a Rondec profile into an adjoining wall at 45 degrees? ( Corner bench seat edge to wall application)

The77boudreau 03-24-2021 03:02 PM

I just noticed your response also Dan. My saw seems fairly tight and I'll adjust the slide top/fence once I install my blade. It's not top of the line but I'm not laying 1000sq/ft or anything. Maybe 400 total across two showers.

Most complex cuts may be some mitered corners at my wife's bench and I'll see how it goes. I can't remember off hand what y'all call a miter that retains a sixteenth or so of the factory edge, but that is my intention if my equipment is up to par.

Thank you both for your help and assistance.

Snets 03-24-2021 09:47 PM

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Current question is regarding schluter trims, specifically Rondec on the seat edge of a framed corner bench. I intend to use Quadec to frame a niche, Jolly or Schiene ( I get the application confused) for wall and outside corner edges, and Rondec for the seat edge. Quadec is pretty foolproof with it's corner pieces, but how to I cleanly terminate the Rondec at the walls where the bench edge intersects?

Would a 45 degree miter, cope the wall tile to accept the profile and leave room for some Color-sil to seal at the change of plane be best? I imagine it's installer choice but that is the cleanest option I can think of rather than butting the miter to tile face or forcing it to meet in a grout line.
I'm not 100% sure I understand your question. This is a corner bench? Like a 45 degree or so using Rondec as the edge trim between the horizontal tle of the bench seat itself and the face of the bench? If so, yes, miter it the same angles as the corresponding tile on each end and leave it short on both ends the same as the grout lines and grout the gaps same as the tile.

The photo example is with a 90 degree bench but the concept is the same. But to make it really work, set the wall tiles first so that grout line keeps the same plane vertically and horizontally.

ON EDIT: I can see that if you set your bench tiles (top and face) first, this would be much harder to pull off.

The77boudreau 03-25-2021 09:50 AM

Thank you very much. It is a corner bench and the profile would be on the seat edge at the vertical face of the bench. You answered exactly what I couldn't explain clearly....hahaha

The77boudreau 03-27-2021 08:52 AM

I'm curious about preferred methods of cutting wall tile for a corner bench. The bench if framed into the corner with the front face at 45 degrees to the two walls.

Would two 22.5 degree cuts be better than a 45 degree cut (on either the wall or bench) and a 90 degree edge on the other? My lack of experience has me curious if there are pros or cons to one or the other. Or am I just trying to reinvent the wheel here and just keep it simple?

Snets 03-28-2021 02:32 PM

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Russ, I would miter the wall tiles and bench face tiles to 45*, instralling the wall tiles first. In my opinion, you will get the best grout/caulking lines doing it that way. I think trying to do 22.5* on everything in the end is much more difficult and the results would not be significantly different.

Your Schluter edging on the edge of the bench would be cut the same length as the bench face tiles, end to end.

I'm sure there are other ways to attack this but IMHO this is simple and will look great.

The77boudreau 03-28-2021 04:50 PM

Ahhh, much appreciated. That helps me a ton. Trying to have a vision of things without trying first is a product of being as inexperienced as I am. I didn't think of opposing 45s like that. I was actually thinking of butting the 45 and 90 together but I like that detail better. Thank you Snets.

The77boudreau 03-28-2021 05:14 PM

Is it normal to be nervous during a flood test? Haha

This is new ground for me. I trust the Noble membrane but I don't know where I fall on the curve yet as the installer! lol

Snets 03-28-2021 06:32 PM

Yes, but don't loose sleep over it. I had a leak on my first test, found it, fixed it and still leak-free over 12 years later. Best to find a leak now for sure.

The77boudreau 04-02-2021 08:39 AM

Thinset in buckets or pan
My flood test was a success, not a measurable drop lost in 24hrs. I have a question on effeciency.....

I've been mixing and working out of buckets to set my tile and I either have bad technique or the wrong tools. Should I be working out of buckets and should I be able to cleany load up my trowel from the bucket. I would be cleaner off a hawk I bet. I have to use a margin trowel to load my trowel without a mess.

Any tips or suggestions?

The77boudreau 04-06-2021 12:33 PM

Question that is a little off topic yet still relevant to current project. I had originally planned on transitioning my floor to wall in an arc...think very dramatic coving. Not knowing the little bit I know now which is a ton more than a month or two ago, it was abandoned.

I understand it pretty much dictates my tile format/size based on the size of the transition but is my current approach correct for next project?

Surface membrane applied with conventional methods( plumb walls and standard sloped bed) and then dry pack the transition from pan to wall? Perhaps thinset first as you would on concrete to promote a solid bond?

Also, does anybody have any noobie tips for loading my trowels from buckets with thinset. My previous post got lost in the shuffle.

Thank you everyone, pros and DIYers alike...I've learned a ton from all.

cx 04-06-2021 01:51 PM


Originally Posted by Russ
Surface membrane applied with conventional methods( plumb walls and standard sloped bed) and then dry pack the transition from pan to wall? Perhaps thinset first as you would on concrete to promote a solid bond?

Don't think I understand the question. This is for a shower receptor using a direct bonded waterproofing membrane, perhaps? If so, a "standard sloped bed" would be made using deck-mud or similar mortar and I don't know what transition you might want to do between floor and wall.

There is a "bucket trowel" that can be used to transfer thinset mortar from the bucket to the floor or to your notched trowel.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Snets 04-06-2021 10:05 PM


I'm no pro but I keep a margin trowel in every 5 gal bucket of thinset mortar. I use it to scoop mortar, clean the edge of the bucket, clean my notched trowel when it gets messy, load my notched trowel sometimes, load the back of a tile for a clean notched trowel, etc. It's kind of the method that works for me to keep me flowing. Try that.

The77boudreau 04-07-2021 05:19 PM

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I'll try to link an image of what I'm referring to. It's not a tile installation but same basic principle.


That is pretty much exactly how I've been loading my trowel but was just checking to see if there are better methods. And the bucket scoop CX was referring to came to mind as it's pretty much the same idea as a bucket scoop for drywall.

Anyways, I appreciate you taking the time to help. I would never have attempted this if I had not found this forum. There is a lot to setting tile and even more to properly constructing a functional and durable shower.

Snets 04-07-2021 06:39 PM

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I had originally planned on transitioning my floor to wall in an arc...think very dramatic coving.

You lind of lost me too on that one too. Your "Arc" or "Coving" transition between floor and wall - are you talikng about using a profile such as Schluter Dilex?

The77boudreau 04-08-2021 10:17 AM

Not sure if this will work correctly from my phone. It's also not the best picture of what I'm trying to describe. I believe I saw this on here originally but can't find it.

I want to do the floor wall transition, in tile, with a style similar to the two pictures I linked. I'm a little ahead of myself since I'm only 90% done with my current project but am fishing for any advice or tips. I hope I described it better this time.


I can't resize it from my phone. Uuugh

Snets 04-08-2021 11:50 PM

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That link no longer works. I did see, the first time I clicked on it, what you are referring to. It was a penny tile floor/curb with like a 6" radius convex transition from floor to wall.

Really, no idea how you would do that.

But, it looked pretty cool so let's figure it out. It's a substrate below all of that, no different than a floor or a wall - that's what you set tile to be it waterproofed or not. So that said, how would you construct such a convex substrate? Wood? Mud? (My bet)

Think about all of the rules and theories on beds and substrates talked about here, proven methods. Why would a Deck Mud pan built with a 6" concave radius up to the walls be different than a traditional Mud Pan? I don't know the answer. Someone will.

The photo I originaly saw was essentially a symetrically rounded curb with no square edges, a speed bump curb, maybe with some flat on top. Am I describing this right??

The77boudreau 04-09-2021 06:22 AM

Yes sir, that is exactly what I was trying to describe....with much more elementary vocabulary...lol

I believe they used either fat mut or deck mud and a wine bottle for the curb shape. Pretty sure it was on here somewhere, and a few pros have done similar things and had input/tips.

Waterproofing with a surface membrane was why I was thinking of a standard shape shower construction and then mud the shape of floor wall transition on the dry side. Similar to how benches can be constructed above the membrane.

cx 04-09-2021 07:12 AM

You might could do that, Russ. Either with fat mud or one of the proprietary patching materials made by the setting products manufacturers.

There would likely be some longer term holding of moisture in those built-up corners, but I'm not sure what the downside of that might be. Much would depend upon the particular tile you used, I suppose.

My opinion; worth price charged.

The77boudreau 04-09-2021 01:11 PM

Plunge cutting question
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If I split my tile when plunge cutting with wet saw...is that from too much pressure or did I crack it outlining with grinder? I understand it's hard to say without seeing what I did. In general, what could a noobie like me do to keep it from happening?

My saw table is clean and I dress my blade with a red stone. The blade currently is a p4 turbo mesh. I've found that not enough pressure causes chatter and chipping but I don't think I was forcing the saw with the plunge cut. Maybe I really need to baby it here...

The77boudreau 04-09-2021 01:17 PM

Thank you CX. I couldn't put to words what I was trying to explain and I appreciate you and Snets trying to decipher it! I sort of came up with the idea in my head and figured it had been done before yet it's hard to find info on it or pics of many.

The77boudreau 04-10-2021 11:40 AM

Does anyone have any tips for cutting out an opening for a delta multichoice valve? This maddening.....

I've tried straight plunge cutting and it will break during cuts....and evenly randomly without even touching it. I scored it with grinder and had same results going back to wet saw the bulk out. I drilled about a dozen holes around perimeter thinking they would stop a crack like you do with metal before a weld....same results, breaks instantly or randomly.

Any ideas at all? I may have to pay someone to make this last cut and to say I'm disappointed and on the verge of snapping is an understament.

Snets 04-10-2021 12:49 PM


First: Don't snap.

Second, there are multiple ways to nail that hole, not sure if you tried:

1) A diamond hole saw
2) Diamond jigsaw blade
3) Angle grinder with a dry blade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p1i8IP5cu0 I have used this method successfully a couple times - slow and easy

I had good luck with the hole saw but it takes some time, keep it wet.

Search Youtube for some techniques. Different tiles have different tolerances for what makes them shatter. Good luck!

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