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-   -   My first tiling project - am I nuts? (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=106667)

paarlberg 04-05-2013 08:01 AM

My first tiling project - am I nuts?
Been reading over a lot of the good info here for a while to see if I want to tackle doing 4 showers in my new house. A little background on my project. It was a small remodel that turned into a tear down (due to existing structure not able to handle the load of a 2nd floor) and new construction, this all started in Feb 2009. Needless to say I am ready for it to be over. We have been paying out of pocket for the full project, saving a few months at a time then do a part of the project, then save again for a few months, etc.. I have done most of the items in the house, framing, plumbing, electrical (with the oversight of a professional). I left the spray foam insulation and drywall to the professionals though.

My master shower is 5'x6' with 9' walls. The drain is not centered due to a double floor joist running across the middle of of the shower.

3 other showers are 4'x4' and have centered drains (as close as possible).

I am thinking of doing a mud base for the master and possibly the kerdi pans for the others to simplify the process.

I am leaning towards 4x4, 6x6 or subway tiles for the walls, and 2x2 or smaller for the floor.

Am I biting off more than I can chew? I am not afraid to try this, but I am afraid that I might not have the patience to do the tile and to do it right. I have used the saying "caulk and paint will make it something it ain't" a few times so far.

Davy 04-05-2013 09:06 AM

Hi David, welcome. If you're gonna do the master bath first and mud that floor, you'll prolly get enough practice on it to feel comfortable mudding the others. Mud floors are much cheaper than the Kerdi Tray. Plus, the Kerdi tray uses a Kerdi drain which is much more expensive than a regular 3 piece clamping drain.

We can help you each step of the way. Posting pics will help us answer your questions along the way and helps us keep up with your progress. Just be sure and keep the questions here on this thread. :)

paarlberg 04-05-2013 11:03 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a picture of the master shower pre-sheetrock. 3 sides have full walls and 1 side has a half wall with an opening in the middle.

Davy 04-05-2013 11:29 AM

Looks like a good size shower. David, what part of the country are you in?

paarlberg 04-05-2013 02:49 PM

I am in NE Atlanta.

Would you recommend using the Kerdi membrane? From what I have seen/read, it looks like a good option for a waterproofing membrane.

DRBlais 04-05-2013 03:07 PM

David, Welcome indeed. Brave man welcome the wonderful world of being nuts and loving it. If you are going to use the Basket Drain kit then you will want to use a CPE (Pool Liner) membrane. If you want to use the Kerdi Drain kit, you will use the Kerdi membrane and all the water goes right down the drain. Benefit of the Kerdi drain is no saturation of the Mudpan which will keep the mold and mildew down to minimum. Davy is correct you can get a PVC basket drain for around 10 bucks as opposed to the Kerdi drain which is 90 to 120 depending on the finish. I personally think the PVC drains are affordable looking and use Zurn drains when specified. Which are about the same price as the Kerdi ones. Good luck!

paarlberg 04-06-2013 07:09 AM

I have some left over material that was used for a flat roof. Here is a link to what it is. It appears to be better than the typical pan liner you can get from the big box stores.


Mine is the 60 mil. Will this work for the pan liner?

paarlberg 04-07-2013 08:55 AM

Maybe I should bribe some of the guys coming for Coverings 2013 in Atlanta to do a quick job while they are here :crazy:

cx 04-07-2013 09:44 AM

Guys attending Coverings are usually very busy while there. Generally busy with drinking adult beverages, best I can tell, but busy nonetheless. :)

You can start a thread in the Professionals' Hangout soliciting professional help with your project if you like. Put your geographic location in the title and include a link to this thread in the body of the post for any discussion.

No, the EPDM roofing material is not suitable for a shower pan liner. That material does not play well with Portland cement.

I'm not familiar with the "Basket Drain" that Denny mentions above, but if you use a clamping-type shower drain you can use either the CPE he mentioned or a PVC liner, each approved for the application.

My opinion; worth price charged.

paarlberg 04-07-2013 09:52 AM

Maybe a sign around my neck next to the GWCC that says.. "free beer for tiling job" :loaded:

paarlberg 04-07-2013 06:22 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I think I could prolly handle it, but prolly won't be good enough if I have a leak from the second floor.

DRBlais 04-07-2013 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by CX
I'm not familiar with the "Basket Drain" that Denny mentions above, but if you use a clamping-type shower drain you can use either the CPE he mentioned or a PVC liner, each approved for the application.

That is the same thing its the Base, clamp ring, and basket 3 pieces. Sorry, That just what we call it up here.

Hank B. 04-07-2013 10:28 PM

Couple of things just off your pics.

If you plan to use a pan liner, vs kerdi or a liquid waterproofing method, then the blocking you have there at the bottom is great, problem is, It doesn't appear to be set back. With a pan liner, its best to notch the studs at the bottom, so that the liner doesn't cause the backer board you install on the walls to be bowed out at the bottom. local building codes might require how high above your finished curb that liner needs to be, but I usually just make it around 10" off the floor which will usually tend to be 5-6 higher than the curb. I usually make a cut in the studs with a reciprocating saw, then whack out the rest with a chisel. then place the blocking back that distance as well.

Also, your curb is a bit on the thick/tall side. You want the wood to be a thickness that after acounting for the liner, lath, mud, and tile, you come out flush with the outside wall, unless you plan to tile outside the wall then you want to plan your tile to come out to that plane.

paarlberg 04-11-2013 09:34 AM

I am still torn on whether or not to hire out the job. I think I could handle the project, waterproofing is my largest concern.

The house we are building is designed to look like an 1890-1910 home, so I want to have a historic look to everything (as much as possible). Wide plank heart pine floors (8 and 10"), reclaimed 2 panel doors with glass knobs, tin ceiling in kitchen, etc.. So I am thinking that white (slightly off-white) 3x6 subway tiles on the wall and 1-2" square or 2-3" octagon on the floor of the shower.

I may hire out the waterproofing and do the tiling myself, but everything I have read says that it is fairly straight forward to waterproof if you can follow directions.

Since I have done a lot of the work myself on the house, this is another place I can say "I did that too". Is everything that I have done perfect compared to a pro? Probably not, but I did it myself and feel great about it, no issues and I can just call it character ;).

HooKooDoo Ku 04-11-2013 11:37 AM

For the most part, it sounds like you pretty much know what you're doing, but you just don't have the practical experience yet.

My suggestion as a fellow DIYer would be to pick the 4'x4' you care the least about (say pick the shower that belongs to the 'kids' room over say the shower that belongs with the guest room). Then do everything you plan to do in the master bath to this shower. That means starting with a mud base and your preferred method of water proofing. Basically use that shower to cut your teeth on all the work you will eventually need to do to completely do the master bath.

What will wind up happening is that (with the great advice from all the helpful members here) you will do a decent (i.e. acceptable) job on that shower.

But once you've gotten that experience of the 1st one under your belt, you'll be ready to do the next one so that it will look terrific, and you'll be able to say YOU did that.

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