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Unread 01-18-2020, 08:49 AM   #41
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairfax, Va
Posts: 4,324
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An awful lot to digest and reply to there, Karen, but good for you for recognizing that nailing down the details for construction and materials is an important first step.

1st, I think it'll be nearly impossible to find a contractor to which you can dictate all aspects of the methods he will employ to execute your job, but hopefully you can find someone who will listen to your concerns and suggestions so you end up with the product you want. Water proofing, for example; some will want to do it one way while others another. Both can be viable, and you'll need to be open minded.

Get a detailed estimate, listing process and materials. Use that to do your research here and elsewhere.

Tile wise, especially in the shower area, you'll have to decide what you can live with. Any tile that doesn't have a smooth surface, that has a high moisture absorption rate, will tend to collect stuff and will increase maintenance. So, too, will accents like pencil strips because they create somewhat of a ledge that water can sit on at the grout line. The longer water sits the more likely mold growth will occur. Sealing the grout may help a little but must be reapplied frequently. More maintenance. Y'all will hafta decide where your maintenance pain point is, but it's likely to shift as you age.

Given you're in a ranch and the bathroom is on the main floor, that floor will be constructed of wood. You don't technically need any kind of membrane but it certainly would be good insurance. A more pressing concern is if the floor structure is sufficiently stiff to support a tile installation. It likely is from what I've read but it still needs to be verified.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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