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Unread 01-24-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
Ross_in_AR
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Bathroom Renovation Questions

Been lurking for a while doing research for a bathroom renovation project. This will be my first experience with tile, and I want to try to avoid as many rookie mistakes as I can. Plan is to tile a tub/shower surround up to the ceiling and then the lower four or five feet of the rest of the walls. Tile will be a mix of 3x6 and 6x8 white subway tile with some glass mosaic added for accents.

Last weekend we stripped the bathroom down to the studs and I've got some questions before we start putting things back. We're located in Northeast Arkansas where humidity in the summer months is a fact of life, so it seems right that my first question be vapor/moisture barriers. The original bathroom walls were wanna-be ceramic (plastic) tiles set on plain sheetrock with no moisture barrier anywhere to be found. Thankfully the studs in the walls show no signs of moisture damage. We'll be putting up 1/2" Permabase CBU everywhere the walls will be tiled. From reading here, I understand the importance of moisture protection on one, but not both, surfaces of the tub surround walls. My question is should we go with poly in the walls, or Redgard on the CBU surface? Since we're at the bare studs right now, we can go either way. My instinct is to go with Redgard and keep the moisture out of even the CBU and as far away from the studs as possible, but l'm an admitted newbie open to advice. Is poly in the wall the better way to go? The long wall of the tub surround is an interior wall backing onto a bedroom with sheetrock on the other side. One of the end walls is an exterior wall which will have to have insulation in it. The other end wall (where the plumbing is located) backs onto a linen closet with sheetrock walls.

My other question (for now) deals with CBU and the tub flange. The tub is an old-school porcelain on cast iron job (original equipment in this mid-1950s house). I'm guessing the flange is typical for this type of tub, but its not really what I think of as a flange. Instead of being a thin, straight vertical piece that can easily be overlapped with CBU this tub's flange stands about 1/2" tall at its highest point and slopes gently down to the tub deck over the course of about 1/2". Obviously there's not really a way to overlap that with CBU unless we fir way out from the studs. So, what would be a good way to deal with that? I'd rather not fir out as it seems that will just create other issues, but if we have to we have to. Should we just stop the CBU completely above the tub flange and use something else to fill the gap? And how much of a gap do we need to leave between the Permabase and the top of the tub flange? And what should we use to fill the gap? Seems like it would be a bit much for just silicone. Use thinset? But then wouldn't we still need at least some silicone between the tub and the CBU/thinset to allow for movement? Or am I just over-thinking the whole darn thing (wouldn't be the first time.)

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I tend to err on the side of giving too much detail. I'm an I.T. guy by trade, so I know what its like to try and answer questions or troubleshoot problems with only half the necessary information being provided. If I had a quarter for every workorder I've gotten that read simply "Computer not working! Fix it!!" I'd be a rich man.
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