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Old 02-05-2018, 12:04 PM   #1
Dave42
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Dave's Master Bath Remodel - Dented Wedi Shower Pan

Hi All,

I'm new here, but I've been soaking up your wisdom for the last year or so. That's when I started remodeling the master bath in our 30-year-old home. My wife decided she wanted to move the toilet (within the same joist space, thank goodness!) and swap the tub and shower locations. Since this required removing the subfloor, I also installed Ultra-Fin underfloor radiant heating and new 3/4" Sturd-i-floor. The 2x10's span 15 feet, but are on 12" centers and are No. 2 SPF, so deflection should be OK for porcelain planks over Ditra. Nevertheless, I had to sister several joists because the plumber notched 3 of them for the 3 drains and apparently only owned a 4-inch hole saw. I added wood blocking at the center of the span as well as 3-4 feet from the outside wall.

So after several months, I'm finally working above the floor. I started installing a Wedi Fundo Riolito shower kit. However, after installing about half of the side walls, I noticed that my bony knees and Reebok sneakers had left dozens of indentations in the pan. I only weigh 170 pounds! Worse, a small stepladder left 4 half-moon dents in the surface.

A Wedi technician drove 3 hours each way to check out the situation. He stomped on the pan to make sure there were no voids underneath, looked at all of the seams and said I did a very good job with my installation. He said the pan was not unusually soft and that the indentations would not cause a problem with my sliced river rocks, as long as I skim-coated the pan and used epoxy grout. Interestingly, the Wedi technical manual specifically says to use sanded grout for pebbles. Maybe that's just for non-sliced pebbles.

Has anyone else run into this? I re-watched the Wedi videos, and none of them show the installers protecting the pan while installing the side panels. They even placed full-size ladders right on the pan. Does anyone have advice? My wife does NOT want to give up the sliced pebbles.

Thanks for your help!
--Dave
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Dave.

I think as long as you fill in those depressions ahead of time and let it dry, you'll be okay. I'm not a big fan of the foam trays and your picture illustrates why.

Epoxy grout can also be sanded.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Dave.

I think as long as you fill in those depressions ahead of time and let it dry, you'll be okay. I'm not a big fan of the foam trays and your picture illustrates why.

Epoxy grout can also be sanded.
Ok. Thanks. My plan then is to use Spectralock grout on the floor. I've ordered Laticrete 4-XLT for the 12x15 shower wall tile. Would that work for the sliced pebble floor, including the skim coat? And would Spectralock be overkill for the wall tile?

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Old 02-06-2018, 08:37 AM   #4
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Spectralock will work fine, and XLT will work as well. Just make sure that when you skim it to fill those knee depressions that you allow it to dry completely. I don't know how long that will be, but maybe as little as 24 hours.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:55 AM   #5
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I used a Wedi base (the regular Fundo Primo type) in my shower and noticed the same types of indentations, specifically from my knees. Not too many but a few. The pan still drained fine and they dried out quickly after my flood tests, so I just skim coated them prior to installing the tile. The tile install is nice and flat so I'm not too worried.

I tiled and grouted the floors before even starting with the walls. I've put down a double layer of towels with a sheet of cardboard on top to protect it, and plan to use something fairly sturdy in addition when it comes time to set up a step ladder.

I noted the same thing that there are no cautions about this in the directions or in the various videos. I think they ought to note this in the instructions.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:34 PM   #6
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I used a Wedi base (the regular Fundo Primo type) in my shower and noticed the same types of indentations, specifically from my knees. Not too many but a few. The pan still drained fine and they dried out quickly after my flood tests, so I just skim coated them prior to installing the tile. The tile install is nice and flat so I'm not too worried.

I tiled and grouted the floors before even starting with the walls. I've put down a double layer of towels with a sheet of cardboard on top to protect it, and plan to use something fairly sturdy in addition when it comes time to set up a step ladder.

I noted the same thing that there are no cautions about this in the directions or in the various videos. I think they ought to note this in the instructions.
I thought the same thing. I have plywood on it now, and I would have done so earlier if I had known.

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Old 02-07-2018, 05:50 PM   #7
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Here's another question. In the dry area of the bathroom, we're installing tile up to 42" and painting above. I installed new green board. I plan to tape and mud my vertical seams from 40" and up, and use alkali resistant tape and thinset from there down to the floor. So only the bullnose will be over primed drywall. Is that the right approach? Should I spot the screws or leave them alone?

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Old 02-07-2018, 07:14 PM   #8
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You can leave them alone.

Also there is no need for the green MR board. Plain white drywall will work just fine.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:34 AM   #9
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Shower Grout Selection

I'm planning on SpectraLock Grout in #60 Dusty Grey for the pebble stones. Mrs. Dave wants me to use the same color grout on our 10x14 Daltile Skybridge Off-White wall tile. The spec sheet recommends a 1/16" grout joint, but the edges of the tiles are stepped, so a 1/16" spacer will result in a wider grout joint (see my pictures). Plus, I figure a slightly wider dark joint on this light-colored tile will help hide grout width variations. I bought the MLT leveling system for the 6x24 floor planks, and i might as well use it on the walls, even they aren't huge.

The tricky part is she wants a vertical strip with white and blue mosaic tile, with a #44 Bright White grout. So a sanded grout is definitely out, and I need to choose a gray grout that won't pick up the white grout that butts up against it.

I would appreciate any grout recommendations. Should I stick with Spectralock for everything, or use another Laticrete product? We've already chosen Laticrete colors, and I really don't want to go back and ask her to select a color from another brand...

Finally, do I need a separate glass tile mortar or can I use the white 4-XLT for everything?

Thanks! Dave
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:43 PM   #10
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Hi Dave -
You should be able to use SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium for the glass and wall tile, but it will be difficult to use with the pebble stones. You should use either Glass Tile Adhesive or 254 Platinum (white) for the glass mosaics.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:07 PM   #11
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Hi Sharon,

I ordered 4-XLT mortar and Permacolor grout for the ceramic wall tile, and Glass Tile Adhesive and Permacolor Select NS for the glass mosaics.

I haven't ordered grout for the floor yet (I'm not that optimistic), but if Wedi says I should use epoxy, then I'll probably use Spectralock. Fortunately these are sliced pebbles, so it shouldn't be quite as bad.

I've read on this forum that Spectralock Pro Premium is much more difficult to work with than Spectralock Pro. Is the Pro version still available?

--Dave
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:03 PM   #12
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Your question about PRO Premium being harder to use than SPECTRALOCK PRO is open to interpretation. Honestly, I think the opposite is true.

SPECTRALOCK PRO is not readily available. If it was me, I would not use an epoxy on the pebbles. I would use PERMACOLOR Grout, but that is just me.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:08 PM   #13
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Thanks Sharon.

The Wedi rep that came out recommended the epoxy, but you and the Wedi Technical Manual recommend sanded grout.

Could you explain why? My concern is the softness of the Wedi floor pan.

--Dave
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #14
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It's been awhile, but last time I looked at the Wedi installation instructions, when it came to smaller tile, they required epoxy products to help bind things together so a point load didn't allow a small tile or pebble to crack the grout and compress the foam. Epoxy products tend to have a higher bond strength, makes small tile function as larger ones so point loads aren't a problem.

FWIW, an unsanded grout generally can't support the larger grout joints of pebble installations, isn't as strong, and tends to shrink when used on larger grout joints (generally over 1/8").
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:10 PM   #15
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Here are the grout recommendations in the Wedi Technical Manual:

"Tiles smaller than 2 x 2 inches require epoxy grout. Exception are pebble stones or river rock stones where a modified cement based grout can be used."
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