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Unread 03-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
talon4x4
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Starting a bathroom remodel

Just trying to get some opinions/advice on my first ever full bath remodel.

For starters I'm just a DIY kinda guy and this is my first full bath remodel. I will be getting assistance on the remodel from my father-in-law and brother-in-law, both with quite a bit more experience than myself.

I'm going to be putting 12x24 Crossville Shades tile on the floor and same size and brand tile in the shower, different color though. I will be putting Schluter Ditra on the floor and using Kerdi in the shower area from the top of the tub to the ceiling. I purchased the Schluter trowel (11/64 x 11/64 square-notch) to lay the thin-set before putting the Ditra down and the 1/8 x 1/8 square notch for the Kerdi. I plan on using the LASH system to help with leveling these large tiles. The reviews for the system on the Home Depot site are horrible but everything I've read on here makes it sound like the system is good as long as I go with a 1/2 trowel. Does that sound about right? The store I bought the tile from recommended a 3/16 grout joint because I'm not an experienced tile setter. I can live with that because anything will be better than the 8x8 tiles with a 3/8 grout that's in there now. I plan on doing the same for the wall tile in the shower.

I will also be creating a tile feature behind the vanity. I will be using 8x13 Porcelanosa Manhattan Blanco for that. The feature will be 3.5' wide and go floor to ceiling and will have a break where I will use 5/8" Ebony Collage Mosaics. The manufacturer recommends using Spectralock grout for the Manhattan Blanco tiles.

A couple questions....
I was wondering what brand thin-set should I purchase for attaching the Ditra to the floor and Kerdi to the shower? This same thin-set can also be used for attaching tile to the Kerdi and for attaching the tile to the dry-wall behind the vanity....correct?!

What brand unmodified thin-set should I be getting for attaching the tiles to the Ditra?

If using Kerdi I can just use regular drywall and not worry about the joints in the shower area as long as I overlap 2 inches??

Any other suggestions or recommendations anyone has would be great. I have purchased John's book on bathroom remodeling and have started reading that. Ton of great info in there!!
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Sean.

I recommend you go to the Schluter website where you can download the Shower System Installation Handbook. Many of your basic questions will be answered there along with some you may not yet have come up with.

They will offer no brand names, but will tell you what type mortar to use with their products. Like us, they have no idea where you are (putting a geographic location in your User Profile will help with that) or where you shop for such materials. That usually determines what brands are available to you and will make it easy to recommend particular products.

Can't imagine Homer badmouthing the Schluter products since they actually stock some of them and can order all the others. They do not, however, stock any thinset mortar recommended by Schluter for use with their products. Show us what you been reading there. Just spell out the link, which you can't post until you've been here a bit longer (anti-spam measure).

John's Kerdi Shower eBook has more of the basics in it and at ten bucks is one of the least expensive Kerdi tools on the market. But start with the Schluter site, it's free.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
talon4x4
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Thanks for the website CX. I actually used it to find local Schluter dealers. Stopped in to one today and I think he got me going down the right path. He also gave me a Scluter DVD that contains install videos, manuals, etc.

So, for my situation he suggested the Ditra-Set for the tile to Ditra area. Then UltraFlex 2 for the Ditra to plywood and Kerdi to concrete board and Kerdi to tile and apparently Crossville recommends a 1/2" U-shaped trowel for their large format tiles. That trowel size should work fine if I decide to use the LASH system, correct? They guy at the tile store never used a leveling system and he said the guy to ask wasn't working today. He said the UltraFlex 2 is much nicer to work with when compared to the 1 and something he recommends to all the DIY'ers that come in. At $20/bag for the Ditra and $26/bag for the UltraFlex it was definitely more than I expected but I hope the extra price returns some nice results.

I will post up some pics of the progress once I get started next week. I just have to say thanks to everyone on this website. It has been an invaluable resource for information. So much good reading to be found.
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Last edited by talon4x4; 03-02-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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Unread 03-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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Ultraflex II us good stuff, the Ultraflex I is also quite decent.....although you may find that they have changed names on you. The I is now "Ceramic Tile Thinset" and the II is now "Porcelean Tile Thinset.

Yes the 1/2" trowel should be just fine.

The Lash system is a good product for the money....

Keep us posted....
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Unread 03-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
talon4x4
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Great! Thanks Lazarus!

I have all the before shots taken. I will get a couple up when I finish up for the day.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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Demo underway today!! And the mess has already started. The wall tiles were glued down right over some wallpaper. I can't believe the wallpaper didn't rip from the weight of the tiles.

Bathtub surround not properly sealed and water leaked in behind the wall, drywall is moldy and destroyed.

There was a 6' x 4' mirror held up with a total of 10 finish nails hammered into the drywall. There is a date stamped on the mirror of 1962. I can't believe that mirror has stayed up on the wall for 51 years without falling. Behind the mirror was a large hole where an old medicine cabinet must have been.

And on the floor, they laid the tile on top of 1/4" particleboard. I just started taking that all up. It also seems like they used mortar, instead of grout between the tiles. Is that even possible?! Its as hard as a rock. My multi-tool easily cut thru the grout on the wall tiles but it won't even dent the stuff on the floor. Am I correct in assuming the particleboard needs to go?? I can't imagine it was a good idea to lay tile on that.

Can't wait to see what surprise is next.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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Sean~I'm amazed that it lasted that long with particleboard and mastic on the walls....but stranger things have happened. Nevertheless, the particle board HAS to go. Not acceptable.

Morter as grout? Well, OK....I guess. Dont try to cut it out... just use a sledge to bust up the tile and the 1/4"......use a prybar and "deep six" everything there.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
talon4x4
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I now see that there is a 1/4" sheet of plywood under the particleboard. All the staples (yes staples) they used to attach the particleboard are still stuck on the 1/4" plywood. So now I have a few questions.

Can I leave this 1/4" layer of plywood in? It looks to be in good condition.

Do I have to remove all the staples? Or would I maybe be better throwing some plywood over top so I don't have to remove the 100's of staples used.

Thanks Laz for the suggesiton, the sledge and prybar are back breaking work but it sure does get the job done.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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Sean, the particle board and the quarter-inch plywood must all come out. Sometimes easier to remove it all as one piece.

Depending upon what you find under that thin Luan plywood, you may be able to just hammer some of the remaining staples into the subfloor and put your second layer of subflooring over them.

All depends upon what you find at the bottom.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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Not what I wanted to hear, but I figured. The particleboard is coming up somewhat easily as it is mostly still attached to the tile. The trick will be getting up that next 1/4" plywood flooring without damaging whatever is beneath that.

So, once that is all up can I go with 1/2" plywood to keep the overall height the same and make for a nice transition to the carpeted hallway or is something thicker needed/recommended? 3/4" or 5/8" Or will it all depend on the thickness of what is already there?

I will be laying down 12" x 24" Crossville Shades porcelain tile.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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Finally got all the old flooring removed!! And now I have a question. The sub-floor is only 1/2" plywood. Can I just add another 1/2" then put down my Ditra and then tile? What is recommended??
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Unread 03-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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Sean,

I will defer to CX on this but I dont think anyone is going to cheer about putting a layer over the 1/2 sub floor. I think you are looking at a remove and replace with 3/4 T&G and then adding a 1/2 layer above that which is what I recently did on my bathroom reno starting here: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...=105151&page=5

I've read posts by CX describe glueing another layer to a 1/2 subfloor but only if the base layer is very clean and flat. Take a look at this recent posting by CX which described your situation. http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...an#post1252043

Good luck.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 11:05 PM   #13
talon4x4
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Thanks PC. Looks like I will be removing the current floor and replacing with the 3/4", then 1/2", ditra and finally tile.

Sent from my HP Touchpad
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Unread 03-12-2013, 04:57 AM   #14
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Level, sister and block as you go and you will have a rocking solid floor ready for tile in no time.

Good luck.
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Unread 03-12-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
talon4x4
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I'm not really sure what type of wood I should be purchasing to do my floor. Can someone take a look at these HD links and let me know if I'm on the right path here.

Lay this down first.
23/32 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Plywood Tongue & Groove Sub-floor
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/1000037...9#.UT9z3Ff77a4

Then this on top of the tounge & groove (Ditra and tile will sit on this)
15/32 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Southern Pine Plywood
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/1000532...0#.UT9zmFf77a4
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