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Unread 11-24-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
Izzmit
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Bathtub small ledge

I had never looked at remodeling a month ago.
And here I am neck deep in tearing apart my bathroom and reading every thread I can find in this forum. Better overbuilt than underbuilt, I suppose. Anyways --
My bathtub is 60". The space for the bathtub is 62". The original installation had a small (solid surface?) ledge covering the gap. But Now I tore all that stuff out, do I build out the wall 2", or tile over that ledge? I would rather tile, but getting a solid base with cement board and all that is overwhelming me a bit, as the tub flange isn't really making sense to me.

Any suggestions for prepping this area for tile?
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Unread 11-24-2020, 09:25 AM   #2
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This is how it starts

What does the other wall look like? Is your whole bathroom 62-inches wide or is the other wall a partition wall?

If it's a partition then you could just add two inches to that wall and move the tub down so that it sits flush with the end wall. This would probably affect the plumbing, FYI.

Otherwise, I'm assuming you will be replacing the green board on the end wall with some sort of tile backing. You can simply add the tile backing on top of the wall. You could also raise the ledge and put the tile backer board on the top and front of the ledge.

Also, I haven't mentioned anything about waterproofing yet but that ledge definitely needs it.

Edit: Also, do you need the tub? if you put a shower in there you could use the whole space

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Unread 11-24-2020, 09:49 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard, Jake.

Maybe back out of the room a little and give us a shot of the entire tub area.
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Unread 11-24-2020, 10:02 AM   #4
Izzmit
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And here I was, just going to put some mastic up over the greenboard and call it a day...

The plan is cement board or hardibacker in place of the greenboard, a pre-made niche (somewhere), and redgard everywhere.

The tub will NOT be moving. It is happily in place, and made of something heavy. I have an identical bathroom on the other side of the wall that will be converted to a shower, but that is a project for another month/year.

Your suggestion of building up the ledge a bit. You mean, stack another board on top of the existing one so it rises about (2? 4?) inches? Then hardiback that back down over the lip of the tub
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Unread 11-26-2020, 08:33 AM   #5
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The first thing I'd do, Jake, is make sure you can get all that old sealant off the tub well enough that it looks presentable. Doing that might be a challenge; the tub appears to be cast iron and using any metal tool to remove all that sealant will likely scratch the tub. Using Mrs. Jake's hair dryer might help soften that goop.

That tub doesn't appear to have a flange at all.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 08:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzmit
And here I was, just going to put some mastic up over the greenboard and call it a day...
This forum will ruin those plans in a hurry

What you could do is frame out your tub so that it's 60 inches and then do something like this photo below with two niches. That way you have a standard 60 inch opening if you ever want to install shower doors.

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Unread 11-26-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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Hah! That's exactly what I needed. I had not thought of shower door sizes, but it may be in the plans.

Along the vertical plane.... Just a 2"strip of the cement board? And lots of mesh tape.

I am not sure I can do the niches along that wall... The piping for the master bath/shower is on the other side. It would be the ideal location though.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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6 inch tape seems a bit hard to come by. But I see this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BP...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So put up the cement board.
Tape all -flat- seams with thinset
Tape all changes of plane with this fabric+redgard (niche, corner, and the transition of tub to lip)
Redgard everything.
Redgard again.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 11:39 AM   #9
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Jake, it's important to keep in mind that the installation of the CBU and the installation of a direct bonded waterproofing membrane are two separate and distinct steps and you need to complete one before doing the second.

The CBU manufacturer will specify the treatment of the joints in the CBU panels, usually requiring the use of an alkali-resistant mesh tape and thinset mortar on all joints, including the changes of plane. Only when that is completed and cured will you apply a direct bonded waterproofing membrane following that manufacturer's recommendations.

You wanna deviate from that you're on your own in determining what will work effectively.

Never heard of that fabric you linked and can't comment on its properties, good or bad.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-28-2020, 11:24 PM   #10
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Completed building out about 2.5 inches, and added reinforcement for if we decide to hang a glass shower.

The oscillating tool was amazing for cutting out the old green board... Never heard of them before this month, and now it's the coolest thing in my toolbox.

1/2 inch hardibacker is what I decided on. That's next!

Edit: Rotated images. Uploading without editing first doesn't keep rotation information.
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Last edited by Izzmit; 11-30-2020 at 08:36 AM.
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Unread 11-29-2020, 12:28 AM   #11
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Jake,

Looking good so far. I'm wondering if it would be more astheticly pleasing if that lower niche was the same height as the upper niche, but in-between the studs to the right? Similar to how you have the other one fastened, but to the far right side of the next stud bay. Not sure what you're planning to use for wall tile, but something to think about. If you do decide to move it, also think about how whatever tile you plan to use will look/fit in-between the two niche's. Maybe even rotate them 90 degrees so there more useful length wise.
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Unread 11-29-2020, 11:20 AM   #12
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Oscillating saw is a must-have remodeling tool.

You might consider the placement of the niches after you have a layout figured out. It's kind of nice when you can work them out to land on grout joints as much as possible.
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Unread 11-29-2020, 11:24 AM   #13
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The bottom niche is positioned where the tile will hopefully land.
My wife decided this: https://www.flooranddecor.com/porcel...100652973.html was the tile we must have, and everything is being based around that.

Well it just be on the back wall? Don't know.
Will the side walls be the same as floor?
Will we use light gray subway tile in the sides and this on the back?

All good questions!

She had lots of great ideas till I showed her the blank slate, and then she froze up.
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Unread 12-04-2020, 07:46 AM   #14
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Alright. Step ? of ? is complete! Mudded and taped. (But with fiberglass tape and thinset)
Note to anyone getting ready for a project like this:
Take pictures of your bare studs, and mark the walls/ceiling where they are located. I had lots of weird spots where we had added reinforcement, and couldn't see my walls when screwing. It helped a lot.

Next I plan on doing as outlined in the "Seal and (mesh) tape the seam" step in this article: https://www.diytileguy.com/tile-tub-flange-gap/

I do that all the way around the tub, across the curvy bit, and down the sides onto the floor.

Then I get to redgard.
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Last edited by Izzmit; 12-04-2020 at 07:55 AM.
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Unread 12-05-2020, 01:29 PM   #15
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Waterproofyness time.
Notes!
1) Redgard is basically liquid rubber. Add water to it, it becomes -- very runny liquid rubber. Still a mess.
2) A challenge to remove from arm hair.
3) KEEP AWAY FROM GROUT
4) Tape everything. Then dropcloth. Then probably more tape.

First I placed the mesh tape down and covered the gap in the SIKA sealant pictured. Remove tape sooner than later, or the tape becomes one with your wall.

Let dry overnight, and then i was ready to start.
1 part redgard, 4 parts water. This went a long way -- maybe a cup of RG? i was scooping with a sour cream container, so my measurements arent too sharable. Stir a lot.

I applied with a small roller, and with a paintbrush.
ROLL UP. Not down. Rolling up splashes on the wall. Rolling down splashes on your face and arms and tub and grout and.....etc.
Waiting for this to dry, and off to step 2+3 (more full str. redgard)

Oh, and my wife has settled on a color + tile.
Floor tiles will go up the front/back of the tub, and the blue tiles will go up the wide part.
BLue walls on top. White wainscotting on the bottom. Navy blue vanity with white top. (or, thats the current plan....)

One question -- large format thinset on a 8x8ish hexagon. What happens here? I was unable to figure out what happens when LF thinset is used on smaller tile.
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