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Unread 04-14-2022, 08:54 PM   #1
KCRN13
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Screwed up edge trim on niche

Hey everyone, I'm new here (first post). I seem to have screwed myself while installing edge trim on my shower niche. I made a critical error when cutting the side pieces and wound up with the top edge trim perfectly flush with the edge of the niche, rather than leaving room for the tile. This is literally the LAST thing I have to install, so I'm really not interested in tearing apart the shower to fix it. Is there anything I can do that won't look atrocious? I'm usually a perfectionist, but this is the first tile job I've ever done, so I've definitely learned some things that I'd do differently next time. (not making this mistake is one of them, lol). All the other sides of this niche, and the other one in the shower are correct. Not sure how I screwed this one up.

I had considered installing bull nose and then grouting between the tile and the edge trim, I just feel like it's going to look horrible having the tile protrude below the edge. I'm open to literally any and all suggestions, at this point. I'm so incredibly frustrated and slightly angry about this...

I've tried multiple times to upload photos but it keeps saying "this is not a valid image file." I've reduced to the allowable size and file type. I've read the post regarding this and still can't manage to get them to upload. If someone can help me fix this, I'll gladly upload photos.
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Unread 04-14-2022, 08:58 PM   #2
KCRN13
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I also did a search on the forum to try to find a thread that would help, but apparently I'm the only one dumb enough to make this mistake.
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Unread 04-14-2022, 08:58 PM   #3
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I think the biggest question is: What is your waterproofing behind the tiles? That may dictate whether or not removing tiles is appropriate, and possible without compromising your waterproofing. Tell us about that.
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Unread 04-14-2022, 08:58 PM   #4
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Welcome, Kevin.

'Fraid I've got not much idea at all what you've done to yourownself there. How 'bout you post a photo or two of what we're looking at?

I trust you're using the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach your photos? They are in jpg format?
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Unread 04-14-2022, 09:03 PM   #5
KCRN13
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John, I have Hardie Backer coated with RedGard.

CX: If you'll notice, from my OP, I've tried multiple times to upload photos. It won't let me. I've reduced the file size to the appropriate size, pixel wise, and kb, but it still tells me the file is invalid.
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Unread 04-14-2022, 09:18 PM   #6
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Finally got the images to work.
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Unread 04-14-2022, 10:10 PM   #7
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I'm not a Redguard guy so I do not know what happens to waterproofing when you smash tiles out. I do know it it likely better than trying to remove tiles from Kerdi, as it relates to waterproofing.

that said, IF you can replace those upper wall tiles to bring that grout line closer to where it should be, you are well on your way; you can make those upper niche tiles thinner with a grinder if needed - there will never be any forces on them.
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Unread 04-15-2022, 06:08 AM   #8
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This sounds like it could be a decent option. My only concerns are the 2 vertical edge pieces. In order to bring the top down, I’ll also have to trim the top of the side trim pieces. I’m not sure there’s a great way to do that without destroying the waterproofing behind them. Any ideas? I could use a grinder with a cut-off wheel, but getting all the way through the edging without touching the waterproofing is going to be an extremely tall feat. It’s aluminum edging, not plastic.


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Last edited by cx; 04-15-2022 at 07:30 AM.
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Unread 04-15-2022, 06:33 AM   #9
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Also, just for a little more info, the wall tiles were installed several weeks ago, so unfortunately I’m not dealing with a relatively new (and therefore somewhat wet) thinset. It’s cured at this point.


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Unread 04-15-2022, 07:49 AM   #10
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Hi Kevin,

The tile is going to seriously fight you if you try to remove it. And even if you did, you’d only have about 1/8” that you could gain by installing full-height pieces of tile over the niche. That’s not enough to accommodate the thickness of the tile that would be installed on the ceiling of the niche.You would have to install an additional sliver of tile over the niche to give yourself enough thickness to work with and I’d avoid that option because I think slivers on such a focal point would look amateurish. You’d also have to contend with shortening the two profiles on the side and that might be pretty tough if you don’t have an oscillating tool and a very steady hand.

If I were in your shoes, I’d leave what’s been installed alone and run down to the local countertop shop that sells Corian. I’d want to install a piece of 1/4” thick Corian on the ceiling of the niche with a chamfer on the front edge. Because this niche is relatively low to your “standing line of sight”, the chamfered front edge is going to prevent it from being seen much of the time. You can install this with any decent modified thinset mortar meeting ANSI 118.4 or better.

That being said, Corian only comes in 1/2” thickness. You could have the countertop shop mill your piece to exact size and thickness, but it’s likely to cost a premium. The last time I had this done, I had 5 pieces cut & milled and cost $175. Your single piece is likely to cost less, but they charge a premium for one-off stuff like this. Ask them how much to mill to your drawing (have a simple drawing ready for them), or to purchase the scrap. Smallish scraps aren’t necessarily kept for resale, so you might be stuck buying a piece that’s larger than you want. Maybe the scrap is as little as $25…..it might be $75…it really depends on availability and the business model of that local shop. One of my local shop used to sell their scraps for cheap…then word got out and their prices tripled.

If you do it yourself, know that Corian cuts similar to hardwood if you use carbide-tipped cutting tools. Corian also sands nicely if you use the proper grits. So, it would be easy enough to chamfer the front edge with a chamfering bit or a tilted table saw blade. I’d suggest not chamfering the entire edge, but leaving 1/32” to 1/16” of the front edge flat so as to avoid chipping what would otherwise be a sharp edge. As for the thickness, that’s tougher. You could just leave it at 1/2” thickness, or you can mill it down with carbide-tipped straight-bit and some sort of platform jig for the router to slide on…or you can cut it on a table saw. But I’d warn you that “re-sawing” a relatively small piece like this down to thickness can be pretty dangerous unless you make yourself a custom push block or sled that somehow cradles the wood in such a way to keep it secure and keeps your hands at a safe distance.

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Unread 04-15-2022, 07:49 AM   #11
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KG, that’s more along the lines of something I was hoping for. I would love to have a solution that would allow me to install just a very thin veneer of some kind. Maybe even a thin piece of plastic or something that won’t show when viewed from the front. Obviously if I do anything other than removing tiles and replacing them you’ll see it when soaking, but those times will be much fewer than standing on the bathroom/shower.

Thanks for your input. I’ll definitely keep it in mind and may run by a countertop shop later to see what they’d charge.


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Unread 04-15-2022, 08:05 AM   #12
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Maybe a piece of Formica laminate would work there, if you can find some scraps.
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Unread 04-15-2022, 09:33 AM   #13
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I may have come up with a possible solution, but want to run it by the group. I have some bullnose pieces that match my tile (they're 6" instead of 16" long, but the color and everything is a perfect match). If I do what Snets said and grind down the back side of the bull nose pieces to thin them out some, I might be able to make them mostly disappear when standing in the bathroom and then only be visible from a "soaking" position in the tub. And at least at that point they'd match the rest of the tile, even if it's obvious that I screwed up and had to come up with a make-shift fix. If I go this route, I'd like to keep the adhesive layer as thin as possible to maintain that low profile. Can construction adhesive be used over top of redgard? I know you can't use pre-mix mortar over it, so I'm not sure if construction adhesive will fall in that same kind of category.
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Unread 04-15-2022, 10:36 AM   #14
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I ran into this in my recent shower project. It was a kerdi shower, I wasn't as aggressive in squeegee-ing the mortar out from behind the membrane on one side of the niche, or I was too liberal with the mortar, and/or my dimensions were cutting it too close.... whatever the cause, I tiled the inside of the niche last and the side tiles were going to end up proud of the edge trim.

I took a combination of approaches - I took a grinder to the back of the tiles to shave thickness off of them, but that wasn't going to be enough.

I also peeled back the membrane, pulled out the 1/2" sheetrock backing, and replaced it with 1/4" cement backer board. Then I sealed up/patched accordingly. I was able to do this without pulling off tiles, while maintaining the necessary kerdi overlaps.

In your case, I'm not a redgard expert either, but maybe you could remove the two adjacent upper tiles and the trim, and rework the framing and/or backing to get enough space.
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Unread 04-15-2022, 11:10 AM   #15
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Swapping out the backer board in the top of the niche for 1/4” is potentially an option. I hadn’t thought about doing that. I have some extra 1/4” from what I used on the niche back walls. If I can figure out how to appropriately waterproof it, I may do that. In the mean time I think I’m gonna grind down some of those bull nose and see how it looks.


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