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Unread 08-10-2020, 08:40 PM   #16
HouseOfJoe
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Thanks, CX, and Peter. Mud and Kerdi it is then. And thanks for the reminder on the curb, CX!

I generally don’t love pebble tile for shower floors either because I don’t love seeing a ton of grout. But Mrs Joe and I have picked one that we really love. It’s got a flat surface or I would have rejected it in any case. I don’t think the grout lines will be TOO intrusive.
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Unread 08-10-2020, 08:57 PM   #17
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The shower pan does warm up when you start the shower, but if it's on a slab, it can take longer, and the foam pan acts like some good insulator. A mud pan is certainly less expensive and accounts for various deficiencies in the typical floor. But, in some circumstances, it does work well. The skill level to make a mud pan isn't huge, but it does take some study first. If the floor is already level and the space is correct, the foam pan is a no-brainer. That doesn't happen all that often.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 07:11 AM   #18
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Definitely no foam under those pebbles, Joe.

While those would make for a fun, happy looking shower floor you'll notice that there's quite a lot of places where the pebbles are either touching each other or very nearly so. You'll have very little grout where they are very close, and none where they're touching. You can't use an unsanded grout for the narrow areas because other areas are way too wide for it. Since it will be nearly impossible to get any grout into some of those joints you're going to have an awful lot of water/soap/hair/other icky stuff getting below the tile and into whatever you end up with below.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 12:32 PM   #19
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Well now, see, this is why this forum is so great. But you may have just created a firestorm at home for me, Dan. Mrs Joe is VERY committed to this mosaic.

I hadn't considered that the grout lines (or rather their lack of existence) would be more problematic where the stones were so close together.

Is there no other solution? I don't know much about grout beyond sanded and unsanded. Is there no product that will allow the use of this mosaic for the shower floor that will create the appropriate barrier that grout is supposed to do?

I was also going to use this mosaic for a waterfall vertical stripe up one wall. But even that vertical stripe, where I'm planning on putting it, will see quite a bit of water.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 01:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Joe
I is VERY committed to this mosaic.

IMO, being committed to that mosaic on a shower floor is to be committed to mold, mildew, constant thorough cleaning, and possible persistent and unpleasant stank.

But hey, that's just my take. Like all the crud that will get between those pebbles, let this post dwell for a spell. Others may see things differently than I do.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 01:41 PM   #21
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I'll grant you it's pretty tile. Looks like it would be slippery. Does maker say anything about floor installs? Dal is one to call that out in some of their literature.

You could pull them off scrim and set pebbles one at a time...it'd be a big effort.

Is that a whole mosaic we're looking at? I'd be curious to nest 2 or 3 and see how they look. Sometimes random patterns don't look that way if installed as intended. Seams become apparent.

If you intend to do a waterfall stripe, there will be a lot of individual cuts to fill in at the straight sides...some will be tiny. Perimeter of floor will be similar.

The intersection between squarish and roundish tile always stands out to my eye, especially when in same plane. Floor to wall perhaps a little better, but I've already admitted my bias against pebbles.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 02:04 PM   #22
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To drain properly, a pebble floor begs for a greater slope than 1/4" per foot, so that's another reason the foam pans are out. On Wedi, for example, on a tile like that, they require the use of an epoxy thinset which ups the cost to install by quite a bit. On a flat bottomed one with Kerdi, they do not have any limitation, but you must ensure you get super good coverage with both the thinset and the grout.

To ensure adequate grout around the pebbles, you would probably have to set them individually, as mentioned. Tedious, and an art, but possible if you have the time. You need to step back on occasion, to verify the overall look is good, or when done and things start to set up, you might discover an unsightly result. IOW, trying to make something look random, often isn't, and a pattern can be problematic. It can be common to discover an obvious pattern when you leave the pebbles on the backing, which is another reason why hand setting may be required for best results.
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Unread 08-11-2020, 02:41 PM   #23
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This is really a bummer. There's no way I'm going to place this floor and vertical stripe a single stone at a time, never mind all the cuts that the edge of the stripe and floor would take. That's just not happening.

Someone asked about the size of this sheet. The pic is just the sample that the tile store had, the actual sheet is something like 11.5 inches square. I know the tile is rated for pools and showers.

I'm going to go ask the tile store guys (which is a place that caters to pros, although they let civilians in too) what their answer to some of these issues are.
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Unread 08-15-2020, 01:50 PM   #24
HouseOfJoe
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Still haven’t been able to swing by 5e tile shop to ask them about grouting this mosaic but will post when I do. Shockingly, Mrs Joe took the news that this tile may be out quite calmly. She’s off looking at more tile samples now. You never know!

But a new question on a different subject. Are there any rules, code wise or practical wise, on how high a curb should be? I want to make mine as low as I can but obviously I want it to be adequate for the purpose. I just don’t know how high that is.
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Unread 08-15-2020, 02:07 PM   #25
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In many places, the curb is required to be at least 2" above the top of the drain. So, depends on how far away the drain is at the nominal 1/4" per foot slope. From a practical viewpoint, it also will depend somewhat on whether you're planning a glass door, shower curtain, or the size of the shower to limit how much water might try to get out.
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Unread 08-15-2020, 09:43 PM   #26
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From the inside of the curb to the drain will be about 19 inches and there will be a frameless glass door. So a single 2x4 plus durrock, kerdi that and tile on top would be getting close to 3 inches above the drain. Anybody see any problems with that?
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Unread 08-16-2020, 06:55 AM   #27
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You didn't mention if you're including the thickness of the floor tile in your equation, but I hope you didn't. You also didn't mention the thickness of the Durock you plan to use. It's possible your slope may be a little too steep.

If your curb will be at +/- 2 1/4", and it's 19" to the drain, you would ideally have a minimum of 3/8" slope. You're saying you're at twice that amount.

But if the floor tile brings the floor up 1/4" or so, then you're right about 1/2" or so of slope, which would be perfect. You can always raise the curb with 1/4" cement board if needed.
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Unread 08-17-2020, 02:57 PM   #28
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Right this second it's still open joists, no subfloor yet. The 19 inch measurement is the short dimension of a (approximately) 58x38 pan.

I'm using the Kerdi drain and a deck mud base, so the drain will sit proud of the subfloor by...how much? In the videos I've looked at it looks like it's maybe 3/4 inch above the subfloor when first installed. So you've got that 3/4 plus the kerdi membrane plus thinset and tile. So maybe put the total height of the drain at at 1 1/4 above the subfloor. So at the perimeter of the pan you're at 1 3/4 or a bit less.

So I've got to get above 1 3/4 to have any curb at all, really, right? So with just one 2x4 plus 1/2 inch durrock plus tile I'm at 2 3/8 on the outside of the curb, and only a half or 5/8 inch above the perimeter floor height on the inside. So adding a second 2x4 gets me another 1.5 inches, to 2+ on the inside of the curb, nearly 4 on the outside.

Does any of that sound right?
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Unread 08-17-2020, 09:39 PM   #29
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Industry says a mud bed over a wooden subfloor should be at least 1-1/4" thick, but many people cheat some and get it down to about 3/4" at the drain. The flange of the drain should be level with the mud bed, not raised above it. The Kerdi with thinset underneath won't be very thick. The thinset on top of it will depend on the actual tile you use. The grate assembly is set and adjusted to be flush with the tile.

Typically what you do is set the position of the drain at the needed height after putting some of the deck mud there (and it often works a bit better to make that amount a bit richer so it will bond to the drain), make sure the drain is perfectly level and then use that for one end of the screed you use to go against the walls that you've built up into the proper height and fill in in between, making the slope nice and flat and consistent.

Deck mud doesn't bond unless it's richer, and also is harder to ensure you get the drain well supported when it is the normal consistency. Deck mud is good at compressive strength, but doesn't really bond to things unless it's richer.
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Unread 08-22-2020, 04:36 PM   #30
HouseOfJoe
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Finally had a chance to drop by the tile store about that mosaic and the guys there agreed that other than epoxy there was just no really decent way to grout it, and that epoxy isn’t the easiest thing to work with. I’ve never used epoxy grout on any of my tile jobs, and I’m not feeling that brave or adventurous when I’m talking about spending a grand just on the mosaic tile, so sadly, it’s out. Good news was the wife took that news pretty well.

On another subject I’ve seen a few videos now where people have used a solid slab of stone/marble/whatever as their curb. Both visually and because I’m shooting for as low a curb as will get the job done, this sounds appealing to me. Any pros or cons on this approach?

On second thought, that probably won’t work.

If I have an inch of mud at the drain flange, and I’ve got 30 inches to the edge of the rectangular pan on my longer dimension, then that’s a total of 1 5/8. Throw in 3/8 more for tile, kerdi, etc and I’m at 2 inches. Probably want to be at least 1.5 inches above that on my inside, so my curb is 3.5 inches tall. That’d be a pretty big slab of stone!
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