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Unread 10-14-2020, 08:29 AM   #16
cx
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Dan, you cannot apply Kerdi, or any other direct bonded waterproofing membrane with which I'm familiar, directly to dimension lumber. You must first cover it in CBU or, in the case of Kerdi, drywall first.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-14-2020, 08:40 AM   #17
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Dang, I'd just make you one, but for the border. I'm in Boise, ID. Road trip? Build up .5"? Can you get 3/16" K-Board? I've read here about folks who cut down Schluter curb, but have never done it. On edge bricks maybe?

Overlap mentioned was onto shower pan, not onto bathroom floor.

No to Kerdi fabric on lumber. It's not a suitable substrate.

In my photo of mostly complete shower, there's a Schluter profile on outside flanking corners. I've learned to like it in a no-matching-trim-tile world. The raw edge of tile just screams at me...ughhh.
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Unread 10-27-2020, 06:53 PM   #18
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Re curb: I ended up putting spare Kerdi board around the 2x4 and then wrapping the whole thing with kerdi membrane. Thanks for the tips on that.

Ok so I had my first major snafu this week.

I laid down my pre-fab foam tray using a 1/4" x 3/16" square-notch trowel as per instructions. Made sure the subfloor was level beforehand. Checked the slope of the tray immediately after putting down and walked around the tray to press it down like in the instructions (maybe not enough?). Then I went on to install the corner kerdi bands.

How can you screw up putting down this foam tray? Well here's how:
I knelt on the tray when installing the corners without using a board. IDIOT. OMG. I didn't notice until the next day but I must have pushed out more thinset in the middle by kneeling... or something... because the slope not correct near the middle of the tray, even slightly reversed in one area...

So I thought I probably have to rip out that tray and do it again. But I might as well try to fix it first. I added 1/8 strip of plastic on the right end for good measure and trowelled a layer of thinset over the tray, almost up the the drain. For a guide for the lathe, I used the strip on the right side as a guide and on the left, the area right before the drain depression. It ended up adding between 0 and 1/4", with a 3-4 inch area in the middle needing 1/4. I did it in two layers, the first one being a little rough and then the second layer being more smooth. Now I got a pretty consistent slope. The result is in the first pic.

Then I added a sheet of kerdi band over the whole thing. Final result in the second pic.

The pros are probably cringing at this point. I know, amateurs right?

I just did the 24 hour water test today and no droppage and the pan drains nicely. So yay for that.

Only one minor? problem now. The water level is just over 1/4" higher on the left than the right (meaning the right side is higher) 1/8" is understandable since I added that strip. I'm not sure where the other 1/8 - 3/16" came from... Part of it could come from cutting more on one side of the tray, although I haven't trimmed more than a couple inches total. Did I squeeze thinset out from the middle to under the right side while kneeling? I have no idea.

So my question is - having a 1/4" inch-ish difference in height from the left to the right side going to cause me any problems? Or is it just a cosmetic issue for the bottom row of tile? I plan to use 12x12 or 12x18 wall tile. Is there anything I can do to compensate?

Thanks all!
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Unread 10-30-2020, 09:05 AM   #19
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Just a bump to see if anyone has advice on the different heights of the pan. Just want to know if there's anything I should be aware of before I start laying tiles!

Thanks!
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Unread 10-30-2020, 09:33 AM   #20
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Don't know just what to tell you, Dan. 'Fraid I can't follow your narrative on just what you did to the floor, but if it doesn't have a level perimeter and is not properly sloped, my recommendation would be to cut it out, install a new drain, and build a mud floor that is level around the perimeter and properly sloped to the drain.

Those foam trays are not properly sloped to begin with and if the floor is not perfectly level you start out with an improperly sloped floor. If you've also damaged that somewhat by kneeling on the foam (one more thing I don't like about those trays), you've made the situation worse.

You can certainly just continue on with what you've got if you want. If the floor is all sloped somewhat to the drain you may be able to live happily with it forever, depending upon what tile you use on the floor. Or not.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-30-2020, 03:15 PM   #21
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Ah thanks cx. I see that my description was probably confusing.

I wish I knew about those foam trays before-hand - oh well.

Let me simplify it - to the best of my knowledge, the floor has good consistent slope towards the drain now. Also after the water test, it drained quickly and left no pools.

My only question now is that the perimeter is not perfectly level all around. The right side is about 1/4" higher than the left - so I'm just wondering what problems to expect from that, other than cosmetic?
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Unread 10-30-2020, 04:04 PM   #22
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What size tiles are you planning on using on the walls? if they are small subway tiles you will probably see that 1/4in, If you are using something bigger then you shouldn't see it. Start your 2nd row of tile using a ledger board, set your walls/ floor then cut the first row in to fit the space in between
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Unread 10-30-2020, 04:05 PM   #23
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All cosmetic. But you'll wanna be sure if you start the wall tiles at the bottom with a full tile that you put it on the lowest part of the perimeter and cut all the rest to fit.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-31-2020, 02:43 AM   #24
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I'm planning on using 12x12 or 12x18 on the walls.
Thanks for the suggestions cx and smifwal.
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Unread 11-02-2020, 10:58 PM   #25
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Could use some more advice from you kind folks. Thanks again for all the help!
  1. I have dry-layed my floor tiles. The drain fit my chosen floor tiles perfectly if I made no cuts; however there is no room for grout around the drain body. Is it ok to have the tiles right against the drain body? (see first pic)
  2. There are some portions of the floor near the drain where the slope is more dramatic where the floor tiles have some "wobble room", and at one extreme, one corner would stick out as highlighted in the first pic. When cementing them in, I plan to adjust them slightly so one corner does not stick out. However, what is the best way to ensure proper mortar coverage / support underneath when doing this? Backbutter that portion of the grid? Pop that one tile off the mesh so I can add more thinset?
  3. Most of my kerdi band was pretty good I think but this one (mid wall opposite of shower head) had a hump and looked like it wasn't stuck to the wall very well. So I peeled it back (pic 3). I think it's because the mortar was at the end of it's working life and started to get hard to work with. What's the best way to fix this? Cut out that portion of kerdi board and replace?
  4. I think I was pretty careful about build-out on most of the wall. However, the corners of my curb were challenging. Between inside corners, home-made outside corners and a kerdi-band to cover the cut I made earlier, I have a total of 3 layers there. I definitely could have planned that better. Anway, in pics 3 & 4 you can see the corner near the shower head and the how much the tile sticks out at one extreme (about 3/16"). Of course, I would try and balance it out on both sides. I Plan on using 8x24 sized wall tile. The other thing that worries me here is that the sliding shower door will be right above that curb so I'm worried the door won't sit flush to the rest of the wall because of that build-out at the bottom. Also, I plan to put a schluter profile over the transition to drywall and I'm wondering if I'm going to have problems getting the tile to sit flush on the trim. Any suggestions here? Is it worth trying to fix these corners?
  5. Pics 4,5 show the other curb corner on end away from the shower head. Same problem; i tried to peel back some of the kerdi band where it overlaps the outside corner but it didn't remove much and the mortar is pretty tough to scrape off.
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Unread 11-03-2020, 09:31 AM   #26
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Dan, just so you know, there's always some corner build-up and while you may have a little more than is ideal, part of working with Kerdi is about how to deal with it. Let's see if I can shed some light.

1. Never a good idea to set tile right against anything. I'd be trimming those surrounding tiles. Can usually do while they remain on the scrim, which is a benefit right next to a Kerdi drain because there's a puddle of thinset and the scrim kinda ties those tiles together. Harder to set individual tiles in the puddle but not impossible.

2. I sometimes use a grout float to kind of average out the unevenness between tiles. Remember you're essentially tiling the inside of a bowl so there will be mismatched corners and tapering grout lines. I get everything loosely set and then scan with my special tool...eyeballs. Push here, twist there until it looks right or I get dizzy. Then pad around with my float and lightly feel with another special tool...my hand.

3. Uggh. If you're game that's a solution. Anything else will likey produce an even larger hump. Large format tile is all about learning how to float on a bed of mortar and averaging things out. No longer can we twist and wiggle 4" tile down to a dead flat substrate.

4.Not at all unusual. On the faces of curb I set the ends tight and float the middle, measuring and tweaking with red wedges. Longer tiles work in you favor here, also use my torpedo level a bunch to keep things copacetic. I think you're talking about parallel with your door and this will address it. Another reason I adopted Quartz curb toppers as my semi-standard.

I found the best way to deal with profile not laying flat on outside walls was usually to deal with them after the fact. Walls are rarely perfectly plumb and flat. My painter worked this out with me. He masked off profile, caulked and carefully tooled gap with close to wall color paintable caulk, then painted. Visually gives a crisp line that defines the corner, even if it's not physically the corner.

I have been know to flare the bottom course of tile just a smidgen to accommodate build-up. Nothing you notice in the end game. It's all a balance of floating and averaging tile and trim. If in doubt, stand back and look. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was "if it looks right, it is right". It's never going to be perfect, but getting things to look that way is truly the art.

5. I think we covered that and I'm tired of typing. I can tell you if the fleece is gone from any surface, it's lost its abilities to hook into mortar.
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Unread 11-03-2020, 12:13 PM   #27
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Carbidetooth, thank you so much for this detailed reply and the previous ones on my thread! As a DIY'er the worst part is not knowing whether something is acceptable and go on or do I have to go back and fix it. LOL

Just a couple of follow-up questions:

Re #4: Thanks for those tips. I have read that some folks try to grind down the back of a portion of tiles, using a grinder with diamond wheel, as another technique compensate. Have you tried this and do you think it would help?

Re #5 - (second last pic) - for that area where I pulled off the fleece, are you suggesting I need to do something before I tile over it? Scrape back some of the mortar till I get to the next layer of fleece? I hope I didn't mess up that corner now
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Unread 11-03-2020, 03:25 PM   #28
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4. One could grind backs and I have in a pinch. Mortar will support divot if done right. It's not a technique I'd recommend as a panacea. You'll quickly learn to hate grinding a lot.

5. Is that Kerdi band near curb covering a K-Board seam? Technically 2" overlap is always desirable, but I've fudged here and there. The bottom 3rd of any shower is most prone to failure, so details matter most there.
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Unread 11-03-2020, 04:12 PM   #29
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Peter:

5. Yes it is; At least it's the curb corner away from the shower and the shower is 60" in length. Is the concern about waterproofing or whether the tile will stick to the area without fleece, or both?

Edit:I just realized after all this time that your name is Peter! lol, sorry!
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Unread 11-04-2020, 08:55 AM   #30
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Dan, my concern would be not having the have specified 2" overlap of Kerdi Band on the K-Board seam where that piece is removed.

The orange "core" of Kerdi membrane is the actual waterproofing, while the fleece provides the bonding mechanism.

Will it be a problem as is? As much as I'd like to predict the future, so far it's eluded me. I won't give up hope though!
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