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Unread 07-24-2021, 12:32 PM   #1
Cwoods
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Shower tiling sequence questions

New here, what a great forum! I've been reading through old posts and gaining momentum and confidence to tackle tiling a walk in shower I'm installing in my bathroom remodel.
I have gutted the main bathroom, master bedroom and another smaller bedroom to make a larger bathroom, master bedroom and a walk in closet. I am almost to the point of tiling the shower then bathroom floor.
The shower is 5ft x 4ft using a KBRS tilable pre sloped pan with the 4" flange around 3 sides and a built in curb on the entry side. I used CBU on the walls and am in the process of applying HydroBan. All my changes in plane have the 6" fabric and even went probably overboard and fabric over all my cement board seams, also seams in board are alkaline mesh taped and mortared underneath.
Inside I have 3 KBRS waterproofed niches and a KBRS corner bench. I am meticulous but not a professional that does this every day so those of you that are may see flaws in what I've done, wish I found this site earlier.
Hope I don't get hit too hard for mistakes (look of a whipped puppy).
I was going to have a professional do the tile portion but I've decided to tackle it myself. I bought a slightly used Beast 10" tile saw, have all the 12x24 tiles, 5 bags of Tri- Lite mortar and shower floor tiles stacked in the garage. I also purchased the Spin Doctor bits too help my newbie self out.
I'm sure I have made some mistakes...one being as planned out as I tried to be I placed my niche height simply by taking my Wife aside and saying "where would you like these for ease of use?" I see know it would be better to figure out the course and set them accordingly as I want the seam at the bottom edge...oh well, if I rip the bottom tiles at about 8" it will line up.
1st of many questions I will have....when I do start the tile job am I right I start with the niches? Bottom sill and top sill overlapping wall tile to match up? I plan on using the edging strips. I appreciate every bit of advice and constructive criticism I can get. I'll keep on poking around on this forum...VERY interesting and informative.
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Unread 07-24-2021, 12:34 PM   #2
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Uuuuugg, sorry about the sideways pics!
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Unread 07-24-2021, 01:42 PM   #3
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Welcome , So Chris... the job is looking MINT. Very clean and detailed! Better than most jobs I see including myself sometimes. I try and keep an orderly looking job but you have me beat.

Personally I tile the niches after the field tile on the walls, I had a gentleman near my locale I gave advice to during his shower remodel and he ended up tiling the niche first. Problem was you end up having to guess where the wall tiles will end up thickness wise. So his niche looked horrible on the outside. You can tile the backs if you want, but leave the sides until you tile the walls. It’s a lot easier to trim out that way. Cut around your niche maybe 1/16”-1/8” past the opening, then you can always butter the inside pieces to get a great reveal around it.
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Unread 07-24-2021, 01:46 PM   #4
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Two pics to help visualize
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Unread 07-24-2021, 02:15 PM   #5
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Justin that makes perfect sense the way you put it thank you.
Another question is I would rather not use a ledger board and put holes in my waterproofing but I know I can reseal those after the board comes down. My tile supply store tells me it's not needed with the thinset they sold me (Laticrete tri-lite) but I am inclined to just go with the ledger board any way...suggestions on that?
Also I have watched some tutorials on tiling and see most thinset walls in sections of a course or two and a few will apply to each tile at a time, which kind of appeals to me as how I want to do it. Is that a feasible long lasting method? Above all I want this shower to outlast our stay here both waterproof and ascetic wise.
Also on the change of plane joints on inside corners (wall to wall,wall to floor) I get as tight a joint as possible and caulk correct?
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Last edited by Cwoods; 07-24-2021 at 02:23 PM. Reason: More info
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Unread 07-24-2021, 02:32 PM   #6
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Welcome, Chris.

You can try to install your wall tiles using one of the non-sag thinset mortars and not shims or spacers if you want, but I personally recommend against it. Yes, they (the mortars) can certainly work, and yes, I've been trained by more than one of the manufacturers, but when I set wall tile I still use a standard A118.4 mortar and spacers. And in showers I always start my wall tiles on a ledger board, leaving the bottom row vacant until I've set the floor tiles. Certainly your choice, though.
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Also on the change of plane joints on inside corners (wall to wall,wall to floor) I get as tight a joint as possible and caulk correct?
Absolutely not. The purpose of the joint is movement accommodation. You want a joint of about 1/8th of an inch and you want to fill that joint with a flexible sealant, usually a 100 percent silicone in shower applications.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-24-2021, 02:33 PM   #7
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I do use ledgers most the time, but I'm also not doing anything topical either. From what I've seen most guys have no issues (or worries) nailing into the waterproofing and patching it after they pull their boards.

Ledgers end up taking more time overall for me, because of a couple reasons but I like having that full tile start to a job when I stack on them.

1)Sometime your mortar goes behind them so be sure and pull them next day to easily scrape that oozing mortar.
2)It's more awkward to cut in that last row than to just start with a cut that you've laid out for. (I don't usually put my wall tile on top of my floors since I tile my floors last.)
3)P.S. I would not trust any mortar to not sag slightly on a wall...the implications of it moving slightly would create a nightmare of tearout and work.

As far as tiling and only doing a couple rows at a time that sounds fine by me, in general I tile my back wall first, save my side cuts in order so my pattern wraps around the corners . Then I'll do each side wall one at a time.

Only rule I have on stopping tile is to complete a "row" on a floor or wall. I would not stop mid tile and come back and finish to a wall. I would tile across a wall and stop there. You always seem to leave the last tile not at the right plane when you leave a job in the middle of a run.

Edit: Looks like ol CX is quick on the draw today!
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Unread 07-24-2021, 02:34 PM   #8
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Ledger board can also be simply supported from below with wood, tile pieces or whatever is handy. I generally screw 'em in and silicone the holes after removal...
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Unread 07-24-2021, 02:49 PM   #9
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Awsome! Ledger board it is. And that's why I'm asking questions as far as the inside corners go, I assumed I wanted a tighter joint because there's no grout there. My grout lines will be 1/8" so I will go with 1/8" on the corners as well. I'm green on the tiling...I've done an entryway floor years ago and my new kitchens backsplash....but I'm OCD so with the correct I fo I should be OK, it will just take me 10 times longer then the rest of you. I had one tiler call me on my shower and said it would take him about a week because of all the cuts with my niches and such so I'll be at this awhile if that's the case.
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Unread 07-24-2021, 03:01 PM   #10
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With what I've seen so far you'd be my competition. Thankfully you aren't in the East Texas area
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Unread 07-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #11
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I appreciate the kind words Justin, but I doubt it lol...I have been doing my house remodel for awhile now and if I did this sort of thing for a living at never make a buck since I'm slow and steady wanting everything done the best I can personally pull off. If I got paid by the hour on the other hand I'd be a rich man!
I sure appreciate all the advice so far from everyone and I'm taking notes.
I think I'll will place a ledger for the 2nd course, work my way up then come back down to the floor then on to the last wall course against the floor unless persuaded otherwise.
Then there's the corner bench....I have a solid piece of quarts I wanted to cap it with. Do I set the bench cap and tile around it or do I tile the wall field then set the quartz cap against it??? Same same only different or is there a preferred way? I see setting it after wall tile as easier but before wall tile as better water shed protection?
BTW, some of the pics I'm seeing of your guys tile work on here is absolutely stunning!
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Last edited by Cwoods; 07-24-2021 at 04:51 PM. Reason: More info
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Unread 07-24-2021, 05:00 PM   #12
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For me I’d set whichever first depending on which is harder to cut. I do care about grout joint placement when it is on a wall and I don’t want to see the joint when I walk into a room or first impression. The sidewalls meeting the back wall for example. I have never subscribed to the idea of grout joint placement for water shedding ever, it’s always aesthetics. If I was worried about water on a joint I should probably ignore the other 100 ground joints on my shower floor .

Most the time when you caulk the change of plane nicely you’d be hard pressed to know which was placed first since caulking rounds over and isn’t sharp cut like grout is. My opinion of course
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Unread 07-24-2021, 05:08 PM   #13
Cwoods
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Well said, I think it would easier to tile the wall then set the seat cap so that will be my plan. I do tend to overthink at times
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Last edited by Cwoods; 07-24-2021 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Miss spell
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Unread 07-24-2021, 05:08 PM   #14
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Chris, it can be done either way. For me, most of the time the slab pieces are set by the slab man that also does the countertops. So, I get all the tiling and grouting done and they come in after me to set the slabs. I do get all the prep work done for them, getting the mud pitch on the curb and seat done so all they do is come in and set their stone.
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Unread 07-24-2021, 06:40 PM   #15
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Nice pictures from both of you, Chris and Justin.

I hate ledger boards as they penetrate the water proofing. I have built myself a ledger stool to avoid that. Basically a ledger board with 2x4s attached as feet. Takes a bit more work to get the length right but keeps the membrane intact. Once the tiles set enough, I just pulled the ledger stool back and could just simply clean up any still fr3sh excess mortar that occasionally gathered in that area. If you are OCD, the ledger stool might be for you.
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