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Old 03-29-2002, 04:03 PM   #1
allencar
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Houston Area - NASA
Posts: 14
Use of Schluter Dilex in Steam Shower

I am completely remodeling my master bath including a 48" W x 42" D Steam Shower, tile floor, a Jacuzzi tub, cabinets, and glass block windows. I know you are going to say why build a steam shower for a home near Houston's Galveston Bay, when all I have to do is walk outside during the summer and I will get the same effect. Originally I wanted to have a contractor do the tile (because of my limited tile experience), but all their descriptions of the work had too many shortcuts especially after reading your forums. My project has a lot of similarities to MEH's, ChazK's, and Todd DeVore's projects (steam shower, seat, etc.) so I won't repeat questions already covered in those posts. I have selected two complementary 13" tiles (and some 8" around the tub) to use on the floor and shower. The floor plan and layout designs can be seen at this web address - http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/allen_gts . I realize most of you are in favor of a tiled shower pan, but I have already purchased a Jacuzzi J-Stone base because I liked the color selection (white granite look). I also hate grout and the associated mildew problem. This is a real problem since my house is only at 15 feet above sea level. That is also why I am using the large floor tile on the shower wall.

I read all I can on your forum and Michael Byrne's (I also have each of your books on order), but I still have a few specific questions. I am an engineer by trade and I like to know most answers before I start a project. The fact that you are from Houston is an added bonus, since that is where I live.

My questions are:
1. What experience does anyone have with using Schluter Dilex - EKE http://www.schluter.com/english/prod...-dilex-eke.htm to seal the inside corners of the shower? Schluter also makes a product Dilex - AS http://www.schluter.com/english/prod...0-dilex-as.htm that seals between the shower wall tile and the Jacuzzi shower pan. These products appear to provide a better finished surface than normal caulking and it seems to be totally sealed as far as leakage. Does anyone know what the estimated lifetime of these products should be? They look similar to vinyl siding (PVC) so I would expect them to last for years.

2. The installation instructions for the Jacuzzi shower base recommends using 15 lb. roofing felt covered by mortar and setting the shower base in the mortar. Is this adequate waterproofing or should I use a membrane instead?

3. Most of the discussions on laying floor tile do not describe what to do if the foundation for the house is a post tensioned concrete slab sitting on "gumbo soil". The slab is in very good condition, 14 years old, no visible cracks, and originally had carpet laid in the bathroom. What prep should be done before troweling the thinset (with latex addititive) for the floor tile in the room?

4. What tile spacing (grout width) have you found works and looks best for 13 tile on a shower wall? I am considering 3/16 or 1/4.

Thanks for any insight that you can provide.
Allen
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Old 03-29-2002, 04:45 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Allen,

At 15 feet above the ocean you must be in the Clear Lake area. I'm in Northwest Houston, and I must be all of 30 feet above sea level.

Post-tension slabs are a done deal. Nothing special to do. You could use a crack isolation membrane, but on a bathroom floor I probably would'nt bother.

Setting the shower base in mortar is for support only. The tar paper they mention is simply to protect the wet mortar from the wood or concrete subfloor which might dry it out to quickly. No need for a membrane. The receptor is the water-tight fixture in this case.

I've seen the Dilex demonstrated at the Schluter seminar I attended, but I've never used it. I'll bet Rob Z. has, though.
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