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Unread 07-06-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
WadeE
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Another Master Bathroom Remodel(er)

I'm another DIY'er in the process of remodeling their master bathroom.

I've bought a couple of heavy-duty plastic niche inserts from the local tile store, framed them in with additional 2x4's, and installed a 6 mil plastic vapor barrier around the entire shower area. I'm concerned that the area around these niches be water tight (the niches themselves are heavy plastic and presumably impervious to water).

Around the niches, I was anticipating that I'd cut the vapor barrier with a couple of extra inches hanging into the niche area, fold this back under the plastic niches, and screw in the niche inserts using the same screws I'm using to hold in the hardi-backer board. After installation of the Hardi-Backer, I'd use a silicone caulk to seal the area between Hardi-Backer and niche inserts, then tile / grout over this area as normal.

Does this sound correct?
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Unread 09-07-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Shower Drain Cover

I had a contractor install a custom shower pan, but they used a cheap Sioux Chief drain (821-2PPK) with a flimsy cover plate and a prominent PVC edge that would be visible when the tile's installed. Not really the look I'm going for when I've taken so much care and used natural products throughout the project. I really don't want to have this white circle in the floor around the drain and I'm not confident that I can "paint" it away with nailpolish or epoxy paints.

Tried getting a "universal" drain cover (made by Superior Tools & Supplies) that could just be installed over the top of the other monstrosity, but it's the wrong size and the screw threads don't match up (the installed drain screws are spaced 2 5/8" apart on center).

Anyone know of another vendor for this sort of product?
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Unread 09-07-2009, 11:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, Noble Company. Click here and scroll almost all the way down to the bottom of the page.
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Unread 09-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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Thank you.
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Unread 09-23-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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I've got most of the project done. I've bullnosed the travertine for the threshold and see that the color of the stone shifts to the white where it's been ground down. I have to assume it's the scratches left by the grinder that's causing the color change (I've cleaned the pieces so it's probably not just dust) rather than a symptom of burning the stone and that if I sand the stuff down further the color will revert to that of the bulk material? I've sanded down the scratches with 150 grit sandpaper and it's probably better, but still not matching the original. Do I just keep going?

I could probably hide the color change by using an enhancing sealer on the edges (not using that on the face of the travertine), but I'd prefer to get to the root of the problem rather than just hiding it.
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Unread 09-23-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
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soft stone so you can sand to 300/400 or so just make sure all the scratches are removed prior to changing grit
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Unread 10-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Getting close to finished with the project. The tile's on the wall, I'm about half done grouting, and I've got a couple of questions (what's new?).

I'm using a combination of travertine, quartzite, and slate in the shower. Sealed all the stone (twice) prior to grouting, but some grout still stuck to irregular surfaces of the slate and quartzite in spite of carefully cleaning it with a very well wrung sponge, then polishing with clean rags. As recommended on this site, I waited 24 hours, then used a 50/50 vinegar mixture last night to remove most of the grout haze. There's still some stuck down in crevices of the stone that I'd like to remove. I've read recommendations that you use a dental pick to carefully remove the grout (careful not to scratch the slate), but I don't happen to own a dental pick and don't think that the hardware stores stocks them. I tried using a nail, but that was rather awkward, and a center punch doesn't get down into the small cracks where the bristles didn't reach. Other recommendations?

I used 100% silicone caulking for all the vertical seams between the walls, the seams between the walls and the floor, the seams between the threshold and the walls, and all the seams on the niches. I wasn't as confident of the plastic boxes that form the body of the niches (heavy though they are) being absolutely rigid (though I screwed them firmly to extra framing I installed between the studs and caulked the seams prior to tiling), so I figured caulking was the safer alternative. I didn't caulk the seams between the threshold and the floors and didn't caulk the change of plane between the sides and the top of the threshold. The threshold's made entirely of mud and I didn't think there would be any give either internal to the threshold itself or between the threshold and either the floor inside the shower or outside (I installed tile outside the shower as well). Was that correct? I haven't grouted the threshold yet, so I still have my options open.
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Unread 10-14-2009, 04:34 AM   #8
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Is what you are calling the threshold what we call the curb, that low wall at the entry to the shower? If so, no need to caulk along the top edges, but do caulk where it meets the floor.

Don't go stronger than 50-50 on the wash, or you risk etching the stone. Use a sharpened hardwood dowel to clean out the crevices. A pencil sharpener will make a fairly sharp point on it. At some point, what's left will be called "character." Note also that such crevices would collect dirt and stuff. At least with grout, you'll know what it is.
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Unread 10-14-2009, 06:03 AM   #9
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Sounds good. Thanks again.
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Unread 10-28-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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The Home Stretch

I've got all the tile up, sealed, and grouted. I'm ready to mount the plumbing hardware and am a little concerned that water will run down the wall, behind the escutcheon plate on the hand controls, and into the hole in the wall made for the valve body where it could cause molding. I've read the directions on the valve a few times and it seems to rely on a little piece of rubber on the interior of the plate to direct the water away.

Since I used 2" slate mosaics behind the controls, the surface isn't ideal for forming a watertight seal. I tried picking flat pieces around the perimeter as much as possible, but it's not perfect. I was thinking of either putting a thin bead of caulking around the top and sides of the cover plate (leaving the bottom open for possible drainage, if such is needed) or putting plumber's putty inside the plate in a horseshoe shape (open side facing down). Any thoughts?
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Unread 10-28-2009, 11:34 AM   #11
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I'd do the caulk. You can keep your eyes on it and replace it as it degrades.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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Pichers

Now that all but the shower doors are installed, I figured I'd say thanks for all the help and post a few pictures of the final results.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #13
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The original floor:

Name:  Original_Floor.JPG
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Unread 11-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #14
WadeE
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Final Floor

Final floor prior to removal of the shower:

Name:  Finished Floor.JPG
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Size:  34.5 KB

Ceramic tile (very dense stuff) with the corners of each tile cut off and 2" slate pieces inserted.

Yes, that's the toilet in the shower. Temporary position, of course, while I was working on the floor .

Last edited by WadeE; 11-02-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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Final Shower

This is a picture of the 4 x 3 shower, finished. I used travertine 12 x 12's with slate / quartzite mixtures in the mosaics and sandstone chair and pencil rails. I used the mixture of quartzite and slate to try to avoid making the mosaics too dark.

Name:  Entire Shower.JPG
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Size:  40.4 KB

Here's how the floor of the room looks against the curb and floor of the shower:

Name:  Floor_and_Curb.JPG
Views: 1066
Size:  38.5 KB

A shot of the tile behind the plumbing:

Name:  Plumbing.JPG
Views: 960
Size:  46.8 KB

A shot of the top half of the shower:

Name:  Top of Shower.JPG
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Size:  43.6 KB
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