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Old 11-23-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
sdl
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Bathroom rebuild - gonna have some questions

i've spent the last few days reading forums and websites, and i think (i hope) this is right place to be. the people here seem really patient and helpful.

we've been without a master bathroom since we moved in a few years ago because of extensive water damage. recently, i demo'd everything and started the structural work. i've already replaced most of the studs, the sub-floor, and even a few floor joists. where i'm at now is 1 1/8" TinG sub-floor over 16" joists. i've also started building the frame for a drop-in corner tub. but now i get to the point of the project that makes me nervous; i've done some outdoor stone work, but tile is a new horizon.

my plans are 5/16" porcelain tile for the floors and walls with a drop-in tub. i'm going to look into having a custom glass wall fit, and mount a shower head over the tub - i don't have room for a standalone shower.

so here's my initial questions:

1) i'm paranoid about everything being waterproof now, and the schluter stuff looks really nice. unfortunately, the closest retailer is 3+ hours away across a ferry and i hate the delays of working via mail order. is there anything equivalent at mclendon's, lowe's, or home depot?

2) for the tub framing, i am planning to build it up so that the tub drops in and the lip sits on top of the tiled surface - is that acceptable? if so, how do i calculate the wood frame height, subtracting for the thin-set, waterproof/decoupling membrane, etc? i'm not sure how much to add for each layer.

3) for the floor, i've read in some places to put plastic sheeting down under the mortar, to avoid "sucking the water out of the mortar". others don't mention this; is it important? i do plan to put heating wires down if that matters.

4) currently, i have a 1/4"+ step from the bathroom subfloor up to the finished hardwood floor of the bedroom, so i'd like to keep the buildup to a minimum. if my understanding is correct, i'll have heating wires + mortar, then membrane, then mortar, then tile. how bad is that transition going to get?

5) is it correct that i need two kinds of mortar? one between the floor and membrane and a different kind between the membrane and tile?

i really appreciate in advance and help or suggestions. i'm planning to get started this weekend and i think if i can figure these things out, i won't have to bug you guys for awhile. i've attached a few pictures of the current state of the bathroom.

thanks for reading this!
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:36 AM   #2
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You've come to the right place. The folks here will talk you through a bath rebuild you can be proud of. Keep in mind it's a holiday weekend for most of us so you might not get replies from the pros as fast as you might like.

Kerdi is awesome stuff. You might be able to special order it from a Home Depot.

While you wait for some experienced folks to chime in, why don't you give the details of your floor. We'll want to make sure you're good to go for tile. Use the deflecto link in the blue bar at the top of the page and tell us what you get.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Hi Sean, welcome. You need to hold up and plan this out. Installing a shower head on a top set tub won't work. On a top set tub, the lip of the tub is several inches higher than the tile deck and the water that hits the tile deck can find it's way to the tub drain.

This is how I build a tile deck for a top set tub. First, set the tub on a flat floor and measure from the floor to the bottom of the tub lip. Lets say it's 18 inches. Build the tub deck so the finished tile ends up about 19 or even 19 1/2 from the floor. Tile the deck level and then staple a layer of poly (or felt paper) and lath on the floor under the tub. Set the tub on top of a bed of cement, mashing it down to the tile deck.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
sdl
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yes, holiday here too; i'm making sweet potatos in between posts.

deflectometer says L/1101 - good for ceramic

hmm, an undermount would have been the better way to go, but i guess it's too late for that? i got a really good deal on this tub, so i grabbed it when i could.

we have a local company that does custom glass/shower panels, and i was planning to have one cut that followed the contour of the top of the tub and was sealed to it. will that work? the other option is a curtain that hangs inside the tub, but i'd hate the look.

thanks for the explanation on the height; so i basically build the frame higher and use cement to raise the tub up to meet it. that does sounds a lot easier than trying to measure within an 1/8". the tub is 18.5" from floor to the bottom of the lip, so i'll aim for 19.5".

would you use a decoupling membrane on the deck, or just a waterproofing layer?
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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5/8 or 3/4 plywood on top of the framing and then cement board would work fine. Then you can apply a surface membrane on top of that.

Once the plywood is installed, you might want to drop the tub in place and figure out where you want the valves to go. Mark and drill them out. I have drilled the holes after the tile is set, drilling thru the tile CBU and plywood all at once. Either way works.

Some tubs don't sit level, even when they are sitting on a level floor. Making the deck level and setting the tub on top is the easiest way to go.

I don't know about the glass, or if that will work or not. Even if you get it to work, stepping up into a tub like that to shower will get old real fast in my opinion. Actually, most folks that have those tubs very seldom use them.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
sdl
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how much room would i need to find elsewhere to have a shower stall that's not too cramped?

or... why can't i undermount the tub i have? the rim looks awfully flat. it's a maax temptation 54" x 54".
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