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Unread 07-19-2018, 10:01 AM   #1
Gozo
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Accent/feature wall - next project

Hi all. No, the bathroom’s not done yet. Having a debacle with the custom cabinet maker. Once that’s done, I can put the last tiles in and I’ll post completion pictures.

Next project in the works. Almost done with the master bedroom remodel. Refinishing the hardwood floods hopefully this weekend. We have a wide nook wall that used to have some crappy cabinets and shelves built in. These came out and i’m going to to put the head of the bed in there and put up some pencil stacked ledger stone panels on that whole wall. It’s currently painted drywall about 50sqft. The wall is load bearing and well supported so I’m not too worried about the 700# of tile and mortar.

My thought is not to adhere the tile directly to the drywall as I worry about the paint or paper delaminating and stone falling on my head while I sleep. Either 1/4 Durock screwed to the studs over the drywall, or 1/4” kerdi board. Your thoughts?

If I go kerdi, I’d have to use unmodified. Probably could use the stickiness of a modified, so Durock?

Also, will be putting some free floating small shelves on the wall. Put up the backer, then shelves and tile around, or shelves, then backer? I’m leaning to backer then shelves as the shelf mounts would add to the backer attachment stability.

I have some samples of the stone panels ordered so still in the early stages on the tiling piece.

Thanks.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 01:33 PM   #2
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You can't pull the paper off gypsum drywall with that installation, Jeff. I'd also not worry about the paint if it was properly applied, but you can if you like. I'd be more inclined to worry about a 1/4" foam board if I wanted to worry about the installation. If I wanted to feel more comfortable I'd remove the drywall and install a 1/2" CBU on the wall instead.

Were it mine, I'd rough up the existing surface, add some additional coated screws to the drywall, and apply my stone with a good quality modified thinset mortar.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-20-2018, 06:06 AM   #3
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Do you need electrical in that wall for lamps and such Jeff? If you need to open it up in order to add receptacles on either side of the bed then that might drive your direction.
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Unread 07-23-2018, 09:52 AM   #4
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Thanks Cx & Dan.

Got the paint on the rest of the room. (The actual painting's the easy part, the work was in the prep of the red gloss wall with about a thousand lumps and glops in it - worst paint job ever {professionally done 20 years ago}.) Didn't paint the wall for the accent, it's already got paint from decades ago when it was the back of built in bookshelves. Also recoated the floor. More fun on my hands and knees with a RO sander. Again the coating took maybe a half hour but all day on the prep. It was a busy extended weekend.

So, I suspect a light sand to rough it up a bit is all the real prep work for this install, plus I've still got a ton of screws from the bathroom drywall install left over (8" spacing in the field enough? Studs 16" OC). The wall is pretty flat. A light manual run over the wall with 50 grit paper sufficient?

The stone tile samples should be here mid-week, but I'm leaning toward what I pictured below. I'm going to build floating "L" shaped corner shelves and tile around them rather than vice-versa. Electrical and lighting already installed in the nook area to get the stone.

Again, if there's any "beware of..." things, please chime in. I'm hoping for this to be straight forward and quicker than the bathroom project (still in progress).
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Unread 07-23-2018, 10:27 AM   #5
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Wait - you didn't keep the gloss red wall? Add some heavy, red velour curtains....

Opportunity: missed. lol

Certainly won't hurt to throw some more screws in it - since you don't know how many are in it now. Scuffing it with 50 grit isn't a bad idea either. Is the stone work going to rest on the floor, or are you going to have a baseboard?
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Unread 07-23-2018, 11:15 AM   #6
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I wasn’t quite red, more maroonish with some orangey tint to it. Sort of like a dried blood tinged brick. Was an in color in the 80’s. No, it’s gone.
There will be a baseboard. My plan is to add some 1 by behind it to compensate for the added thickness of the stone and I will probably rest the bottom row on that, since no grout. (How would one even think of grouting something like that?)
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Unread 07-26-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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Got the samples in today. The grey is too dark, so will be using the lighter color. I’m glad they sent a sample with an irregular back face. You can see that there’s some deeper stones than others.
My plan is:
1-rough up the painted drywall with coarse sandpaper without getting into the paper facing
2-use modified mortar
3-burn the mortar in the wall, burn and butter the backs of the stone, filling the deep pockets, notch with 1/2” x 1/2” trowel
4-smoosh tiles on wall
5-repeat until done

I have a plan for some shelves on the wall. They will go in first and tile around them. I expect that I’d do the lower half, let it set up and then get to the upper half a few days later.
I’ve tossed all the mortar from the bathroom project as it was in opened bags and a year + old. I did the bathroom Ditra to the plywood with Versabond from the big box store. OK to work with for that. Could I use the same for this project, or would I need an LFT type product? What would be your choices?
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Unread 07-31-2018, 05:57 AM   #8
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Bump...

I’m ordering the stone today. I figure they’ll be here in about a week. I’m looking to use a mortar I can easily source locally as needed (like weekends) so proposing to use Versabond LFT.
Would appreciate feedback or alternative suggestions. Should have zero foot traffic and 100% dry location.
Thanks
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Unread 08-05-2018, 02:06 PM   #9
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Well, started on roughing up the painted drywall and made little progress by hand. Took the belt sander to it and found that much of the original paint under everything was crap. Back then, builder grade primer was often diluted ceiling paint. Anyway, it came off in random areas in peely layers down to the drywall compound. Some spots were better adhered than others. I wasn’t comfortable putting stone on that random material surface, especially as the area will be above the headboard of the bed. I’d really rather not lay there waiting for a stone to come down at me.
I put up hardiebacker screwed to the studs right over the drywall. Was going to use something like wonderboard or Durock but since I’m working alone, I went with the lighter product. Not like it’s in a traffic or wet area.
Never used it before, more like MDF than a cement product. I plan on using ultraflex LFT and will make sure to really wet down the board before hand. I did wash the ton of brown dust off it after putting it up. I initially though it was the board dissolving, but eventually it cleaned up; so just dust from manufacture and cutting.
The floor’s not level, more so than the bathroom - about 3/8” in 6’. I’ll pu the stones up level and deal with the ceiling unlevelness as I get to it.
I get a week off until the stone comes in.
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Unread 08-07-2018, 06:00 PM   #10
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This is more like a blog than a thread.
I put up hardiebacker over the ratty drywall. Taped the seams with alkali resistant tape embedded in Ultraflex LFT which I will use for the stone facing when it comes in. The backer really does suck up water. Sponged it down and by the time I could get the trowel from the mortar bucket to the wall, it was almost dry. Wound up spritzing the board as I went. Mixed the LFT on the thin side, wound up the same as Ditraset was for the Kerdi in the bathroom. It’s only a rather thin coat, just enough to cover the mesh. It dried pretty quick (about and hour or so) to the lighter grey stage. I was tempted to spritz it to keep it moist but resisted.
Mapei must use a very similar modifier in the LFT as they do in the Ultracolor FA as they smell very much alike as I was mixing it.
Anyway, if I go to far astray, please jump in. This hardiebacker and wall stone is new territory for me (as was the bathroom project, and that came out OK).
Thanks
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Unread 08-08-2018, 06:17 AM   #11
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The only thing I'd comment on, Jeff, is that you have 4 corners meeting. From what I've read I believe the backer board manufacturers what the boards off-set so to avoid 4 corners meeting.

Blog away, I absorb all kinds of great information just reading other folk's threads/blogs.
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Unread 08-08-2018, 05:39 PM   #12
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I thought about the 4 corners as I was embedding the tape. I rationalized it staying as I’d have to pull down the top and bottom sheets, get and cut replacements, and since it’s not in a wet or high traffic area (I don’t walk on the walls much) it would probably be fine. The stone tiles are rough and irregular and so long as they stay on the wall, some small separation or a crack would be a “character” feature.
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Unread 08-12-2018, 12:55 PM   #13
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Level or parallel?

Picked up the stone panels yesterday and washed them off of all the dust and picked the bits of stray glue off them and laid them out to get a close to matching color and pattern distribution. Some had lots of grey pieces and others none. Some had chips and some had gaps. Had enough overage so not a problem. I’m going to give my back a few days to recover from all the lifting and bending.
However....as was the case with the bathroom build, the wall is not level or square (surprisingly it is plumb!). If I lay the stone level, the top row will taper from a full stone height (about 1/2”) to nothing. If I put them in parallel, they’d be even top to bottom, but unlevel. The bed will be up against that wall and checked and the bed follows the slope of the floor. I will be putting some floating shelves on the wall and tiling the stone around them.
Same question on the shelves: if they don’t follow the lay of the stone then will have the same taper issue.
So, everything on the wall level and taper to the ceiling, or everything parallel to the house slope and not worry about level?
I’m leaning to the second option. That way the bed won’t look tilted, though I could add a shim to the foot. (And, yes, the foundation is OK, we had an engineer check after the earthquake a few years back. It’s always had a slope to the fireplace. The kids used to have marble races from the kitchen. I guess the builders had a bit too much when they did the flooring structure. )
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Unread 08-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #14
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If it were mine, and in consideration of the floating shelves, I'd have to make the stone level and deal with the taper at the ceiling. Then, after the bed is moved against it, decide if you need to level it.

You could hide the taper at the ceiling with a decorative cove or something, maybe run some LED strip lighting behind the cove, or even put 3 or 4 recessed cans behind the cove to get a nice wash on the stone wall.

Having the shelves be level, but the stone not, would drive me nuts.
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Unread 08-18-2018, 06:40 PM   #15
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Well, I’ve been making a bit of progress each evening and this weekend. I get about 1/4 bag of thinset mortar worth of stones up at a shot. I like the self leveling properties of the Mapei LFT. My original plan was to put the stones and shelves up parallel to the floor. By the third row, they were dead level.
Turns out the stone veneer panels have some varying degree of un-parallelogram to them. They also take A LOT of mortar as the stones are glued in at varying depths so some are very close to the wall in back and others have a large gap. I wound up burning mortar into to wall and leaving a thin skim coat, and burning and back buttering the stone panels before notching them with 1/2” square notched trowel. Even then some additional was needed for some of the panels. You can see how far I got before I ran out. I figured one bag would be enough, but will need to pick up another.
Some lessons learned:
1-the Hardiebacker is VERY thirsty. I gave it two glasses of lemonade and a pitcher of iced tea and it was still parched. Really, I sponged it down well and by the time I could get some mortar up to the wall, it was dry. Wound up sponging and using a spritz bottle before each trowel full.
2-check the stones for parallel edges and sides. My plan is to keep them level until the additional shelves go in and then gradually wedge them to meet the unlevel ceiling. Used a combination of toilet wedges (left over from the bathroom project) and metal washers as spacers to get the tiles where I wanted them.
3-I like the Ultraflex LFT a lot. Very sticky, good long pot life (at least 2 hours mixed a bit soft), easy to wash off the rough stone face with a grout sponge and old toothbrush. Did pretty much shred a good grout sponge to bits, but they’re cheap.
4-Be prepared to go through more mortar than the package calls for.
5-Used a Dremel with a diamond wheel to get the irregular stone face to a single level for the outlet plate. Dusty, but goes quickly. The stones are much softer than porcelain tile.
Here’s where I’m at so far (below):
I tiled around the shelves. The bed headboard goes between the shelves and they’ll be used as night tables.
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