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Unread 07-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
I'd rather be hunting...
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 44
First time post, lots of questions - total bathroom rebuild

guys, quick intro, i'm SO glad i found this board. TONS of great info here and i've taken alot of knowledge from here and hope to put ALL of it to use shortly.

Right now my bathroom is down to studs and floor. I have laid a piece of 19/32" OSB on top of the existing 3/4" plywood and there will be another layer of hardibacker 1/4" on the floor. the walls will all be green board as is the ceiling. the questions I have right now are construction related. My shower unit is 48" long, drain in the center and 30" wide to the side of the curb. Curb is 2 2x4's on end, and another 2x4 on top (had to do it this way for a reason I won't get into here...) and i now have exactly 15" from the outside of the curb to the center of the commode hole. Is this too close? I can't move the commode...i mean, i COULD, but I ain't gonna. I have a TON of copper and brass pipe in my walls and it's in great shape, i'm not replacing it. Worst case, I could move the curb an inch, maybe 2...but 28" is getting too small for the shower.

Fixtures...i have a rain head, a hand held with a bar, and 2 body sprays but I'm not sure how I should lay them out. Thinking doing the shutoff and the diverter side by side, about 48" up on the wall, with the body sprays and the rain head in a vertical line with the hand held on the wall side of the front wall, not the door side. Kinda like this (watch out...ascii art ahead

           K      |
        8    *

0=shower head, 
K=kohler body spray,
|=metal...rod or downspout, 
Okay..that stunk...but hopefully you get the idea. if not, i'll have to bust out the MS Paint.

Next...the greenboard. I plan on encasing the room in 20mil plastic behind the wallboard to prevent ANY moisture problems, I've put a 70cu ft/min fan in, and the bathroom is 4x9x9. Moisture should NOT be an issue, but i'm a big fan of insurance. The drywall/greenboard should go in ceiling first, then walls, with walls about 1/2" off the floor so standing water CANNOT wick up the drywall right? I will caulk under the floor molding to be sure.

The shower is going to be a mud pan (thanks to this site) and i've got plenty of plastic. Plan on lifting the hardibacker 1/8" off the floor, caulking this joint and then painting the whole shebang with redguard. I'll need to do this because i'm putting a couple nooks/shelves into the shower and will build them in by hand out of hardibakcer and lumber. the added protection of the redguard IMO is a must unless someone has a better (but cost effective) method to do them.

Floor is going to be tile, 12" dark gray from Home Depot, with the same tile used for the walls of the shower, and the floor will be a contrasting color mosaic 1" or 2" tiles (this ins't finalized yet) and will insert a mural of some sort in the back center of the shower since this is the first thing that will hit your eye when you enter. I'm not even going to get into talking about the vanity yet, but it's a one off custom out of hardwood plywood, probably black walnut or birch stained DARK. Having a hard time sourcing 9" drawer slides for this but I'll get them someplace. I'll try to post some pics and plan on blogging my progress too, just to have a visual of the progress.

thanks for reading...and in case you forgot..

1. Is 15" enough space for the commode to the shower glass? (actually 16")
2. 1/2" space between floor and drywall with caulked seams?
3. 1/8 - 1/4" gap between shower pan and hardibacker in the shower, and caulk this joint too?
4. finally, layout of the hardware - 1 temp/flow valve, one diverter, 2 body sprays (kohler water tiles), a rain head, and a multifunction hand shower with rod.

Thanks again
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Unread 07-20-2010, 05:56 PM   #2
builder, anti-builder, rebuilder -- Retired Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: oahu
Posts: 13,164
Welcome Jason,

ASCII art? You're dating yerself.

Regarding moisture... I'd not use plastic behind the wallboard, you're asking for trouble IMO. I'd also increase the size of the fan and put it on a humidistat if you'd like. Go for 125-150 CFM or more. A remotely located, in-line fan will be virtually silent. I also don't use greenboard. It's structurally lacking and does not relieve you of proper painting and moisture management with an exhaust fan vented to the outside, and used enough to actually get rid of the moisture.

1. 15" from center of WC to side walls is minimum based on most codes, if you're subject to or concerned about such things. 18" is a more comfortable minimum distance, but unless you have the glass right on the edge of curb, you'll be 15+.

2. 1/2" is fine, and I often caulk the base moulding at the floor with clear Polyseamseal or silicone.

3. ? I don't use Redgard, but believe they require fabric at joints, corners, etc... If you bury the end in the mud at the floor, then you may be able to eliminate the fabric down there... Double check the install instructions. Have you considered Laticrete Hydro Ban or Kerdi??? Premium products for the Premium job I know you're going to do.

4. I generally start with centering things in showers. With handshower slide bars, I center or move them towards the glass if necessary, so the water is directed away from the glass. Valves can be stacked vertically or side by side, and can be moved towards the shower entrance to make adjusting easier before getting in - careful they don't interfere with glass, etc... Do you have 3/4 supplies for the water? & good pressure? & a dedicated HW heater? With all 4 of those things flowing, you'll need it.

"the road to hell is paved with osb, mastic, pre-mixed latex 'grout' or 'thinset', "
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Unread 07-20-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
I'd rather be hunting...
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 44
what do you use instead of green board? (mine is actually purple board..but that's what HD had...not sure if it's really any different to be honest.

yeah, the glass will be centered if not a little to the inside of the shower resulting in 15+, probably more like 16. I actually just took a chair up there, sat it in place, and located a sheet of plywood on the curb...it's not uncomfortable in the least. I'm going with the current spacing.

Kerdi liner OVER the board on the nooks? Kerdi sealant? Products i'm unfamiliar with and have not been able to source locally...i called around looking for the kerdi shower pan in vain...noone had the kit so i went with PVC liner and a clamp drain with mud. more work but just as bullet proof if done "right"

Good point on the moving of the valves closer to the door, but the tempflo valve will be mounted just inside the door by about 10 inches or so...should be fine, and easily accessible. the diverter will only flow any 2 items at once with the tiles acting as a single item. I do have 3/4" up to the shower (well, not yet, but it will be...the water supplies are right under the bathroom and i'm gonna run new pipe. the water heater is a large-ish 80 gallon (i believe) that we have not had the pleasure of running dry yet not even after 3 adults taking subsequent 5-10 min showers. temp started to fluxuate on the last shower, but did not go cold. When I replace the hot water tank, i'm going to do an "on demand" heater to clear up some room in our laundry room. the laundry room is already laid out for it and I'll gain alot of real estate when i make this upgrade. I just can't bite off the 4 grand it'll cost to do right now. after the bathroom is done..I budgeted 4k for the bathroom and am so far coming in wihtout tile at just over 2k right now, and have about 1k left to go. it helps knowing someone in the plumbing supplies industry!

Got any good links on building the shower cubbies? Additional cost of the pre-built ones is something I'd like to avoid. I'm going to have plenty of scraps of hardibacker to make these with and i know i have to fabric tape and thinset all seams. what should I coat the walls with after the hardi is up to totally water tight the shower?
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Unread 07-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 27
I'm new to tiling and bathroom remodeling and can't help in those areas, but I'll offer my opinion on the ventilation fan. Since you mentioned that the fan is 70CFM, I am going to assume that it is one of the cheap Broan/Nutone units like a 671 or 696. In my opinion, they are not worth the labor to install and to be avoided if you don't like noise. Based upon HVI guidelines, that is the appropriate fan size for your bathroom. You can use the Panasonic fan selector to help get an idea of the fan size you need based upon bathroom size and ducting. Panasonic fan selector.

I would consider any of the fans to meet the Energy Star guidelines to be acceptable.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NE CT
Posts: 2,062

Keep looking to source the Kerdi if you can, so you can build things outta plain old sheetrock.

But since you already made a mud pan, and seem to wanna go with the Hardie on the walls, then something like HydroBan or RedGard (properly applied) oughta do your waterproofing ok, after you make it all continuous with alkali-resistant mesh tape and thinset. Keep in mind that Hardie is pretty thirsty stuff - you'll need to pre-feed it plenty of moisture to avoid overcuring whatever you put over it for waterproofing.

Good luck!


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