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Unread 06-08-2021, 12:56 PM   #1
spcmnspif
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Shower tile question

I've been reading and lurking for awhile, I think that convinced me to have a contractor take on my shower project instead of trying it myself. I have a question on their installation though.

Located in Northern California, house is on 2x10 joists, 3/4" subfloor. Shower is 5'x3'x10' and we're tiling all the way to the ceiling. We went with a hot mop pan, hexagonal floor tile and a 12x24 porcelain for the walls. The existing walls were badly out of plumb, square and level so the contractor floated all 3 walls over purple board, Fortifiber Aquabar "B" paper and metal lathe.

He's now putting up the wall tile but hasn't finished the final slope on the pan, putting the wall tiles down to the initial layer of mud on the pan that was over the hot mop. The final layer of mud on the pan plus tile is going to bury the bottom two or three inches of the first wall tile. Any thoughts? From my reading, and with other waterproofing, you'd want the vertical face on top of the horizontal, not down behind it.
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Unread 06-08-2021, 06:36 PM   #2
Just In Tile LLC
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I do it that way all the time Mike, as far as the floor floated last. I do mud my curbs most the time before I tile the walls though. As long as he has built the shower correctly up to this point floating the floor last is a non-issue.
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Unread 06-09-2021, 11:45 AM   #3
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Welcome, Mike,

I'm only a DIY'er but in all my years on this site I can say I've never seen the bottom row of tile installed before the final mud bed is installed.

From a water proofing/water management perspective I don't think it will matter. Only other possible ramification I can think of is movement accommodation.
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Unread 06-09-2021, 02:52 PM   #4
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Welcome, Mike.

If you don't put that geographic location into your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

I'm a bit confused, though, about you shower receptor. There should be only a single sloped mortar bed of the proper consistency over the hot-mop. Don't know why your contractor would be making more than one.

Doing the floor mud after the walls are completely tiled is not a technical problem. Simply means the floor tiles will not disappear under the wall tiles as I prefer to see them. So long as he cuts and lays the floor tile carefully and uses a flexible sealant in the floor/wall gap, there should be no problem.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-10-2021, 07:42 AM   #5
spcmnspif
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Thanks for the replies, I feel better about it. As mentioned, as a DYIer, I hadn't seen it done that way and thought it would look better with the floor going under the wall tile.

As for the floor, it may be his standard procedure, but I'm guessing he had extra mud left from the walls and roughed in a inch or so on the floor instead of carrying it out. They did finish the floor the next day with a dry pack.

CX, to be clear, are you saying the wall/floor joint is sealed with flexible sealant, like a silicon, and not grouted?

There ended up begin so much mud added to the walls I'm going to have to open up the back side wall and reposition the new shower valve, but that's just some sheetrock and a couple copper fittings. Not their fault.

I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the country but it took 5 months and calling a dozen tile contractors to get someone to take the job. I only had 3 actually call me back and 2 of those said they were booked the rest of 2021. This guy took about 2 months before he could start. I just had a garage drywalled and it was about the same, seems like very busy times.
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Unread 06-10-2021, 02:38 PM   #6
jadnashua
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According to the tile industry guidelines, all changes of plane and of materials need a movement accommodation joint. Three types exist:
- an actual air gap, not suitable in a shower'
- an elastomeric material, typically silicone
- an engineered joint. Made by at least a few manufacturers, I think Schuter's selection is probably the most extensive

Some people grout that joint, and if they're really lucky, it will last a long time without cracking...that can happen, but it's not as reliable...it can also fail quickly.

THere are a couple of profiles you could use at this stage. There would have been some others to include coves, etc. if installed as the wall tile went up, but that would also have required the pan to be installed already:
https://sccpublic.s3-external-1.amaz...dilexbwa_r.jpg
https://sccpublic.s3-external-1.amaz...dilexksa_r.jpg
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Unread 06-16-2021, 09:01 AM   #7
spcmnspif
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Thanks for the feedback. They finished fairly quickly, overall it was adequate, I think there were a few fine details at the end they rushed. Walls seem plumb and flat, verified by the glass company's laser level when they measured for the door, but shower is almost an inch wider at the front vs. the back, I would have hoped with all the effort to float the walls they could have made it square.

Appreciate the input from everyone.
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Unread 06-16-2021, 11:20 AM   #8
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The company I worked for in California didn’t square their showers even though we floated them. They just plumbed both walls and pretty much went with it. When I branched out on my own I realized squaring the walls made for a better floor install so I started doing it.

We also never presloped the pans, all old school mud guys and they did a LOT of things right... but when it was MY name on the installs I started digging into why things were done the way they were and realized I wasn’t taught all the right way. This forum is the single most beneficial upgrade to my career. Both a blessing and a curse to know the right way on everything.... as your bids always are higher than most. For what it’s worth, non-mudders also rarely square walls, from my first hand experience in my area.
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