Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet

Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 09-19-2022, 01:46 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: NC
Posts: 2
Solid Surface Pan and Mortar

Hello everyone,

After giving up on recovering my old username (no longer have access to that email) I re-registered. Many moons ago i spent a bit of time on here while renovating a home and building a home. I have done the shower pans the right way, but I'm getting old and this one is for a home we are going to airbnb so i'm trying to get out a little quicker and easier. This is a old house built in the late 60's. I'm removing a cast iron tub in an alcove and replacing it with a shower only. I am using a belstone products solid surface shower pan 60 x 30. The instructions from the manufacturer say they recommend Versabond for the mortar bed (3/4"). The subfloor is tongue and groove in good condition. I have not measured yet, but it's at least 3/4. Can I place the mortar directly on the subfloor, and if i can, should I? I have seen recommendations to put roofing paper down first, but manufacturer directions don't mention applying anything to the floor first. I have some Ditra left over from an old job and could put that down first.


Last edited by cx; 09-19-2022 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Add Links
Reno3204 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 09-19-2022, 03:12 PM   #2
Moderator emeritus
cx's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 96,099
Welcome, Chris.

I've added links to the product I think you're using. If they're not correct, please point that out so it can be corrected.

i would be very skeptical of a pre-fabbed shower receptor manufacturer specifying a tile thinset mortar for bedding his products. Especially in clear violation of the mortar manufacturer's maximum thickness specifications. And I can almost guarantee you'll have difficulty getting Custom's VersaBond to hold a thickness of 3/4-inch. Had they at least specified Custom's VersaBond-LFT, it would be a bit more understandable, but still not the right product for the application.

And then there's the matter of getting a 3/4" thickness over 12+ square feet out of a 50 pound bag of thinset mortar. But let's not be picky.

The mortars of choice for most manufacturers of plastic tubs and shower receptors is a masonry mix of some kind.

The common recommendation for placing any sort of mortar over a wood subfloor requires some sort of membrane to prevent the wood leaching water out of the mortar before it can properly cure. I would recommend you use such a membrane whether your receptor manufacturer calls for it or not. And I would use a more appropriate mortar as well, but that's entirely up to you.

As for placing this mortar and tub directly onto a sawn board subfloor, I wouldn't recommend that, either, but that, too, is entirely up to you. Perhaps knowing your intent for the floor outside the shower would help is a recommendation there.

My opinion; worth price charged.


Last edited by cx; 09-19-2022 at 08:45 PM. Reason: typo
cx is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-22-2022, 09:03 AM   #3
John Bridge
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,771
Send a message via AIM to John Bridge
Hi Chris,

For "Tupper Ware" shower receptors I've always used what we call "fat mud," which is a mixture of sand, cement and lime. You can buy pre-mixed sacks labeled mortar mix, brick mortar or something akin to that. Place it on small piles across the floor and lower the receptor into it. Make sure the receptor goes all the way down, and fasten to flange to the studs. Make sure the receptor is level.
John Bridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2022, 02:34 PM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: NC
Posts: 2

Ok the belstone product is out, but still wanting to use a solid surface pan. I have added 3/4 OSB over the T&G. My plan now is to put down 1/4 hardibacker on floor over the OSB. (What is the recommended membrane to go down on the OSB first?). Then I'll use kerdi membrane to waterproof floor and walls which will have 1/2 hardiebacker. I will be tiling walls only.
Reno3204 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2022, 03:41 PM   #5
ss3964spd's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairfax, Va
Posts: 5,361
Send a message via Yahoo to ss3964spd
Chris, not sure if your intension is to install the 1/4" Hardie under whatever solid surface pan you end up choosing but, if so, I doubt that's necessary and there is little to no structural gain by doing so.

As for installing the Hardie on the OSB, all you need is a thinset mortar in which to embed the 1/4" panels, then screw them in with the appropriate screws. You could use a decent unmodified mortar but you'd have better luck finding a decent modified. The mortar isn't really to adhere the Hardie to the OSB, but to fill any shallow voids between the OSB and Hardie. Follow Hardie's installation instructions.

Kerdi is not meant to be installed on floors, and I believe I read earlier today that Schluter doesn't specify it for such an installation. They instead suggest Ditra. But if you use Ditra, which is 1/8" thick, you could forgo the Hardie - unless you just need the extra 1/8" of height.

But, as you mentioned you'll be tiling the walls only, what are you going to use on the floor? That might drive how you actually treat the OSB.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
ss3964spd is offline   Reply With Quote

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solid Surface Deck sanjosetiler Tile Forum/Advice Board 8 09-10-2009 08:27 AM
solid surface 7echo Tile Forum/Advice Board 1 03-20-2009 01:34 PM
solid surface vs. tile lilleth Tile Forum/Advice Board 9 06-22-2006 05:10 PM
Solid Surface or Tile rtjandj Tile Forum/Advice Board 1 03-26-2006 09:19 PM
solid surface shower pan orbitline Tile Forum/Advice Board 4 10-21-2004 08:00 PM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC