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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
NorthernMN
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Kerdi question

I am in thick of a basement finish/remodel. I have a couple hundred feet of tile to lay in the hallway and laundry room. Not a big deal. I have laid my fair share of tile. The wife/boss already picked out the tile and it is sitting in a stack looking at me.

However, after I finish that she wants me to attack the basement bathroom. That means that a one piece fiberglass tub/shower unit gets cut up and torn out and a tile shower goes in. I already know what I am dealing with because I put the fiberglass unit there. My plan was to go with a mortar bed with pvc liner and second mortar bed setup. The more I think about it the more I would rather do a single mortar bed and Kerdi. If I do that can I just Kerdi the shower floor and use regular backer board on the walls? So the Kerdi would be a stand in for the pvc liner and second mortar bed. In my head it seems like a perfectly good idea. I already the the tile backer board.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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Welcome, Chris.

While we could prolly conjure up a way to do that (difficult), I'm at a loss for why you'd wanna.

If you have CBU that you just can't stand not to use up, put it on the walls and cover it with Kerdi. Then install your Kerid drain, make your sloped mud floor, and Kerdi that, too. Voila! Kerdi System shower (easier to do it with sheetrock, but that doesn't help use up alla extry CBU you have).

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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Well, the "wanna" is looking at simplicity of the Kerdi and the drain system. Since I already have the CBU I was thinking why not use it and then I can save the cost of buying that much more Kerdi. The 1/2" CBU is so nice and stiff and strong like it was meant to exist for the tile walls. Sheetrock, not so much. Although, I do realize that Sheetrock is the common backer for Kerdi.

I guess when I was thinking about it I didn't really see why I would need to run the Kerdi up the walls. When doing an "old school" shower without Keri you just use CBU.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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How you fixin' to install your Kerdi pan a foot or so up the walls like a traditional liner if you have no backing on the wall?

How you fixin' to run your CBU down to the pan over whatever backing you hafta pewt onna bottom of the wall for your Kerdi?

How you fixin' to anchor the bottom of your CBU without a mud bed down there?

How you fixin' ....................etc?

Traditional shower pan construction with CBU walls over a moisture barrier work just fine and last decades.

Direct bonded waterproofing membrane showers work just fine and last decades, too (I can't vouch for that on any of my personal Kerdi showers yet, but they're out there).

Unless you're capable of building mud showers, I think the direct bonded waterproofing method has significant advantages. Actually, they have advantages over even the mud showers, but mud showers have other advantages, too.

Pick a system. Build a shower correctly. It should outlast you.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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Fair points for sure. Kerdi on the walls it is. I may still do it over the CBU. I suppose like many people I was just looking for someone to tell me what I wanted to hear. Thanks for not giving me permission to do something I would likely regret.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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Chris...they're good for doing that here. Crushing peoples' dreams that is.

Ha...I kid, I kid. I actually had the same exact thought as you about doing a Kerdi floor and CBU on the walls. CX made it so clear why that is not a good idea...I can see clearly now. Good luck with your build. I'm in the thick too.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Chris's bathroom remodel

Ok, so I have been reading John's Kerdi book and looking over the site here for quite a while. I am starting a bathroom remodel probably this weekend. I have most of my supplies already. I am doing a tile shower using Kerdi. Some things just don't jive for me. The Kerdi requires dry set mortar. I was able to get Keraset and that was the only thing I seemed to be able to get. I don't live a reasonable distance to much of anything. I drove about 2 1/2 hours to the closest place that has home improvement stores and my choice was Menard or Lowes. Both carried the same thing. Keraset was as good as it got. I see on Menards site I can special order Kerabond and pick it up at the store. Looks like gray is the only option. I see I can order Versabond from Amazon.com for the low rate of $25 shipping per bag. So I have that option.

So the tile the boss/wife picked is Daltile Krystal Slate Porcelain in a 6 x 6. Looks fine.

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And then there is going to be this band of accent mosaic Daltile Phase Mosaics Stone and Glass in vanilla. Like so:

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So neither of these tiles seems to jive with unmodified thinset. What are my best options here?
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Unread 04-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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And should I worry about using white where the glass tiles are going to be? We are talking about Versabond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar and not Versabond Flex, correct?

I am not really worried about the warranty so much as I am using something that is going to work well. John, claims to have used Versabond in his book with good success so that is good enough for me.
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Unread 11-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #9
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I figured I better come back and update this. I got busy with a few things I had summer projects to do and soon it was archery season. However, I did finally get around to doing this shower. I will give you the interesting bits.

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I am ready for grout now. Then I need to start on the floor. I cracked open that tile tonight and I don't know what the deal is but I have 4 boxes. 2 of the boxes are different size than the other two boxes. There is an easy 1/8" difference in size in both the length and width. There is no easy way to make that work with a good looking grout line. I suppose I will have to make a 2 1/2 hour drive back to Lowes and swap half my tile. I can't imagine what the Italians were up to the day they cooked up these tiles.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 05:23 AM   #10
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Can you not cut them down to the same size in less than 2-1/2 hours?
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Unread 11-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #11
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I suppose I could cut them down if I had a "good" tile saw. I just have a little MK-145. If they were small tiles I might try it but they are big tiles and it would be difficult to try and trim such a small amount off them. Besides, I didn't pay good money for tile just to spend my tile resizing half of it.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
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If you have to drive 2-1/2 hours, take all the boxes back. Check the new tile against what you are keeping. If you have to change your enntire floor design, you won't have to make another trip.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 09:50 AM   #13
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Great post Bob.

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Unread 12-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #14
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So I returned all the tile and got all new boxes with matching lot numbers. That was certainly sound advice. Had no issues getting it laid.

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Got the shower all wrapped up. Everything has been grouted and sealed. I put up the frameless glass shower doors on Sunday. Took my time and used two rolls of tape making nice clean silicone lines.

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Last night I finally installed the custom vanity that my wife asked me to build. I have to admit that even though I built it to be a vanity it made me a little sad to drill big holes in the top for the sink and faucet.

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Not much left to do now. I have to trim around the door and put in the bath accessories like the towel bar, vanity mirror, and robe hooks.

Many thanks to the folks that spend time answering questions on all these threads. It may not be said enough but your efforts are appreciated.
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Unread 12-11-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Lovely vanity, especially that natural slab top. What's the wood, and how did you seal it against the inevitable splashing?
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