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Unread 01-31-2020, 02:02 PM   #1
JohnpaulTH
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glass mosaic arch advice

Hi All,

I have a drop in tub deck tiled upstairs, and am working on the wall tile..
My dad is seriously considering an arch on one of the walls.
I can post sketches once he designs it.
The arch is about 30" across and 4" deep.
My question is what the best way of building the substrate is.
The tiles will be 1" mosaic glass (fun!) so they should be relatively cooperative.

My dad has built drywall arches before, by scoring the back side in segments, then bending to the desired shape. He was/is thinking of doing the same thing with hardiebacker, or if it breaks to easy, getting the hardiebacker real wet, and bending it to the desired shape.
I suggested we could float it, using a scratch and brown system instead, thus avoiding the single float prohibition, and alowing us to get a perfect arch (in theory anyway).
His primary concern with that is the difficulty he had getting the mud to stick to the ceiling, and the working space, because I wouldn't think that george the shower niche jig would work on an arch. Do you have any advice about how to go about doing that?
I also thought about the handyman approach, get multiple layers of kerdiboard (which I have never worked with) stack them up, cut an arch out, and fabric the underside. I do not know if that is even remotely sensible though.

How would you solve this?
Also if you didn't do the scratch+brown what would you do? (I like it, but cure time and limited space may be potential concerns)
Also how would you cut the glass above the arch?

Do I need to post a drawing?

The glass tile is cheap american olean that we got on sale from a big box store.
I have read that the mortar bed may have to be cured for several days prior to tiling.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 02:05 PM   #2
JohnpaulTH
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Here are some pictures of the area so far.

The sink in the picture is removed during tiling
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Unread 01-31-2020, 02:43 PM   #3
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JohnPaul, I read your post but I'm not seeing where the arch would be. Maybe you can clarify that.

If there is no shower with this tub, and arch is away from any significant moisture, you should use sheetrock for the substrate.

Since your tile are really small, I would still skim over the sheetrock to fill in screw depressions, and any other depressions that keep it from being very flat. You'll want it as flat as possible when you start setting those tile.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
JohnpaulTH
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Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the quick reply. there is a shower with this tub, mounted to the tub deck.
I will see if I can post a sketch later on.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 06:55 PM   #5
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NOTE: The caulk lines are above where the hardy backer is.
I did NOT install them, and I corrected where the tiles are going to be.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 06:57 PM   #6
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Here is a "sketch" of the area, so you can see the Idea.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 07:19 PM   #7
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Where is the shower head going to be? Is there a curtain to go around the entire tub for water containment?
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Unread 01-31-2020, 07:30 PM   #8
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The shower is tub mount, but they were considering wall mount as well, they also are considering a wrap around curtain.
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Unread 01-31-2020, 08:27 PM   #9
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Ok, so the arch would be out of the wet area?
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Unread 02-01-2020, 02:27 AM   #10
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You would need to nail/staple up lath for the mud to grab on to. I usually use 1/2 inch plywood and cut the radius I want and temporarily nail it to the wall. That gives me a template for the mud to follow. Don't know what the cure problem would be, let it set up a few hours or over night, remove the plywood and tile over it.

I would use bullnose tiles on the inside of the arched box.

The others have hinted about it but keep in mind that the deck surrounding the tub needs to remain dry. Maybe you have a plan for that.
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Unread 02-01-2020, 06:39 AM   #11
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I'm with Davy with the tub deck. Is there waterproofing on the deck? Is the transition from the tub deck to the wall taped? That and the wall need waterproofing as well or you will have some serious water migration. I would mud the arch also. You can mud it, let it stiffen, and carve it to perfection. I use the 1/4" luan for templating. It's a little easier to cut and manipulate.
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Unread 02-01-2020, 07:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnpaul
but they were considering wall mount as well, they also are considering a wrap around curtain.
I feel like if this is going to be used as a stand up shower the wrap around curtain will be mandatory. Otherwise water will accumulate on the deck between the wall and tub lip. And if the curtain is there it'll going to hide all that beautifully detailed work, and not sure how practical it will be to just pull the curtain back all around after a shower, it'll never dry, so mold/mildew.

Maybe I'm just not understanding the plan.....
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Unread 02-01-2020, 11:36 AM   #13
JohnpaulTH
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All my fears about the float for the glass tile, are based on the glass section of the TCNA handbook. it says that you can't tile over a one coat float. and that some manufacturers require the mortar bed to be set several days. So based on that, I would do a scratch+brown, and wouldn't wait a full week, unless American Olean required it.
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Unread 02-01-2020, 01:35 PM   #14
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We make custom foam arches in any size, come visit us at www.BuiltWithFoam.com

No need for a multi day float and a fancy jig to get the arch perfect.

We can cut one to your specs in less than an hour and have it on the same day's Fedex truck.
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