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Unread 11-02-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
Cwhale442
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HardieBoard Gap

First time posting so I apologize if this has been covered. I could not find anything specific. Installing 12x24 porcelain in my shower. Unfortunately I've left a 1/4" gap at the bottom of a corner. I've also have a spot higher with same. I've filled in the higher portion with scrap hardie, and plan on using the proper mesh and thin set over all seams and corners. Also going to apply two coats of Redgaurd. Will these two gaps be ok, or do I just need to take down and replace these two boards? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Chris!

That’s getting a little big, but ok. Are the stud corners reinforced? Or are they independent of each other? If they are reinforced, I’d remove the slivers of material, apply alkali-resistant mesh tape to those corners, then mud those corners with your mortar. Be sure to force the mortar tightly into the joints.

As far as two coats of RedGard...pay attention to the directions to use the proper amount. It’s not exactly likely that you’ll apply it thick enough if you’re using a roller. So, you may need to apply more coats to use the proper amount per sq/ft.

But what about that niche? It appears to be proud of the Hardibacker surface and looks like it’ll cause you grief trying to keep the tiles in-plane with each other.

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Unread 11-02-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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They are independent of one another. The niche is an EZ Niche product. The manufacturer instructions state to install over CFB, mesh alkaline tape edges and feather out with thin set. Will that work?
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Unread 11-02-2019, 03:45 PM   #4
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I think feathering it out with thinset mortar is going to be a challenge, Chris. What they are suggesting is all the tile around the niche being ramped, and that's going to be impossible with 12X24's. Only thing I can think of is using a thinner layer of mortar where any of the tiles overlap the niche. For instance, if you set the 12X24's with a 1/2" square notch trowel, use a 1/4" square notch trowel only on that flange area. Depending on the layout that may, or may not, work.

Can't tell from the photo - is that niche just plain ole plastic?
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Unread 11-02-2019, 05:16 PM   #5
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I agree that feathering is a weak suggestion from the manufacturer. You’re very likely to have undesirable lippage between those tiles. I like Dan’s suggestion of using a big notch trowel to set all the tiles on that wall.

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Unread 11-02-2019, 05:28 PM   #6
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Ok.. So the guy at the tile store said some installers would recess the lip with belt sander. He said not needed, but doable. Would that work? Also, Where am I left with the corners not reinforced? Tape and mortar gap, or take down and reinstall? A lot of extra work, but will do it if the 1/4 is too much of gap. Thanks again.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 06:59 PM   #7
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Welcome, Chris.

I'd recommend you remove those little scraps of Hardiebacker from the joint, fill with mortar and tape per manufacturer's instructions. Then apply your liquid-applied waterproofing membrane using the manufacturer's recommended fabric reinforcement.

You will have an open joint in your tile installation at that corner filled with a flexible sealant and I don't think you'll have any problems.

I think that niche manufacture should be taken out and shot, but that's a different discussion. Recessing the lip of it into the wallboard using a router might correct most of the problem, but it certainly won't be good for your router bit.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 07:46 PM   #8
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I wouldn't use a sander for that. A grinder with a diamond blade would work, but will create a lot of dust.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 08:16 PM   #9
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A grinder would work. A router would be easier to control. I'd rather see the manufacturer taken out back.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 08:29 PM   #10
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You know, the Recess-it niche instructions give that as one of the options for installation, to spread "mastic" around the flange.

Much easier to recess the flange.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 11:19 PM   #11
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Quite a few folks end up grouting the corners of their showers and tub surrounds. It isn’t technically right, but sometimes doesn’t crack or cause a problem. If you are one of the folks that would like to grout your corners, I’d warn against. With the studs on your job not being reinforced (Hardie specifically calls for ‘framing that is adequately reinforced at the corners’), I would bet heavily that if you were to grout, they’d crack.

But if you left a proper gap between the corner tiles and used 100% silicone, experience says that you’d be good to go.

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Unread 11-03-2019, 06:51 AM   #12
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Ok. Thanks all. I really appreciate the guidance. I had to research what you meant by reinforced corners. Yes, I think I have reinforced corners meaning each wall ends with a 2x4 in each corner. I snapped a pic after demo. Is this reinforced? Sounds like everyone agrees that with proper prep with mortar and mesh in corners, applying Redgaurd per manufacturer's instructions, my gaps may be non issue. I'll remove the slivers and use mortar to fill. I installed the slivers after watching a tile installer on YouTube do the same. I didn't think the EZ Niche was an issue, but sounds like you guys are more concerned with that lippage than the corner gap. Glad it was in the pic. I'm going to try and recess it the best I can, and also apply the mortar there as recommended above. Lastly, I'm planning on using caulk in corners in place of grout. Thanks again.
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Unread 11-03-2019, 07:03 AM   #13
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Reinforcing the 2X4's that make up the corners means, to me, mechanically attaching one to the other so that they can't move independently. And doing so still doesn't mean they won't move, just decreases the chances.

Still, not a deal breaker for you if they aren't. You'll be using silicone sealant in those corners anyway which will accommodate any tiny movement.

Snap a couple photos of the niche so we can see the whole thing, but the several suggestions of recessing it are the way to go.
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Unread 11-03-2019, 07:31 AM   #14
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Not installed yet, just sitting in the hole. Its framed out internally with 2x4's.
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Unread 11-03-2019, 07:53 AM   #15
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Oh, there's two, stacked.

If the openings are framed on all 4 sides with 2X4's I'd seriously consider not using those and building your own. I think trying to recess them so that the face is in consistent plane with the surrounding wall board will take at least as much time as building them using wall board, taping, and red garding them.
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Last edited by ss3964spd; 11-03-2019 at 11:47 AM.
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