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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:04 PM   #1
tom31415926
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Tom's tub/shower remodel

Greetings to all. I have been reading this forum for a while in preparation for my bathroom remodel and I am now ready to post a question. I will have more questions and the practice appears to be to put subsequent questions in this same thread, even though the thread title may not apply. I'd like some guidance on that.

My question for now regards the subfloor and preparation for tile. The subfloor is 2x8 tongue-and-groove, and the 2x8s are 1 and 5/8 inches thick. I have added 4x6 girders in the crawlspace to decrease the maximum span of the 2x8s to 30 inches. It feels really solid, but I have no measurements of deflection. I have been planning to apply thinset on the subfloor using a 1/4 by 1/4 notched trowel, then 1/4 inch hardibacker (with recommended screws and mesh tape), then thinset again using the same 1/4 by 1/4 notched trowel, then 12-inch by 12-inch travertine tiles and finally grout.

Question about the thinset I first apply to the subfloor - The 2x8 subfloor members are not tight against each other; there are some "gaps" but the gaps are narrow enough so that the tongues are engaged throughout in adjacent groves. I assume this will allow for some expansion of the wood. If the thinset fills these gaps, the wood will not have such room for expansion. Should I take steps to prevent thinset from getting into these gaps?

Question about setting the tiles: Should I use the same thinset for setting the tiles (on top of the hardibacker), or a better quality? Is thinset the right term for the material I want to set tiles in?

Finally, I was thinking of hardibacker because I have some familiarity with it. Would Ditra be significantly superior here?

If responses are easier by just giving me a link to read, that's fine!

Tom
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Hi, Tom!

Sorry to say, your subfloor won't be good for travertine unless you further reduce the subfloor spans to 16 inches or so. You would then have to install 1/2" plywood over the planks before adding your Hardibacker.

As far as the gaps in the subfloor, you can either ignore them, tape them with 1/2" wide painter's tape, or caulk them. I could ignore them and sleep well if it were my floor.

Thinset is the right term for the method you will be setting the tiles. Thinset mortar is what you set them with. I know, picky-picky-picky. There are dozens of thinset mortars to choose from, but I don't see the need for anything better than Versabond right now (I'm assuming you will be adding the joists). Your tiles are relatively small by travertine standards today, so a thinset mortar will be fine. If you wanted to switch to a medium set mortar, like the granite and marble mortars sold at the big box stores, you gain some help keeping your travertine from sinking into the mortar, and allowing you to use a bigger notch trowel so you can adjust for slight floor imperfections.

Ditra has it's advantages, among them lighter weight and ease of installation. However, it cannot make up for an inadequate subfloor, so if your budget is limited, and you have strong backs helping you lug your materials home from the store, I'd say Hardibacker is right for you. Let us know if you intend to use Ditra, because it requires a different type of thinset.
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Unread 01-22-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
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thanks

Thanks, Bob !

It's good that I don't have to worry about the gaps between planks.

The girders I have added are each supported by pier blocks placed on concrete footings poured into the ground underneath. I just don't have room to place enough concrete piers to support girders on 16-inch centers.

How about if I add stiffness to the planks by doubling up from underneath with more 1 5/8 inch planks, firmly attached. It will help to know that when I carefully measured the longest span it came out to 22" - just under two feet instead of just over two feet like I thought. I could support the lower planks on a ledger board attached to the 4x6 girders and glue them to the upper planks. So then I'd have a 3 1/4 inch thickness of "solid" wood spanning 22".

I really appreciate the perspective and advice.

Tom
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Unread 06-18-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Tom's tub/shower remodel

Greetings

I'm doing a bathroom remodel, and right now I'm still at the rough-in stage for the tub. I have red some cautions about using a drop-in tub in an alcove installation, which is what I am doing. But there are a couple of things that will help to address the cautions. First, the lip of the tub is angled towards the tub, that helps. Second, I will have the tiling flange added on three sides by a local company that specializes in this. By the way, it is an acrylic tub.

For the tub surround, I plan to use Kerdi over sheetrock. I have downloaded the Kerdi shower book and am still reading it.

Of course, I appreciate any helpful comments or insights.

My questions right now concern how to "terminate" the tile at the lip of the tub. I have attached a figure that I drew based on the tub manufacturer's drawing and with Kerdi added as I understand it at present. In the drawing, the lower edge of the sheetrock appears to be potentially exposed to water. True, the silicone sealer is there, but if the silicone sealer were perfect, there would be no need for a tiling flange! And I guess the outer thinset could wick some moisture down there also. So I wonder if some improvement can be made, like sealing the bottom edge of the sheetrock, or wrapping the Kerdi around the bottom edge of the sheetrock.

Another question involves the silicone sealer itself. Often when I see silicone sealer at the tub-to-tile boundary, it is in need of maintenance. It might have mildew behind it or just have gaps. Also, the tile-to-tile joints are of course grouted, and the silicone sealer will look different, especially where the grout itself meets the silicone sealer. Are there any things I can do about these issues?

The above are may main questions for this post. It would be fine just to get links to where my questions have already been answered.

The deflection of the floor could well be a consideration for the tub-to-tile joint, so I've added extra footings and pier blocks under the house so that the 4x6 girders are supported at the 4 corners of the tub. I'm planning to run 2x4's on joist hangers (girder to girder) to continuously support the subfloor under the tub. The span of the 2x4's is 40 inches, and the subfloor is 2x8 T&G that is 1.625 inches thick.

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 06-18-2011, 04:11 PM   #5
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optimally use a drop in tub. Much better choice.

You can make your own (and better imho) flange with kerdi in the pic below.

1- To make the flange, cut one piece of kerdi 6+ inches wide that goes all the way around the tub.
2- Kerdi fix the kerdi to the tub rim. Let that cure
3- Install the tub
4- Install the drywall or CBU
5- lap the kerdi from under the drywall onto the surface of the drywall, adhering it to the drywall with thinset.
6- As an extra barrier to protection, kerdi fix the gap between the drywall and the tub again.
7- kerdi as usual.

This is still a bandaid though and not my first choice.
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Unread 06-18-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Hi Tom,

Please keep all questions related to this project in this thread so folks can see what your working on and what's been previously asked & answered. We can change the name anytime for you, just say the word. Thanks.

I'd keep the flange you have in place and caulk it to the tub with Kerdi Fix or NobleSealant, then install the Kerdi at the tub according to Schluters installation instructions. If you like, you can install it ahead of time like Paul suggests. After tile, you then caulk the tile to the tub with color matched 100% silicone. 3 layers of caulk, done properly, will outlast us all. The first one I did this way is going on 20 years now...
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Unread 06-18-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Thanks

Paul, I understand your description and thanks for the figure!

Thanks putting the newer title on the thread.

dhagin, It appears to me that keeping the flange as drawn (it's not installed yet) would make it difficult to implement Paul's idea to protect the wallboard edge-- the Kerdi would have to come down the wall, and go over the top of the flange before going down behind the flange. I am not having any luck finding Schluter instructions pertaining to tub surrounds.

If I do have the flange installed, it would be done by a pro who states that the flange will bond to the tub and they will become like a single piece of acrylic. If I don't have the flange installed, I can do as Paul's figure shows and depend on the Kerdi and Kerdi fix to do the job of a flange.

Lots to think about.

Tom
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Unread 06-18-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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Schluter's installation instructions include tub/showers.

Here ya go. T/S begin on page 10. And it's not just the drywall you're protecting, it's any part of the home below the height of the shower head.

http://schluter.com/media/ShowerHandbook.pdf
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Unread 06-21-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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DEsign review requested

Below is the plan I've arrived at after reading the posts. I would appreciate any comments, suggested improvements, or corrections.

dhagin, thanks for the link in the previous post to the Schluter materials. The information there does not deal with the details of the tub-to-tile junction, the figure on page 10 suggests that the sheetrock and Kerdi extend below the tub and the lip of the tub is simply sealed with Kerdi Fix. In an earlier post in this thread, cabotandrowe suggested a way to make the Kerdi barrier continuous while ending the sheetrock just above the lip of the tub, like a conventional tile flange installation. I have tried to go with that approach. I am especially interested in any comments about not using the tiling flange at all.

Here are the steps I would follow (this is a draft proposal!)


Note: This is a 60 x 32 drop-in tub with no tiling flange. It is installed in an alcove with tile meeting the tub on 3 sides. The plan is to use a strip of Kerdi instead of a tiling flange.
All other instructions for application of Kerdi are as described in the Kerdi shower handbook.
Proposed steps subject to modification:
1. Cut 6” strip of Kerdi and attach to rim of tub on 3 sides (installed around tub first) using Kerdi Fix sealant as the adhesive and let it cure.
2. Sheetrock the alcove so that wallboard is about 0.5” above tub lip.
3. Set tub in place.
4. Other side of Kerdi Strip from Step 1 is attached to sheetrock using thinset. Interior corners will have a surplus of Kerdi and it may need to be folded or cut to lay flat on sheetrock. Folding will result in a 3-layer thickness, cutting will result in a 2-layer thickness. If cut, use Kerdi Fix to seal it because it will not have a 2-inch overlap. Let thinset and sealant cure.
5. Apply an extra bead of Kerdi Fix where the Kerdi strip meets the tub. Let cure.
6. Apply Kerdi to entire sheetrock wall. The tile will go to from tub to ceiling, so apply Kerdi from tub to ceiling.
7. Apply thinset and tile. Let dry.
8. Grout tile. Note that bottom row of tiles (adjacent to tub) have no sheetrock behind them at the bottom 0.5 inch or so. Grout the gap all the way to the bottom. (Perform standard removal of excess grout.) Let dry.
9. Question: Fill gap behind bottom of tiles with silicone sealer? This space is labeled “Fill gap here?” in the figure. Any advantage to filling with silicone before grouting? I feel like I could get a better-looking silicone joint at the bottom if done after grouting. Opinions?
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Unread 06-21-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Typically, that area gets filled with silicone caulk when you caulk the tile to tub joint. It is not the best way to do this. A thick bead of silicone caulk will become stiff as it cures, so it won't be able to flex and stay adhered to the tile and tub. It will either split or become detached. I think a better plan would be to tool the Kerdi-fix into a concave shape (much better for the Kerdi-fix for the same reasons as the silicone) then insert foam backerrod behind the tile, the apply the silicone caulk. The backerrod: allows you to use less silicone caulk, provides a non-stick backing for the silicone caulk, and pre-shapes the back of the silicone caulk into the preferred hourglass cross-section shape (the front concave shape completes the hourglass).

You can find backerrod in the weatherstripping department. Use the diameter that allows for a snug, but not tight, fit. You can cut it length wise if needed.
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Unread 06-24-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
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tile border for firred-out wall

I'm putting a 60-inch tub in a space that is 61.75 inches. The plan is to put the tub flush with one wall (the plumbing wall) and fir out the other wall by 1.5 inches (a convenient amount). We are putting a niche in that wall, so the extra depth will be useful.

However, the wall we are firring out is the wall with the door. I can't fir out the entire wall, so I only want to fir out the tiled part of the wall by 1.5 inches (tile goes to the ceiling). I need some advice on the transition, and how to rough it in to make the tiling easier to get right.

I have attached three figures that are competing ideas.
Is one of them good, or is there a better way? I can try to take any suggestions offered and draw them to be sure I understand.

Might I find a curved tile to replace the entire exterior corner shown?

Tom
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Unread 08-05-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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Kerdi "tiling flange" interior corner

Greetings,


First, an apology of sorts. I usually view my posts and replies without logging in. Of course, I won’t see a “thanks” button that way. Hence I haven’t been acknowledging the helpful comments so far. I’ve figured it out now.

I have installed the tub, after attaching a strip of Kerdi to the lip of the tub on three sides to act as a tiling flange. I followed the plan shown earlier in this thread. I have now installed the sheetrock and am about to attach it to the bottom of the sheetrock with Versabond. I will then attach the large sheets of Kerdi to cover the sheetrock.

My question is about the interior corners of this “tiling flange.” Because the sheetrock surface is closer to the interior of the tub than the tub lip, there is an excess of Kerdi material at the interior corners. There is no way to get it flat. What is the best solution to this problem? The solution might involve cutting the Kerdi at the corners, but it would not be possible to get a 2-inch overlap. It has been said that sealing with Kerdi fix does not require a 2-inch overlap, so that may be a part of the solution. On the other hand, maybe cutting the Kerdi is worse?

One other piece of information: I installed the sheetrock so that the compressed edge of the sheetrock is adjacent to the tub. That way, I have a bit more room to deal with overlap.

Tom
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Unread 08-05-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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Sealing with Kerdi-fix is easiest. You could tuck the excess into the gap between the sheetrock in the corner, and then run a bead of Kerdi-fix over it.
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Unread 08-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #14
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two transition questions

Still can't find a "thanks" button - I was sure I saw one.

Thanks, bbcamp! The excess Kerdi fit nicely into the gap. I had to fight with it, though and ended up with a small 1/4 diameter inch air bubble underneath the Kerdi in one place. The Kerdi all around it is stuck down well, however. I'm guessing that since the surface all around will be solid, I can just leave it. Otherwise, I could puncture the Kerdi and try to stick it down with Kerdi fix

The two transition questions follow:

1. For the tub surround, one of the walls extends 10 inches beyond the tub alcove. I'm planning to simply tile the whole wall to the corner. At the corner, I could use a tile with one rounded edge so that the rounded tile edge lines up with the corner. The other surface will be sheetrock with a smooth skim coat of wallboard compound that is painted. I have read in this forum that using a corner bead on this corner may create a "ski jump". I think that the tile itself will protect the edge of the sheetrock and would like to omit the corner bead. Is this a good plan?

2. The ceiling will be sheetrock with a smooth skim coat of wallboard compound that is painted. I want to tile the walls to the ceiling. Should I omit the paper tape that I normally use on interior corners of sheetrock? I have already installed the sheetrock around the tub and I have used wallboard compound to fill in the compressed areas at the edge of the sheetrock so that the surface is flat. My next step is to install the Kerdi.

Thanks,

Tom
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Unread 08-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #15
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1. Yes.

2. Maters not one way our the other. If the ceiling is yet to be finished, I'd likely tape the wall/ceiling joint. Just because.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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