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Unread 03-30-2022, 10:13 AM   #16
ss3964spd
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That's a hard no, Art, not in a shower with liquid water proofing. I don't think I've read of any liquid water proofing that can be applied directly to drywall. And, even if there was one, the ends of the panels would still be exposed.

And you're correct; not even the manufacturer suggests its usage in a wet area.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 10:25 AM   #17
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Thanks so much for the quick response! And whew--they clarified that they will have HardieBacker for the shower enclosure itself, and will just use the gypsum for the area abutting it. So I think that's set!
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Unread 03-30-2022, 10:37 AM   #18
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Waterproofing for recessed ceramic soap dish?

We are planning to have a fully recessed ceramic soap dish in our new shower enclosure, and I want to be sure I understand what the waterproofing should look like behind the soap dish for it to be sound. Walls are all open and cement board is not yet up, so we have options.

The soap dish needs a 3.5" deep recess in the shower wall. What should the waterproofing behind/around this cutout look like? (I will also ask our GC but I know these are less commonly used these days, so am hoping to understand what this should ideally look like.)

Thank you!
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Unread 03-30-2022, 12:43 PM   #19
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If the rest of the walls have tarpaper or plastic over the studs prior to the cement board...OR have a surface applied membrane on the face of the boards, (NOT BOTH) then you should be good to go. If using a surface waterproofing such as Kerdi or Hydroban...just ensure that the niche is treated appropriately with the same treatment.....
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Unread 03-30-2022, 01:40 PM   #20
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Art, we've merged your two threads as they concern the same project.

1st; A soap dish? In your brand new shower? Say it ain't so!

But, if it is so, I don't think there's an effective way to tie it into the liquid water proofing that your contractor is planning to use on the shower walls.

Do you happen to have a link to the soap dish?
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Unread 03-30-2022, 01:52 PM   #21
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Thanks, Dan! It is a vintage-style shower in a 1915 Arts & Crafts house, so the recessed soap dish feels appropriate, though we know it's not everyone's style. If it really isn't possible to accommodate it in a modern shower build we can swap it for a thin-set mount one, though.

Image of the soap dish is attached. The needed cutout is 3.5" deep, 5.75"w x 4"h.

I was assuming we could essentially build and waterproof a niche the correct size for the soap dish (just as if you were planning to tile it) and then insert it and caulk accordingly, but maybe that won't work?

The alternative would be to use one that mounts with the tile (since we'll also have two thin-set mounted corner shelves) but I will need to order that soon if we need to swap it out. Thanks!

GC is using cement board covered with a waterproofing membrane. There is room in the wall where it needs to recess.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 02:06 PM   #22
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I'm just kidding with ya, Art. While I like(d) using bar soap I just couldn't deal with the maintenance issues associated with it. I get the design decision though.

That particular soap dish looks like it is meant to be installed so that its perimeter overlaps the face of the wall tile. If that's the case there's no way to tie it into the liquid water proofing that is planned for your shower.

About the best you can do is caulk the perimeter with 100% silicone. If possible, position it so that it isn't in the line of fire by the shower head.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 03:13 PM   #23
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Thanks--yes, I believe it is intended to be installed against the tile. From the maintenance perspective, would a surface-mount soap dish better? (We have one in our existing bathroom and often wish it were recessed because it catches water, but maybe it's a grass-is-greener issue!) The plan is to install it on the same wall as the shower head and valves, so will not have direct water on it.

If we can't build this one in without compromising the waterproofing, I think it's a no go, but just want to be sure I'd considered all the options. Is a tiled niche similarly problematic with cement board? (I had originally planned to use GoBoard for this project but it was indefinitely sold out and ultimately decided to have GC go with what he was comfortable with.) Thanks!
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Unread 03-31-2022, 07:34 AM   #24
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My idea of maintenance issues with bar soap holders doesn't have anything to do with preventing water intrusion, Art, it's the constant accumulation of soap scum that I didn't want to deal with.

The bath I'm working on now had one. When I demoed the shower/tub enclosure, pic below, there was no evidence of water intrusion around the soap dish. The only "water proofing" it had was caulk around its perimeter.

The one you've selected will be affixed to the face of the wall tile with some sort of adhesive, and then caulked around its perimeter. Not ideal, of course, but will likely be ok. But the wall where the shower head is will see quite a bit of water. I know mine does.

Niches afford the opportunity to tie the water proofing of it into the water proofing of the walls. Done right they eliminate water intrusion completely.
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Unread 03-31-2022, 10:23 AM   #25
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Thanks! And ha, yes, the soap scum is what we don't like about our soap dish that isn't recessed. Hoped that this would be less of an issue with a fully recessed dish, but maybe it just comes with the territory. Are niches much better on that front, though? We considered one but worried that it would collect more water than the soap dish would (and would also add complexity to the tilework). Plan B is just to use a suction-cupped soap dish, but all the suction-cupped items in our existing shower fall off every third week. It feels like a problem we ought to be able to solve for in a brand new shower!

I realized last night that that the soap dish won't really fit on the wall with the shower controls without looking crammed in--we have a thermostatic valve so there are already two handles--so instead we are opting to put it on a side wall (basically where the one in your photo is, except higher up since there's no tub). Contractor seems to think it's no issue to cut out the cement board for it once the tiling starts, and based on the (limited!) info I could find on the various manufacturer sites for similar products, it seems the recommendation for installing them is to cut out the wall, tile to the edges of the cutout, apply thinset at the back to secure it, and then apply silicone sealant to the edges before inserting it and caulking around it. This feels a bit precarious to me both from the perspective of the cement board holding it up on its own (but I feel that way about ceramic shelves too and those do seem to hold up for decades!) and from the waterproofing perspective, but I can't find anything that suggests there's a need to build out a full niche for it. Will also ask the GC's tile guy once he starts, though. Thank you for the help!
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Unread 03-31-2022, 12:47 PM   #26
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Reading that you're considering suction cup items as a plan B, I thought I'd chime in and suggest Kerdi's Schluter shelves.

I think soap scum comes with the territory of bar soap, niche or not, and with these shelves at least there will be less tendency for water sitting like it may with a soap dish, plus there's no requirement to recess into the wall. You could also put a dish onto the Schluter shelf and then have the ability to clean it more easily versus a fixed dish.

Food for thought.




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Unread 03-31-2022, 03:22 PM   #27
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To my thinking, soap scum doesn't much care if the soap dish is recessed or not. One lathers up, places the now wet and foamy bar in the dish where it, um, oozes, which then drips out of the dish and runs down the face of the wall tile. Placing a wet, foamy bar of soap in a niche would produce the same result.

A suction cup soap dish will have the same problem, with the bonus annoyance of periodically falling off the wall. Probably around 3:30 am. Unless you remember to remove it, re-wet the cups, and stick it back on every week or so. Those shelves that Steve showed - even if they were in keeping with your design objectives, would be miserable to clean caked on soap out of all those small openings.

Thus has been my experience, and boorishly obvious pet peeve, with bar soap. Off my soap box now (some may be thinking "finally". ).
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Unread 03-31-2022, 07:30 PM   #28
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More questions...

Augh, just when I thought we were moving along!

Yesterday, our soon-to-be shower had cement board up around the KBRS base, with building paper behind it. My understanding is that the GC then intended to do a liquid waterproofing of some sort. End of the day today, I came in to find that the shower pan was soaked (which, okay, we have the shower pan inspection on Monday morning so understand why they might test that) *but* the cement board that lined it has all been taken off so it's just the (now very wet) building paper behind it. The liquid waterproofing is not yet on. The GC said something on his way out about the inspector needing to check the cement board, so I will ask more about that tomorrow.

Is there some reason the cement board would need to be removed for a shower pan inspection? Should the paper behind it be dry before it is reinstalled (I hope?!?) What questions should I be asking here? We are supposed to have a shower pan test and shower wall inspection on Monday morning, which I thought we were on track for before coming in this evening, but now am not so certain of... I thought the next steps after cement board went up were to tape the corners and the edges where it adjoins the shower pan and then do the liquid waterproofing membrane, but I may be confused.

Apologies if this is all typical--as you can probably tell, I am very antsy about the waterproofing element of this project! Thanks.
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Unread 03-31-2022, 07:39 PM   #29
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No idea what might be going on there, Art. Perhaps the CBU walls were covering something (rough or top-out plumbing?) that still required inspection?

If you're planning to use a direct bonded waterproofing membrane on your shower walls, you should not be installing a moisture barrier behind the wallboards at all.

You've got some photos, perhaps?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-31-2022, 08:01 PM   #30
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Rough plumbing inspection was earlier this week, so that should be all set.

Here are some photos. I am trying to balance confidence in the GC with clear direction on what we want to see on the waterproofing front, and since this isn't something we've done before, I'm definitely still learning what's normal and what requires more questions/specific asks. Thanks!
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