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Unread 02-20-2007, 12:46 PM   #1
bikemike
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Mike's bathroom project

For the first time ever I now have orange walls in my house (no, I don't live in Miami.) I bought enough Kerdi for a tub surround and another shower - really didn't need to Kerdi the tub but I figured it would be a good way to practice for the critical application and also will hopefully prevent any mold from growing on the tub walls. I used Hardibacker as the wall substrate, and while that may not be necessary, this is bathroom used by kids that live by the motto "I wonder what would happen if I...(threw darts at dad's car tires/put a can of soda in the microwave/filled the dryer with water/etc, etc...)"

Some comments from a rookie:

First, I recommend having a really clean, debris-free surface before hanging Kerdi. I ran a scraper across the field to shave off any clumps, especially at the screw holes that tend to have clumps of Hardi hanging around. Also, make sure your screws are recessed or at least flush (but don't puncture the face paper on drywall) so that the screws don't try to bite into the Kerdi or leave a surface bump. I found that my drill wasn't powerful enough to get flush with/countersink the Hardi so I hand-tightened the problem screws using a ratchet. Then I tooled the corners of each panel to shave off any stragglers and gave each panel a good vacuum. I didn't want any Hardi clumps to end up behind the Kerdi. I think drywall would be cleaner in the field but the corners would require similar care. I would sponge clean both materials, esp. the Hardi to dampen it right before hanging Kerdi. James H is one thirsty fella!

The law abiding citizen in me decided to watch the Schluter video and seek to emulate the technique of Mr. White Shirt spreading the Kerdi. Then the rebel in me mixed up some Versabond and began spreadin'.

I had no problems with the Versabond. I mixed it on the thin side and that seemed to work well. I really smushed the begeezus out of the Kerdi, especially in the corners and I doubt you could get the seams any tighter with another thinset, sanded or unsanded. I don't know if this is going to ruffle the feathers of any tile pros but I found handing Kerdi more like hanging wallpaper then setting tile. So next time I might ask Aunt Mildred for help instead of Luigi (she drinks less of my beer and never asks to bury anything in my mud floor.)

I would also like to point out several similarities between me and the Schluter tile pro. First I too finished the job with a white shirt - Versabond white, to be exact. And second I slung thinset as fast as he or faster, although he might have me beat by a smidgen on accuracy (+/- 2 feet tops.) And third I'm pretty sure, if you listen carefully, you can also hear his wife screaming in the background about thinset on the kitchen floor, bottle opener and cookie jar.

And finally, I have to throw this comment in because it was the tragedy of the evening. No, I didn't cut the Kerdi wrong. No, my walls aren't crooked. I spilled a pint of Guinness on the subfloor. Guinness, extra stout. There's nothing like a pint of G during the cold Michigan winters. Luckily I had an extra in the fridge, first I just had to do some thinset remediation in the kitchen while getting beat over the head with a wooden spoon. All's well that ends well.

My picher is below, taken while some of the thinset (and lumps on my head) was fresh. I was plannin to lay 3x6 subway tiles tonight using that taboo Versabond thinset - how long y'all recommend waiting to grout after the last tile is set?

Cheers!
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Unread 02-20-2007, 12:58 PM   #2
ddmoit
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You're making me thirsty, my fellow Michigander.
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Unread 02-20-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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Hi Mike. Looks good.

How long to wait before grouting? There is no one absolute answer to that question but given the testing I've done with VersaBond and porcelain over Kerdi (yes, I've sinned too), I think three days is a good recommendation.

Now you just watch. Within hours someone is gonna chime in here to post that they grout the very next day with no problems as all. I'm still sticking to my story however. Give that VersaBond some extra time to cure.

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Unread 02-20-2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing. Please post a picher of the subway tiles. I'm planning the same.

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Unread 02-20-2007, 01:13 PM   #5
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I think you can safely grout the next day

Actually, I have no clue. 3 days certainly sounds safe. In the meantime, pass me a pint of G, preferably poured by a pretty red headed bar maid in a pub in Doolin, County Clare.
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Unread 02-20-2007, 01:14 PM   #6
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Mike, that looks so good I think you should drive over here and give me a hand hanging mine. I've got a problem with my Kerdi, it's stuck in it's rolled stage and I can't get it on the wall no matter how hard I think about it.

I'll have guinness waiting for ya!
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Unread 02-20-2007, 02:23 PM   #7
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Mike2, thanks for the feedback. I was thinking about the same - better safe than sorry. I might float the floor in the meantime.

Jeff, I will post a picher of the tiles when up. I've got a house full of crazy kids so of don't hold your breath.

Dave, convince my wife and I'll be there Maybe you can pull ddmoit away from the "west coast."
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Unread 02-20-2007, 02:29 PM   #8
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Canton, MI


That's funny. I grew up there in the neighborhood that is now behind IKEA.
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Unread 02-20-2007, 05:01 PM   #9
davem
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I've got a buddy that lives back there. I'm about 2 miles south.
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Unread 02-21-2007, 06:31 AM   #10
Bugman
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Quote:
I found handing Kerdi more like hanging wallpaper
Mike, That's exactly what I found. Kerdi is easier because you overlap the seams and you don't have to match patterns
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Unread 02-21-2007, 08:50 AM   #11
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You mean the seams on wallpaper aren't supposed to overlap? and the patterns got to line up too? Thats' just crazy talk.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 08:48 AM   #12
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Grouting/maintaining unglazed tile

Howdy,

I'm going to be installing unglazed full body porcelain white matte finish Dal 1" hex tile on my bathroom floor. Should be fun!

I've never grouted this type of tile before. It's a good quality tile rated for commercial and residential use, but it will be a new experience for me so hopefully I won't be . I'll be using sanded grout, medium gray color to hide dirt.

My questions are:

1. Should I coat the tiles with some kind of grout release or sealer before grouting?

2. Any grouting/cleanup tips unique to this application you would point out?

3. What kind of sealing/maintenance do you do for these type of tiles?

Thanks in advance!


P.S. The good news is that I made provisions to hide edges everywhere except the tub and door threshold, minimizing the required number of accurate cuts.
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Unread 03-12-2007, 09:14 AM   #13
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Hi Mike,
Even the unglazed porcelain should resist staining from the grout without a grout-release coating. After you have grouted and polished the tile with cheesecloth, you may notice some streaking. If so, you can use a "grout haze remover" and follow the directions for it's use. Make sure to wait the suggested time to allow the grout to cure properly before applying chemicals to it.
What size unglazed porcelain is this?
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Unread 03-12-2007, 10:49 AM   #14
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Hi Shaughnn,

Thanks for your advice. They are 1" color body hex from Dal Tile. I'm really happy with the registration of these tiles on the sheet. The tiles are registered with adhesive, but much better than vs. the stuff I saw at the big box stores and some other local retail tile shops.

Again, thanks for your reply. I always appreciate advice from a pro, especially when I'm trying something new. Have a good day!
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Unread 03-14-2007, 07:35 PM   #15
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fresh grout - please advise!

Howdy,

I just finished grouting white color body porcelain 1" hex tiles with sanded Delorean Grey PolyBlend grout. I dry polished the best I could but had to sponge a bit because the grout stained the tiles a bit. I'm wondering what you guys think - how this looks, should I do anything else (might be too late I have polished the tiles quite a bit with the sponge and I don't want to weaken the grout. I laid the grout 2 hours ago and just got things cleaned up. Pic is below, it actually looks better in person but the pic does a good job of telling you what I'm talking about - kind of looking at your face closeup in a bathroom mirror under the lights!

Thanks for looking - comments?
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