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Unread 08-06-2020, 07:35 AM   #31
cx
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Yeah, perhaps more sleep and maybe a bit less thinking, Zack.

Good planning is always a useful tool, though, and you should spend as much time on that aspect as necessary. Measure twice, cut once kinda thinking.

As for your wallboard. If you're using Kerdi you can use gypsum drywall as your backing material. If you elect to use a CBU instead, I prefer the Durock over the others you listed.

As for extending beyond the wet area, if you're using CBU I would extend that beyond the wet area a few inches. I would also recommend extending the waterproofing membrane and tile outside the wet area a minimum of two inches and a little more wouldn't hurt at all. I would plan the waterproofing membrane such that the tile extends just past the edge of the membrane. The rest of the wallboard of whatever type can be finished with drywall mud whatever other finish is desired.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-13-2020, 11:01 PM   #32
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Thanks Dan, CX.

Most definitely CX, trying to have all my ducks in a row so I can just start making progress and not have to take a step, wait, take a step, wait.

At this point, I'm planning to use the Kerdi membrane. I'm currently planning to revisit the plan for the backer board as well, based on the advice received so far and other research I've done.

Once I near the membrane install step, I'll setup my tile to get an idea of how far I want to carry both outside of the wet area.

Couple new questions:

How long would you recommend letting the concrete "patch" cure before building the shower pan on top?

I know the Kerdi membrane requires unmodified thinset to install (on both sides, correct? -- wall to membrane, membrane to tile). Any recommendations on what I should use that I can find at, say, my local orange store? Everything I've seen so far says "modified polymer" (I think that's what it says) on the bag.

Thanks again guys!
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Unread 08-14-2020, 07:05 AM   #33
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If I were shopping at Homer's for my thinset mortar I'd buy white (purely appearance preference) Versabond for the entire project. Yeah, it's modified, but I know with absolute certainty that it will work just fine for all your shower applications. You don't need a Schluter warranty on accounta any failure you have with Kerdi will be an installer error, which is not covered. And if you can't see any light through holes in the membrane you'll not have any failures if you just take your time and do a workman-like installation.

When you can walk on your concrete patch without leaving a footprint you can build a deck mud shower floor on it. Waiting a few days or a couple years won't hurt it at all, though. Keep it covered with polyethylene or water until you're ready to do the shower floor, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-17-2020, 03:11 PM   #34
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Would you recommend something else over the Versabond then? I'm not tied to the orange store by any means, that's just the closest to me, so if something was available there, great. I've seen Mapei Kerabond mentioned a lot, but not sure which I should be looking at. The local Floor & Decor has plenty of the Kerabond T (Medium-Bed and Thin-Set Tile Mortar -- what the bag label says) and only a few of the Kerabond (Tile Mortar) bags. (Admittingly, I do need to look this up to determine the different, as I haven't do that yet -- but the next question is where I've spent the last 24+ hours...)

So, I thought I was ready to start really making some (visible) progress and....then the Mrs. reminded me of something I forgot about apparently. She wanted a corner shelf/bench (for leg shaving purposes mainly).

I was planning (when I was thinking about it previously) on just a corner bench, based on the style documented in the Liberry, however... She's pretty adamant about wanting a floating shelf (i.e. it doesn't go to the floor). So...I was looking into this last night a bit and wondering if there are any recommendations that anyone had?

I've seen people DIY their own "shelfs", shelfs created out of Kerdi-board, the "GoShelf", the "Better Bench" benches/shelfs, and a few others. Any opinions on these different approaches? I was liking the idea of the "Better Bench" corner bench at the moment, but haven't been able to find any information on how install it with a membrane. It, specifically, would be drilled/mounted into the substrate (or framing behind it) and that, in itself, would puncture the waterproofing membrane, if that was applied on the wall first. So I wasn't sure how this would be handled.

What order should the bench/membrane be installed?

Drywall > membrane > bench > then membrane/tap joint the bench into the wall?

Or:
Drywall > bench > membrane over the bench and wall OR membrane around the bench and then cover and joint tap?

If there's something (a resource) worth directing me too that I haven't seen yet, please do. All I do (ok, a lot of what I do) all day is constantly repeat myself and point people to documentation I've already written -- so I'm happy to read anything that's already written that I've missed. Thanks!
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Unread 08-17-2020, 04:07 PM   #35
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The T in Kerabond T is for thixotropic, Zack. Not sure at all how they make a non-sag mortar without some modifications to the formula and on the MAPEI website they don't even list the ANSI standard with which the mortar meets. Not at all sure what they're telling us there.

And just an FYI, there is no such thing in the ceramic tile industry as a medium-bed method of setting tiles and the term medium-bed for bonding mortars was abandoned several years ago in favor of Large and Heavy Tile mortars. MAPEI can print whatever they like on their bags, of course.

I use Custom's VersaBond for most tile applications for the same reason you would; it's the closest available source for such products. I have one flooring store in my small town who can/will order other products or I can drive 40 miles to the closest real tile store. Not worth it when I know what the VersaBond will do and have used it for many years. When I actually want an unmodified thinset mortar, usually only when doing work that might be published here, I do order DitraSet. Once again, I question whether it is actually un-modified, but that's what Bostik says it is and it's a very nice mortar to use. It's only logistics that keeps me from using it more often.

Custom also makes a non-sag version of their VersaBond, called VersaBond LFT. I've not tried it and can't testify as to its usefulness. Again, it's a LHT mortar, but nobody seems to wanna print that on the bag. Doesn't roll off the tongue as easily, I suppose. But the VersaBond LFT does indicate that it meets ANSI A118.4HT.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-18-2020, 06:27 AM   #36
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Regarding the bench, Zack, I've installed the Better Benches so they have my endorsement. Of course, I've only installed a grand total of 2, in my own shower, and I'm a DIY'er, so grain/salt.

Nevertheless, I'm a fan. Mine were installed against Durock foam board (similar to Schluter's product). I filled and sloped the top with Mapei 4 to 1, available from Lowes. I then covered them with Durock membrane, draped down the front, and then tied them into the foam panels with Durock membrane band and preformed inside corners. Tiled the faces but stone slabbed the tops.

Very stout. Be sure you install blocking in the walls before the drywall goes up. You'll want the finished tops to be about 16-18" above your finished floor. I had trouble getting the 4 to 1 to stay stuck to the face so went the extra mile to screw some expanded lath to the front (thanks again cx).

There are two sizes of BB, I originally bought a large and a small, but the large just took up too much space so swapped it out for another small one.
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Unread 08-18-2020, 07:08 AM   #37
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Actually three sizes of the corner bench from Innovis (Better Bench). One is just right for the shaving step Mrs. Zack wants if you don't want a real bench in there. I've installed the two larger sizes and always do them as Dan has described, by installing them after the wall waterproofing and then waterproofing over the bench.

We can thank our old friend RobZ for that metal lath or hardware cloth on the front trick, Dan. I've used that to make the front higher to fit a particular tile pattern.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-18-2020, 07:44 AM   #38
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3 sizes, yes, but I thought they call the smallest corner thingy a shelf, and it certainly isn't large enough for even a single cheek. Would definitely work for feets though, but a small triangle of stone, and notching the tile for it, would be a heck of a lot easier.
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Unread 08-22-2020, 10:32 PM   #39
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Thanks for the mortar info CX and thanks Dan for the Better Bench knowledge Dan.

After my last post, I did finally find information on here regarding the Better Benches which answered most of my questions and you confirmed most of them as well, Dan. I've noticed I have better luck finding what I'm looking for when I use Google to search the forums rather than the built-in search feature...which seems common with most forums, I just always seem to forget that in the moment for some reason.

Yeah Dan, I understand what you mean. Given the space we have and what the Mrs. wants, I'm getting the "Shelf" version. If the shower was a bit deeper, we would have gone for the smaller bench, but she felt it would have come out too far and look slightly awkward. (If it turns out to be too small, I'll just order the small bench.)

I'll keep the idea for metal lath in mind if that becomes an issue for me. I have plenty of extra from a stucco wall I took down.

I've got a ton of stuff ordered, just waiting for it to come... I've seen a lot of stuff shipped to and from me via USPS that has been excessively delayed and some of my packages don't even show an estimated date any more.... So that's gonna push stuff back. But I'm doing what I can do while I wait.


That said, for the shower pan/deck mud, I see it is recommend practice to add a "slurry mix" of mortar first. Is this slurry mix anything special as far as mixing it up? Would it be recommended (or beneficial at all) to add any metal lath between the slurry and deck mud, or in the desk mud? I've seen that done here at there in some shower pans.

Regarding the deck mud itself. How do you guys "measure" your ratios? Better yet, how would you recommend that I measure mine? I'm sure guys that do this often enough can just eye ball/estimate by feel of how much they poor out of the bag and I would also assume the ratio isn't an exact science... So, if there are any tips or tricks to measuring the sand and cement outside of taking it a cup at a time...
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Unread 08-28-2020, 11:58 AM   #40
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Just a friendly bump.
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Unread 08-28-2020, 12:49 PM   #41
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Zack, the slurry used as a bonding agent is simply some thinset mortar or pure Portland cement mixed with too much water. I mix mine the consistency of thick tomato soup and apply it with a masonry brush, but I've seen others mix theirs such that it notches like thinset mortar used to set the tiles.

The deck mud mix ain't rocket surgery. Use five measures of sand to one measure of cement. The measure can be anything at all, but is commonly a shovel. Just get close. Mix the dry material really well before adding water.

A tool called the Bucket Mortar Mixer can make your life a lot easier when making mud for small areas such as a shower floor. Mix all your material dry in buckets and then add a measured amount of water just before placing. Mixing with the water takes about a minute, maybe two, and it's easy when working alone to keep up with your placement and mixing.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-03-2020, 03:28 AM   #42
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Hey CX, thanks again for the advice. That's pretty much what I did, but didn't turn out as expected.

I did measure and premix the material dry and then added water and mixed again. I think...what went wrong was I thought I added to much water to the first batch and I think I ended up drying it out to much mixing it with the other pre-mixed batch and then I didn't add a sufficient amount water to the subsequent batches.

Basically, for the most part, it kept the consistency of the sand and wouldn't pack, stick (together), or anything I expected. Couldn't make the level parameter sufficiently, etc. (Even though I was able to compress it in my hand...)

Just for kicks, because it was so tedious to "form" and retain a slope with due to the consistency, after I let it sit for 24 hours, I misted it (sufficiently) twice and let it sit 24 hours between each time. The top layer, for most of the surface area, stayed loose. A layer (about 1/4" thick) under that seemed to harden, but below that, it's not hard. (Wasn't planning to leave it, just curious what would happen.)

I assume it won't be as hard as concrete, but should be hard enough to take more than my hand to break it, correct? Heh

Considering the description above, does it sound accurate that I didn't sufficiently wet it enough?

Plan to pick up some more material and give it another go this weekend.
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Unread 09-03-2020, 07:49 PM   #43
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Have used the Versabond LFT a lot (most everybody around here picks 12x24 tile), and it is a good choice.
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Unread 09-04-2020, 01:06 AM   #44
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Thanks Raymond.

Looking back at Dan's pictures above, my deck mud mix didn't look any where near that soft and fluffy(?) looking.

Definitely had a completely different look to it.
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Unread 09-05-2020, 12:49 PM   #45
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Just wanted to check and see if anyone had any additional wisdom before I take another wack at this. Thanks!
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