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Unread 08-05-2006, 12:10 PM   #1
Weston
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Some basic tub/shower guidance needed

My "just a tile floor and new vanity" project has grown to include replacing the one-piece tub/shower enclosure with a new tub and tile surround above. I thought I had a good idea of how to do this, but I'm getting a little confused as I think through the process. There should be nothing behind the existing enclosure but studs to which the enclosure is attached. It's 6' tall with drywall above. My plan is to cut enough of the drywall away to get the enclosure out, install the new tub and add 1/2" hardibacker 5' up from the top of the tub nail flange with a plastic moisture barrier behind the hardibacker. I'll trim the drywall at the top so that the hardibacker butts against it. I'm trying to avoid ripping out any more than I must. Remember, this started out as "just a tile floor and new vanity" project. The house is 15 years old and drywall is sound. My experience has been with several floors. I haven't installed wall tiles for 25 years and that was over drywall. The tiles we plan to use are 3x3 stone-look porcelain (Crossville Milestone Mosaics).

I understand that the hardibacker seams need to be taped as I tile. What do I do at the hardibacker/drywall seams? I plan to straddle that joint with the last row of bullnose tiles.

If I build a couple of tiled niches into the shower between the studs. I plan to build the niches out of plywood and framing lumber and line them with hardibacker. Can I use red guard in those niches only or should I use red guard on the face of all of the hardibacker and not use the plastic sheet moisture barrier behind any of it? Or was that a dumb question? I don't understand if the moisture barrier needs to be in contact with the back of the hardibacker or if it's just supposed to be a continuous sheet that could hang loosely behind the niches.

When I get to the edge of the tub, I could extend the hardibacker another inch or two into the room and down to the floor. That will give me hardibacker against the tub on all edges. Is that a good idea or not necessary?

Outside of the shower, I plan to tile one wall about 4' up from the floor behind the commode and over the top of the tile counter to create a backsplash. Those tiles will go directly on the existing drywall. Is there any problem with using thinset in the shower and switching to mastic for the wall tiles on drywall?

This is getting beyond the scope of the tub/shower area, but one more question. We've been replacing the plastic-covered woodgrained baseboards throughout the house with taller white painted baseboards (and white six-panel doors). I'd planned to do the same in the bathroom (the same plastic-wrapped wooden baseboards are there now). We already replaced the door when we did the hallway. There will be a couple of points where the end of a baseboard contacts the edge of a tile. How do most of you make that transition? Wall tiles will already contact the floor tiles behind the commode, so no baseboard will go there. The alternative is to use bullnose tiles along the other walls to create a tile baseboard. Yet another extension of the "just a tile floor and new vanity" project.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Ray
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Unread 08-05-2006, 01:08 PM   #2
jadnashua
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The Hardi/drywall seam, since you are going to tile over it, can be taped and thinsetted as you tile.

You want the vapor barrier behind the general whole wall to come down over the tile flange of the tub, so running the cbu down to the floor behind the tub will cause problems. Two, actually, since the current opening is probably for a 60" tub and adding 1/2" of cbu to either end wil lmean the the tub won't fit, and the aforementioned vapor barrior.

The niche can be made the way you indicated, but there are some premade niches that can fit in there with less work. Course, your labor vs the cost comes into mind. I'd keep the plywood out of the niche, but frame it with 2x framing material, then put cbu over it. In the case of the niche (unless you buy a premade one), you'd want to thinset and tape the seams, let it dry, then put a topical waterproofing on like RedGard from Custom Building Products. You probably would want two coats so you build up the proper thickness. You would run that out maybe 6" beyond the opening of the niche.

You can use mastic on th ewalls outside of the wet areas, but it is more costly, and you've already got thinset, go ahead and use it out there, too.
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Unread 08-05-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
Weston
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Thanks, Jim.

I may have misled you about the hardibacker going to the floor. I figured on running it from the top of the nail flange up, with the moisure barrier draped inside of the tub while I install the hardibacker, as you said. Wall to wall, the room is 59" so I'll need every bit of the stud-to-stud distance for the tub.

It seems I should install the niches first, then cover the wall with plastic and hardibacker over that. When I get to the niches, I'll trim out the plastic even with the edge of the surface hardibacker. I didn't realize there were premade niches. I'll have to google that. However, I was hoping to lay things out so that rows of tiles "fold" into the niches for continuity. I'd have to find exact sized premade niches to accomplish that (or build my own). Speaking of that, I can see using 2x lumber to build the box and attach it to a stud with some spacers to get it in the right horizontal position. Can I just cut a square of hardibacker and screw it to the back of the frame?

The only reasons I considered mastic for the dry walls is that I hoped it would grab faster and I wouldn't have to worry about tiles sagging. That, and I wasn't sure about using thinset on drywall. Although, since I'll have to deal with possible tile sag in the shower, I guess I don't save much effort changing adhesives midstream.

Thanks again.

Ray
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Unread 08-05-2006, 04:14 PM   #4
Weston
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Jim,

I found Bonsal niches which could work. Thanks for suggesting that. They appear to be sized in multiples of 3" which should make them usable with my 3x3 tiles and minimal cutting. I saw on another thread that they cost about $50 each, so building my own isn't totally out of the question yet.

Ray
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Unread 08-05-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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A bunch of places make them...somebody else will have some personal experience and maybe able to help you decide and what the prices are.
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Unread 08-06-2006, 07:21 AM   #6
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weston, also be aware that 1/2" hardibacker is not the same thickness as 1/2" sheetrock. where the seem is between the two materials there will be a height difference of 1/16-1/8 of an inch. you might want to shim out the hardibacker before installing it so it will be flush with the sheetrock.
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Unread 08-06-2006, 09:00 AM   #7
Weston
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Aaron,

That's good to know. I've used Hardibacker before but obviously didn't pay close attention to its exact thickness. It's better that it's thinner than the drywall than thicker, though. That would present a different set of problems trying to feather out the difference to step down to the drywall thickness. Shimming shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish. Thanks for pointing that out.

Ray
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Unread 08-14-2006, 10:02 PM   #8
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Wall cbu to tub joint

What I thought: Screw through the nail flange to the studs and set hardibacker from level top edge of nail flange up the wall. That should leave about a 1" gap (height of nail flange) between the top of the tub and the bottom of the hardibacker. The bottom row of wall tiles will be attached to the hardibacker and will be suspended over the screws in the nail flange with no rear support down to meet the top of the tub.

What I've learned: Screws go above the flange (according to American Standard and Kohler web sites) with a large washer to pinch the flange to the studs. That will put the hardibacker above the screws and washers; not against the top of the nail flange. I don't care so much about the height of the tile wall (at the top of the hardibacker), but I DO care that the gap between the bottom of the hardicker and the top of the tub is getting wider.

I'll be using 3" tiles. When everything is laid out, the bottom row of wall tile may have to be cut down some. (I'll start at the floor and come up the wall to the top of the tub. Depending on where that ends up, the first row of tiles around the surround could be a little less than 3".)

How much of the tile needs to be set onto the hardibacker to be secure? If the tiles were, say, 2" and the bottom of the hardibacker is 1-1/2" avove the top surface of the tub, I'd only have 1/2" of the tile on the hardibacker. That doesn't sound like it would be very secure.

If I set the hardibacker in front of the nail flange, screw and washer, the studs will need to furred out almost 1/2" and the hardibacker will be proud of the surrounding drywall. Can I fill the void with mortar? That would put mortar against the top edge of the tub (separated by the wall's moisture barrier, of course) with no gap whatsoever.

I'm no artist, but I'll try to add a picture. If it works, the area in question is in yellow.



How do I make the picture show up instead of just the URL to the picture?

As always, thank you for your help.

Ray
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Unread 09-20-2006, 06:20 AM   #9
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Can we talk about the cbu-to-tub joint?

I'm a might confused about the CBU-to-tub flange joint. With the tub screwed to the studs, there's no room to shim further out and stay nearly flush with the surrounding drywall (unless I use 1/4" shims and 1/4" hardibacker). I don't want to go over the flange because it will force the bottom of the cbu to bend in towards the tub. The tub has about a 1" vertical flange with screws/washers above it to attach to the studs. That puts the bottom of the cbu about 1-1/2" above the tub itself. Using 3" tiles, that's about 1/2 of a tile hanging down past the bottom of the cbu.

Do I just pack that space full of thinset? Should there be a gap between the bottom of the mortar fill and the top of the tub?

I guess I could put a 1/8" strip UNDER the vapor barrier on the top of the tub, thinset the flange gap as I tile, remove the spacer strips when everything's set, and caulk what's left.

Or, I could shim the studs and use 1/4" hardibacker for the lowest 4" of the walls but that would involve additional blocking to support the hardibacker seam which may interfere with the tub spout.

How would you do it?

Ray
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Unread 09-20-2006, 06:38 AM   #10
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I moved this last post from someone else's thread here to one of yours, Ray. If you keep axin' questions on other folks threads there will be no way for anyone to keep up with the history of your project to better help you. I see you've got a couple other questions on other threads out there, but we'll leave'em where they lie.

If you're not getting a response in a reasonable time, just make another post to your thread to bump it to the top of the queue for attention.

I think your choices are two:

1. You fur out the walls so the CBU overlaps the tub flange (my choice) and deal with the walls outside with either mud-cap trim or some other method.

2. You make damn sure your moisture barrier laps over the tub flange and stop the CBU above the flange. That's a common method recommended by tub manufacturers and CBU manufacturers and I think it is a poor choice, especially using smaller tiles. But if done carefully, it should work. I'd not cut any more off the bottom of those little tiles than absolutely necessary. If the tub is properly leveled, you shouldn't need to cut them at all.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Your photo link above is no good, by the way. You can post photos directly using the Manage Attachments button below the text box on the reply page. There is a thread inna Liberry 'splaining all about how to post pichers.
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Unread 09-20-2006, 12:36 PM   #11
Weston
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Sorry. I didn't mean to run afoul. I just saw a pertinent discussion on cbu and tub flanges and thought I'd join the conversation with a question. No problem. I understand. I can stick to this thread.

I'll have to check tonight what's up with the picture link. I thought I did everything right when I posted it. Evidently not.

Ray
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Unread 09-20-2006, 02:32 PM   #12
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Not to worry, Ray, we're not even allowed to impose the death penalty on people for even the second offense any more. Too many damn left coast moderators to blame for that if you axe me.

Ah, for the good ol' days, eh?

One thing to remember when posting a photo from storage on your computer is not to preview it. Just upload and Submit.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 06:37 AM   #13
Weston
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Since I didn't get an edit option on the post above, here's the picture that I meant to include. Hope this works.

Ray
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