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Unread 07-31-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
iminaquagmire
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Freund Basement Bathroom Project

I've recently started working on my basement bathroom, turning it into what I hope will put my master bathroom to shame. It will if it continues as planned be again all Schluter and then either travertine, limestone, or slate. So far I've broken up most of the concrete and moved the water closet and shower rough-ins. I've also completed all of the framing, electrical, rough plumbing, backerboard. and drywall. I've also formed and poured a bench in the shower.







The bench in the shower is the first issue I've had yet and was hoping for some help with that. As I stated above, I formed it out and poured some 5000 PSI mix concrete for it. It is braced to the wall with bolted in angle iron embedded in the concrete, and also has rebar attaching it to the slab as well as embedded throughout. I'm confident its not going anywhere and anybody who tries to remove it will be cursing me.

Problem is that I didn't form it well enough and the concrete bowed the form out a little. What was supposed to be a crisp trapezoidal shape is now a gentle curve. I'm fine with that but its a little uneven. I'm hoping to even it out with some fatmud but not sure if that can be applied that thick. I'm guessing at it thickest point, it'll be about 1 1/2" thick. Will it still work or is there something better I can use?
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Unread 07-31-2008, 09:42 PM   #2
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I would build that bench out square now, your gonna have a hard time tiling it and a harder time trying to chip some out.
with Schluter Kerdi you could have saved time and framed it.
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Unread 07-31-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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I think I'll vote with Brian on that one, Justin. Time you get that thing faired up it'll be nearly a vertical front anyway. You can fix it with fat mud if you really wanna try it, but not all in one lift. Gonna need a couple or three passes.

Might be a lot easier to just make it square and call it a feature.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
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I really liked the idea of the sloped bench front and didn't want to pour the face flat so I ended up doing a couple lifts of mortar and got it to a nice even curve all the way across. The very bottom where it was the most uneven will be under the mud pan, so there really wasn't that much that needed a lot of floating out. I'm not all that concerned about tiling it as I will be using travertine cut to 1 1/4"x18" and setting it in a running bond pattern. That will be on the walls as well either to the shelf height or ceiling height. Haven't decided on that yet.

Anyways on to the next project which is getting the shower ready for the Kerdi drain (on order) and the mud pan. Since its a slab, do I need any lathe or just do the pan on top of the slab? Also wondering the best way to slope the curb. Its framed out with 2x4's and hardied on both inside and outside. The top has nothing on it. Do I slope it as I do the mud bed with a piece of lathe on top? Can I just shim the Hardibacker and screw it down to the top of the curb? Or just set the tile on top of level Hardibacker and slope it as its set?
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Unread 08-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #5
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The way I like to add slope to the curb is to tile the inside and outside verticals first, setting the outside tiles a smidge higher, maybe 1/8" or so. Let that set up and use those tiles now as screeds, combing thin-set out on top which will be all sloped and ready for tile after it sets up. Use a rapid-set for that and tile within a couple hours.
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Unread 08-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #6
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That's a good idea. Thank you.
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Unread 08-08-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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I got the Kerdi drain the other day and attempted the mud pan. It was much easier than I had expected however I ran out of mud and time to get it correctly sloped. I ended up with only enough mud to get it level. So today I chipped it all out and cleaned up the mess (thanking the inventor of the SDS hammer and shopvac) and am about to redo the pan, this time mixing plenty of mud.

However I'm not sure what to do about the drain. Being a Kerdi drain its been cemented to the pipe and still has some of the botched pan under it. Its stable and level and the pan remnants are solid. Can I just pour the mud around it? I don't really want to risk breaking the drain getting too close with the SDS.


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Unread 09-03-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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I got the pan figured out and done, and everything in the shower ready for Kerdi. While waiting on that, I did all of the taping and mudding of the drywall in the rest of the bathroom.

I wish I could have hired out the drywall and tried to do so, but alas they were a no show and I did it myself against my better judgement. I took my time though and in the end it turned out much better than I had expected it to. I'm a DIY'er, but I could build you a house, and do most everything that comes with it, but the drywall finishing and I just don't get along no matter how much I do it.

Anyways, that's all done and I proceeded to do the LevelQuik RS SLC pour on the bathroom floor. The patch for the plumbing and shoddy finishing job by the original concrete guys on the rest of the floor necessitated it. I read up and got everything readied so the pour went really smoothly. The sills all got sealed with expanding foam and the expansion joint was done with sill sealer. I primed with a garden sprayer, let it dry and then primed again. I let that dry for 20 minutes or so and then poured the leveler.

I got it all spread out but by the time I got to the doorway it had firmed up a bit and there is a little dip I'll have to skim with thinset along with another little area where the cuts for the concrete patch didn't get completely filled. That's fine and easy enough to fix, but the real issue is the primer that was a little thicker around the corner than I had anticipated and mixed with the SLC. Maybe its not really an issue at all and there's not much I can do about it now anyways, but I was hoping somebody could ease my mind a bit.


*****Will the excess primer cause any issues with the SLC adhesion? As I said there's one good dried coat and then the wetter bond coat.*****


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Unread 01-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Well, after a hiatus I started working on the bathroom again. The shower is all ready for Kerdi and tile. The floor outside the shower I thought was all ready for Ditra but however has since developed an issue (or so I think). Hoping you guys (and gals) can tell me if its really something to worry about.

Anyways I noticed some small cracks in the SLC a few days after curing (last post in September). They have yet to get bigger and at no point are wider than 1/16". I think its a bonding issue caused by too much SLC primer in the wet coat. If I knock on it, there are obvious areas that aren't bonded. They are not unstable and have no movement. Its all solid, just not bonded in areas.

On to the million dollar question:

Do I need to tear it all out and start fresh or will the Ditra be sufficient? Laticrete 125? Noble CIS? I'm pretty sure of the answer but if its at all possible not to tear it out, I like that option a lot.


Video Below shows me knocking on the floor to illustrate the change in sound



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Unread 01-17-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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Bump for help.
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Unread 01-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #11
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Anybody? Will my SLC application be OK with one of the proposed install methods (Ditra, CIS, Laticrete 125)? Even if the answer is rip it out, at least I'll know what to do.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #12
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I know that threads get pushed to the bottom rather quickly here but I figured one of the pros here might chime in. Should I bust up the SLC pour in the hollow area? I rapped on it a few times with a hammer and its definitely solid. I think it just has a weak bond in that area. I'd say its about 18"x24" in the center of the floor. My plan was to use Ditra and Ditraset for the waterproofing aspect but now the uncoupling aspect might come into play. Is that acceptable?
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Unread 01-20-2009, 11:40 PM   #13
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I think youll be fine with the ditra over it.
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Unread 02-25-2009, 11:47 PM   #14
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Other projects have unfortunately kept me busy. I had to rewire some receptacles in the utility room, completely rewire my smoking room, and re-plumb the washing machine drain and supply. I'm sick of electrical and plumbing. I can't wait to get tiling.

Anyways, tomorrow I'll be putting the Ditra down on the floor. No problem with that, however hopefully this weekend I'll be putting down the travertine. The travertine will be cut down to 2 1/2" x 18" and laid in a hardwood floor type pattern with Ditraset. My problem is that I have no idea what size trowel to use. I was thinking 1/4x3x8. Does that sound sufficient?
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Unread 02-26-2009, 05:42 AM   #15
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That trowel is more than enough. You might switch down to a 1/4x1/4 square notch if you get a lot of squeeze out between the tiles.
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