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Unread 05-09-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Glass tile backsplash over wavy plywood wall

Hi all,

I am a DIY'er doing a bathroom remodel. I've done some tile before but I've got a question thats beyond my experience...

I am planning to install a large tile backsplash between a vanity countertop at 32" and a soffet at 84" above the floor. The wall also has a window and two mirrors that the tile will be installed around. Tile is glass mosaic (Vetrissimo Lucente).

The interior wall surface is 3/8" CDX plywood. (It's a shear wall.) It's kinda wavy due to uneven framing behind it and I'd like to get the wall flatter before I install tile.

Brainstorming how to do this... here are some ideas:
  1. Screw & tape drywall over plywood, float with setting-type drywall mud to flatten, install glass tile with modified thinset. (I could prime or Kerdi over the drywall mud if it would help.)
  2. Hardiebacker over plywood, then flatten with something (thinset?) over hardibacker, then install tile with modified thinset.
  3. Flatten wall first (drywall compound?) then install hardiebacker.
  4. Lath & wall mud? I have never done this and it makes me a bit nervous to get it right.

What do you think?

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Unread 05-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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#2 & 3 might work.

If it's not too "wavy," I would probably flatten it out and then put up Kerdi or Greenskin....opinions will vary on this.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Laz!

It's about 3/8" out of plane but there's two or three humps in a 10' wall hence "wavy".

If it were your project would you flatten before or after the hardie? I'd lean before since drywall compound is easier to work with than thinset.

Why not #1? That was my first choice though it might be the most expensive with the Kerdi.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Welcome, Martin.

The 3/8ths" out of plane is a lot to expect to correct with any of your suggested methods except the mud method. While the plywood is a hazard for any tile installation on that wall, roofing felt, metal lath, and wall mud (fat mud) would be the best approach.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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