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Unread 03-27-2019, 07:58 AM   #16
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Thanks CX,

I decided on the foam backer as opposed to the cbu or drywall and membrane as it seems the costs are comparable and the former cleaner and easier.

In such, I ruled out shipping and delivery of Durock's panels. I see the membrane up on Amazon, but not the panels.

I think I'll stick with Schulter, Durock for the next bath.
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Unread 05-02-2019, 10:59 PM   #17
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Hi all,

I've just about finished furring the bathtub/shower surround back/window wall out and will now start on the side wall framing.

I have to sister a few of the 2x4's on one side wall because they're not 16 OC for the Kerdi board and because, in one corner, there isn't enough stud exposed to accommodate a Kerdi screw and washer.

Given that there's a wire run through the side wall studs, will non continuous sisters amount to a secure enough attachment point for the Kerdi?

I was going to run a sister alongside the existing studs from the ceiling to just above where the wire runs through the stud and then again starting just below the wire down to the bottom plate. With enough fasteners and even adhesive, is this adequate?

Thanks.
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Unread 05-03-2019, 05:48 AM   #18
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The non-continuous sister will be fine, Leighton, it isn't load bearing so it only needs to support the weight of the foam board and tile. A fist full of #9 X 3" construction screws in a zig/zag pattern down the face of the sister(s) will be more than sufficient. Add adhesive if it makes you feel better.
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Unread 05-03-2019, 08:18 AM   #19
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Thanks for the reassurance Dan.

I got the back wall pretty dialed in - flat and plumb. What approach do you all recommend for getting the side walls 90 degrees to the back wall? I measured the 3-4-5 triangle and the walls are actually pretty good. Is there a more precise method, without any special tools?
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Unread 05-03-2019, 09:13 AM   #20
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Squaring the end walls to the back wall can be tricky. It's unlikely you'll be able to move the studs in the back corners so you'd have to alter the plane at the front. Depending on the layout (and the extent of your demo) dong that may result in a lippage issue where the backer board meets the drywall.

Really depends on how out they are.
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Unread 07-18-2019, 10:06 AM   #21
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I'm now back to the shower walls after taking a break to stiffen the floors. It was a lot of work - moving ducting and plumbing, sistering a bad joist, installing a mid span beam with new footers, blocking, removing subfloor and installing 2 layers of plywood - but the floor's pretty solid now.

So now I'd like to finish the shower fixture wall. I can make the wall length to suit the tile layout, but as I'm trying to calculate exactly how long the wall should be in order to accomodate 5 horizontal 3x6 subway tiles butted up to each other, I get the sense that this is risky business. I take into account 3/32 for back wall mortar thickness, 5/16 tile thickness, 1/8 caulking between back and shower fixture wall, 30 of tile length, and another 1/8 caulk line.

The non staggering 3x6 pattern works well on the back wall framing a window and also on the wall opposite the shower fixture wall and I would like to stick with it. Also, two full tiles from the back wall is almost precisely the distance to the center of the tub drain. But if you all think that switching to a staggered pattern would be more forgiving than having to create an exact length wall than I am open to bringing the possibility of this up to everyone else involved. I figure I have to set the length of this wall based on something, and 5 full tiles seems better than ending up with, for example, 1/2 tiles on the outside corner and then wrapping the inside corner short tiles on to the back wall. But I'm also not sure what else to do.

Is there some better way to approach this? Like make the wall slightly shorter than I expect the final tiling to be and then cut the back inside corner tile slightly shorter to fit? Or wait to finalize the wall's length after installing kerdi board and tiling part of it so that I'm exactly sure what the final total tile length will be? The attached photo shows head on the wall in question, the left hand side of it is the 3 1/2" deep 90 degree turn that can be moved in either direction parallel to the wall in order to change the total wall's length.
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Unread 07-18-2019, 02:40 PM   #22
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I'd hold the pattern back from the outside corner a bit and plan on trimming the tile in back corner. 1/8 or 1/4" will not be visible after you get the whole shebang up.


Another factor to consider would be how the visible edge or outside corner of tile will be handled. Bullnose? Schluter profile?
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Unread 07-18-2019, 03:37 PM   #23
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Thanks Peter.

I was planning on that 3 1/2" strip being bullnose so the corner caulk line will be in the same plane as the shower fixture surface. But it could be switched so the caulk line was on the 3 1/2" strip and the bullnose on the shower fixture surface. Is this just personal preference?

Either way, does it end up that part of the 1/8" caulk line goes over top of the mortar thickness beneath the bullnose tile?

Is the 3/32" thickness a fair estimate for a 1/4" square trowel?
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Unread 07-18-2019, 05:06 PM   #24
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I think I'm getting what you're driving at. Even though it's technically a change of plane, I'd grout all parts of that corner wrap. Which way to wrap is dealer's choice.


You're probably close on the 3/32, but I'm not seeing where that comes into play in the overall scheme. Unless there's some compelling reason not to, my sequence would be back wall first then end walls. I'd set from the outside corner back to inside corner knowing that I can trim to fit.


Coming from a cabinet building background, I know how the precision bug bites, but for me there has to be a little wiggle room with tile. If you haven't already, lay your tile out on floor with spacers and make a "story stick". An old technique that I find invaluable throughout the job.
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Unread 07-18-2019, 05:57 PM   #25
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Sorry, I should have explained that picture. That is looking straight at the shower fixture wall with a cross section of the back wall to the right.

To determine the shower fixture wall length, I am measuring from the back wall framing and so was trying to get an idea of the thickness of the back wall kerdi board, mortar and back wall tile so that I have an idea of where the shower fixture wall tile will start (on top of the back wall tile).

I'd prefer grouting that outside corner with the bullnose tile. I think it would look better. Would you stick with the same thickness of grout as that in between the field tiles (1/16")?

Would you stick with caulking for the inside corners? At 1/8"?

I'll do that - tile back wall, then start from bullnose corner and work toward inside corner. Good idea. And the story stick.

Yeah, I see this attempt at 32's is a bit too much. But once I get an idea of the total length of that wall, I'll subtract a bit off so that I can plan on trimming the inside corner.

Thanks for the replies - I'm pretty eager to get into the tiling after all the prep. work. Hopefully it pays off.
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Unread 07-18-2019, 06:59 PM   #26
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Yes on the grout joint, same as others. On many small bullnose tile the bottom sort or turns up and creates V of sorts when mated at right angle. So that joint, once grouted, will appear to be a little larger. Same goes for radius edge tile. Mock it up to check. Visual is more important than actual measurement.

Tile strikes me as an exercise in fudging here and there to get it to look right. It's just the nature of structures like houses. They're crude by cabinetmaking standards and absolutely flawed if judging by metalworking standard, FWIW.
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Unread 08-03-2019, 07:43 PM   #27
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I installed the kerdi board on the back wall - it is furred out a bit and so is sitting about 1/4" off the tub deck.

I'm not sure exactly how to proceed with the end wall opposite the shower fixtures. The tub flange is essentially 1/2" high that slopes inward for about a 1/2" at which point the tub deck continues sloping in the same direction. The tub is not square to the wall in question, but the wall is flat and I didn't fur it out at all so as to avoid any depth inconsistencies where the kerdi meets the drywall.

I was planning on fixing the kerdi board just above the tub flange, most like the "flush to the flange" version that Schluter recommends. When I do this, over the 28" or so of the tub, the front of the board goes from about 3/8" in front of the top of the flange in the corner to about flush with the top of the flange at the tub's front.

If I were to go this route, the issue will be where the bottom of the tile ends up. The corner with the back wall will be fine, I think, if I fill in the 3/8" gap with kerdi fix. Here the tile can come down to the tub deck. But where the front of the kerdi board is actually flush with the tub flange, the tile won't be able to come as close to the tub deck as that in the corner.

Is furring the wall the only solution? Can the back of 5/16" ceramic subway tile be ground down?
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Unread 08-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #28
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Hi again Leighton. Looks like some progress.

I'm not following all the lead in, but I'll answer the last question first. Yes, one can judiciously grind the back of tile. Sometimes just clipping the corner off with wet saw or grinder is all that's needed. Be sure to dry fit first and leave clearance between tile and tub. I wouldn't recommend trying to plane a whole tile but have done nearly that once or twice. Don't tell anyone.


You can take a tile and slide down to tub deck to check what material would have to be removed. If it involved more than a few tiles, I'd think about furring wall out more. As long as tile isn't landing directly on tub you're good. Bear in mind that wall will build out a bit with Kerdi Band and thinset.


I suspect you're finding out that almost everything deviates from the theoretical ideal. The concise modularity of tile attracts many DIY'ers only to find out that houses aren't build to same tolerances as most tile.
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Unread 08-04-2019, 07:57 AM   #29
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Thanks again Peter. Slowly but surely.

When I first assessed the bathroom walls and floors I was impressed at how level and square they all were - but after flattening and shimming, boy, it could have been a bit better😄 Definitely not to the precision that tile wants. I'm embracing the anticipated art of fudging.

I've definitely had to let things go - like trying to get the fixture middles to line up on a grout line - it's close though and I'm eager to see how it all pans out. But I do plan on waiting to install the shower niche until after I have a few courses of tile down and grout lines established.

After a second look, the tile on the flange should work - I'm going to shim out the walls a bit more, plan on feathering the drywall difference, and grind tile backs a bit.
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Unread 08-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #30
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Which would you recommend?

1. Feathering an 1/8"+ offset 8 ft. vertical kerdi board to drywall seam

2. Feathering an 1/16" offset 8 ft. vertical kerdi board to drywall seam and grinding the lower 1/4 of 1 1/2 subway tile (5/16" thick), or

3. grinding the lower 1/4 of 3 to 4 subway tile
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