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Unread 03-23-2019, 06:55 PM   #76
cx
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When you do the ceiling, Kevin, I recommend you wear a painter's sock and googles. And I like to use a hawk to carry my grout up there and help catch alla droppings. Won't catch'em all, of course, but I find it convenient.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-23-2019, 09:37 PM   #77
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Goggles are an excellent tip, CX. I'd be mortally afraid to get that stuff in my eyes.

For the ceiling, one might experiment with using the tail end of a wall batch, basically where it's starting to slowly set up. Perhaps that way the sagging out of the ceiling joints can be minimized.
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Unread 03-25-2019, 05:15 PM   #78
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After dividing the Full Size of Spectralock Pro Premium up into 2 Minis for the floor (40sqft, 6" x 36" tile, 1/8" gap, 10mm deep) and 2 minis for the wall (74sqft, 3" x 6" bevelled subway tile, 1/16" gap, 6.5mm deep) I can say that the calculator on the Laticrete website for Spectralock was bang-on for the floor, but way off on the walls.

The floor went quite well - a bit of a backbreaker towards the end as I put down both minis at the same time and it was getting a bit tough to pull around in the last few minutes. However the final look is nice and it appears to have no spots for concern.

The walls are a different matter. With the bevelled tile it was clear in the first moments that the float was going to waste more than 50% of the Spectralock directly onto the floor. After about 20 seconds of that, I abandoned the float altogether and instead used my gloved hands, which was much more effective. Still, about 30% hits the floor on the first pass, and each following pass too. It seems impossible not to waste a significant portion - I estimate losses between 10 and 20%, and that's after picking up the waste and reusing it until it becomes unworkable.

The amount the Laticrete estimator said I would need would be 2 minis, and that I'd have 10% left over. As of today, I have used 3 minis and I think it's going to be 1.5 more! The final look is great, but it's a bit of a fight getting it all in there.

I found the best way to pack the wall joints was to hold the grout in a long vertical "stick" shape and then with firm pressure, drag my hand slowly down the vertical joints. Then repeat for each horizontal joint. The stacked pattern of the tile helped a great deal here.

Once a significant section of the tile is done I take a moment to tool each grout line with my finger, knocking unnecessary grout out of the bevelled area but also pushing the grout deeper into the grout lines. Some areas turn out to be low and those can be repaired on the spot, but most show that the hand-packing method results in good depth on the first pass.

It's also harder to scrub the tile during the first wash too, since the sponge doesn't like the tile profile. I adjusted from scrubbing in circles to a bit more of a straight line to avoid leaving too much grout behind. The key is to get a solid first wash where almost no extra grout is left anywhere on the tile.

Now I am down to just the ceiling, and I'm wondering just how much waste I'll create. One thing I learned from the walls, however, is that with this kind of tile an extra set of hands is very helpful since you can get it into the joints more quickly and also have someone to collect waste before it hardens.


A question: I am running out of washing packets and cannot get more. What is the best alternative to the Laticrete wash packets?
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Unread 03-25-2019, 05:46 PM   #79
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Packets are a mild citric acid.
A diluted vinegar mix of 1 cup vinegar to 2 gallons of water. Then a final rinse with water to neutralize.
Or you can order the cleaning packs from your distributor.
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Unread 03-25-2019, 07:06 PM   #80
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Laticrete coverage here in Canada is minimal, so the only way to get more packets is to order more Full A+B sets. I'll make the homemade version you suggest, and thank you for that!
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Unread 03-28-2019, 10:44 AM   #81
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Okay, the grouting work is complete and it looks pretty good! I'll have a picture soon.


Now I am getting ready to install my shower panel. It's about 45lbs, and the instructions show that I should install two hook-type devices on the wall, and then hang the shower panel from that. Each hook/clevice has two screw holes and there are supplied drywall plugs that are about 1.5" long and fairly hefty (1/4" diameter, approximately).

My question is: Between the grouted tile and the 0.5" Kerdi board, am I going to get enough holding power? Essentially I'm wondering if Kerdi board can hold with as much force as drywall... or if not will the tile help in support (especially now that I'm using Spectralock grout, which feels like it sets up like a brick wall!)
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Unread 03-28-2019, 02:56 PM   #82
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Normally a 2x is put in as blocking where a shower door or panel is going to be installed....
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Unread 03-28-2019, 06:43 PM   #83
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The strange part is that the manufacturer supplied big drywall-type plugs for the installation and there is definitely no blocking installed - just kerdi board (0.5") and tile with Spectralock grout. Will these plugs hold in that substrate?
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Unread 03-29-2019, 06:10 AM   #84
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If they are just a typical drywall type anchor they work by expanding as you drive a screw into them, the Kerdi board alone won't be sufficient to hold them - the foam will simply compress/deform. I'd doubt that you'd even be able to run the screw into an anchor set in foam board, the anchor will probably just spin in the hole.

The good news is the tile will hold them just fine, and two hangers, with two screws each, will hold 45 pounds easily. Be certain holes you drill are the correct size, a little snug is better than a little loose (might wanna do a test hole in a scrap piece of tile first). Only possible issue I see is how to seal those 4 holes.
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Unread 03-29-2019, 11:03 AM   #85
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Excellent advice, thank you. A test hole in scrap tile is a fine idea.

There is actually two types of drywall plug supplied. One type, for the shower panel, is the most aggressive type of "standard" drywall plug with quite pronounced ridges and "ears" to anchor it in place. The other type is for holding the handheld sprayer, and those are closer to traditional-sized drywall plugs.

In the case of the handheld sprayer mount, I may just elect to caulk/PL the holder to the tile. Because it is exposed, I don't see much benefit in penetrating the Kerdi Board just for this.

I will have to penetrate the Kerdi for the main shower panel, of course, but it is behind the panel and out of the way of most of the water. Further, I think I will push the drywall plug home only once I coat it in the Sikaflex sealer that I have been using. Then the same for the screw - get it seated before the Sikaflex sets up and that might help prevent any steam/vapour pentrating.
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Unread 04-08-2019, 11:34 PM   #86
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Project Update:

Grouting is complete and, overall, I am pleased with the performance of Spectralock. Certainly a bit of a pain on walls/ceiling, but the finished product looks great and feels like a very durable finish.

I've moved onto caulking all the changes of plane, and with my beadboard design with chair rail, that's quite a lot of caulking. I've elected to use Sikaflex 221, which is the same stuff that I used to apply the beadboard - and not to worry, the beadboard is pure PVC so it won't suffer from the water. I must say, this might be the best adhesive/sealant I've ever used! And, since it's water-curing, it's just going to get better as the bathroom steams up a bit. It also tools very well for the purpose of using as caulk, and I was even able to use a large saline syringe body to inject it into the tongue-and-groove of the beadboard to ensure extra water protection! I'll definitely use this product again on projects like this.

Though I still have to install the glass and install the shower panel, the basic form of the bathroom is coming together. I figured now would be a good time to show a couple of pictures. I also attached a "before" photo so you can see the direction we're going... this bathroom is actually slightly smaller than before, but it sure looks a whole lot bigger!

One question: I'm including a shot of the porcelain tile that I've used on the floor and in the shower. It's a wood-look porcelain with a high traffic rating. But I think this is "unglazed porcelain", right? If so, should I be applying a matte sealer to help prevent water stains from the shower?


And yes, the cat does think the new vanity I converted from a 1930's sideboard is her new bed. Not sure how I'm going to fix that just yet.
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Unread 04-09-2019, 08:13 AM   #87
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post a pic of the drain. What is with the wood paneling in the shower?
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Unread 04-09-2019, 01:27 PM   #88
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Hi Mike,

The drain is actually in the picture, but it's a tileable cover, so it's very difficult to see (by design).

The beadboard is not wood. As I noted above, it's pure PVC. This is so it matches the rest of the house, which is largely unchanged from 1942 when it was built. Of course, the rest of the house does have solid wood beadboard. I thoroughly tested the PVC beadboard and it is impervious to water even without sealer in the tongue-and-grooves. In the end, I added sealer there anyways.

My biggest question, from above, is if I need to put a matte sealer on this porcelain floor (see photo above) to stop water stains.
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Unread 04-09-2019, 02:15 PM   #89
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An interesting design for sure. Sorry I skimmed over the many pages and missed that.
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Unread 04-11-2019, 03:58 PM   #90
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Okay, the low-iron glass is now installed, and because it doesn't have a green tinge to it, it helps to keep the green tile behind looking like the green we selected in the first place. I also am happy to have removed all unnecessary hardware from the shower glass design, using tighter fitting glass rather than relying on plastic seals. It helps make the bathroom look a lot larger when your vision isn't blocked.

I also installed the shower panel after swapping out the shower head arm for something a bit taller (since I'm 6'5" tall, the stock shower head would have hit me in the eyebrows).

I had a chance to use the shower last night and the water does indeed follow the slope and escape down the hidden drain very efficiently. Now that I've verified this, I can confidently attach the final tiles to the tileable cover rather than just having them laying in place.

Still not quite finished, but very very close now.
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