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Old 01-14-2019, 07:46 AM   #1
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Bathroom Remodel - tile newbie

Starting into back-to-back bathroom remodels. I'm a business systems analyst/project manager by trade, so working through things in a systematic way is encoded in my DNA. I'm also a perfectionist and already an experienced DIYer (framing, drywall, flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc.). However, I'm brand new to tile.

I am planning to tile my floor and my shower. I've researched to death, and I'm sold on Schluter products.

Here are my first questions:

1. I'm a bigger guy (~300lbs) and I'm concerned about the Kerdi shower pan foam compressing over time. Is this really something to be concerned about? Would a mud pan be better over time? I'm pretty OCD about overbuilding things for longevity and quality, and if putting in more time and effort would lead to a better end product, that's the route I would rather go.

2. I am planning to do wood baseboards instead of tile, so I've attached a photo of what I think the drywall-over-wood curb cross section should look like. Does it look right?

3. Curiosity question about Kerdi: Since thinset isn't waterproof, what keeps water from seeping through the thinset that seals the Kerdi seams?

I'm sure I'll have a million more questions. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:07 AM   #2
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Kindred spirits, you and I Joe, in all that you described above, save for the bigger guy bit.

Schluter's new foam pans are of a denser foam, and I believe they have relaxed their "minimum" tile size (previously 2X2) as a result. They also don't specify a maximum body weight for their new or old foam pans. Logically, if compression were a concern, they'd specify that so as to ward off any liability challenges.

I've not worked with Schluter's foam pans or their water proof membrane. But I have worked with Durock's directly competing products. Having just executed a 48+ hour flood test of my foam pan covered with water proof membrane - complete with a 7 foot long seam on the foam pan with nothing more than a 2.5" ish overlap and "sealed" with nothing more than thinset mortar, the system simply works. As does the countless other showers constructed in the same manner. The manner in which the mortar bonds with the fleece apparently does the trick.

I can also tell you, as can at lease one other member here, that the Durock water proofing membrane is easy to work with, and that other member goes further to say it's easier to work with than Schluter. At the end of the day both do the job.

Personally I would dissuade you from having wood baseboard anywhere near your curb. Aside from the whole wood doesn't like wet thing, I see it as an ongoing maintenance challenge, particularly the inside/outside corners. It just tends to get grungy IMO.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
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I also would avoid the wood baseboard on the outside of the curb. Elsewhere in the bathroom should be fine, though.

If you want to overbuild things then the mud pan is the way to go. It's cheaper, doesn't require a level floor and, well, has higher compressive strength than foam. Plus, it's a lot more fun to make (if you're into that kind of mud adventure). If you enjoyed playing in the sandbox as a kid, you will enjoy this, too.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!

If the mud pan is stronger, that's the route I'll go. It does sound like more fun than just dropping in a foam pan

My layout is attached. The two shower walls will be full floor-to-ceiling - no glass. I'll avoid the wood baseboard and go with tile. Is drywall still ok on the outside face of the curb, with tile baseboard over the drywall - in other words, is my curb cross section correct if I just replace the wood baseboard with tile?
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