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Old 04-25-2019, 07:51 PM   #16
Wordbrew
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Thanks for all the help guys. I'll look more into Versabond and weigh my options for that. Price point is nice, so not going to complain on that.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:25 PM   #17
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How did you slope the curb? I'm debating on using foam or wood but there are absolutely no videos on anyone sloping curbs even on schluter website but some say the curb must be sloped? I'm so confused.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:57 PM   #18
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If you're going to use Kerdi, I'd want the foam to have pitch before covering it. I haven't ever installed a foam curb and I don't know how others create a pitch but I would slice it down on a table saw. Or, you can install bricks and mud over them to get slope, then install Kerdi. I would avoid installing Kerdi directly to 2x4's or any dimensional lumber. Lumber likes to move and can cause cracked grout joints.

This doesn't apply if you're using a traditional pan liner installation. Wrapping the 2x4's with pan liner, lath and mud is fine.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:55 PM   #19
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Unhappy Welp, looks like I'm an idiot and messed up.

Hi everyone!

Just an update on status as well as a bit of a new conundrum. Hoping someone might be able to help.

First an update: After looking into the modified Versabond thinset (and actually buying a bag or two), I ended up running into a verified schluter seller who had their unmodified set thinset for sale. Really cheap too. Picked up a couple bags and decided what the hell. Ran with that. I still plan to run the modified versabond under the ditra for application on my plywood subfloor.

I've completed all my waterproofing. Even reached out to a local schluter rep and got his buy off on it via photos too. He was pretty helpful for any issues I ran into along the way. I thought I actually failed my initial flood test and asked him for some advice. First thing he asked when I was having problems was what thinset I was using. Bit of a relief I was able to tell him Schluter and that got him offering to cover cost of repairs if it did in fact fail flood. Ended up not being anything wrong with my install, but rather didn't tighten my plug enough. Tried a second test a week later and it sat fine for nearly 2 days with no water reduction.

A few notes on Schluter as a whole. I like it, but damn is it work. Their thinset sets ridiculously fast compared to other thinsets I've used for other projects. That 2-4 hr timeline is realistically 2.5 hr max from my experience. I learned the hard way after the first bag and started weighing out and mixing at 1/2 bag intervals after that. For the average layman or first-time DIYer, there's no way you'll be setting a shower up in just 90 minutes like they show on their youtube. Took me two whole days of troweling and mixing, troweling and mixing, to get my shower installed and waterproofed. I'm also amazed at how much Schluter membrane wicks up water. I've since been told that is normal, but man, it will wick like crazy when doing a flood test. Not as "water-proof" as I was led to believe by their marketing.

Now on to my conundrum:

Wife wasn't really wanting me to do the tiling, so I've had some tile contractors come out for quotes. Good thing I did. One guy who came pointed out an issue that I hadn't noticed before. One that I thought I had addressed with proper shimming, but obviously didn't do well enough (or right at all).

The walls aren't plumb [edited for right term to avoid confusion]. The main wall and shower-head wall are alright, but the far side wall is super messed up toward the top. The contractor showed me with my level for that far side wall. It's almost half an inch off from ceiling to floor. I could've smack my head through the drywall from frustration at my stupidity. Really not sure how it happened since I was checking plumb and square throughout my reno process, but here we are and it's damn obvious.

So the contractor recommended packing out the wall with a solid-base cement/mud to make it level. He said I should do it all around for good measure (both sides and main) to make sure the lines will look clean. Without going level, he said it will be very obvious when walking in if you look to the corners of the shower. The lines won't look good.

As much as I'm ready to just give up and let a pro work this, it seems I can't afford it based on the quotes I've been receiving. It appears it's going to fall on me to fix my mistakes.

I understand the general concept of what I need to do to level this stuff out, but I'm concerned about the underlay/substrate situation. A few specific concerns/questions I'm hoping those with experience may be able to help with:

1. I went big on spending and used Kerdi foamboard as the wall base. Screws put in max every 12 inch as recommended. Waterproofed on top. It's sturdy, but not as sturdy as say cement board. If I'm floating a new level wall on top with thick mud/cement, should I be concerned about the weight? Debating if I go through with more screws and reinforce the boards more (say every 6 inch or so). Does that seem worth it?

2. Similarly, should I be concerned at all about waterproofing again? The one contractor said he would redguard the floated cement walls, but that just seems counter-intuitive to me. Doesn't seem smart to have two layers of waterproofing with the cement/mud in between. Seems any water that does get through will just sit and cause problems. Am I wrong on that? Would it be fine to just float the new wall and leave it as the base for tiling?

3. An alternative to floating almost a 1/2 inch wall on the far side would be to cut the height of my tiles. I had planned to go to the ceiling, but the majority of the unlevelness (is that even a word?) appears to be at the top. If I cut down height of tile to say 6-8 inches short of the ceiling, I would only need to float the wall 1/4 inch, maybe. This may be more personal preference, but would you recommend floating the full wall out and tiling to ceiling? Or cutting down tiling height to save space/work?

Any other general recommendations on how to address this is greatly appreciated. As much as I wish I could tear out and just start over, I don't see that being an option at this stage. Trying to work with the crappy DIYer job I've done thus far.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys/gals can give. I'll be over here banging my head against the wall if you need me.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:30 PM   #20
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After doing some more research, realized I may not be using the right terminology?

Seems my walls are straight, but not plumb? I think that's the right term.

I shot my laser level at both corners and noticed the left wall runs +1/2 inch out of the level line from the floor, closing the gap to the level point at the ceiling. Conversely (though similar), the right wall runs -1/2 inch out of the level line from the ceiling, closing the gap to the level point at the floor. Both walls seem to be "leaning" the same way. Kind of like below diagram:

\ WALL \

Vs.

| WALL |

WALL being the main back wall with the lines being the side walls.

I'm attaching a photo here as well for reference. I marked the level lines at each corner showing them in pencil vs. the actual corner. Then have a center level line for reference.

I'm wondering if maybe I might be able to get away with just using some additional thinset for those side walls to mitigate the lack of plumb. While maybe also shifting my main wall tile pattern 1/2 inch or so to the left as I build up the wall to offset the effect further.

I'm using 3 x 12 white porcelain tile for the walls. Was originally planning to use a grey grout, but debating if I go with a lighter color to further reduce the issues with perspective and grout lines.

Is that a stupid idea?

Still banging my head against the wall at my lack of ability here, but it seems to be helping me brainstorm ways to problem solve for now.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
I shot my laser level at both corners and noticed the left wall runs +1/2 inch out of the level line from the floor, closing the gap to the level point at the ceiling. Conversely (though similar), the right wall runs -1/2 inch out of the level line from the ceiling, closing the gap to the level point at the floor. Both walls seem to be "leaning" the same way.
Are we really talking level here, or do you actually mean plumb, perhaps, Chris?
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:11 AM   #22
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Hi CX,

I believe that is what I said in my last post was it not? Right above the paragraph you quoted actually.

Sorry if I was mixing the terms up earlier. Just looking for help if anyone is willing to share.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:01 AM   #23
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Yep, plumb is for vertical surfaces.

Chris, it's always better to get the substrate plumb and flat before you start setting your tiles. Of course you could leave the walls out of plumb and it may or may not be very noticeable. I wouldn't try to do a lot of buttering out to achieve a plumb wall. I'm afraid you'll have a big mess on your hands.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:47 AM   #24
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Thanks Davy. I didn't think I could accomplish it, so I will avoid. It's amazing how much just a little movement of the bubble on a level can mean out of plumb. Took so much time trying to make sure things were good using my 4 ft, I didnt even think to use the laser level. Everything honestly looked good visually. Not noticable at all.

At this point, I dont think I can go back to stud work, so I guess I will have a wonky looking shower. Curses of an old home with old framing and a clueless DIYer, I guess.

My current plan is to drift my tile lines for the main wall slightly. I will start my center a bit off to the right and end it a bit off to the left from true center. Hoping that will hide the slight out of plumb by allowing me to follow the lean. I will scribe cut the edge tiles to be similar sizes all the way up. I believe I read the technique from someone on here before. Will have to find that thread.

Lessons learned for next bathroom remodel, I guess.
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