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Unread 04-15-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
GHR
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Bathroom vanity and backsplash

Hey all, I'm planning on tiling the vanity in our hallway bathroom.
I'm going to get my feet with with a 2" sheet of kerdiboard.
( Never used it before and plan a bigger project in the kitchen with it.)
~$90 is not bad for 24.5x96x2 sheet and I think will give me enough
for the smaller bathroom too if I cut it right.

The photo shows my current problem in part. There was a 48x40 mirror over the vanity.

5 yrs ago had a plumber install full port ball valve shut offs for my shower in the master bath that backs up to the wall behind the vanity. He cut the hole and I've had a piece of sheetrock and the mirror covering it ever since.

But this now presents an issue with how to tile and keep the access hole.
Since the backsplash may get wet I need something that will be relatively water tight. Ideas for this? Could I just tile to a piece of sheet rock with some kerdi on it and use some type of hidden cleat?
But how do I keep it water tight at the seams?
I also still plan to have the mirror cut down top and bottom,
but it will overlap the area with the hole as before.


Also regarding the kerdiboard.
What is the best way to fasten it to the cabinet base?
Construction adhesive? Kerdifix?
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Unread 04-16-2019, 08:11 PM   #2
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Hi Henry, I'm not quite sure what piece you're trying to waterproof. Is it just the change of plane where the vanity hits the wall? Above the backsplash?

Edit: I think I see what you're saying now, but not quite sure why you need to waterproof the wall. Why will there be tile there if a mirror is covering again?
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Unread 04-16-2019, 08:33 PM   #3
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Henry, I think I'm in agreement with Cliff. If you're planning to have a mirror over that hole, why close it at all?
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Unread 04-17-2019, 04:10 AM   #4
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The mirror will no longer be fully over the hole because it is to be shortened.
The hole had a piece of sheetrock attached to those woodblocks.

I must shorten the mirror for two important reasons:

(1 it is original 1970s and the silver along the bottom has worn.
I'm going to take it to a glass shop that will cut it for $10.
(2 I chipped it taking it downstairs on one corner so it's gonna be a bigger piece.

Schluter makes hidden magnetic cleats for tile but I think it's going to limit my grout lines. Downstairs I used 6x6 tiles and went two rows up and I shortened the mirror accordingly. I was planning to do the same in this case, but this hole is messing things up.

I am probably not going to get to this work now for a few weeks. I was in my walk- in closet ducked under the stairs, backed up twisted my knee on something on the floor, and heard a pop as I fell into my wet saw and got hung up on it. I injured my knee worse from this since I twisted my ankle too. If this is only a sprain I'm lucky. It's the size of a small grapefruit at the moment in spite of nsaids, compression and ice.

My retired RN neighbor said she did not feel a tear, but it's kept me up all night so far; it's 5am. I will probably take my first ever visit to an ER over it.
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Unread 04-17-2019, 06:19 AM   #5
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It may be too late for this but why not move the shut offs down lower and cut the back of the vanity out.
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Unread 04-17-2019, 07:46 AM   #6
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Yes, too late. The shut offs were installed 6 yrs ago.
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Unread 04-17-2019, 05:10 PM   #7
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Even so, why not move them?
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Unread 04-17-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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I doubt you need that big of a hole just for shut offs. Add sheetrock along the bottom of the hole and make it just big enough to get your hand in so you can reach the valves. You may not be able to cut the mirror down as much as you would like.
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Unread 04-17-2019, 06:35 PM   #9
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Concur with the advice to move 'em down and make the access via the vanity. This would not be difficult. Use whatever saw you like to make the cuts, get yourself a sharkbite deburring/depth tool, a couple of their inline 1/4 turn shutoff valves, a couple of couplers, and a length of pipe. Wouldn't take you more than an hour.

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Unread 04-18-2019, 09:21 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. I see what you are saying. I should make the access holes as small as practical to turn the valves. Got it.

So what is the best method of making a single 6x6 tiled access hole? I repositioned the sheetrock as i had it before under the mirror (picture). I'll need to either use a new piece of sheetrock or keep this one and cut holes accordingly. I am going to get some kerdiboard for the countertop today so I can try and align things better for how it will look and know where the holes will end up.

My knee is feeling better so I can work on this over next few days.
Need to pull the counter top and sink today.

AS to moving the sharkbite plumbing connections around behind the vanity; I cannot at this time for two reasons:

1) There are no local shuts off to my unit from the condominum plumbing.
So If I make a mistake 15 units must go without water until I get the leak solved (water is a common expense so HOA takes note of leaks).
2) the entire house is plumbing with 1970s galvanized pipe. This PEX leads to an elbow that took the plumber three trips to stop the leak using a long close quarters wrench.
Disturbing one connection can cause or create secondary leaks (We've found this out the hard way with fixing main trunk leaks that sprung leaks in the unit owners local plumbing.)

At some point probably in the next couple of years the HOA must replace all the galvanized hot and cold trunks which run through our living room ceilings. Then we will probably install local shut offs but until then we have no local shut offs. And at that point I will probably have my unit repiped with PEX as well.
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Unread 04-18-2019, 12:12 PM   #11
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Can you position the access so that it will be behind the mirror, even if you have to reach in a bit to get to the valves, as Davy was suggesting? It's going to look better that way than with any hacked up access. Perhaps a new mirror? You've gone this far, changing the plan slightly to get the best result might be worth it.
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Unread 04-18-2019, 06:54 PM   #12
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I probably will not know exactly where the tile will be and mirror until I get the tile on the countertop in. But if all goes right it would be two rows of 6x6 tiles from the countertop and the 2nd row will go through the space where that hole is now. The mirror must be cut at least 1 inch shorter than it currently is. I chipped a corner bringing it downstairs and putting it where I am storing. It already had silver missing. It's about economy to have it trimmed vs new. $80 for a new one $10 to trim it.
$70 I can put into grout and thinset.

And my plan to use keriboard might be a bust. So far the store I went to was out of stock.
I'm going to try another location.
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Unread 04-19-2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Hump in the wall and squaring kerdi board edges

I got the plan of what to do with the shut offs. Probably going to shrink the hole and re-cut it to be smaller.
I'll look for proper clips to hold two single tile panels or one combined pair. Schluter makes that I think.
Thanks everyone for the ideas and advice. The mirror will probably also not be as short as I thought.
It will extend to top of second row of tiles which falls about 1/2 way to the mid line of the panel of
sheetrock I have there now. Two rows of tiles below that to the counter top.


Now I have a new issue; I bought 24.5D x 96W" x 2" kerdi board.
Using the integral grid I cut it to 23" deep to allow it to clear the doorway
moulding and 59" wide. This seems to fit but my cuts are not square to the
edges and I found the wall has a pretty big hump along most of the vanity width.
I used a razor on the grid but it doesn't go 2" so I used a pvc hand saw to
complete the cuts.

How do I square up the edges better and what can I do about the wall outside of ripping it out?
Also note the back side of this wall has the walk in shower I built in 2006.
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Unread 04-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #14
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Henry, I usually hang the plywood over the edge of the cabinet a little, Kerdi board in your case, but that's up to you. Most of the time the side walls aren't exactly square with the front edge of the cabinet so the Kerdi board may have to be trimmed to fit. I would try to keep the back splash parallel with the front edge of the Kerdi board. If the back splash has a hump, I would mud on each side of it to make it flat. If it's real bad, the whole wall over the backsplash may need to be floated out.
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Unread 04-20-2019, 01:35 PM   #15
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Question

I have 2" over hang in both directions. Cabinet base is 57x21 Kerdiboard cut to 59x23. Cabinet is level in the long direction and and equally unlevel in the short direction.

I snapped some pics of the wall with a 6ft level across it. First pic shows the square. The rest my level across the wall. The one with the level in the corner has some distortion. It's butted into the corner.

It looks like the corner is square but the two studs on both sides of the
shower cut-off opening are a little off.

They are right behind the shower, but not attached to anything on that side. Right past that opening there is a vent pipe going up to the attic.
Studs in the wall are about 19" OC. Screws holding the cabinet are 19" apart and both are in solid wood behind.

The cabinet base is also racked slightly at the commode end. It's 21" at the corner to front of the cabinet At the commode end it's 21-3/8". No stud at that end of the vanity and it can move up from the floor slightly but it goes out of level.

Sorry about the orientation of the photos my phone acted kinda wonky with that.

BTW, I'm not replacing the cabinet because it matches the custom cabinet door front for a cubby behind the tub/shower. I would have to have that laminate re-faced but not a clue who I would hire. Or replace it and likewise not a clue how I would since it's a custom piece.

So what do I tackle first to make the wall flat?

*edit* I stuck a snake camera into the wall behind the stud to the right. The next stud tothe right is one I added
a 2x4 on to in 2007 for the shower backerboard-original drywall transition.

Looking how it is set inside the wall it's tightly fit. I suspect the 2x4 might have been a little wider than the original
stud and I corrected it by pushing it harder into the wall cavity and against the back of this vanity when I fastened it.
I probably either created the bow or contributed to an existing bow, but the result is the same. *end edit*
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Last edited by GHR; 04-20-2019 at 09:07 PM.
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