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Unread 05-14-2015, 08:56 PM   #1
MNRemodeler
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Bowed Durock Wall Fix?

Hi All,

So I'm really kicking myself. I had a wall where the studs were really tough to work with and I fixed a lot of problems before hanging my durock but now that its up and ready to tile I found one high stud that is causing a bow in the wall. Probably a 3/8 - 1/2 inch gap either side of the stud when you rock a 4 foot level back and forth over the high stud.

One option would be to remove the durock and use a power plane to plane down the high stud. The problem is my shower liner is in place and the pour floored and ready to accept tile. So planing down the stud behind the shower liner without wrecking the liner would be a real challenge.

I thought about coating the wall in thinset and using a 6 foot straight edge to screed it and try and get everything back in plane but I'm concerned about it being really tough to get right and the thickness of the thinset. I know thinset shrinks and this seems like it would be a problem waiting to happen.

The other option would be to leave the durock up and put another layer of durock over it. But then the challenge is how do you shim everything except the high spot?

I want to do this right and have a shower that will last a lifetime. So I'll do what it takes. I'm just not sure what the best option is. I really kick myself for not catching it before I put up the durock.

I'm putting up 8 x 8 travertine tile.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 06:58 AM   #2
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1/2" is a lot, probably too much to level out that way.

Your attitude about doing it correctly is spot-on. Fixing it now is better than later.

Is the problem down near the floor, or higher up? Maybe you can just re-work the top section of the wall and not disturb your floor?

I think you'd be OK taking down the upper durock sheets (all but the bottom row, all the way around) and replacing them after the re-work. You may be able to remove them, cut your liner a few inches higher than the top of the lower durock sheets that you might be able to leave intact, re-work the studs, then put in another waterproof sheet in front of the one you left behind, then re-install your CBU.

If you had used roofing felt, you would have overlapped the waterproofing sheets anyway. They overlap just like siding, with higher ones overlapping the lower ones facing the wet side. Hopefully a pro will come by and tell you how much overlap you need.

Once you get the top durock sheets off, you might be able to carefully remove your fasteners in the sheet and just fold it down to do your framing work... you might not even need to cut the sheet at all. Just an idea, take the pros' advice on that too, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see what they say.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 07:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion. I think I figured out a solution.

I used a couple of doubled-up paint stir sticks held to each end of the wall and put a straight edge across them and I discovered that a 1/4" is all I need. So not as bad as it originally looked.

I found that Home Depot carries Henry FeatherFinish (same as Ardex True Featheredge) which sets in 15 minutes. I'm going to place two 1/4" spacers (one on each side) of the wall and use the feather finish material and then screed it off to a nice flat finish. I'll remove the screed boards and trowel in featheredge to fill where the boards sat. Let set. Trowel on my unmodified thinset and then apply my kerdi membrane.

That should work, shouldn't it?
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Unread 05-15-2015, 07:56 AM   #4
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If the Henry is approved/recommended for that application and you follow all the instructions, then sure. The installation plan sounds OK, although I'd just get a longer screed stick and do the whole pit at once. Screed upward so the goop doesn't just scrape or pull off and fall to the floor.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 08:26 AM   #5
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Dave,
If it makes you feel any better I did the exact same thing. Just finished my first tub surround. Unfortunately a lot of suff I read before coming here did not emphasize the importance of the prep work before putting up your substrate. So I basically slapped my cement board up without ensuring everything was flat. I taped and Redguarded, thinking I had a solid wall, but then I started to actually see the bows. I put a straight edge up and was sick to the stomach with the bows. Sounds about as bad as yours
So I weighed for a very long time the amount of work and mess to pull it down versus the problems with a hack attempt to fix it. It was a tough decision. Although not recommended I tried to float some thinset. I was able to get in within reasonable limits. I was not happy, but figured it was doable. I was using smaller tiles (4x8) and was able to lay the tile with lots of effort to make the wall look flat. No one can tell now, unless you look were looking for it.
In hindsight I think, I would have just pulled it down and started over. No matter how painful that would have been. The trickle down problems were many. Playing with different levels of thinset trying to get everything flat was a lot of work. I probably did not save any time and energy in the long run with my hack attempts. Plus no warm fuzzy that this will last without future problems.
So I know it is a hard decision but it will either be work up front or more work later with less favorable results.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 08:33 PM   #6
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SSK,

I did the same thing with not realizing how important it was to get the substrate flat. I really, really, did not want to pull the durock back off. But what would have been worse was floating something on the wall to fix it and then having it fail. The manufacturer said the Henry product was not the same as the Ardex Feather Finish. They also said it was not recommended for my application. But I suspect it was because they heard "Shower" and assumed wet not realizing the kerdi would prevent it from ever seeing moisture.

I ended up pulling the durock off. Then I went and bought a power planer and I fussed with the studs either planing or shimming until I got them pretty flat. I put up new durock and now the wall seems to be really, really flat. Its just not in me to do something less than my best and i just wasn't comfortable taking a chance that I might have problems.

Ironically, it turns out one stud was a 1/4" high over the span of about 30 inches. I don't think it was warped I think it was milled wrong. I had checked everything for flatness before rocking but I believe I checked top, middle and bottom and those were all good. This damn stud was high between bottom and top in a small area where I suspect I never checked for flatness. Bad luck. But I've since learned that you need to check about every foot or so from top to bottom.

So I lost a day that I could have been tiling but in the long run I think I did the right thing.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 08:40 PM   #7
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Foam shower seat on top of tile or on cement pan?

Hi All,

I'm building a shower. Its been durocked and I'll be installing a kerdi membrane over the durock. I do not want to penetrate that membrane yet i want to install a seat in the shower. I ended up buying a foam seat. I will use thinset to set the seat in the corner and will use some thinset on the shower pan floor to adjust for the 1/4" per foot slope. I'll set the top of the seat so that it tips into the shower so any water will drain off.

The base of the shower is masonry with a pan liner. I'm trying to decide if that foam seat should rest on the masonry directly or if I should put down my floor tile in the shower and then set the seat on top of the tile? If I set it on the concrete and any water got under the seat it would have to find its way to the drain weep holes. If I set it on top of the floor tile, any water would go out the drain rather than the weep holes.

I will be putting Kerdi on the seat so really it should never see any water.

But I would like to hear what the proper way of installing that seat should be -- on the masonry or on top of the floor tile?

I'm assuming on the masonry but for the above reasons wanted to ask rather than assume. I hate doing anything wrong!

Thanks!
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Unread 05-15-2015, 09:03 PM   #8
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Welcome, David.

It'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. We can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

The proper way would be to install the seat before you place the top deck mud bed in the shower. That way you would be able to keep your shower floor perimeter level and make the wall tile, including the seat face, look better.

But if you're beyond that, setting the seat on the mud bed would be the second choice.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-15-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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Have you considered installing a floating corner bench instead?
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Unread 05-16-2015, 08:05 AM   #10
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Tiger,

No. That requires cutting through the backer board to set the seat on the ridge and that is a possible area for water infiltration. Not a good design in my opinion.
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Unread 05-16-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
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I was thinking more along the lines of a Better Bench or maybe like this Wedi corner bench (p4)

I'm not trying to talk you into one but I wasn't sure if you were aware of these options.
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Unread 05-16-2015, 08:34 AM   #12
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I'll second Jim's recommendation of the Better Bench. It does not require that you cut into the wallboard or the waterproofing membrane. I install mine after the sheet membrane is on the wall and then continue the waterproofing membrane over the installed bench, which is not even required. Very useful product.
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Unread 05-16-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
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Oh, sorry, yes the wedi bench is what I have only under a different brand name. This is the bench I have What is slick is it is made specifically for a sheet of 2" tile to fit perfectly. I didn't know that when I bought it.


Like you CX I was planning on using thinset to embed it against the kerdi on the wall and also thinset underneath of it to support it. I was also going to kerdi the bench for good measure.

Would you set the floor tile and then set the wedi bench on top of the floor tile or set the wedi bench directly on the mud pan and then run your floor tile up to the bench? I assume you want it directly on the mud pan but since this is my first time building a shower I don't like to make assumptions.





Thanks.
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Unread 05-16-2015, 11:42 AM   #14
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David, I set my foam bench inside the waterproofed area like you are describing. Recomend you take down the back of the bench to get it level rather than using thinset which is not approved for that purpose.

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A coarse sanding pad on a random orbital sander works well to shape the bench to the floor.
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Unread 05-16-2015, 04:10 PM   #15
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PC,

Good idea on sanding the bottom.
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