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Unread 05-23-2003, 10:40 AM   #1
H1ckory
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Join Date: May 2003
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tile over lip of fiberglass shower stall

My new fiberglass shower enclosure has a lip all around, with drilled holes to secure it to the studs. I plan to tile all around the enclosure, both above and to either side of the door.

I would appreciate detailed (suitable for a newbie) advice:

Generally, how do I make the transition from the tiled area just outside and above, to the fiberglass shower enclosure?

The lip of the shower enclosure obviously makes for an uneven surface, compared to the studding over which I've installed the enclosure. I gather that I should use two sheets of cement-board: one that comes right up to the edge of the shower enclosure lip, with the other layered on top, and going over the lip. But, two layers of 1/2" wonderboard is pretty thick -- should I use a thing piece of plywood for the bottom layer? And how far should I take the 2nd cement-board? -- until it butts up against the curved portion of the shower enclosure?

If I overlap the lip of the shower enclosure with the second layer of cement-board, should I make it a point to drill through the cement board, and the fiberglass lip, into the stud behind? And if so, how do I avoid shatering the fiberglass?

When it comes to tiling, for the transition from tile to fiberglass shower enclosure, should I use caulk (what kind)? Should the transition occur on a flat surface or should I run the tile right up to where the shower curves away from the lip?

Thanks!

-- Bob
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Unread 05-23-2003, 01:15 PM   #2
bbcamp
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Hi, Bob! Welcome to the Forum!

The nailing flange of your shower should be about 1/8 to 3/16" thick. You could shim the studs out to compensate, or use 2 layers of 1/4" CBU in the area, 1 layer of 1/2" everywhere else.

If you go with the 2 layer approach, use thinset to fill behind the second layer over the flange. Modified thinset will stick well enough to support the CBU, and you don't need to attach the CBU with screws through the flange.

Don't butt the CBU against the shower, leave about 1/8" gap, which you will fill with caulk. This will prevent wicking and squeaks. Your tile will also hold this gap and will be caulked, too.

Hope this helps!


Bob
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Unread 05-23-2003, 04:36 PM   #3
H1ckory
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shower flange

Thanks Bob! Your reply was very helpful. I have one more question, about how to finish the edge where the CBU/tile ends, and the shower material takes over.

How far should the top (or only, depending on shimming) layer of CBU overlap the flange? I was assuming I should take it as far as possible, that is, until the point where the flange curves back out. Otherwise wouldn't there be a raw edge of CBU exposed? I guess that's another reason for using a very thin piece of CBU?

You wrote:
<<Don't butt the CBU against the shower, leave about 1/8" gap, which you will fill with caulk. This will prevent wicking and squeaks. Your tile will also hold this gap and will be caulked, too.>>

You're talking about the bottom layer of a two-layer CBU? Or does that apply to both layers -- the bottom layer should leave 1/8" gap to the edge of the flange, the top layer should leave 1/8" gap to where the flange curves back.

Thanks again!

-- Bob
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Unread 05-26-2003, 08:16 AM   #4
bbcamp
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I assumed the shower had some thickness to it that was greater than the flange, and the flange extended about 1-1/2" or so. That being the assumption, each layer leaves a gap. The top layer is butted against the "fatter" part of the shower (also leaving a 1/8" gap), and the tile also butts against the shower, leaving a 1/8". The gaps serve 2 purposes: 1) eliminate any water from wicking into the CBU, and 2) eliminate any squeaks when you step into the shower.


I may not be visualizing your shower correctly. Can you post some pictures?
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Unread 05-26-2003, 08:56 AM   #5
John Bridge
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Hi Bob and Bob.

What happens is that the CBU usually stops right above the nailing flange, and the tiles simply extend down beyond to the top of the horizontal portion of the receptor. This is fine if your tiles are four inches square or larger. For smaller tiles, I would go with Bob's method at the bottom.

The bottom row of tiles is caulked where it abuts the receptor. Silicone works best. You tile to a point a bit beyond the front of the shower. The shower door/enclosure is screwed into the tile.

There are two super important aspects of setting a plastic shower base. It must be absolutely level all the way around, and it must be well supported underneath. Many manufacturers recommend setting the base in mortar.
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