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Old 11-17-2018, 11:02 AM   #1
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Location: Peachtree Corners, GA
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Newbie Shower tile/floor install questions

Finishing my basement now in North Metro Atlanta. I'm going to sub out the shower tile in the new bathroom and I'm considering 2-3 "labor only" tile installation quotes now.. I'm pretty handy (we did the drywall, electrical, insulation already), but I've never done tile. Like to make sure this gets installed correctly.

The plumbing was previously roughed in with universal Delta shower value. Was going to use ramset gun/nails and pressure treated 2x4's to set the shower curb directly to the cement floor. Was planning shower curb that would be two 2x4's high. Is that sufficient? Is there any practical advantage of going three 2x4's high?

The walk in shower will be 3' x 4' and the tile will go up to around 7.5' high to accomodate an overhead drop ceiling at 8 ft.

I've already purchased three 4x8 (half inch thick) durock cement boards from my drywall supplier and a pair of small Ez Niches.

So it looks like I will need to purchase:
Tile (shower walls ~ 70 sq ft)
Tile (shower floor ~ 16 sq ft, likely small mesh mosiac)
Pan liner
Thin set
(Missing anything else?)

Additional questions:

1. What prep should we to perform to ensure the cement boards are properly installed & waterproofed prior to tile install? I understand you should use special cement board screws to attached to the studs. Should we use another (plastic) barrier between cement board and wood studs or between cement board and tile/cement?

2. Do you set your shower curb on the cement floor first and then notch in your cement board around the curb?

3. I'm reading about the different types of grout that have become more popular over the last few years. Is there really such a thing as grout that doesn't need to periodically sealed or doesn't mold?

4. I will add a frameless shower door with a different vendor down the road. Is there anything from a tile selection perspective that I need to worry about? I've heard that you should avoid the acrylic tiles as the weight of the shower doors is a problem over time.

5. How can I confirm the shower pan is sloped properly toward the drain during the installation process?

Thanks for your help!

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Last edited by jgleason; 11-21-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:53 AM   #2
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1. If you are using a "traditional" install, there should be 6 mil poly sheeting attached to the studs before the cement board.

2. yes

3. I like the Fusion Pro or the Mapai CQ grout. (opinions here may differ)

5. A level should suffice. The slope needs to be a minimum of 1/4 inch of drop from the drain to the furthest corner of the shower. This level should be consistent around the perimeter of the enclosure.

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

Last edited by Lazarus; 11-17-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:44 PM   #3
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Hi Sonny,

It's better that the curb be built with bricks or parts of cement blocks and mortar instead of wood. There have been numerous problems with wood swelling when laid directly over concrete floors. There's a good chance of moisture infiltrating the wood from below.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:15 AM   #4
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Personally i would install the concrete board, purchase a schluter mud drain, install the mud floor, then cover the walls and floor with kerdi membrane. That will minimize the mud floor thickness as well. Also most everything in Florida is done on concrete floors, cement blocks are the norm for curbing material. They don't rot or swell when wet.
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