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Unread 04-13-2021, 11:07 AM   #31
midwest girl
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Phil - thanks for the photo link re: blocking. I knew blocking went between the studs for support. When I received the comment on the other forum (which I updated on Saturday - I no longer was looking for advice there since I had registered on JBF) the user didn’t say that the blocking was related to the shower pan. I didn’t know if he saw some other issue. Having the blocking support around the mortar makes sense.

Jim - it’s pretty scary to read that 70-80% of showers are not built to industry standards. Is it odd that I find a little “comfort” knowing that the odds were stacked against me vs. just continuing “bad luck” ?!!!?? ???? Showers are expensive - it’s very disappointing to learn that so many people are paying $$$ for a faulty result.

I appreciate the information re: VOCs and Kerdi. I started having health issues at 19 - it only took adding 5 more illnesses and YEARS of suffering to finally have my underlying disease diagnosed. Because there is no cure - all I can do is try to manage contributing/escalating factors.

FYI - during the past several months, I noticed a “smell” after my SO would take a shower (he takes longer/hotter ones than I do). I kept asking him if he smelled it - nope. I had been absent from my home for awhile (my daughter and one of her friends lived here right out of college during that period) - so, the shower in my master bathroom was not being used on a regular basis. When my contractor tore out the existing shower, he found a small leak by where the rough in valve was. He asked me if there were any watermarks on the ceiling below. There wasn’t. The water was landing directly on top of the bottom framing for the previously existing wall separating the shower and the built-in tub. That board was solid - but the surface looked pretty nasty.

We will be starting from scratch on the shower. It’s a headache - but it needs to be built correctly.

After reading some more threads on here - I’m starting to second guess my marble mosaic tile on the shower floor. Q - how do marble tiles on the walls hold up? I understand the etching. I know that there can be staining - and that I need to be careful with all of my products (numerous - I like variety!) I’m really more concerned about discoloration from wicking. I’m assuming that results from water in the shower pan which starts to travel up the shower walls. What is the best way to attempt to prevent this - other than making sure that your shower pan is installed correctly OR not using marble?

I’m already contemplating replacing the marble with a porcelain tile. I just have always wanted a marble bathroom - many of the porcelains ones Ive seen just look fake. Does anyone have a recommendation of a specific porcelain tile that looks more “real” vs. others? I’d love to install porcelain slabs - I can only imagine how much that would increase the $$$ for this shower!

Thanks!
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Unread 04-13-2021, 12:23 PM   #32
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Dani,

I'm currently building a new shower for my neighbors and they too like the look of marble. I'm doing this for them for free because I'm such a good neighbor. I told them I'd rather not have to mess with the issues surrounding marble in wet areas. With that said, I spent a bit of time researching different marble look porcelain tiles. Out of the many, many pages I went through, here are the few we settled on:

https://unitedtile.com/Product?item=...Mosaic%20Style

https://unitedtile.com/Product?item=...Mosaic%20Style

https://www.arizonatile.com/en/produ...amic/tru-marmi

I think they've decided on the Tru-Marmi silver tiles from Arizona tile.
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Unread 04-13-2021, 03:42 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestgirl
After reading some more threads on here - I’m starting to second guess my marble mosaic tile on the shower floor. Q - how do marble tiles on the walls hold up? I understand the etching. I know that there can be staining - and that I need to be careful with all of my products (numerous - I like variety!) I’m really more concerned about discoloration from wicking. I’m assuming that results from water in the shower pan which starts to travel up the shower walls. What is the best way to attempt to prevent this - other than making sure that your shower pan is installed correctly OR not using marble?
Dani, I have been procrastinating on a shower build in my home and I'm glad I did. There have been a lot of discussions here lately on marble/staining and some really good info on NOT using it in a bathroom.

I was planning to use what I thought was a porcelain hex mosaic and picked a sheet up at HD only to find that nowhere on the packaging does it say what the material actually is - I think it is actually marble after some research with the manufacturer.

I did finally find what I believe I am going to use at Lowes and it is porcelain. Don't know if they have it near you.

HERE is a link
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Unread 04-16-2021, 11:53 AM   #34
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Phil & Snets - I appreciate the links. There are just SO MANY marble “look-alike”porcelain tiles out there - it’s overwhelming.

The biggest issues I have with using a substitute porcelain tile are (i) when there are limited different patterns used - I hate seeing one specific pattern repeated over and over (especially where the tile setter didn’t pay attention and winds up placing two identical patterns next to each other!), and (ii) where the shower wall has bolder (wider) veining - and it doesn’t “flow” into/coordinate with the veining in the surrounding tiles (the shower looks “choppy”).

If I am able to locate a porcelain tile that doesn’t look “printed” + has several veining patterns - and have a tile setter who is properly skilled and purposely selects the tiles vs. randomly grabbing them out of a box, then porcelain tiles would work aesthetically for me.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 05:06 PM   #35
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Using large format tiles - Bad idea???

I am interested in learning about the pros/cons of using large format tiles.

The shower is only about 48” x 42” (may be 44” - I’m not home to measure it). I love the look of showers where slabs have been used instead of tiles. However, this shower is only one of many projects which are being completed at my house - I’m “trying” to keep the budget under control (at least somewhat!).

While I have tile, there has been a bit of a setback in the completion of my shower - and now I’m second guessing some of my decisions! Due to the previous issues encountered during the construction of my shower, I want to be familiar with the technical aspects/difficulties/common pitfalls re: large format tiles in order to make an informed decision.

My understanding is that there has to be no more than a 1/8” variance over 10’ with no more than a 1/16” variance in 24”. Removing the existing drywall and installing the appropriate substrate is part of the scope of work. The work that had been completed on the shower is being ripped out in order to start from scratch. Is it easier to meet the above requirements by using CBU, Kerdi board, or drywall with a Kerdi membrane?

I also understand that a medium-bed mortar should be used when installing large format to tile in order to compensate for irregularities in the tile and substrate.

Obviously, the tile itself has a major impact on the success/failure of the installation. Is there a way to predict how much warping a tile will have (when ordering) other than perhaps by price point and/or material?

With respect to setting patterns - I understand that running bond pattern is limited to a maximum 1/3 offset for tiles over 18". Are there special considerations if using a horizontal stacked pattern? Which is the least difficult installation?

Lastly, I know that there needs to be at least 90% mortar contact and a minimum grout joint of 3/16".


I am also interested in receiving opinions from an aesthetic perspective. In your experience, what would be the largest format tile that you would recommend for the above shower size?

Please let me know what other critical technical requirements that I should be discussing with my tile setter.

I truly appreciate everyone's help! Thanks!
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Unread 04-17-2021, 05:33 PM   #36
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Are you talking about using large format tile on the pan as well as the walls? IF so, several things come to mind:
- many tile can be very slippery when wet...in a shower, smaller ones with the many grout joints help give you some grip
- the only way large format tile really work well in a shower is either you use a single slope to a linear drain, or, you VERY carefully make your shower pan have four perfectly flat triangles, and you put a tile seam down the fold. And, that assumes you find a large format tile that won't become a skating rink when wet. A typical shower pan is more of a bowl, and smaller tile are required to not have lippage between them.

It doesn't really matter what's on the wall IF you make sure all of your studs are nice and straight and in perfect plane with each other. Then, any of the panels you use should be flat once attached. Depending on how you want to manage moisture in your shower might dictate which panel you choose (drywall, cbu, or KerdiBoard, or WediBoard, or some other panel suitable for use in a shower).
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Unread 04-17-2021, 06:11 PM   #37
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This the same shower as your previous thread, Dani?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani
Is it easier to meet the above requirements by using CBU, Kerdi board, or drywall with a Kerdi membrane?
Actually, it's easiest to achieve that flatness requirement by "mudding" the walls to create a mortar bed. With any sort of wallboard, you need to bring the framing into plane as Jim pointed out in order to achieve the necessary flatness and it's unlikely even that will result in the needed tolerance without some additional flattening on top of the wallboards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani
I also understand that a medium-bed mortar should be used when installing large format to tile in order to compensate for irregularities in the tile and substrate.
There are no "medium-bed" mortars, there are thinset mortars that are rated for use in thicker sections than standard thinset mortars, but they're called Large and Heavy Tile (LHT) mortars in the industry. While they can make up for some variations in tile thickness, they are not meant to flatten the substrate. The substrate should meet the requirement you quoted before you begin setting the large format tiles.[quote=Dani]Is there a way to predict how much warping a tile will have (when ordering).../QUOTE] If you order ceramic tiles that meet the standards of ANSI A137.1 you can predict the maximum amount of size difference and warpage. If the manufacturer does not indicate the tiles meet that standard, you can't really predict anything until you have the tiles in hand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani
I understand that running bond pattern is limited to a maximum 1/3 offset for tiles over 18".
That industry recommendation actually begins with tiles over 15" on any side and is general in nature. It's based upon the expected warpage of tiles that size in general and may or may not apply to your particular tiles. But you have no way of knowing that until you have your tiles in hand and can actually determine their flatness. It's possible your tiles will be sufficiently flat (and you've made your substrate sufficiently flat) you can use a 50 percent offset without unacceptable lippage. The tile manufacturer may also specify a maximum offset for the particular tile or tile line and that is more a requirement than a recommendation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani
Lastly, I know that there needs to be at least 90% mortar contact and a minimum grout joint of 3/16".
The actual industry requirement in wet areas is a minimum of 95 percent coverage on the back of each tile. The only minimum grout joint width is 1/16th of an inch and that is difficult to achieve with even a well rectified tile in large formats. The industry recommendation is for a grout joint three times the difference in size between the largest and smallest tile in your layout.

The aesthetic considerations are best decided by the customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani
Please let me know what other critical technical requirements that I should be discussing with my tile setter.
Is the new shower to be built by the same contractor who built the previous version?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 07:56 PM   #38
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First - I am only asking about the large format tiles with respect to the shower walls.

CX - I thought I had the info I read was based on ANSI standards (at least that’s what the author claimed). I was planning on double checking - probably should have prior to posting my questions. Thanks for the clarification. The medium-bed mortar (whatever the author meant by that) was related to its ability to “hold” the heavier tiles in place while setting.

I will look for tiles meeting the ANSI standard you’ve listed below. I’m not sure if that’s commonly provided in the tile specs, if not, I’ll do some further research.

As to your Q re: who is going to construct my shower, my contractor told me that he is bringing in another subcontractor. He told me that he uses three different people - he said that he’s used the guy who built my initial shower pan for the past 6-7 years for various jobs. He seem a bit concerned when I told him what had happened while he was absent. I also printed off my other thread in order to fully explain what the issues are.

We are having a meeting on Monday with the first subcontractor in order to discuss what exactly occurred. The downside is that my bathroom will remain unfinished for a few weeks longer than anticipated - the upside is that it will be constructed correctly. That seems like a pretty good trade off!

I guess when I asked for “aesthetic opinions” - I should have been more specific about what I was seeking. There are 24 x 48 large format tiles - would it be “odd” to use those stacked horizontally across the walls in order to sort of “mimic” a slab installation (assuming that the substrate/tiles allow such large tiles). I thought that if I used a grout color that blended with the tiles, it would reduce the visibility of the grout lines between the 4 tiles. Just wanted to know if that sounded a bit odd. I also question whether there would be a way to support the weight of each of those tiles. I’m sure no matter what type of material I use, it would be fairly heavy. It may not even be a possibility.

How often do you laugh at the questions people ask on here? I imagine that its fairly entertaining at times! Thanks!
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Unread 04-17-2021, 09:06 PM   #39
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Dani, there were mortars called Medium Bed Mortars in the tile industry, but there was never a standard for them. That term was removed from the industry standards completely because of the misperception it created that they were somehow different from thinset mortars. The new term for them is Large and Heavy Tile mortars. Some setters are likely still to refer to them as "Medium Bed" mortars, but it's no longer a correct term.

ANSI A137.1 is the American National Standard Specifications For Ceramic Tile and has been around for many years. I think you'll find all American tile manufacturers certify their tiles to meet that standard. Many foreign manufacturer's do not. That doesn't mean tiles not certified to meet that standard are necessarily inferior, it just means you have no way of knowing.

"Odd" is a purely aesthetic term in regards to a ceramic tile layout. Again, I avoid those. If you want ceramic tiles of a size to cover one wall each, those are available. If you like that look, you might see if your GC knows someone capable of dealing with such tiles. They're actually referred to as Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels, depending upon size. Not all tile contractors are trained and equipped to handle such material. You'll want someone who has had special training from one of the tile manufacturers. They are still a very, very small segment of the installer cadre.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 10:06 PM   #40
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Someone said that porcelain panels are available up to 5m long. Just transporting something that large while keeping it intact takes special skill and materials, as does setting it or cutting. Some of the manufacturers will cut the panels to spec at the factory so you don't have to in the field. They're not cheap, and if you break one, the loss can be considerable unless you can cut what's left and still use parts of it. Depending on the material, it might be cheaper to just use a stone slab, but then, each one will be unique, which may not be the look you want.

SO, depends on what you want, and how much you're willing to pay for it!
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Unread 04-18-2021, 06:27 PM   #41
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I appreciate the explanation. By the time I’m finished renovating this bathroom, I might actually sound like I know what I’m talking about!l

Well, I guess I will find out tomorrow if the new subcontractor has the necessary experience to handle this type of tile (and if my wallet is able to handle the installation price!)

My heart has been set on using real marble for awhile - however, if I can figure this out, I think that it will actually look better than my original plan. Thanks!
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Unread 04-18-2021, 07:58 PM   #42
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I also would not use marble on the walls of a shower. There are just too many options in porcelain that look like marble that don't require the maintenance that marble does, and are much more durable.

Can you tell me with certainty if these tile are marble or porcelain? (Sorry it's sideways.)

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Unread 05-11-2021, 04:28 PM   #43
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“Epoxy Method” - marble tile installation in shower

I have finally decided to move ahead with using marble in my shower. I’ve struggled over this decision quite a bit. I’ve always wanted a marble shower because of my mom. She had a BEAUTIFUL marble bathroom. She passed away unexpectedly a couple years ago - this will remind me of her in a good way.

I’ve done a lot of research about using marble - including reading many threads re: discoloration due to water. I was directed to read some articles written by Pavlo Starykov. Based upon the results of testing ten Carrara shower modules, he offered recommendations for marble installation for traditional dry pack mortar bed and bonded waterproof membrane shower pans

Apparently, using a traditional dry pack mortar shower pan is the preferred method. Unfortunately, my shower uses the Kerdi waterproofing system. Based upon Mr. Starykov’s recommendations, my marble mosaic tile should be installed with an “epoxy method” = epoxy adhesive/epoxy grout/very permeable (breathable) impregnating sealer.

I sent Mr. Starykov an email this morning asking a few questions about installing marble, and received a reply about 10 minutes later. He told me that he strongly believes that using the above method is the best way to try to avoid water discoloration of my marble mosaic tiles. He explained that the saturation of the fleece layer of the sheet waterproof membrane + close distance to the stone with only a thin layer of mortar (which is much less porous than deck mud) does not allow water to move away from the marble. If my shower will be used on a daily basis by more than one person, the marble/mortar/membrane will become more saturated which will has the potential of causing a gradual moisture entrapment = persistent moisture discoloration.

So, basically - his solution is to let as little water as possible get behind the tile. If I had a traditional mortar shower pan, the installation process would be to install the shower pan + tile in a way as to not impede the movement of water in any fashion.

I then asked him if he had specific product recommendations, and he told me that he would be happy to discuss the specifics of the tile installation with my contractor/tile setter since I was not doing this as a DIY.

I have great respect for the professionals (and others) who participate on this forum. Based upon various threads I’ve read, I’m concerned about using epoxy grout/adhesive.

I remember specifically reading posts on JBF regarding picture framing issues - some of the time the issue was not only due to water seeping behind the tile, but was instead related to using epoxy grout (staining).

I’ve also read that using an epoxy grout is more difficult. I’m not sure how much more difficult it is vs. cementitious grout - but if it is quite a bit, how much of an up charge should I expect if I make this request?

I also know that cure times are longer - I’m okay with that if it means my shower will be better protected against moisture discoloration. How long is the cure time for the adhesive and for the grout?

I also seem to recall reading something awhile ago re: not using some kind of adhesive to install tile in a shower - I believe that related to mastic/acrylic adhesives. Is that correct?

I appreciate your help. I also apologize if this should be moved to my initial post created a few weeks ago about issues with my shower installation.

Thanks,

Dani
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Unread 05-12-2021, 05:39 AM   #44
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I would highly recommend that you (or your contractor) make a sample/test board using the exact materials that you plan to use in your shower. That will allow you to discover potential problems ahead of time.
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Unread 05-12-2021, 10:08 AM   #45
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The very best way to prevent problems with a marble installation in a wet area is to install a porcelain look-alike, Dani. See again post #42.

If you insist on real marble, at least find a competent contractor who can build you a traditional mortar bed shower receptor and mortar walls with a moisture barrier behind the walls. Or even CBU walls if you can't locate a real mud man. And install the tiles with a cementitious thinset mortar and use a cementitious grout. And see my warranty information below.

If you want to use a penetrating sealer, adjust your expectations to fit what the sealer might actually do or not do for your stone installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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