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Unread 04-25-2009, 08:07 AM   #1
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

I just finished gutting my master bath and had some questions before getting started with the remodel:

1) the subfloor is 1x8 on 2x10 joists. It's in good shape with gaps of about 1/2" between the boards. What should I cover this with if I plan on tiling - plywood, plywood + cement board?

2) 3 of the 4 walls are interior and framed with 2x3. I was planning to hang 3/8 green board everyplace except the shower stall, where I want to use cement board. Is it ok to hang 1/2" CBU on 2x3 framing?

3) for the shower stall I've been reading up on different options and am leaning towards the Kerdi system. The stall is 3'x3' and I can't move the existing drain much due to the joist location. The Kerdi pan seems to allow flexibility in the drain placement, and overall the system looks great to ensure a leakfree shower. One question - is it typical to tile the entire stall (including the ceiling) or stop the tile short of the ceiling?

Thanks!
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Unread 04-25-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, mwalsh3.

1) You'll need plywood + (either cement board or a membrane). What cement board or membrane are you considering? Ditra?...Hardibacker?...Hoping to go directly to plywood? And please let us know a couple other more basic details so we can start you out on the right foot: Were you thinking of using a man-made ceramic or porcelain tile.....or a natural stone? And while not all floor structures are stiff enough to support brittle tile, we have a Deflecto calculator to make quick work of figuring that out. Punch in the required data and tell us what your deflection is.

2) Before I say yes and then talk about drywall being a better choice for the dry areas than green board, Can I start by asking why you're using 3/8" thick?

3) It's more typical to stop the tile above the shower arm somewhere between it and the ceiling than it is to also tile the ceiling. But if there is a header across the front of the enclosure that traps moisture at the ceiling during a shower, the ceiling is tiled. If these headers aren't load bearing, most people prefer to remove them to get rid of the "enclosed" feeling...even though they help retain heat in the stall during a shower.
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Unread 04-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

thanks for the reply.

1) we're not sure on tile for the floor yet, but I'll check out the deflecto calculator and let you know what I find

2) I thought 3/8" was the right choice - what would you suggest?

3) the old shower had a header which I've since ripped out. Sounds like I should leave it off and stop the tile before the ceiling
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Unread 04-25-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

I checked the floor deflection and got a number L/558
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Unread 04-25-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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I would try to add a few studs if they are 2x3's, just to stiff it up some.

When using the Kerdi, it's best to use the whole system. A 2 inch drain is needed along with a Kerdi drain. Is that what you have planned?

1/2 inch sheetrock is usually used.
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Unread 04-26-2009, 07:14 AM   #6
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

I can easily add more 2x3 studs to make the wall more rigid

The current drain is 2" copper, which I'll swap to PVC - I have access to everything from an unfinished basement

Thanks for the advice on the drywall

Any thoughts about what I should do with the floor?
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Unread 04-26-2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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On the floor, use the thickest plywood you can get by with. Backerboard adds very little strength to the floor, plywood does. I would use a thicker plywood and thinner uncoupling membrane, like Ditra, it's only 1/8th.
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Unread 05-02-2009, 05:56 AM   #8
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

one more issue

the drain in the 3'x3' shower is centered L-R, but F-B is shifted 2" (away from the opening) because of the position of a joist

Will this present a problem if I try to use the Kerdi base
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Unread 05-02-2009, 07:25 AM   #9
Brian in San Diego
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mwalsh,

Please click on the User CP tab in the dark blue toolbar above and then click on edit signature. There you can add your first name, nickname or alias and it will appear at the bottom of every post.

Using the kerdi tray with an off centered drain can be a bit problematic. Since the tray is sloped equally from all sides if one cuts more from one side than the others the height of the perimeter of the tray is affected. I am of the opinion that the tray is a convenience if one were building multiple showers and all the drains were going to be set after the trays were installed. For a single shower I believe it makes more sense to build the shower floor out of deck mud. It's easier than it looks.

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Unread 05-02-2009, 06:11 PM   #10
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

thanks - I think I fixed the signature issue

For building the shower floor out of deck mud is it best to follow the instruction video on the Schluter website?
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Unread 05-03-2009, 08:58 AM   #11
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

looks like a deck mud pan is the way to go

From what I've found in previous postings and on the Kerdi site there doesn't seem to be a need to use cement board for the shower as the whole idea is kerdi is waterproof. Is that true?

I can see the cement board providing some extra peace of mind as it can't rot, but if used I'd need to transition to a short run of dw from the end of the tile to ceiling. Is there any trick to getting a good joint between the two?

And just to make sure that I have the shower sequence right:

1) install plywood decking (min 3/4") over the subfloor and cut a hole for the kerdi drain as close to center as possible

2) install the wallboards (cement or drywall) running them all the way to the plywood deck(?)

3) figure out the correct pitch for my off-center drain based on the "longest" dimension plus the height of the drain from the deck (about 1") and scribe a line at that height on 3 walls and curb

4) staple felt or plastic followed by wire mesh to the deck

5) install the mud pan making sure that the drain sits in at least 1" of mud

Thanks!
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Unread 05-03-2009, 10:44 AM   #12
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Mike,

The Schluter preferred substrate for kerdi is regular old drywall. Since it's a waterproof surface applied membrane no water is ever going to make it to the drywall. Kerdi is easier to apply over drywall than it is over cement board. CBU can suck the moisture out of the thinset preventing one from getting the kerdi to properly imbed in the thinset.

Everything else in your plan looks good. Over a wood subfloor you want a minimum of 1" of deck mud at the drain and 1 1/4" is probably a little better.

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Unread 05-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
mwalsh3
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master bath questions

Thanks for the answers.

A few more questions:

- the Kerdi video shows the drain being set directly in the mud base, but I also saw a posting on this site showing thinset applied to the back of the drain and top of mud before it was set. Any thought if this extra step is worthwhile?

- should I mud/tape the drywall in the shower stall? From what I've read, the opinions on this seem to be about split even

- I was planning to insulate the interior walls in the bathroom to reduce noise. What should I do about a vapor barrier over the insulation?

Thanks again.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
Brian in San Diego
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Mike,

The drain is set in deck mud but you can put a little thinset on the bottom flange of the drain when you set it in the loose mortar to help it bond better. Important thing..make sure the drain is completely supported.


I would not mud and tape the drywall. Let your thinset and kerdi take care of that for you.

Make sure you slit the vapor barrier with a razor knife.

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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #15
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I'll soon (weeks?) install my Kerdi drain, and I came across this discussion in the professionals' hangout. Seems interesting and maybe easier for a first-timer to get the drain installed correctly and fully supported:

I just leave the pipe sticking up and cut it once I figure out all my slope issues and then cut and in stall the drain. I then mix 50/50 tilecrete and thinset and put it around the drain. Shim where needed to keep the drain level and plumb. I cut the mud mix perfectly around the kerdi drain and let it set up over night. The thinset in the mud mix grips enough to the plastic flange to hold it in place. When I float the shower floor I skim some thinset on the mud around the kerdi drain and that's it. Simple.

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