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Unread 07-02-2018, 12:42 PM   #1
brian36lefty
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Brian's Basement Bathroom Bonanza

First time poster, year-long lurker...

So after thinking,reading, and slowly planning over the past 6-12 months, I have jumped off the deep end and have started my basement bathroom remodel. The 25 yr old neo-angle fiberglass shower, 90's classic builder grade vanity, and vinyl floor have been removed.

The location of most things will not change much. I will be moving the shower drain pipe over about 1.5 feet. The toilet and vanity location will not change. I have a 36x60 KBRS linear pan for the floor. Cement board on the shower walls with rubber paint on membrane over that. Floor tile is 12x24 porcelain with ditra underneath. In the shower 2 inch square tiles, porcelain, on the shower walls 3x6 porcelain. In the niche and possibly some trim a marble mosaic. For the shower curb a white or marble look quartz curb top. Bathroom vanity with me a floating 36 in high gloss grey with a white acrylic top.

I have read alot (including a couple of John's ebooks) and feel that I am about as ready as I can be (without having any experience tiling or remodeling a bathroom). I am sure I will have numerous questions along the way.

Right now I have to frame a couple walls and finish cleaning the glue off the cement. My first question...I ripped off the vinyl and scraped off the cardboard paper backer (with the help of a torch and Krud Kutter). The tan colored glue did not come off with this initial removal. This morning I used the torch to try to remove some more of the glue. When I heat the glue it does not become pliable and, for lack of a better word, gooey. It does not come up as easily as I have seen. Is this expected? Am I removing it correctly? How clean of glue does the cement floor have to be? Since I used Krud Kutter to help remove the paper and some of the glue, will this compromise the adherance of the unmodifed thinset to the cement?

Pics to come.
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Unread 07-02-2018, 01:30 PM   #2
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Unread 07-02-2018, 01:36 PM   #3
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Unread 07-02-2018, 01:38 PM   #4
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Unread 07-02-2018, 01:40 PM   #5
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Brian,

Welcome to the forum.

Stop trying to dissolve or melt the adhesive. This will cause it to go deeper into the concrete. What you want to do is scrape it off as best as you can, then grind the rest away with a slow speed grinder.

Are those real marble tiles?
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Unread 07-02-2018, 04:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I have a simple HF Chicago 4.5 in angle grinder but not a slow speed grinder. Any way I can use that with a different attachment to achieve similar results? I am out of my depth with this.

Also, the only pieces that are marble are the small mosaic. The others are porcelain.
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Unread 07-02-2018, 05:10 PM   #7
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Use a diamond cup wheel on the grinder.

We take every chance we can to talk customers out of using marble in a wet location. Marble is very porous, will soak up water, then stay discolored until it dries (which may not happen for months) If you're real lucky, the iron in the marble will oxidize, turning the marble brown or yellow. (which is permanent)

Cleaning marble requires the use of non-standard household cleaners. Any typical acidic cleaner will permanently etch the marble the moment it is applied.
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Unread 07-02-2018, 11:32 PM   #8
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I decided not to go with marble for 2 reasons. It was more expensive and, just like you said, I saw too many horror stories. Thanks for confirming my thought at least on that. The only part that will be marble will be the back of the niche and possibly around the bathroom vanity.

I will be getting the diamond wheel cup tomorrow and will see how it goes. Thanks.
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Unread 07-03-2018, 12:26 AM   #9
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Make sure to wear gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask. A good mask, not the cheap ones.

Allow for some ventilation, preferably a door or window with a fan to help pull the dust outside.
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Unread 07-03-2018, 07:23 AM   #10
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That 12X24 floor tile looks a whole bunch like the 12X24 I'll be using in my bathroom job. Nice choice.
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Unread 08-25-2019, 07:57 PM   #11
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So the basement bathroom continues....Concrete floor is taken care of (kind of), walls in bathroom all done and shower waterproofed with liquid membrane. I am starting my tile laying on the back of the shower. I have used a ledge and am using 3x6 subway ceramic tile. The issue I am having is that I am not getting the 95% tile coverage when I lay the tile. Probably somewhat closer to 30-60%. So i removed the 3 rows of tile, scraped it down, and started over.

I am using schluter all-set and a 1/4 by 1/4 square notch trowel. I have followed the guidelines for water ratio and mixing. I am laying the thinset on first, then combing vertically at a 45 degree angle. Placing the tiles I shifted them horizontally to try to insure complete coverage. Even pushing them forcefully into the wall hasnt been very effective. I end up squeezing more thinset out of the grout lines.

A couple thoughts I had as to possibilities.

1. I am a not a pro. My technique sucks.

2.Thinset has sat too long. Pot time listed is 2-4 hrs. I have been mixing half a bag. After 2-3+ hours maybe the thinset is not adhering as it should?

In hindsight I should have just used the built in 1/16 space but I have used 1/8 spacers. I am 1/3 of the way up the wall so at this point, that is what I am going with. This adds to the mess and makes cleaning the tiles and grout lines of excess thinset arduous.

I tried back buttering but that seems excessive considering the size of the tiles.

I am thinking of using a leave in T spacer by Rubi to help speed along the grout line and tile face cleaning of thinset. Hopefully this would allow me to lay tile quicker. Any thoughts on this?
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Unread 08-25-2019, 08:57 PM   #12
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I like to measure my thinset and water out in paint measuring bucket then write down the ratio that I need to break the bags up in to a 1/4. Try mixing up a 1/4 rather than a 1/2 bag. Most of the time I mix on the high side of the water recommendation of the bag depending on the thinset I am using so it is more of a warm peanut butter consistency. If you are not using just the right amount of water or mixing for the recommended amount of time you are going to get a shorter pot life.

Back buttering is important no matter the size of the tile,as well as keying it to the substrate before combing your lines, you are ensuring a good bond between all the surfaces. Back buttering small tiles can be a pain in the butt. I set up a table and put wood at the edges to create a ledge and then set the tiles face down so I can back butter a bunch at one time. This can be tricky you have to figure out how many you can set before the thinset skims over. the less moving air in the room the better.

I have never use all set so I am not sure about the open time but that will play a big part. I put lines on the wall where my grout joints will fall and then make my cuts for the corner pieces, Also I like to set about 3-4 rows at a time. Back butter on the table, key the mortar on the wall then comb lines then put a row up, scoot the tiles up and put the spacers in then hit the joints with the brush. You can make a mess all over the tile cleaning with the brush but no worries after I get all tiles off the table and everything spaced out then I run a sponge over it all. A tooth brush will work but I prefer the detail brush that you can get at home depot they are longer I wear a apron like set up with pouches so I have my spacers readily available and a cleaning brush in one of the pockets and a bucket of water next to the bucket of thinset on a work platform so I don't have to bend over to get anything. I hope this helps you in your quest
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Last edited by smifwal; 08-25-2019 at 11:14 PM.
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Unread 08-27-2019, 06:18 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips and technique! Will give them a shot when I resume Wednesday.
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Unread 08-29-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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yes must back butter. then your coverage will be 90%+
I like to mix up 12#, 17# and 25# batches. yes I weigh in a bucket with my scale on the ladder. for small tiles withe lots of grout lines 1/4 bag or 12# Kerabond T says 7-8 quarts per 50# bag.. so I put 1,2 3 quart marks on a folders coffee can for the water. I do swear that some batches I mix with care kick off fast.. and sometimes the water required to get a certain feel I like is different. .. I just posted in another post that I make sure to draw cool water before each batch.. and keep my powder inside or where its coolest and for sure not in the sun.
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Unread 08-29-2019, 03:07 PM   #15
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Think you said 12x24" tiles on the walls. 288sqin. Say you push against it with all of 50#, that's less than 3 oz/sqin. It takes a LOT of movement to spread the thinset out to fill in the valleys between the peaks, otherwise, the tile will float. The Europeans seemed to have learned, and they tend to use slant-notched trowels much more often than we do here in the states, but they are available here. THe notches at tall and thin once combed out and then they fall over, creating a gauged, much flatter surface that is easier to achieve full coverage.

In one class, they had us use clear glass tiles. Those were fairly small, maybe 4x8". It took LOTS of back and forth before you had full coverage, and being so much smaller, there was a lot more psi being applied. In another class, using much larger tile (much bigger than you have), they used a palm sander without any paper on it (rubber pad) on the tile to help spread the thinset.
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