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Unread 04-30-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Waterproofing tub/shower combo?

Greetings,

Been looking around for sometime now and I have no doubt this has been covered so my apologies in advance.

I have a hall bath tub/shower combo and a master bath shower that i’m just starting to remodel.

So-so DIY that will not tackle the waterproofing/tile job in either of these bathrooms. The house is on a slab and was built in 85. Starting on the hall bath first so I have already done all the demo work and the plumbing is finished with the sheetrock removed from around the tub/shower.

What the builders had in place from 85 was sheetrock/wire and mud. The sheetrock on the opposite side of the shower head (side wall) had some dampness to it and was crumbling in one spot.

From the contractors out here I have had varying opinions on HOW they will waterproof the walls in preparation for the tile. Of course, the wall is not square. Approximately, 3/4” on one side and 1/4” on the other.

Every contractor out here has advised me they will “float the wall”.

One stated he would use purple board, then, wire/prep the wall for new mortar bed.

Another stated he would use cement board, then, wire/prep the wall for new mortar bed.

And yet another said he wouldn’t use any kind of backing board (not install any type of sheetrock for lack of a better term) and just leave it open and tack up the black waterproofing material to the open studs and put that diamond mesh material on top of that then float the wall.

Never in my wildest dreams did I realize that I would get such varying opinions!!!

Q: can someone please guide to which would be the proper way to float the wall?

Seeing as I’m a novice, I would sure hate to pick the contractor that isn’t doing it correctly.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Unread 04-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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Welcome, Don.

Given no more information than that I'd choose the guy who is gonna do the two-coat mud over the felt and lath. That's an old-school mud man and likely a pretty good tile setter, too.

If neither of the other two indicated using a moisture barrier/cleavage membrane behind their metal lath for their one-coat walls, I'd be less inclined to use either one.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-01-2012, 04:15 AM   #3
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Thank you CX.

Leave it to me to goof that one.

What I should have written is ALL 3 are going to use a moisture barrier.

But, one of them want's to use cement board, moisture barrier, wire, the other purple board, moisture barrier, wire and the last guy said he would NOT put any type of backing and just tack the moisture barrier and wire onto the wood.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response BB. Really appreciated.

So you see no problem with either of the guys using purple board or cement board then attaching the moisture barrier to that?

When they told me they where going to do it in this manner I was hesitant this was correct as what I had just removed from 85 the (sheetrock?) was damp and crumbling.

That's one the reasons I came on here to ask at it SEEMED to me (mr. novice) that attaching the moisture barrier to a backing like that would just cause the same thing to happen again?
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Unread 05-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Thanks again Bob.

So glad I found this site. Gives me some peace of mind. It's one thing to install a light fixture in place of an existing one. Or install some closet organizers. It's quite another when dealing with water and the massive amount of damage it can cause if not contained properly.

I know these guys have stringent standards they must adhere to in California. But with the way my luck has been running I would pick the one guy that goes out of business a year from now after I find out my bathroom walls are about to collapse.

I know you stated all 3 would work, but out of pure curiosity, do prefer one over the other? Or perhaps another way to put it is, which of the methods would you be less inclined to use? Or, what would your comfort level be?

Additionally, when talking to the contractor that said he wouldn't use any type of backing (purple board/cement board) and just use a waterproofing barrier with the diamond mesh. Mud then tile over.

I questioned him about the stability of having no backing with nothing between the studs. His response was (paraphrasing) "it would be fine and that unless you go crashing into it that it wouldn't be a problem".

Thoughts?
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