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Unread 07-19-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
grinner
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A few Kerdi-ish questions

Hi all, I'm doing my second shower project using Kerdi membrane on the walls with a pre-formed shower pan on the floor. I've got the Kerdi up on the two wet walls and am pretty happy with it.

My first question concerns the tile. I've chosen ceramic tile planks that are 8 x 32 and would apprecuiate any tips for installing these over the kerdi. Main concern is the trowel. Is it ok to use the metal notch trowel over the kerdi (being careful obviously)?

Next is since I'm laying them in a brick-like pattern then I don't have to worry about a center line, correct? What would you recommend be my starting point? I'm thinking the inside corner of one wall heading out at the bottom row. I planned to use a 1/4 inch board that I'm sure is level as a base for the first row.

What size notch would you guys suggest for that size trowel?

The lip of the shower pan goes up two inches behind my new drywall and my Kerdi extends down a little way past the drywall into that gap. I've pushed it inwards so it doesn't protrude. Should I caulk this when done or is it better to leave it open?

Last question concerns my amateur skills. I have a good Felker tile saw but I'm struggling to make cuts on these long planks when cutting them in half for the smaller pieces of the brick pattern. Lining them up and getting the blade to cut at exactly halfway is tricky...is there an obvious way of doing this accurately that you skilled fellows could pass on to me? I have a number of pieces that are a few 16ths out here and there.

Thanks for any replies

Matt
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Unread 07-19-2016, 09:55 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Matt.

1. A metal trowel is no problem over Kerdi, unless you get a little wild with it. Never had that problem.

2. It's difficult to tell you the starting point of the shower without knowing the layout. Are we talking about three walls, equal on all sides?

3. I would attach that loose edge of Kerdi to the tub flange with Kerdifix or silicone.

4. You might try putting some masking tape on the tile where you want to cut it to keep a straight line, if you can't find a marker that will hold up to the water in the saw.

P.S. - Numbering your questions makes things easier for you and for those who answer them.
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Unread 07-19-2016, 10:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Yes, I should have numbered, sorry.

It's a neo-angle shower base so two walls, but I'm carrying the tile beyond the shower and all the way to the next wall on each side. The room is a small rectangle, so I'm tiling one whole wall (shower to vanity, but not behind the vanity) and then the other wall from shower to toilet but only half the wall where the toilet is due to the window above the toilet.

The back wall (opposite the shower) will just be pained or maybe wainscotted.

What size notch trowel for 8 X 32 would you think? I'm going with 5/16 spacers if that makes any difference.

Here's a pic:

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Crap, don't know how to rotate it!

Before you sharp-eyed folks point it out, I'm aware that I need to add a little bit of overlapping Kerdi on each end to the floor. I just haven't done it yet.
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Last edited by jgleason; 07-20-2016 at 10:29 AM.
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Unread 07-19-2016, 11:48 PM   #4
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Minimum size would be 1/4 x 3/8 x 1/4", or you could bump up to the 1/2" for better coverage if needed. A lot depends on the flatness of the walls and flatness of the tile.
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Unread 07-20-2016, 09:14 AM   #5
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One more question, when back buttering larger tiles do you also trowel on some mud to the walls or is that overkill?
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Unread 07-20-2016, 10:01 AM   #6
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Your going to use the notched side of the trowel on the walls and the flat side on the back of the tiles.
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Unread 07-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #7
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Ah, so what I thought was back buttering is actually wrong!

I'm glad I checked here first. Thank you.

Should the ridges in the mud go vertical or horizontal or does it even matter?
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Unread 07-21-2016, 07:37 AM   #8
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Will plumbers putty on the shower nipple escutcheon be sufficient? I have put on one of those special kerdi nipple seal pieces underneath so assume that plumbers putty will be fine over the tile.
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Unread 07-21-2016, 08:57 AM   #9
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last shower I did, I just used the kerdi ring there and tiled close. No caulk or anything else. If the shower head is leaking at the pipe, you have other problems, and if it is leaking at the head, it's away from the wall anyway. Only real worry is excessive condensation, which I wasn't worried about.

I did caulk around the tub spout (it was a bath surround), since water running down the wall could get behind there.
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Unread 07-21-2016, 04:06 PM   #10
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Before you set any tile you gotta watch Trowel & Error. It will answer your questions about ridges, back buttering, etc. And you need to key in mortar on the substrate and back of the tile to form a mechanical bond. Watch the video Coverage is the key.

The wet saw I have been using has an adjustable fence (like a rip fence) on it to ensure straight cuts. And the masking tape works great.

I believe plumbers putty is not needed for the shower arm or escutcheon.
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Unread 07-21-2016, 04:48 PM   #11
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I always use teflon tape where the shower arm goes into the wall. Where the shower head connects to the other end isn't such an important issue, and most shower heads have a rubber washer anyway.
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Unread 07-21-2016, 10:50 PM   #12
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Surely you need something to cover up the hole around the nipple though?

Thanks Rappie, I'll watch that video.
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Unread 07-22-2016, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Will plumbers putty on the shower nipple escutcheon be sufficient? I have put on one of those special kerdi nipple seal pieces underneath so assume that plumbers putty will be fine over the tile.
Hi Matt, let's clarify some terminology first. Plumber's Putty comes in a tub and is mostly used to set sink drain baskets and sometimes faucets. Kinda like Play-Doh and it's not intended t seal pipe threads.

I think you're asking about pipe thread sealant (pipe dope) and/or caulk. Pipe thread sealant comes in several forms...Teflon tape, brush-in-lid, squeeze tubes. It lubricates threads also helps to seal threaded pipe connections.

In summary, you need pipe dope on tapered pipe connections. If there's a sealing washer as in many shower heads, thread sealant is superfluous. On the other hand if you're wanting to seal a shower nipple where it penetrates wall, that can be accomplished with silicone caulk. The escutcheon in many cases is just to pretty things up, but some body sprays and handheld showers combine the two in which case you may use both thread sealant and caulk.

If this is a conventional shower head nipple exiting the wall and you don't have the Kerdi seal, gun some silicone between tile and nipple once installed, let it dry overnight, and install escutcheon next day.

Depending on shower head height and type, substrate material and possibility of water exposure, I sometimes seal that penetration and sometimes not...usually can't hurt.
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Unread 07-22-2016, 11:28 PM   #14
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I'm not talking about sealing pipe threads. I'm referring to the finished look once I'm done tiling. I won't be able to cut the tile fine enough that it's snug against the nipple so I was planning to use an escutcheon to provide a finished look. I assume that this is set in place with plumbers putty so that no water can get behind it and go down the hole around the nipple.

thanks!
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Unread 07-22-2016, 11:41 PM   #15
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What is the best way to lay the tile taking into account the joint where the two wet walls meet? Do I lay the tiles on one wall (wall A) tight against the other wall (Wall b) and then make sure that all of the tiles on wall B are set against the tiles on Wall A with a uniform gap for grout?

Or do I set tiles on both walls with their own gap (combining to make one gap) for a grout line running from the floor to the top of the tile install?
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