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Unread 05-05-2021, 12:51 PM   #61
Just In Tile LLC
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Here are a couple photos showing how far away the tiles were from wall and even though it’s zoomed out, the end result of capping the sides. Hopefully this gives you an idea. I personally like a capped end instead of bullnose bordering the outside, just looks cleaner and neater to me.

On the first photo I was back filling slightly because I overshot my mud a little so it wouldn’t interfere with the bullnose going on.
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Unread 05-05-2021, 02:21 PM   #62
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Thanks again, Justin! Beautiful work by the way. In that situation, had you not had bullnose cap, would you have done a metal profile, mitered corners, or some other tile that was a close enough match? Lou...sorry, don't mean to hijack in any way.
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Unread 05-05-2021, 03:15 PM   #63
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another day, another mistake. Making my way through them one by one.

Took all day to get 1 wall floated. One corner of the wall was kicked out...don’t know if framing was wonky or if I introduced that during the scratch. Result was one float strip had close to 1” of mud beneath it at the top and maybe 1/4” as it got towards the bottom. Took hours for the wall to set enough for me to to block it off. Pretty proud that the wall was flat and plumb but realized at the end of the day it’s 3/8” out of parallel to the shower opening.

Space is at a premium and I can’t afford to eat up more of it with another scratch. So I picked on some patching compound, gonna feather it from 3/8” to zero tomorrow. Which defeats the purpose of me trying to get everything plumb and square with mud. But gonna keep at this anyways.
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Unread 05-05-2021, 08:49 PM   #64
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Lou, Lou, Lou

I’m glad you’re giving a solid effort! What part do you think gave you the most trouble?

Even though it didn’t go as planned, you taking the time to get the kinks out will pay dividends if you ever attempt another one. Plus you still haven’t tiled on it yet... troweling over your floated walls I’ll wait to hear your reaction on that.

Phil on the rare occurrence I don’t know what trim is going on, I’d probably choose the jolly trim and cut the smaller cut against the wall. Of course mitering would look better but I’d have to specifically bid for that.$
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Unread 05-06-2021, 04:54 AM   #65
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Trying to keep it in context of learning a new skill. The last one of these I did was 6 years ago so I’m (apparently correctly) assuming I’m starting fresh.

I was hoping it would go more smoothly, but I’m not totally surprised it hasn’t. A little surprised with all my mistakes, but it’s the difference between reading something and the 100’s of actual hands-on details to put it into practice.

Quote:
What part do you think gave you the most trouble?
Specifically to yesterday:

1. Trying to gauge how much mud to place for the float strips. First strip went fine. Second was the problem, the one that went from 1/4” - 1”. I’d get a ribbon of mud up, wet the strip, place it, only to find out I’ve got low spots. Pull stick, add mud, repeat. By third attempt I’m loading way too much mud and it’s dropping everywhere getting the strip plumb. Starting to sweat because first strip is setting up pretty firm.

2. Burning in the scratch. With the scratch going horizontal, I had it in my head I had to burn it in with vertical motions. Wall is only 3’ wide and my columns of mud for float strips were super wide, taking up a lot of space. So the sides and middle sections I still had to burn / fill in were narrower than the trowel’s long edge. Which meant I was trying to use the 4” end of my trowel and tiiiiny amounts of mud to burn it in. Again - lots of mud dropping everywhere.

3. Handling outside corners of niche. I had decided to do niche itself another day, so I could focus on just walls. Trying to load up mud and shape outside corners was an ordeal. Finally got a 2-trowel method that kinda/sorta worked, plus found I had to let mud set up a long while.

4. Actually loading mud up on walls and screeding off wasn’t too bad. But then I noticed if I touched the areas next to mounds of mud for float strips (especially the one that was on a wide pile anyways and 1” of mud), the mud seemed...springy. Worried that maybe I didn’t get good contact with the firmed-up mud under float strip so removed some of the filled-in area, patched it in, tried screeding off again...not great idea.
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Unread 05-06-2021, 10:44 AM   #66
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Alright Lou, what size trowel are you using? I’m a 5”wide x 12”. Seems to be the best for me holding mud but still having leverage to use it.

I use my hawk and trowel when setting the mud for float strips. You put a scoop of mud on the hawk and flatten it out some, that way you can get a nice consistent column up. My columns are only wider then the sticks by about 1/4” each side.

Yes you have to be strategic when placing mud on the wall sometimes because you see the trowel size or the way the mud is sitting on the wall won’t let you make solid contact and you’ll end up having mud fall off the wall as you go to put it on. I make those adjustments on the fly by putting on the mud horizontally instead of a smooth upstroke because I see the conditions aren’t favorable to get good contact. Sometimes in weird angles or situations putting mud on the wall is a controlled fall. You get one shot to hit your point on the wall otherwise the mud just slides right off your trowel. Going against the ceiling can sometimes be that way. I always add mud horizontally on the corners. I also cover up my sticks in some instances even though Jacks video says don’t. I haven’t had any problems screeding mud with a little mud on my stick in some places.

I also take my time on where I put the mud on my trowel in tricky situations, outside corners being one of them. I use the two trowel technique but make sure the mud is on the correct side of my trowel with how my stroke will be once I’m adding the mud to the corner. Obviously mud at the top of your trowel works best for around the ceiling. Use the mud on your trowel locations with purpose. Don’t just grab and go if the situation doesn’t call for that.

As I’m filling in walls, I use two trowels, not a hawk. One trowel stays on the board just to load up the one I’m holding. I’ll pick the hawk up again when I can’t reach anymore, way faster to load a wall up with the mud board close and just transfer mud to one of your trowels and add it to the wall, rinse and repeat.

Edit:When you are using the hawk on tricky locations or where you want to be cleaner, only load one trowels worth on the hawk then when you transfer the mud to your trowel, use the hawk underneath to catch any drippings that might happen as you place the mud on the wall.
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Unread 05-06-2021, 05:58 PM   #67
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Thanks Justin. Good tips. I just haven’t got the hang of moving mud cleanly yet, it wants to drop everywhere. I wonder if the stucco mix I’m using is light on the lime, or whatever makes it sticky.

Today was a better day at least. Got the back wall floated out with patching compound so it’s parallel to opening. Glad I did because I would’ve been chasing that out-of-squareness on all the other walls. Got 2 additional walls floated, and definitely was less chaotic than yesterday.

Edit: how long does it take you guys to be able to wood float the walls? 4 hours after I floated, it was at a good stage where I could scrape off imperfections without worrying about pulling mud off. But it was still soft enough to easily gouge and a wood float was still bringing water to the surface.
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Unread 05-06-2021, 06:14 PM   #68
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That's looking nice Lou! Gonna tile like a dream
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Unread 05-08-2021, 06:18 AM   #69
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Any description of how you float your niches? Float strips on the back? What about the sides, top and bottom?
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Unread 05-08-2021, 08:04 AM   #70
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First, I apply strips of mud and set two short screed sticks for the back. Measure the sticks to the mudded wall, top and bottom to make sure they are parallel. After mudding the back, you can mud one side at a time, hold a 1x4 on the mudded wall making sure to hang it over to allow for 3/8-1/2 inch of mud inside the niche. Make sure this is plumb. Do the bottom surface last.

I like using a bevel square to cut the mud. You can set it on a 45 and adjust it so the pointed end just reaches the back wall you already mudded. Place the square against the 1x4 and slide it upward cutting the mud. I don't have any pics on doing this. Here's a link to the bevel square. Very handy tool for doing this. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Empire-T...-132/202035310
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Unread 05-08-2021, 04:14 PM   #71
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I've floated my niches all sorts of ways and like them all

I've set sticks like Davy has suggested and use my L edge or box edge to push my level out past the niche to true it up..... but.... Davy has it right to just parallel the sticks to your outside wall with a tape measure. Does it really matter that a bubble reads perfect but your sidewalls will taper if your walls aren't true? NOPE it's better to parallel the back niche wall to the front of your niche.

Since I waterproof underneath my mud even on the niche I will tile around mine first then mud it. A plywood jig works great for niches and since most mine are in a stud wall and have the same width that's mostly what I use. I prefer a combination square on my floats because they lock in the 90 position and still adjust for depths for windows or niches. Pics will come in next post.
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Unread 05-08-2021, 04:19 PM   #72
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To help explain last post
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Unread 05-08-2021, 04:27 PM   #73
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Unread 05-09-2021, 08:33 PM   #74
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Thanks guys, great descriptions
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Unread 05-12-2021, 05:58 PM   #75
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Thanks for all the advice and tips. Shower is floated and ready for Hydroban.

Putting aside the time it took, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out - flat, plumb and square. Cheated a bit with some NXT Patch to sharpen up outside corners which had crumbled, but I think that was due to cold joints...I had floated one face one day, and the adjacent face the next day.

Overall, was definitely a learning experience. The niche, framed opening, dropped header, 1” return, etc made this pretty ambitious for me, but glad I saw it through. I don’t envision doing another scratch and brown anytime soon but would be open to a 1-coat if I happen to get a project with a flexible timeframe like this one.
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