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Unread 03-10-2006, 09:02 AM   #1
Louise Jewell
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building a custom ceramic tile soaking tub

I am redoing my master bath...so far it is gutted (10x10), I've got one side (4x10) as a combo dual shower area and soaking tub (apx 42"x42"x 26" hi. The shower area has a partition wall and 24" wide step in area between the tub and that wall.

The plumbers have installed all the plumbing for the two shower heads, shower drain, tub fill and tub drain. Yesterday they put the sand down and installed the shower pan in the shower area and the tub.

Now comes the conflict: they are advising me to let them put a mesh over the tub fabric, then some kind of concrete material.
My tile setter said to use durock and he would put "mud" in and tile over the durock.

I don't know which way to go. I'll be tiling around the top lip of the tub and 2 sides as well as the interior wall which is the other 2 sides. In place of an overflow, we have made a V-like depression along the top of the tub that faces the shower area, so if it should overflow it will go to the shower drain.

Would appreciate any advice. If I go the concrete route it'll take me $1700 over my budget!
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Unread 03-10-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
JTG
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Louise
I think you have not had any response because it is hard to picture what is going on here.
Pictures or drawing you can post? Most of us have to see it to figure out what to do.
Do I understand correct the inside the tub the tile guy wanted to put up Durock, and then coat? I see problems of screws or nails thru the tub that could comprimise its integrity.
What is the tub fabric? I take it that tile can't be set on it the way it is. The plumbers way sounds to me the most waterproof based on your description.
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Unread 03-10-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
Louise Jewell
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building a custom ceramic tile soaking tub

Jerry, thanks for your response. I tried to load some good pics but the file is too big for this site. I have sent you an email direct with the pics, in hope that you'll have an answer or opinion.

As for the durock attaching to the insides, I have been researching waterproof membrane sealants and thought maybe that would work. I found one called Mapelastic HPG that looks good and easy to apply.

Do you think if I put two pieces of durock on the inside opposite sides and then put two others on the opposite so that they created outward pressure and only screwed in around the top where water doesn't sit, then coat the whole mess with the waterproofing, it might work?

The tile guy will put his mud on the bottom and I thought that would add the outward pressure at the bottom. The plumbers did an excellent job with the shower pan material and the drain.

Comments appreciated. Louise
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Unread 03-11-2006, 10:31 AM   #4
Mike2
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Here are your pictures Louise. Jerry forwarded your email to me.
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Unread 03-11-2006, 12:40 PM   #5
Louise Jewell
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building a custom ceramic tile soaking tub

thanks for posting the pics. As of today, Saturday, we have removed the rest of the fiberglas insulation and put this foam core sheets along the walls and then black waterproof paper over that. Now the durock is going over that in the shower area.

I'm letting the tub sit till Monday, Plumber is coming back to water test the shower pan and see if we can work a better deal to have him do mesh and concrete.

I'd appreciate any comments on the durock-in-tub idea vs. concrete.

Thanks. Louise
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Unread 03-11-2006, 04:20 PM   #6
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Guy's please help Louise here. Looks like no preslop. No blocking around bottom of either shower or tub. Nothing on the walls of tubs.
I have a very busy weekend and don't have time.
Mike thank for posting up the pic's
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Unread 03-11-2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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Louise, when I first saw these pictures this morning I didn't have the heart to get into it.

Jerry mentioned a few of the problems, I see more including but not limited to all the pressure treated lumber. Without getting into all the nuts and bolts, the very best advice this member can give you is to:

a.) Get a real tile guy in there to mud the walls, the floor, and the tub. Mud = mesh and concrete using your words. And get a couple bids.

b.) While I admit I don't know the experience level of your plumber, let me just say I would not want any plumber I know going any further with that project. The plumbing part is done.

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P.S. If I ever saw an ideal canidate for a Kerdi installation, this would be it. However what's done is done so lets try to make the best of it.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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Sorry, Louise, but I see some serious "issues" there, too.

Just off the top of my head I'm wondering about some of the corners of that tub liner. Not sure how you'd even do a leak test without any backing over the stud walls there. I trust that it's not been leak tested?

The treated wood framing is gonna be a problem, as Mike points out. Way too much movement during drying for that stuff to be used in tiling applications in my view.

The lack of blocking behind the liner anywhere is also a problem, especially when you're trying to leak test the shower pan. Also doesn't provide you anything to block the bottoms of your CBU walls against for stability when you install your mud bed.

Large shower like that with no pre-slope is a very bad thing, indeed, if that's what you've got.

I just don't see how you can effectively mud that tub without backing behind the liner, even if the liner should actually be waterproof. A good mud man can mud it, of course, but I'm not sure you won't end up with enough flex to at least crack the grout joints.

I've gotta agree with Mike2 that this would be a very fine application for Kerdi, or a Kerdi-like membrane system.

There are some other little things at a glance, like no blocking for the tub spout in the wall, that we can get into, but first I think you need to take a hard look at the basic construction of the project.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 09:49 AM   #9
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Hi Louise,

Let me try to pick it up here. The pressure problem is going to be outward on the tub. You have to contain about forty gallons of water in there, and that much "head pressure" is going to push out on the tub walls something fierce. I don't think your structure is strong enough to take it. Also, there should be plywood sheathing inside the studs under the liner. As it is there is nothing to keep the liner from caving outward when the water pressure hits it.

Using that type of liner (properly installed, and yours is not), the only viable method of tiling is the mud method, meaning lath and mortar will be applied to the walls of the tub on the inside at least. The lath must be draped into the tub and fastened only on the tops of the walls. You cannot penetrate the liner with anything.

The pressure treated lumber is still wet, and it will dry and shrink after you've covered it up. This will raise hell with your tile installation. We recommend the use of kiln dried lumber only.

There is no "pre-slope" under the pan liner in the shower. We have posted several articles on proper shower construction in our Liberry.

I hate to be mean, but I would recommend starting over with someone who knows what he or she is doing. Right now you've got problems with your plumbing help and with your tiling help. Lack of knowledge.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 10:01 AM   #10
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I agree with the others, not sure if it will work. I think the framing might need to be beefed up to hold the water pressure too. Tile doesn't like movement. Kerdi would be a better choice than using a pan liner in my opinion also.

If it were mine, I'd go to the trouble to set forms and pour the walls about 4- 6 inches thick and use Kerdi over the concrete. With added rebar, it wouldn't go anywhere.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 01:51 PM   #11
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1st post here so take it for what it's worth. You only need treated where the wood meets concrete and the fellas are correct, that stuff shrinks and moves like crazy. We (my guys) have built 2 soakers and the framing was much more advanced with much larger (2x12) dimensional lumber. As someone already posted the tile guy used rebar and lots of mesh and concrete for the walls. Kind of like a mini swiming pool. You could always do a cool surround and a Kohler Sok tub.

Not my pic, but I have installed one.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 01:57 PM   #12
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Thanks, Builder. Give us a name, will ya?
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Unread 03-12-2006, 02:01 PM   #13
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Sorry John,
Jason

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Unread 03-12-2006, 02:11 PM   #14
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And welcome to you, Jason.

Come on over to the Professionals' Hangout and introduce yourownself to the troops and give us a little background. Lotta good tile pros there and some good folks from other trades as well.

We can always use more help answering questions here in the Advice forum, and I usually gotta take all the "damn contractors" flack myownself. Be nice to have help with that, too.
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Unread 03-12-2006, 05:04 PM   #15
Louise Jewell
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building a custom ceramic tile soaking tub

oh my god!!!!!
Thanks to all of you for your wise input. I am now very afraid...

especially about the pressure treated lumber and no backing on the tub liner...it all makes sense.

I am working with a licensed experienced plumber who has done the actual plumbing part, but my handyman has done the framing.

I need to meet with my plumber tomorrow with all the notes and info I have now to save this project before I really make a big mistake.

I'll let you know how it goes. Louise
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