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Unread 05-12-2020, 07:54 PM   #1
jmberg
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first timer, plan for non-plumb wall. Does it work?

I'm preparing for my first ever tile project of tub surround. The one challenge I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is how to deal with a non plumb outside edge. The wall with the plumbing is about 1/2" narrower at the top than the base. In other words that outside edge leans in towards the tub. Before I realized this, I was planning on using 2x6 bullnose subway tiles for that edge, matching the 4x12 daltile subway tiles I'm using throughout. That, I think, would mean I'd need cut the tile next to the bullnose at the bullnose edge to compensate all the way up. I'm having a hard time imagining doing every one of those tapering cuts to perfection as a first time DIYer. not even sure how to approach that anyway.

Here's what I'm thinking could be an easier, feasible solution for me. I'll run the subway tiles right out to that outside edge, and as I go up, I'll mark (by using the actual wall edge as a guide) each of those tiles for cutting as I go. I can then maintain my level tiles and grout lines throughout. To cover the rough edge, I'll use a schluter rondec trim.

Does that sound like a decent plan to address that out of plum edge? Any other ideas? Thanks!
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Unread 05-12-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Jeff.

That’s a perfectly fine plan. Nothing wrong with that.

If you prefer the look of bullnose, I see that the wall is in a state where you could straighten it without a lot of extra work.

But before I assume too much, can you tell us what plan you’ve got for the end of that unfinished wall? I’m especially interested because, based on your measurement, that the wall might be flush with the front apron of the tub. And the area adjacent to the tub apron where it meets another wall is historically a common place for moisture damage to occur. It’s a great place to have tile to protect the drywall.

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Unread 05-13-2020, 05:54 AM   #3
jmberg
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Thanks for the welcome and help! That wall is not quite flush with the tub apron. I have a small sliver to deal with. I'm still wondering about how I should finish that adjacent wall. the last owner covered the whole bathroom and 1/4-in MDF beadboard panel on top of the crumbly plaster and lath walls. That paneling was also on that roughly 5-in surface you're asking about. I don't think I can build out that surface plum because nothing would match up on the backside where the panel ends flush with the edge. and as you can now maybe see in the pic, it's not drywall. It's rough wood at this point.

I could either put up quarter inch panel again like the rest of the bathroom, quarter inch drywall, or tile. If I were to run tile on that edge with another schluter strip on the back outside corner, would it look aesthetically strange if I had no vertical grout lines? Just stacked 4x5 tiles all the way up? Or would I want to a middle, verticle groutline every other row? Thanks again!
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Unread 05-13-2020, 06:23 AM   #4
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I suspect you're too far along for this suggestion to be anything you'd want to hear, but being in the same DIY shoes, I would add a 2x4 to the outer edge of that wall, shimming between it and the out-of-plumb one so the added 2x4 is plumb. That would also give you more space along the tub apron so you don't have a narrow sliver of tile and give you a better shot at really waterproofing that joint between the apron and the wall. You'd have to replace the CBU along that wall too, which adds more work to the equation.

Like I said, probably more work than you'd like...
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Unread 05-13-2020, 07:51 AM   #5
jmberg
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Thanks, Tony. At this stage, I'm committed to working with what I've got here. There's no way I can build out that wall to plumb without then having to redo the entire wall surface on the backside of that plumbing wall, which I really don't want to do.
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Unread 05-13-2020, 10:44 AM   #6
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Welcome, Jeff.

I would do exactly as Tony suggests in post #4. Give yourself at least a fighting chance at a useful, waterproofed tub leg. That's generally the first point of failure in any tub/shower installation.

Replacing some CBU and refinishing a short wall is a very small price to pay for a more substantial installation. And having a near perfectly plumb wall will make your shower tile installation look much better.

I know stepping backwards in any project is a PITA, but just look at it as a learning experience that you'll appreciate every time you use that shower.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-13-2020, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks again for the helpful replies. Just to make sure I understand, you're saying the challenge of tiling and effectively waterproofing that little sliver along the tub apron is reason enough to undo the job back to reframing that wall? How would plumbing the wall make that area any less susceptible to water damage? I'll make sure to seal the hell out of it.
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Unread 05-13-2020, 12:20 PM   #8
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Plumbing the wall would not make the tub leg less susceptible to water damage, Jeff, but it would make it easier to make an attractive tile layout from the floor to the top of your wall while having a well waterproofed tile leg.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-13-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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I would do the same, add to the end of the wall. Even if you don't, I'd run the bullnose up plumb and float out the end of the wall making it plumb. No way would I cut the row next to the BN.
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Unread 05-15-2020, 09:31 AM   #10
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best practice in bathtub: center tiles or avoid skinny end tiles?

Hello. I'm planning my layout for my first bathtub surround tile job. I'm using 4 1/4 x 12 7/8 (actual) subway tiles with 1/8 grout lines, running bond. The back wall measures 57.5.

If I were to center my tiles, I think I'll be left with <3" sliver. If I don't center, then I have a larger alternating end tile. What's more important, centering on that back wall, or avoiding skinny tiles on the edges?

There are no features (to otherwise draw attention to centering) on that wall. I have a niche on the shower wall. Thanks for any thoughts/guidance.
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Unread 05-15-2020, 12:43 PM   #11
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Hi Jeff,

I would center the field. 3 in. isn't bad for that type of tile.
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Unread 05-15-2020, 03:08 PM   #12
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2-3" isn't so bad. 1" would qualify as a sliver

Just as important is laying out the side walls correctly so you get a pleasing flow across the corners. I posted a method from the Floor Elf here which explains how to do it.

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Unread 05-28-2020, 07:13 AM   #13
jmberg
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sanded or unsanded for 1/8" grout lines in subway tile?

Hi Folks,

I see a lot of confusing language regarding when unsanded grout can/should be used. For example, "unsanded grout should be used in joints that are less than 1/8-inch," while "sanded grout should be used for flooring and wall joints wider than 1/8 inch." But this and similarly confusing language that I see elsewhere doesn't tell me what I should actually use for 1/8" grout lines! Is there a definitive recommendation for 1/8" grout lines (on subway tiles in a shower)? Sanded or not? Thanks!
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Unread 05-28-2020, 08:40 AM   #14
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1/8" is the "break point" where either could be used. Sanded is usually more robust and most prefer it. I like the "Prism" grout from Home Depot. Would work well in your case.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 10:52 AM   #15
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Sanded Grout

Will the sanded grout damage the gloss on the ceramic tile?
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