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Unread 05-30-2020, 05:44 PM   #1
jacklynhydejr
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Is this uneven wall workable?

After reading enough tiling horror stories, I am just going into this expecting the worst.

Contractor put the cement wall up, but it is not flat. I asked how are the tiles supposed to lay flat if the wall underneath it isn't, to which he replied that you just put the tile mortar thicker where necessary to get them level. If this was the case and it was such a simple solution, I feel like there wouldn't be post after post about ensuring walls are level prior to tiling.

So this is the wall, which gets worse as you move upwards (~1/4" difference at its worst). If you were called to the job, what would you do? Sort it out yourself and be confident you could avoid lippage or have the contractor come back and level it? I'm going with 6x12" tiles. I'd greatly appreciate any advice.

Also, anyone work in Brooklyn, NY? I need a tiler who has pride in their work!
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Unread 05-30-2020, 07:31 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Rachel.

It's helpful to put a geographic location into your User Profile so it appears in each post to aid in answering some types of questions.

If you don't plan to do this work yourself and want to seek a professional here, start a thread in the Professionals' Hangout with your request and location in the title. You can add a link to this thread for any discussion.

The tile industry standard for substrate flatness (you cannot "level" your walls or they become part of the floor) for the size tiles you intend to use is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/4" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in one foot.

Trying to flatten the walls by adjusting the bonding mortar while setting the tiles can be a real lesson in frustration at times. I can't say that your tile contractor can't do it in your shower, but his not making an effort to flatten the walls before tiling does not instill confidence. Up to you, of course, whether you want to let him continue.

Even more important is how he plans to waterproof the shower. Have you discussed that?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-30-2020, 07:59 PM   #3
jacklynhydejr
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Thank you for the warm welcome and the lesson on tiling vernacular @CX!

Geographical location updated. Thanks for directing me to the professional's hangout. I will post my request for service there.

As for the wall, let me clarify further - my general contractor put up the cement board and is essentially passing the buck onto whatever tiler I find to deal with his non-flat wall. Another reason to just fob me off saying it will be fine.

I read that it is easier to fix this now than trying to adjust bond mortar to flatten - and indeed your comment supports this. I also don't want to set the tiler up for an uphill battle, especially with expensive tiles and a picky me.

There is definitely a deviation from the intended plane of more than 1/16th" in one foot, so I guess this should be fixed prior to attempting to tile? I can try to level this by myself, which may or may not be a good idea. How many people go into things saying, "I've watched a YouTube video - I've got this" That happened when I tackled painting the ceiling, and no, it progressed nothing like on the video. I don't learn though.

As for waterproofing, I bought RedGuard with the intention of doing that myself. My plan was to have it flat and waterproofed, ready for the tiler to come in and do their thing. Of course, things aren't going to plan.
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Unread 05-30-2020, 09:09 PM   #4
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
I can try to level this by myself, which may or may not be a good idea.
Mmmm, there's that word again.

I very strongly recommend against that. Same goes for the waterproofing.

If you do any of the work between what the GC has done and what the tile installer will do, everything that goes wrong with this shower, now or in future, will be your fault.

If you're paying to have the work done, have all the work done so everyone knows who's responsible for what.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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