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Unread 10-29-2022, 06:44 AM   #1
borisj
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Can I install Schluter Profile on alcove edge the day before tiling?

Hello – and thanks to everyone here for the helpful posts over the years! I’m tiling a tub/shower alcove with 6x12 subway tile. The alcove will end with Schluter Rondec. I’m a small-time framer and remodeler and have never tiled before, but I’ve prepared… a lot (the walls are even flat and plumb haha).

*Question: Can I install the Rondec trim profile one day, let it dry, then come back and tile later? *

The most I've found on JB is CX saying "I've never install a length of that edge trim material and waited a day to tile to it, but I'd recommend against it. Seems the build-up of mortar on the foot of the trim might interfere with the setting of the tiles. But maybe not."

And every video I’ve found shows tiling immediately after installing trim. But there is no way I’ll be able to tile up an 8’ H valve wall with 6” H tile before the thinset on the Rondec hardens. I also just want to take my time… I’m a tradesperson so I know to take new things slow. But I want to follow best practices here too. Thanks for any advice.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 07:15 AM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, James!

The pros are cringing at the thought of this. It’s not impossible, though.

If the walls in question are actually flat planes, and if you install the profiles in an extremely straight line exactly parallel to with where the ends of the full tiles will be (if you’ve got full tiles out there), and if you install the profiles without mortar globs getting in the way (the profile leg is supposed to be encased in mortar, and if you install the tile in plane exactly with the profiles, it will work.

If you do this, I’d recommend tiling the back 5’ wide wall completely, then penciling your level layout lines on the 32”-ish wide ‘wet’ wall and the wall farthest from the wet wall. Install the profile on the outside, and start tiling there working inwards. By starting at the profile, you’re more likely to have a neater union between the two.

Absent doing this, I’d recommend tiling the entire shower except for the outer tiles that will be adjacent to the profiles. Cut all your perimeter pieces to size. Then mix mortar, install the outer tiles, then slip the profile behind the still-wet mortar. I can’t stress enough how much I recommend a non-sag mortar for you.

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Unread 10-29-2022, 07:28 AM   #3
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Welcome, James,

I haven't installed much of those trim pieces but from my limited experience I'd tend to agree with CX. They are designed to be mechanically held in place by the mortar squeezing through the cutouts in the flange because mortar doesn't really adhere to the flange. If you pre-install them with mortar you'd have to ensure enough mortar squeezes through, which might then cause a mortar high spot, and might then present a challenge when installing the tile.

I have read of some folks using hot glue to tack them in place, but I think most just cut them to length and install them at the same time as the tile. Won't matter if you can install only a few rows of tile at a time, just tape the unsupported length of the trim to the wall so it isn't flopping about.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 08:36 AM   #4
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When I have done a long section of profile I hold it in place with painters tape and remove tape as I go. I am like you there is no way I can tile up 8 ft before it dries. It does not take a lot of thin set to hold it in place.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 09:37 AM   #5
borisj
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You guys are so helpful....... that I'm gonna break the cardinal rule of forums and write a longer reply than my own op~

To Phil ---

"When I have done a long section of profile I hold it in place with painters tape and remove tape as I go. I am like you there is no way I can tile up 8 ft before it dries. It does not take a lot of thin set to hold it in place."

So you don't put any thinset under the embedding leg?

*********

To Dan---

"If you pre-install them with mortar you'd have to ensure enough mortar squeezes through, which might then cause a mortar high spot, and might then present a challenge when installing the tile."

This feels like a rock & a hard place... one guy on Reddit recommended I could just float the mortar out a ways (like with drywall joints) to avoid this problem. But I could see how that's unpredictable, and I don't know if All-Set expands or contracts as it dries. Schluter says to set it in thinset, meaning I need thinset under the leg... but if I don't, then I'd think the hot glue is best I can do. The profile won't be adhered as well, but I mean, with thinset + 6-12" L tiles atop it, is it really gonna come loose? And around the outside corner is drywall with a vinyl J-channel..

***********************************

To Bubba --
"If the walls in question are actually flat planes, and if you install the profiles in an extremely straight line exactly parallel to with where the ends of the full tiles will be (if you’ve got full tiles out there)..."

It's a running bond pattern, so some tiles are full, some roughly half. That's part of why it'd be hard for me to tile the whole thing while the Rondec's mortar is still wet (especially on the valve wall).

"... and if you install the profiles without mortar globs getting in the way (the profile leg is supposed to be encased in mortar..."

What if I just put a thin layer of mortar under the leg, then scrape it flat w/a drywall knife, then do the rest of the "encasing" when I'm setting the tile?

"... and if you install the tile in plane exactly with the profiles..."

That's the point of the profile right? Everything I've read, including from Schluter, says that for smaller/thinner tiles (mine's 6" x 12" x ~5/16"), just use a profile that's the same height as the tile...

"If you do this, I’d recommend tiling the back 5’ wide wall completely..."

This design also features 1/2" thick tempered glass corner shelves... so I was thinking of doing the first 4 rows of the back wall (up to where the first shelf goes), then the end wall, since the shelf sits atop em... I feel like I'll get better lines around the shelf this way, and it's what I generally see people doing.

"By starting at the profile, you’re more likely to have a neater union between the two."

Makes sense.

"Absent going this, I’d recommend tiling the entire shower except for the outer tiles that will be adjacent to the profiles. Cut all your perimeter pieces to size. Then mix mortar, install the outer tiles, then slip the profile behind the still-wet mortar."

What's the benefit here? My concern is that it's gonna be harder to leave an empty stairsteppy "column" of runnong bond pattern, but maybe that doesn't matter?

"I can’t stress enough how much I recommend a non-sag mortar for you."

I got a good deal on a bunch of Schluter All-Set... non-saggy enough?
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Unread 10-29-2022, 11:19 AM   #6
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Correct, no thinset under the profile and no issues with them staying in place. I have 3 tile installation using this method.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 02:32 PM   #7
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From a Schluter class, on a floor, you want to set the profile into mortar, but on a wall, that is not necessary. So, on a wall, you could just tape it in place...easiest, just before you start to set tile, then spread thinset over the filing flange. That way, it's also easier to ensure you don't end up with the profile sitting proud of the profile.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 04:21 PM   #8
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James, if you can get it in the right spot there's no problem in my opinion setting the profile with mortar and tape - just be sure to flatten and scrape excess mortar off where tiles will go while its wet. I've also done it with just tape on a long vertical piece and set the mortar in the leg holes as I set tile.
I attached a photo example on a window trim-out where I set the piece in mortar with no tile then came back later and set tiles.

BUT....if you are ending at the Rondec with any whole tiles, make sure your math is all good so you don't end up short.
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Unread 10-29-2022, 10:27 PM   #9
Tool Guy - Kg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borisj
It's a running bond pattern, so some tiles are full, some roughly half. That's part of why it'd be hard for me to tile the whole thing while the Rondec's mortar is still wet (especially on the valve wall).
If you start tiling from the outside and work your way in, you have the luxury of cutting 100% of those half tiles ahead of time and eliminate much of the fuss of dealing with a running bond pattern. I’d much prefer this method.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Guy - Kg
"Absent doing this [starting from the outside and working in as described above], I’d recommend tiling the entire shower except for the outer tiles that will be adjacent to the profiles. Cut all your perimeter pieces to size. Then mix mortar, install the outer tiles, then slip the profile behind the still-wet mortar."
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisj
What's the benefit here? My concern is that it's gonna be harder to leave an empty stairsteppy "column" of runnong bond pattern, but maybe that doesn't matter?
The benefit is that you can spend as much time as you want tiling all, but the perimeter tiles. Then you can take all the time you want to cut all the perimeter tiles…the only thing you gotta do with some efficiency is drop all the pre-cut tiles in place and slip in the profile edge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by borisj
I got a good deal on a bunch of Schluter All-Set... non-saggy enough?
If you want the benefits of non-sag mortar, then the answer is “No”. I’d go with a mortar listed as “non-sag”. A good non-sag mortar will hold the tile where you put it so you’re not fighting the tile oozing down the wall. But if you don’t mind using spaces and/or wedges, a non-sag isn’t necessary.

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Unread 10-29-2022, 10:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldstein
If you want the benefits of non-sag mortar, then the answer is “No”. I’d go with a mortar listed as “non-sag”. A good non-sag mortar will hold the tile where you put it so you’re not fighting the tile oozing down the wall.
Schluter says their All-Set meets ANSI A118.4T, Tonto.
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Unread 10-30-2022, 07:21 PM   #11
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That T designation is news to me. I’ve missed that.

When I first read Schluter’s literature describing it as “sag-resistant”, I took it to mean it has less performance than one described as “non-sag”. I don’t tile as often as I used to, but I’ve used AllSet a bunch of times and am just finishing a wall job with it now. And I’ve never felt like has the non-sag qualities of say, Tec’s 3’N1, or Laticrete’s 4XLT or their awesome old 255.

Has anyone else used it in a non-sag capacity that can attest to its performance? I’m really curious on this.
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Unread 10-30-2022, 08:48 PM   #12
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ANSI standard (A118.4) doesn't refer to it as non-sag, Goldstein, they refer to the property as "sag resistant" on vertical surfaces, designation T. For not slumping into the mortar on horizontal surfaces, they are called "mortar for large and heavy tiles" and the designation is H. Lotsa qualifier letters these days. You can also have F for rapid set, E for extended open time, and some combinations thereof.

To be considered T, the mortar in the standard test must allow the tile to sag no more than 0.02 inches after 20 minutes. But in my experience you gotta mix those mortars exactly right to achieve that. I still prefer spacers, especially wedge-type, on wall applications with standard modified mortars.

Just more fun things to know.
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Unread 11-07-2022, 05:27 AM   #13
borisj
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When to remove spacers / thinset "setup" time?

Hello, I'm about to tile my first shower with 6x12s, with All-Set + 1/8" horseshoe shims. Rubi and some other "official sources" I've read say to remove em 20-30m "after the thinset begins to set up."

Silly question maybe, but when does thinset "begin to set up"? All-Set has a 20-30m open time and 2-4h pot life. So does a 30m clock start running as soon as the thinset is spread on the wall?

I'm probably overthinking this, since in videos, I see guys tiling an entire shower without stopping every 30m to pull spacers. And it'd be less stressful to just pull em out the next day! I know to keep the grout joints clean around em at least. Trying to avoid tiles moving or spacers getting stuck. Thanks!
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Unread 11-07-2022, 06:46 AM   #14
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We usually pull spacers next day James, and keep everything as clean as we can as we're tiling. I've pulled spacers same day just because I was running short on them but it's not a regular practice.
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Unread 11-07-2022, 10:14 AM   #15
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What Justin said, James, pull them the next day. Some might be a little stubborn but they'll come out.
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