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Unread 06-06-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
overourheads_SF
Maia, San Francisco
 
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Jason's Steam Shower

Hi everyone,
Loving the advice gathered on this forum - have been reading for weeks now and finally ready to start my own thread!

We are ambitiously starting a steam shower in the only bathroom of a small single family home. (We are continuing to rent until the bathroom is usable - hence my earlier questions about "general time lines"). I say "Jason's" steam shower because Jason and his brother are doing all the work - and I'm the nosy body asking all the questions (you can probably see where this is going down the line... Luckily J's brother is an experienced tiler but the world of steam showers is new to all of us.

The house was built in 1900 so I'm sure we'll be in for some fun surprises along the way. So far, Jason has ripped out about 4 interesting layers of flooring (brown '70s tile, 2 layers of linoleum, some yellow plastic bakelite looking stuff) and the lath and plaster from the walls.

First question of many to come:
1. Doing some reseach on Noble vs Kerdi - I saw a post by CX that said:
"Noble Company (Eric's company above) makes sheet membranes that are some of the least permeable in the industry and excellent for that application. Schluter's Kerdi, while more permeable, is still a vapor barrier and also an excellent choice."
http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...d.php?p=883260

Can someone please provide a quick summary of the differences between the two for a steam shower - I understand both are fine, well-recommended products by those on this forum, but I am just not quite clear on the difference (price? ease of use?)

We've watched a lot of the videos on their websites - but I figured I'd ask here first to get some opinions before we call Noble and Schulter.

If it helps for context, the shower will be 7 ft l x 3 ft w x 8 ft h.

Because we all love pichers - I've attached some photos of the before: brown tiles from 1970's reno + 1 during the demo (mid May 2010) + where we are as of first week of June 2010.

Thank you for your advice on what I am sure will be a fun ride!
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Unread 06-06-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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Maia,

Welcome to the forum.

I prefer kerdi for the simple reason that it's thinner and they make all the add on components like the integrated drain with flange, kerdi band and kerdi fix. Being thinner, there are less overlap issues, its easier to turn corners and it weighs less when handling the rolls. It folds better. Other than that the end product is hairsplittingly the same, with a higher perm rating for the thicker stuff, iffin that matters to you.

"Jason" ya say? Gonna stick with that story? Is this the same as "doctor, I have this friend with a problem..." ? ok We'll roll with it but I still want to see a picture of this mysterious Jason. Holding todays newspaper would be a nice touch.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 06:10 PM   #3
overourheads_SF
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Smile

Thanks so much, Paul! Jason is too busy demo-ing to read the paper these days but he does exist! More questions to come...
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Unread 06-09-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
overourheads_SF
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Sealing tile before installing? Sonoma tilemakers for a steam shower?

Hi all - we are considering the Star line field tile from Sonoma Tilemakers - their site says:
OVERALL: These product lines are made with a semi-absorbent talc clay body. With this body particular attention must be paid to the following: 1) installation of an absorbent clay body; 2) usage of matte glazes; 3) extra care required for crackles in wet area. http://www.sonomatilemakers.com/TechnicalInfo.aspx

I called them and was told that for a steam shower - they recommend sealing the tiles before installation, sealing the grout, and sealing after installation with a penetrating sealer.

I hadn't heard about sealing the tiles before installation - would you advise against using this type of handmade tile in a steam shower? Has anyone used them in a steamer yet?

Thanks!
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Unread 06-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Hi Maia,

The crackle tiles from Sonoma are very absorbant and will require deligent and regular sealing in a steam shower - especially if you use the steam a lot. And because they are handmade and irregular you may need a larger joint than you might want in order to keep the tiles uniform so's there's another something to seal - bigger joints. However, if that's what you want you can stay on top of the sealing and after each use vent the shower to let it dry out.

I use the Sonoma tiles a lot and my customers love them and I have not had any problems so far.
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Unread 06-09-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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Maia,

I just installed some on a kitchen backsplash. I could hear them continue to crack after installation with thinset. Sounded like that breakfast cereal. We went back to seal them about a week later. They cracked some more when sealing. I would think with the wide teperature fluctuations I would avoid them in the steam shower.
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Unread 06-10-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
overourheads_SF
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Thanks Donnie - we will def avoid the crackle glaze tile - and go w/ the Star Glossy if we chose this manuf. Appreciate the tip on the grout joint - that could also be a deal breaker.

Thanks, Paul - definitely doing some re-considering now - I like my Rice Krispy's to stay in my cereal bowl! What would cause all that cracking noise? Are the tiles actually showing cracks on the surface? Egads.
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Unread 06-10-2010, 05:31 PM   #8
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Maia,

The crackle tile does show cracks kinda a spider-web effect.
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Unread 06-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #9
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We didnt take the time to set there and watch for new cracks to form, but it didn't take much of an examination to see the tiles fresh from the box had far fewer cracks in the glazing than the ones on the wall.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 12:27 AM   #10
overourheads_SF
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Doubling up sheet rock?

Hi all, we are about to purchase our Kerdi membrane for the steam shower. We'd like to use quarter round tile on the exterior of the shower. In order to do so, we think we need an extra 1/2 inch board of dry wall on top of the wall. One idea is to put two 1/2 inch sheets of dry wall on top of the studs in order to get the depth needed to accomodate the quarter round. Does this sound okay - or any other suggestions?

This is the plan:
Studs with insulation
1/2 inch dry wall
1/2 inch dry wall
Kerdi membrane
Thin set
Tile

Thanks!
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Unread 06-30-2010, 04:46 AM   #11
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Two layers of sheetrock are OK, if that's easier for you than furring the studs.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 05:11 PM   #12
overourheads_SF
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Thanks, Bob! Sounds good!
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