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Unread 10-03-2020, 11:39 AM   #1
Bdobz
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Brian's Kids Bath Project

Hi guys,
In the process of bathroom reno. Installing new tub and plan on tiling surround to ceiling.

8x16 subway type tiles
8x15 7/8ths actual with grout spacing added.
4.75" mosiac accent strip.

In mocking up, I am coming up with 9 full tiles up the wall left with last ceiling tile at 5.25"

1-Is it best practice to start with full tile at bottom and end with last tile 5.25", or cut the difference and have BOTH bottom and top tile slightly short at 6.75"?

2-Niche is currently off center to account for drain vents running thru wall. Will be framing out niche to accept prefab tile ready 16x20 niche.
I think it will look fine, but is it frounded upon to have niche off center on back wall? I could likely move the drain vent to accomodate center niche.

3-For side walls....I am thinking of "mirroring" the back wall-Meaning have the larger 16" tile off the 14" back wall tile and have the 8" tile off the 6" tile on back wall. Sie walls will be 32" so going 16"-16" and 8"-16"-8" next row and so forth.

Thank you,
Brian
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Unread 10-03-2020, 01:04 PM   #2
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Welcome, Brian.

1. Dealer's choice. The only industry "rule" is to have no cuts less than 1/2 of a full tile. I always prefer to tile my walls except the bottom row before installing the floor and always make allowance to cut that bottom row for the best fit. I would likely end up with cuts at the ceiling also, 'specially if I found the ceiling not to be perfectly level. Don't know when I've last seen a ceiling sufficiently level not to require some adjustment to wall tiles at that junction.

2. Niche is required to be located wherever Mrs. Brian says is a good location in most cases. No other standards apply.

3. Again, an aesthetic consideration. The more common recommendation seen here on the forums is to "wrap" the corners using the drop from the back wall cut to start the end wall layout, but that depends a lot upon how the other side of the end wall will end. Any well thought out and planned layout will suffice. See also #2 above.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-03-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thank you CX, I appreciate your reply.
I'll do some visualizing and consultation with the Mrs.

Brian
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Unread 10-04-2020, 07:38 AM   #4
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Welcome, Brian,

Worth considering, also, is if you start with a full tile at the tub deck you're going to be challenged with making the radius at the front of the tub, where it bends from the deck to the apron, look good. You'll see what I'm referring to if you lay a tile against the wall on the deck and allow it to run long past the face of the apron. Place another flat on the wall, its long edge against the apron, its short edge abutting the long edge of the first tile. See that rounded edge triangle? How big it is is determined by the tub's radius.

You may find the cleanest look is to cut your bottom row by an inch or two, except for those two ends, so you can machine a radius into the end tiles, not the tiles that make up the tub "leg".
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Unread 10-04-2020, 11:34 AM   #5
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Dan,
Excellent advise I had not thought about. I see exactly what you are saying and you made up my mind. I will be splitting the difference and cut the bottom tiles to 6.25 vs leaving at the full 8" so I can give the tile a little turndown cut. The new tub has pronounced curved edge vs the more square ones I have seen. Appreaciate that!

On another note-I am almost ready for final install of out new tub. American Standard Americast enameled Steel type tub. Been a bear as I had to move the drain assembly one inch towards the back wall as my demoed tub was different. Seconf story with no bottom or side access to the drain. LOts of measuring and dry fitting Not to mention chasing creaks from the back studs being so close tolerance to the tub.
Question is.....The plan is to furr the studs 1/4" or so to clear the tub flange and mounting screws/washers. As I understand, the proper install is to have the backer board(Hardi) clear the flange and sit spaced off the actual tub.
As I said I am planning on furring the walls to clear. Though.....this will likely cause another set of issues with mating to existing drywall.
I assume it is a no-no, but is it at all acceptable to notch the hardi 1/4'(or whatever to clear) to negate the need to furr out the studds and making joining to the drywall an easier project?
If not, I am thinking of extending the backer board our further than tile so I can mud a larger area to feather to the drywall. I think this will work, but adds a lot of finihs drywall.

Thanks!
Brian
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Unread 10-04-2020, 12:08 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that you can add or take away a row or two of mosaic tiles in the border to control the cut size at the top.

Like Cx said, most of the time we wrap the pattern thru the corners. This usually looks best and creates less waste. But, the cutoff tiles for the end walls can be cut off an inch or two if need be and it still have the wrapped around look. Or, if I have plenty of tiles and not worried about how much waste I have, I might make those cuts bigger. It depends on what's needed on the outside edge where it meets the paint.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 12:17 PM   #7
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If you are using Hardie you're going to have a minor problem butting up to the adjoining drywall anyway, Brian, as Hardie's 1/2" wall board isn't actually 1/2", more like 7/16th". So to keep it in the same plane as the drywall you'd need to fur it 1/16th, about the thickness of tar paper.

Ideally you do want the wall board to overhang the tub's flange, extending down to about 1/8" over the tub deck. On the Americast tubs the flange isn't all that thick, still certainly more than 1/16th", but there's also the probability the wall studs aren't all hard against the back of the flange anyway - which means you'd have to fur them out more.

Speaking of studs, if your plans include large format tile, any tile, really, you will want to consider making sure all the studs are in plane with each other and plum in order to avoid humps in the wall. You'll also want to be sure that there is enough framing where the drywall and Hardie abutt; a single 2X isn't going to cut it.

What is your plan for water proofing the walls?
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Unread 10-04-2020, 01:26 PM   #8
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AFter going back and forth I have decided to use redgard surface sealer. I will be installing a rediitile niche. Instructions say to seal where it meets backer board. Since I would need to surface seal that, I figure I will just do the whole thing that way.

The flange on the Americast tub is about 1/8th inch as the black insulation(or whatever it is called is the majority of the thickness).

Wall studs are pretty dang plumb verified with a large straight edge placed perpendicular along the walls to verify. One is a tad inset that I can take care of with drywall cardboard ferring strips.

Regarding the hardi thickness-Yes, I noticed it seems to be the thinest of the bunch. I am also entertaining the idea of Denshield as it is .49 actual thickness. Again I run into a problem with ferring the studs to clear the flange and mounting hardware.
On that same note, my niche is exactly 1/2" thick so that also pushed me towards the Denshield as it is the closest to actual 1/2". I've only worked with Hardi in the past. I am assuming if I make sure the edges and and joints are sealed with tape, thin set and Redgard I should be fine.
I am also guessing if I did go the Denshield route I would want to Redgard the bottom edge of the Denshield before installing.


Is notching the backer to clear the flange a no-no so negating the need to ferr the studs to clear? Obviously not including any minor ferring I have to do make walls plumb and true.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 03:56 PM   #9
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Brian, there are a number of other true CBUs out there that are a half-inch thick and I'd recommend one of them rather than the gypsum-cored DensShield. The place you purchased your Hardiebacker likely carries at least one of them.

Trying to cut any sort of reasonably sound rabbet on the edge of any CBU I've dealt with would be frustrating at best. Better you should fur out your wall or stop the CBU above the tub tiling flange and waterproof the gap with a strip of sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membrane.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 04:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advise CX. I'll look into Durock, as my Lowes carries it and it looks to be a true 1/2"

Can you recommend waterproof membrane you mentioned? Something like the Kerdi strips, though I believe those need to be embedded in thinset so I guess those wouldn't work.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 05:46 PM   #11
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KerdiBand would be an acceptable choice. You would bond it to the CBU with thinset mortar and to the tub flange with Kerdi Fix or similar product. Fairly simple and you can see the process on the Schluter Kerdi Website where you can download the Installation Instructions. Page number somewhere in the low 30s last time I looked.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-04-2020, 10:00 PM   #12
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Excellent, thank you! I will look into it and see if it will be an acceptable solution. Always good to have options. Thanks again. I really do appreciate it!
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Unread 10-08-2020, 10:25 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice so far, niche framing and backer installation is the plan for today. The tub installation took A LONG time, but it is finally in good, level and creak free!!

A couple other questions are running through my head.

The tile I am laying is 8x16 white glossy tile. It is fairly thin and light weight. I believe it is 8 mm.

I have a 1/4x1/4 square nothced trowel from previous tile project, I am seeing my size reccomends 1/4x3/8 square nothced. Should I buy another trowel in that size or will my 1/4x1/4 suffice?

I am going to use Natural Stone and Large Tile 50 lbs. White Premium Mortar
by Custom Building Products from HD for my thinset.
I will have glass mosiac sheet tile for the inside back face of the niche and a 5" accent strip on the walls. Do I need to buy special Glass tile thinset for those areas, or will the regular modified thinset suffice?

Thanks all,
Brian
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Unread 10-08-2020, 12:40 PM   #14
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If your walls are nice and flat, and the tiles are flat, you might be able to get by with the 1/4"X1/4" trowel, Brian, if you first back butter each tile. Only way to know for sure is to set one then pull it off to check for coverage, then continue checking coverage every so often.

I used Custom's Versabond, and not the LFT version of the same, for setting most of the 12X24's in my bathroom. When it came to the glass accent I used either VB or Custom's Flexbond (was a year ago; see my signature). However, my glass tile had a plastic backing on it so I wasn't actually trying to set "glass" tile. The VB/FB worked great.
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Unread 10-09-2020, 09:44 AM   #15
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Thanks for the reccs Dan, I will look into the thinset you mentioned. I think I will just buy the larger 1/4x3/8 trowel.

So we got the niche framed out and dry fitted and I am very happy with that. LOTS of measuring, calculating and remeasuring for the niche as I wanted the bottom grout line of the niche line up with the grout line of the lower field tile. Also made sure the grout lines of the field tiles on either side of the niche are even. Anyways, feeling quite confident on that part.

The backer did not go up as the process of flattening the studs is arduous.
Proud, shy, tweaked oh my. One stud has a large slit on the backside causing large dip in the middle of the stud.

Anyways, taking out time with straight edges and ferring as needed.
Likley going to need to slighty shave off some edges of a couple studs that are slightly tweaked in parts.

Question is how perfect do most installers make the wall. I mean is a 1/16th off here and there able to be compensated with skimming the backer board after install before tiling to flatten any dips? Able to slighty compensate further with the tile placement in the troweled thinset?
1/8th here and there?

Just looking to see how perfect I need them to be before putting up the backer. Of course perfect is...perfect haha.

Thanks
Brian
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