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Unread 01-12-2021, 10:03 AM   #1
kennyrboggs
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Kenny's second bathroom remodel-back from hiatus

It has been a long time, and I don't recall my prior username, but when I GC'd my last house build in 2007-8 used this forum, read john's kerdi book, and tackled all of my own tile work including a travertine master bath that I loved.

Fast forward 13 years, new wife and new house :-), and we are updating our master bath which will not be as elaborate, but getting excited about another bathroom project.

We are converting a tub/shower combo to a larger walk in shower with a straight frameless glass shower door that I may even tackle myself when the time comes.

I used the Schluter system in my last huge walk in shower on the second floor of my last home, and feel confident in it and not a lick of problems with it in 12 years. So planning to utilize the complete kerdi kit with offset drain, add a kerdi bench, and extend the pan with deck mud maybe an additional 6 inches. I am also installing a handheld shower on the wall, and a 16 inch rain shower head in the ceiling. I feel good about using the kerdi kit and system from my prior dealings and refreshing my knowledge on youtube.

But we are planning on installing 12 x 24 porcelain marble look matt tiles in the shower wall bricked or offset depending on how flat they are, and bathroom floor, mosaic accent strip on wall and in the 2 schluter niche's, 2 x 2 porcelain in a similar marble look on the shower floor, in addition to new vanity and all that stuff. I plan on using Schluter all set for the kerdi and large tile, in the shower, and maybe another thinset for large tiles on the bathroom floor, all set is readily available locally if that is a good choice.

The one item that is wearing me down is what grout to use. I would like to use something more stain resistant in the shower or possibly in the entire bathroom since walls and floor are only going to be around 280 square feet total. I have laid a couple thousand square feet of tile so far, and have gotten pretty decent at grouting with normal stuff, but never used epoxy before. The local store was pushing Mapei ultra color plus FA as an upgrade in the shower or just the shower floor, but reading a lot of issues with it being difficult to work with. I am planning on using a light to medium grey grout, and swore I would never use anything pre-mixed, but with the new advancements in the last 10 years I am thinking hard about the new Spectralock 1 in the shower or entire room unless someone can talk me out of it? I have not been sold on the other newer pre-mixes for showers with issues I have been hearing. I would like to avoid standard grout and sealing, if I can find a suitable option that is not terrible to install, and more stain resistant. I am even open to epoxy if that is the best option for maybe just the shower or just shower floor? I am just outside of the Charlotte NC area, so fairly decent access to products.

I know Spectralock 1 is pretty new, but is there anything else I should consider that is going to hold up well in a shower that would offer more benefits and not a bear to apply since I will be working by myself most likely?

Added a pic of my last bathroom I DIY'd that I loved. Not bad for my first tile bathroom ever I dont think. I am also a OCD pre-planner and detail oriented, thus why the hours of researching grout choices now is frying my brain.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 02:25 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Kenny,

Afraid I can't offer any illuminating input on any of the newer pre-mixed goop, but I can whole heartedly endorse and recommend epoxy grout, specifically Spectralock Pro Premium. Used it in my recent master bathroom overhaul. While it isn't the most fun to install on walls I didn't have any challenges with clean up or color match between batches. I like that it's water proof, too, less chance of mold/mildew growth.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 03:52 PM   #3
kennyrboggs
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Thanks, I am strongly considering epoxy also. Price appears similar, but the new spectralock 1 has my interest. I can get kerapoxy locally if I go the epoxy route also, but hear better things about cleaning up the spectralock pro.
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Unread 01-12-2021, 06:24 PM   #4
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For quite some time now, the epoxy grouts have been considered the "gold standard" and were quite popular. Difficult to install and the gray may prove to be no problem for you. Biggest complaint I've seen is with the lighter colours.

The epoxy mix is sort of yellow and there have been complaints of the grout taking that tint...

I used to use the "Fusion Pro" grout extensively, with good results. In the last couple of years, I have switched to the Mapai "Flexcolor CQ" grout as I find it a tad more workable. Very small aggregates, it is antimicrobial. holds very true colour and is pre-sealed. Yes, it is premixed and is not cheap...but I prefer it to epoxy grout. Worth looking into and just another way to skin a cat....
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Unread 01-14-2021, 12:10 AM   #5
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Kenny,

Having just recently used Spectralock 1 on my own remodel, I can't recommend it enough. I don't worry much about the cost as long as the product I'm getting is worth it. It was very easy to work with and clean. Best part, grout as much or as little as you want. Just seal the tub up and get back to it when ready. I used it on smooth and also on textured porcelain and both were easy to clean. I used two wash buckets, two sponges with one side that had microfiber on it, and a doodle scrub pad (doodle scrub saw very, very little use). Microfiber was the real key to clean the remaining grout residue off of the tile. I tried a microfiber cloth as well, but found the sponge with one side with microfiber superior. I used smoke grey and chestnut brown. Both colors came out great and consistent. Smoke grey and the corresponding smoke grey Latasil silicone match the Schluter classic grey profile color nearly perfectly...just an FYI since you seem to like the Schluter stuff.
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Unread 01-15-2021, 11:07 AM   #6
kennyrboggs
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Best way to match mosaic strip to remaining wall tile

Doing 3/8" porcelain 12 x 24's on shower walls with most likely a 1/2 square notch trowel, with a thin mosaic strip 1 foot wide through it. I was going to add a layer of 3/16' kerdi board then tile over which was the best option I found, but cant find any locally and shipping is expensive for 1 sheet.

Its a kerdi shower, and I could to an extra layer of thinset or back butter and let it dry, then tile, but figure that would hard tokeep level. Would 1/4inch hardi backer built out on top of the kerdi be acceptable? Or is there another trick to bring it out level with the larger tiles?
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Unread 01-15-2021, 11:48 AM   #7
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Kenny,
You may see if there are any local distributors that carry Wedi building panels as another option. They are available in 1/8" and 1/4" thicknesses. You could adhere the mosaic to the panel and after it's sufficiently cured, you could then thinset the panel to the Kerdi.
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Unread 01-21-2021, 03:56 AM   #8
kennyrboggs
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I have decided do do spectralock epoxy in sterling silver on the shower floor, and spectralock 1 in silver shadow for the rest of the bathroom and shower walls. Going to check on the availability of wedi or other panels for building out the area behind the mosaic tiles.


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Unread 02-17-2021, 11:31 AM   #9
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Had to remove a tile from kerdi, ok or patch?

Long story, but on the wall where my frameless shower door was to be anchored had a tile sticking out too much for my liking, and decided to go ahead and break it out and remove it. Schluter all set was used, and thinset was scraped off or
ground off with a grout removal blade. The thinset ripped off most of the face of the kerdi exposing fleece. I repaired a couple tears with kerdi fix, but would the rest be considered waterproof still, or should I patch the whole area with kerdi band??




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Unread 02-17-2021, 04:11 PM   #10
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Hi Kenny,

The waterproofing layer is actually the orange membrane behind the fleece, so you should be okay. Mix your thinset on the "loose" side and make sure you get full contact.
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Unread 02-17-2021, 05:18 PM   #11
kennyrboggs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bridge View Post
Hi Kenny,

The waterproofing layer is actually the orange membrane behind the fleece, so you should be okay. Mix your thinset on the "loose" side and make sure you get full contact.

Thats great news, thanks John!


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Unread 02-18-2021, 07:51 AM   #12
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Kenny, we've merged your two threads so all the history of your project is in one place. Really helps all our contributors to see the big picture, and what previous questions and answers were provided.
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Unread 03-03-2021, 12:41 PM   #13
kennyrboggs
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Project almost done

I appreciate the help through this HE$%!

I am finally nearing completion of my bath remodel, lacking some trim and baseboards and hope to wrap it up soon. Took out an old tub and vanity, and gutted half the room down to the studs. Did all electrical, plumbing, tile etc. myself. My father in law actually even helped me hang my own frameless shower doors I ordered from lowes for a little over $500! That was fun.... I even saw a youtube video of tilecoach and had to add led lighting in the niche's and under the vanity. A cheap fun project if your starting from scratch, and really adds a cool factor to it. BTW tiling sucks. I dont know how you guys do it for a living, if anyone balks at why a good tile job costs so much tell them to call me lol. I am in around $6k for every little nut and bolt, including a steal on the frameless doors, toilet, vanity, even some tools. More than what I planned, but got the 12 x 24 porcelain at a overstock warehouse for around $1.20 per foot. But I did everything else right, and got good deals on amazon warehouse deals for most of the delta stainless fixtures. Love the 16" rain shower head also! Took the first shower last night and only a few things I am not real happy with that I would have done differently, but overall pretty happy with the results.

I love self leveling compound!! Never used the stuff before and found some humps and valleys in the floor. Leveled it out nicely and was flat as glass. Never had such an easy time installing large tiles on the floor without lippage. Was one of the best decisions I made! Did my first kerdi shower with a mudbed. That sucked also, but the drain location and being on a slab made using the tray difficult. I bought a cheap mud mixer also, which is one of the best things I ever have done and cant imagine not having one!

I used spectralock pro on the shower floor, and the new spectralock one on the shower walls and bathroom floor. Love the spectralock one, easy to spread and clean off, it just dries quickly so you have to work in small areas. Other than that it is a breeze. And I have no idea how they got that stuff to stay in a bucket for so long, but when grouting hardens so quickly. This stuff gets hard as a rock! If I told you it was straight epoxy grout you would believe it. Will see how they both hold up, was my first time using both. And the ability to do a small area, stop, and restart without mixing and waste was a huge bonus with this stuff.

I really learned most of what I know on how to do it the right way from my years on year and researching, thanks for the help over the years, and I hope this is my last full bath remodel ever!!
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Unread 03-03-2021, 12:48 PM   #14
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Before picture of bathroom for reference.
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Unread 03-03-2021, 02:56 PM   #15
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That came out looking great, Kenny! Very nice job indeed. Those hex tiles on the ceiling are a nice touch too. What controller and/or driver did you use to power the LED strips?
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