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Unread 03-20-2021, 11:38 AM   #1
Pamela
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prep a new vinyl window for tiling

Hey everyone, we are replacing a giant picture window with a transom window which is located in the shower. It's pretty high up so should be out of direct shower spray.

How should we prep this window for tiling up to the fixed sash? First photo shows a mock-up of how the window will sit in the rough opening, and shows the substrate (1/2" CBU or drywall).

Second photo shows a mock-up of what I'd like to do - stay with me here. The white strip represents a vinyl jamb extension glued to the vinyl window frame (no screws allowed into the window). The CBU/drywall is now flush with the jamb extension. Then we wrap waterproof membrane across the vinyl jamb extension, down to the sash.

Can we do this - adhere kerdi or another membrane to vinyl?
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Unread 03-20-2021, 01:44 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Pamela,


I don't think so. Vinyl is a very poor substrate for tile even with Kerdi over it. It's just not stable enough. Folks usually tile up to the window frame and stop.
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Unread 03-21-2021, 09:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, John Let's scratch that plan and try another.

In today's edition, we will install the window a little further to the outside of the (brick) house, and gain some inset distance.

In the mock-up, there is a thin strip of CBU/drywall that returns the shower wall to the vinyl window. That strip is 1.25", and when you add the 1/2" thickness of the shower wall, the tiling surface is 1.75".

Is that enough surface for tile/quartz/marble to be mortared on?

AND

Do we need to do additional waterproofing behind the CBU/drywall?
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Unread 03-21-2021, 02:49 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Had you considered doing a glass block window?
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Unread 03-21-2021, 03:03 PM   #5
Pamela
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@jim Yes, but glass block is not what i'd like to put in this house.

What are your thoughts on my most recent plan for window install? I know most everyone on this forum doesn't favor windows inside showers, but here we are with a window in the shower.
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Unread 03-21-2021, 03:15 PM   #6
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Vinyl's thermal coefficient of expansion is like 50x greater than cement, so you must use something flexible to make the seal to it. I'd probably use KerdiBoard and use KerdiFix to bond it to the window. That should prevent moisture from getting to the Wood, at least from the shower side. The detailing if you don't use it for the entire enclosure would be more complicated, but not horrible.
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Unread 03-22-2021, 08:00 AM   #7
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Pamela, here's my take FWIW. I'm a fan of windows in showers, but have come to some conclusions about how best to accomplish. It sounds as if you have a brick veneer on a wood framed home, which complicates things when it comes to window replacement.

The vinyl frame of a any new window assembly is its weak link. Consider the durable, hard surface of tile and glass compared to the soft, easily damaged vinyl surface. To me, that's a mismatch. If it will see significant water that usually means it will be cleaned in the same way as adjacent tile surfaces.

Some time ago, I looked at a job with (I think) similar construction details and I took the time to think through how to best accomplish having glass meet tile with no vinyl in the equation. I'll post that drawing here but it will be small. If you'd like, I can email it your way, PM me. I show this with no tile, but considered all leading up to it. Although project never came to fruition, it's mostly how I would do it on my own home. I'd use Kerdi Board as tile backer and waterproofing.

Admittedly this is not an off-the-shelf solution. I would mill the parts and do all the installation myself to insure integrity was maintained.
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Unread 03-23-2021, 09:20 AM   #8
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@jim, if we use Kerdiboard around and up to the vinyl window frame, and we wanted to not buy too much of that $$ stuff, where and how do we transition Kerdiboard to CBU? (ref. the "complicated but not horrible" comment)

@peter, thank you for sharing that nice diagram. It looks like you are attaching Kerdiboard right onto the vinyl window frame, true? And would you fasten those two surfaces together with KerdiFix (no screws)?
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Unread 03-23-2021, 06:16 PM   #9
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Assuming the KerdiBoard was above the cbu, I’d use Kerdiband to make the seam. The better choice would be to use it for the entire enclosure, but that does add to the cost. In the scheme of things, not much once you figure then, the entire enclosure would be waterproof, it’s easier to carry home and cut. You’ll need some KerdiFix to make the bond to the window.
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Unread 03-23-2021, 06:54 PM   #10
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Pamela, there is no vinyl frame in that cross section. It's an insulated glazing assembly that's stopped into place from outside. Most good glass shops could provide. Frame would have to be made to fit and I'd mill from wood. It will never see moisture on the inside if done well, outside would get primed and painted. And yes, I attach Kerdi Board to framing with KerdiFix or PL Premium.

As I said the vinyl strikes me as the weak link, so I eliminate it and have tile meet glass, which looks and functions better IMHO. Code typically calls for tempered glass when in shower. This is a detail I've done a few times, but never in a brick veneer as drawn. Often obscure glass, and one time a stained glass assembly that caught morning light...very cool.

The tall-ish stops block the view of the tile from the outside. That's me being fussy, though, as I don't think many would notice unless it was clear glass.
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Unread 03-24-2021, 12:30 AM   #11
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I affixed my Kerdi membrane to the vinyl window frame just below the sill tile height.

So waterproof membrane installed per manufacturer's instructions right up to meeting the vinyl window, Kerdi Fix the membrane to the window frame, just below the finished height of the sill tile.

Picture shows me marking the top of the sill tile (without thinset) which is exactly where I cut the membrane and glued to the vinyl window frame using Kerdi Fix.

I am confident in the waterprofness (is that a word?) of this method.
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Unread 03-24-2021, 07:06 AM   #12
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@jim ok, thank you for the detail, that's definitely a possibility for us

@peter, got it - that's a really nice solution, wish I had that drawing before i bought the vinyl window/frame!

@snets, what substrate are you using underneath the kerdi, and is the substrate itself (its thickness) kerdifixed to the vinyl?
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Unread 03-24-2021, 09:29 AM   #13
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Substrate - 1/2" drywall, not affixed to the window, butted up to the window. Kerdi membrane properly affixed with thinset to the substrate. Kerdi membrane left a little long (as seen cutting in photo) and affixed with kerdi Fix to vinyl window (below the height of the finished tile).
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Unread 03-24-2021, 01:32 PM   #14
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If using CBU, another option is redgard up to the vinyl just below the finished tile layer similar to Snets solution
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