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Unread 10-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #1
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Gary's Master Bath Renovation

Hi All,

I am officially starting my renovation and wanted to begin a thread as I already have questions.

By way of introduction, I am a good DIYer, but mud work and shower pans in particular challenge me, but I have read John's book...and wine list and am now . Okay maybe I'm still a bit tipsy from the 1/2 carton of fine wine, but I am ready to start!

I think I am best suited with a Kerdi/thin-set approach. I was awarded a gold star in 3rd grade for my paper mache Volcano and since I am only 45 the skill is likely to still be there!

Attached are a few photos:

Project: Complete bathroom renovation ~105' sq ("L" shape ~15'x9'). Removing 3x3 fiberglass shower enclosure in favor of 4.5' x 3.5' tiled shower with frameless 1/2" glass shower door mounted on a wall to wall 3" curb (wall tile/metal profile flush to outside of curb). 2 niches planned.

Tile Material list:

Main Floor area: (CobsA-USA Chelsea collection) 12x12 polished Bardiglio Silver Marble (laid checkerboard like existing tile).

Shower Floor area: (CobsA bar. silver w black dot) Mos Moba basket weave honed.

Curb: Full runs of CobsA Bardiglio silver marble mounted directly to curb matting.

Shower Walls: 12" x 24' Zodiac Midnight Glazed Porcelain floor tile.

Marble Accents: 4" Mosaic at shoulder height on all 3 walls and on backs of niches.

Metal Finish Trim - Profiles: Aluminum (likely brushed nickle or chrome or possibly graphite).

Vanity - 60" dual sink black wood with carrara marble top.


General Material Questions:

1. Kerdi/Ditra material versus other: While I like Schluter they are expensive so I would like to know if anyone likes a competitor that I should consider? I am still planning to use a Kerdi drain system. What is a fair discount from list to expect on schluter or other?

2. Trim/Profiles - I am not sure how far to go on this. Similar to question 1 does anyone like Dural or other if price gets out of hand?
- Leaning to wards Jolly for wall tile edges. Should I mitre or butt if corners are too pricey?
- Quadec or some brand Islia "U" shaped (5/8") metal accents to run below and above 4" marble accent row.

3. Would like to use Dilex (not sure which shape is best for shower floors) at least for the shower floor, but not sure if I can afford it everywhere, especially buying the corners. These corners are not being used for heart surgery...but their pricing can lead to that .

Technical Questions:

A. Main Floor Grout spacing - Leaning to wards 1/16" for Main floor area with 1/4" gap next to wall. I am installing a new wood base molding around perimeter. I will use non-sanded grout. Is this the best solution?

B. Shower Wall Grout Spacing - Leaning to wards 1/8" for shower walls, but think perhaps i should consider 1/16" or something smaller. These are large matte finish black with hint of blue floor tiles. They have a bit of a texture to them...almost like thin corduroy and I am thinking the pattern will look best undisturbed. Is that a good plan?

---Shower floor is a sheet set up and looks like 1/8".

C. All other areas like between accents and listellos I am leaning to wards 1/8" to a 1/4" depending on how good my measuring gets

Does anyone know of a picture guide detailing Grout spacing? I know it is often preference that drives this, but any help is appreciated.

That's all for now. Thanks in advance

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Unread 10-05-2010, 04:36 AM   #2
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1) Laticrete's Hydroban can be used with a Kerdi drain and still retain the Laticrete warrenty. I have no idea if you'll save any money, though. Also, you will have to be your own QA/QC department and verify the membrane thickness is adequate everywhere.

2) It sounds like your choice of tile materials has taken a big bite out of your budget. If so, go with a classic look and stay simple with the transitions. Use profiled tiles (rounded or chamfered, etc) for outside corners, and simple caulk joints for inside corners. I dunno about the costs between Schluter and Dural.

3) See 2.

A) 1/16'" spacing is typical for marble, especially if polished. This requires the substrate to be extremely flat, no more than 1/8" out of plane in any 10 foot direction, and it requires the tile to be very accurately cut so there is little variation in size between the largest and smallest tile (of the same size). Consider investing in one of the anti-lippage systems (LASH, Tuscan Leveling System, etc) so your floor will be like a mirror when finished. 1/4" gaps along the walls is required for expansion.

B) 1/8" spacing is probably more doable than a smaller spacing. Again, your walls will have to be very flat to pull this off. If you want the pattern of the tile to speak loudly, your grout color should blend with the background color of the tile.

C) Get good at measuring. 1/4" gaps in the listellos will look out of place if everthing else is tight.

I highly recommend you do a couple of sample boards to verify grout spacing and color. This will also give you an opportunity to see how easy it will be to grout the textured tiles, and to test different sealers/enhancers. Don't consider the mony spent on these as waste, but rather, as insurance that your project will turn out as you want.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the good advice, especially grout coloring!

Yes, the tile is a bit expensive, but my wife thinks the labor is now free . Actually the real cost turned out to be the fancy toilet and vanity.

The good news on my project is that our master is part of a 2001 extension so it is not that old. I am going down to bare stud wherever possible so I can fix the framing to accommodate a clean rock job. That part I am good at.

Good idea on the test boards.

Regards for now,

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Unread 10-05-2010, 10:36 AM   #4
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Curb Suggestions

After reading through some old posts I am questioning my curb plan.

I want a narrow ~3" 1/4" curb. The shower is on the second floor (not on a slab).

My plan was to use (1) 2x4 stood on its side and cut to ~48" then toed into studs on each wall and glued on the bottom to plywood substrate. I will wrap it on 3 sides with Kerdi. The face will be tiled with runs of marble (5/8" thick) which should yield a total width of ~3" 1/4" Should i still stay away from PT?

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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I think a 2x4 on edge for a curb would be a rather unstable idea, Gary. And no PT anywhere in a tile installation...


Pleased to have helped design and build many of the residential projects featured here: http://www.tandtdev.com/portfolio.html
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gary in Scott's thread
My plan - I am laying a 3/8" marble (12"x12" tiles) floor. I ran deflecto, but the numbers are in question (L/615) as my beam lengths are not known. I do know I have ~2x10s running 16" centers and look to be in excellent shape (house built in 1964). Current floor is porcelain on lath/thinset and is level.

I have exposed the original hardwood floors and was going to add a layer of 5/8" and then Ditra. Is that acceptable or do I need something like two layers of 1/2" or other?
Well Gary, you gotta - absolutely gotta - know the free, unsupported span of your joists. That's not the room size, of course.

Please give us some more details of the floor you have now. "The original hardwood" isn't enough. Need to know thickness, what's below that, etc.


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Unread 10-20-2010, 01:30 PM   #7
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Excellent tile choice. Please post pics when you are finished.

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
Houston TX area Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

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