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Old 03-06-2018, 11:49 PM   #1
noisyhummingbird
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Non-standard install (aren't they all?)

My husband and I are trapped in a bathroom remodel. Suffice to say what started as a swap of old tub for new turned into a complete tear-down to studs. We decided to splurge and go with corner whirlpool and separate shower while we were at it. Just lost our professional "helper" to a new girlfriend. So, alcove for new tub has new studs, insulation, vapor barrier and greenboard. Yeah, I know, that's not what we asked for. Tub is a Kohler drop-in model that we're installing in an alcove. Only one that fit and had a pump in the right place. Bought Kohler bead kit to add tile flange.

First problem: I'd like to put in two rows of 4" tile around tub, mainly for looks but also for water resistance. Greenboard already installed. Tile flange will be on top. Is a tub only - we will have separate shower. No children, so splashing should be minimal.

Do I a) paint an 8.5" stripe above tile flange with KBRS waterproofing left over from our shower install and tile on top of flange with fingers and toes crossed? Bottom row of tile is 2" glass mosaic, so likely thinner than top row of 4" ceramic bullnose. I could use Ditra above flange to flush out the first row, so tile flange thickness would actually work? b) use furring strips up 8.5" above tile flange and screw on a strip of cement board? This will leave me with a 1/2" ledge along the top and sides (cement board plus tile edge). Perhaps I could use an L channel trim piece to cover the cement board and use bullnose tile? c) try to convince my husband to take off the greenboard and install cement board over the tile flange after the tub is installed the way it's supposed to be done? Can you hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth? d) skip the tile altogether and use a really good primer on the walls before painting?



Ideas appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Becky.

I'd be inclined to use a water proof membrane and then tile. Doing so will allow you to tie the membrane into the top of the tub, then you can also caulk the tile to the tub.

Further, I'd be inclined to run the tile to the bottom of the eventual window trim, so that the horizontal line created by the bottom of the trim continues across the wall as the top of the tile. Instead of using a BN you could use a matching, or contrasting 1/2 round trim on the top edge of the tile - which will help hide the extra thickness added by the membrane, and also run it down the left vertical edge. the 1/2 round will add some dimension/visual interest. If you to the 1/2 round it would of course need to be set right underneath the window trim.

I'm assuming the tub is currently just sitting there. Appears you're going to need some more framing work where the left side of the tub ends under the window.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
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Hi Becky,

Using membrane won't hurt, but if there is going to be no serious water on the tile I would just make sure the bottom row is caulked tightly to the tub.

Finish all your rough framing and drywall before you start in on tile.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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Thank you

I hadn't even considered the bottom of the window. That's what happens when you're a DIYer. Good catch.

Just FYI, I think we've agreed to remove greenboard, install tub, and put cement board over top as is recommended. It will allow a cleaner install on the tub as well as resolve the tile issue.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:05 PM   #5
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As John is suggesting, if you really don't believe there will be much water being splashed then you can forgo the cement board. I suggested membrane based on my observation that the tub appears larger enough for two, which may equal more splashing, so.....

From a design perspective I'm not sure a 4" row of glass mosaic, topped with another 4" row of solid color tile, then whatever the paint color will be, would look right to my eye. Too much going on IMHO. If you're using an accent tile in the shower area use that too for around the tub - ties both spaces together.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:36 PM   #6
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Non-standard install (aren't they all?)

If you use a membrane then the membrane usally has caulk such as kerdifix or silicone at the intersection of the membrane and tub. (Behind the tile)
Use silicone or sanded caulk matching your grout where the tile meets the tub and in the corners.
If its really going to stay dry the membrane might not be needed since your using cement board. Even if it got damp a few times it probably would not matter.
No way would I risk using sheetrock of any kind without a water proof membrane behind the tile. Unexpected things seem to happen over time so why risk all of that work and money.
If the concrete board extends past the tile area keep in mind you can skim coat it with sheetrock mud and lightly sand as needed. That way the sheetrock and concrete board area will look similar.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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New issue with trim tile

Thanks for all your advice. We ended up removing the greenboard, replacing with cement board. So everything nice and level and right.

Now my issue is - I'm using a 4.25" basic white ceramic tile. It's a modular home, and I don't need the fancy stone stuff. I chose a lovely glass accent tile that comes on a 11.75 x 11.75 sheet of slightly less than 2" pieces. I was thrilled to discover very little difference in thickness, so that's easily dealt with. However, my grout lines aren't going to match up. I'd been envisioning just cutting the glass sheet apart into 4" squares and running one row along the tub and shower to break up all the white. I didn't realize the glass was slightly smaller and the ceramic was sightly bigger. I can't cut the glass tiles apart individually and space them - the grout lines would be way too big.

Did I mention I really like the glass tiles?

How awful would it look if the grout lines didn't match? Would it scream DIYer? Would just one 2" row of glass make it look less bad?

Suggestions?
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:43 PM   #8
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I do not think it is unusual for the grout lines from your field tiles do not align with accent tiles.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:54 PM   #9
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grout lines

I would use a pencil liner to separate the accent from the field.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:21 PM   #10
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And pencils for the top and left side.

Personally I would lose the white field tile and use all blue. I really like the blue.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
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Love the blue as well. Let's see - at $12.00 per sq. ft. times a shower and bath. Nope. Not gonna work. I'm already 5 times over budget as all I'd intended to do was swap out tubs and install new vinyl. Ha, ha, ha, ha.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:46 PM   #12
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Or - if you’ve laid out the field tile so there’s a vertical grout joint on the wall’s centerline - carry that center joint up through the mosaic band. The mosaic and field joints won’t continue to match up as you move away from center, but your starting point will justify it.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:03 PM   #13
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I meant use the blue just in that little tub splash.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:33 PM   #14
noisyhummingbird
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Mark: now that's an idea. Since it's glass, there is no bullnose. Finish with a Schluter strip along the top and sides?
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:39 AM   #15
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Almost There!

The world's longest bathroom remodel is tantalizingly near the end.

Mark - your suggestion on the blue glass tile was perfect. I love the way it looks.

One small issue (if you only knew how many mountain sized ones we've hurdled) - despite measuring, plotting and planning a hundred times, the gap between my tiled deck and the rim of the tub came out at 3/8" instead of 1/8". Hey, not bad for a rookie DIYer! But, my question is - how do I fill the gap? I know I'm supposed to use 100% silicone and I've watched the video on how to do it pretty. I'm concerned there's nothing behind the caulk for it to grab to and this is a pretty big gap. The deck does extend at least an inch under the rim, so I have flat surface to work with. I wondered about a 3/8" roll of caulking rod? I could tuck that behind the rim of the tub and give the silicone something to bite?

And one last thing (crossed fingers) - I'm going to use either light gray or iced blue grout. I realized I really didn't want all those lines popping out in bright white. (Don't tell anyone, but a couple of them might not be exactly perfectly straight). What color for the silicone in the corners and plane changes? White? Gray? Can I find 100% silicone in gray that's not for cement? What color around tub? White?

(All the tape on the right-hand side is the built-in niche. What an adventure in tiling that's proving to be!)
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