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Old 10-22-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
Brad in KC
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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How Heavy is Too Heavy?

I've built a shelf ledge high up in my new shower (Redgard over concrete backer). The ledge is roughly 5" tall. I have some very nifty looking slate "bisbees" - stacks of slate sunk into mortar, 24 inches long of the appropriate height to use on the face of this ledge. However, I'm concerned about weight. I'm guessing each piece weighs about 20 lbs.

Since there is no wall directly underneath the front of the ledge, all support for these will come from the mortar. Am I expecting it to do too much? Any suggestions for an alternate means to attach these bisbees?

By the way, thanks to all the experts who post here. I've been lurking for some time and have managed to avoid several potential problems just by browsing.

- Brad
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #2
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I'm not sure I understand the "Bisbee" thing Is this going to be a cantilevered shelf? If that's the case there is a host of ways to make it work..corbals come to mind..as does some of the super duper epoxy. Give a little more info on how the bisbees are configured..pics would be good
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:06 AM   #3
Brad in KC
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Weighty Matters...


No photos of the shelf here at work (I'm posting on the company dime) but it is simply a 48" wide beam running the width of the enclosure at about the same height as the showerhead, nailed to the studs at the back and toenailed at each end, then covered with CBU and redgard. I guess you might call it cantilevered, atlhough I've always thought that indicates no support at the ends of the beam, as this has.

As for a "bisbee" (tile store's term, not mine), picture attached...

They consist of several rows of flat slate, set on edge in a mortar base (think stacked stone). I want to use two of these along the face of the shelf.

What are these high powered epoxies you speak of?


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Old 10-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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A five inch piece of slate held onto the wall by only one half inch of mortar would not be desireable situation.

I have fabricated invisible shelves and would rely upon a strong quarter inch steel "L" Bracket(s) screwed into the backboard (with the holes filled with butyl) every 6-8 inches and red guarded if below the shower head. The verticle portion of the bracket is covered with tile, and the horizontal portion supports the slate. To diguise the horizontal portion of the bracket a thin piece of covering (tile or slate) is thinsetted onto the bracket and the supported slate. Since the covering carries no weight, it is decorative only. The brunt of the slate is supported by the L Bracket.
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