how much tolerance can I get out of thinset?

Old 12-30-11, 11:36 AM
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how much tolerance can I get out of thinset?

I am building a tub surround out of 8" (nom.) x16" (nom.) x1/2" (actual) travertine tiles. We are using 1/16" grout joints. I will be recessing two niches on the long wall, one over another with a full tile in between, in the stud cavities for soap and shampoo. The interior of the niche gets finished with 1/2" travertine and trimmed with a 3/8" thick bullnose pencil. The 1/16" horizontal grout joint in the field tile is to line up perfectly with the 1/16" grout joint under the bottom pencils and overtop the top pencils.

Obviously this requires some very exacting installation. My goal is to leave some play in the vertical dimension of the rough opening (cement board over 2x4) of the niche and make the final adjust with thinset to get everything perfect. So before I frame the opening, how much play do I have with thinset thickness (min. to max.)? Thanks guys.
Old 12-30-11, 04:19 PM
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The size of the tile usually dictates the thickness of the mortar. Large tile requires a large notched trowel, and the end result will be slightly thicker base, than say, 1/4" tile. And 1/16 grout joint is not much for that size tile.

As a side note, travertine is not a good choice for a shower. It is pourous and needs to be sealed. But it will still collect water chemicals and soap scum.

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