First time shower tile job!

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  #1  
Old 08-02-15, 10:08 AM
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First time shower tile job!

Hello everyone, I'm going to be tiling my shower/tub surround here in a few days and I'm looking for some pointers. I'll number my questions lol, there's a few.
1. Cement backer: Is it supposed to be installed with gaps between the joining edges? Start with back wall first? How big of a gap is standard for between the tub edge and backer?
2. Grout lines: what's best/easiest for 6x6" tile?
3. Tile: Do I need a bull nose tile around the top or is that just for looks? Anyone have experience with manual tile cutters?
4. Mortar, mastic, or pre-mixed mortar? Tips for mixing mortar . I have been told to use both by different people. Haven't read much about the pre-mixed mortar.
5. Spacing: would 1/8th inch be standard spacing for 6x6 tile? Are the 2 in 1 spacers easier than the standard "+" style?

Thanks everyone!!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-02-15, 10:36 AM
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Does the tub have a lip? Is it nailed/screwed to studs?

1) No need for excessive gaps between cbu. You will use an approved mesh tape and thinset to seal all joints. You will install a 6 mil vapor barrier on all walls and allow it to run into the tub slightly. Secure the cbu to where it rests on the lip of the tub. Your tile will jump the gap with no problem. Cut the vapor barrier off just below the cbu bottom.

2) Personal choice, but I like 1/8" gap on 6x6

3) Well, yeah, it is for looks as it transitions the tile wall to the sheetrock wall. You may also need bull nose tile on the vertical edges where the surround ends on the adjoining sheetrock walls. Manual cutters are fine, but tedious and time consuming. You can't cut any intricate cuts, mostly straight ones. You can buy an inexpensive wet tile saw that will help greatly, and you can probably resell it after you are done.

4) Modified Thinset in a bag, not mortar, mastic or anything premixed. Follow instructions on bag.

5) I would not confuse myself with double spacing lugs. If you goof up and use the wrong end, you messed up. Use the crosses in one size. Again, preference, but 1/8" is good.

Others will chime in with better information, so stay tuned.
 
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Old 08-03-15, 09:37 AM
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So, secure CBU to the wall so it rests on the upper lip of tub right? And then when I set the tile, it should be an eighth inch from the actual top of tub, so the tile will hang over from CBU to cover the joint where tub meets cbu?
 
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Old 08-03-15, 01:46 PM
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Hi L. Young,

1. What brand CBU will you be using? Most say to gap the sheets about ⅛". Back wall first. If the CBU comes down over the flange, (furring out the CBU may be required), leave a " gap. If it stops at the top of the hanging flange, (outside the tub), be sure to mask with tape then silicone well, then remove the tape. Tile down to within ⅛" of the tub.

2. Most soft bisque 4x4 & 6x6 ceramic wall tiles have spacing lugs built in. When you butt the tiles together you'll have about 1/16" gap which will look a bit wider when grouted.

3a. Bullnose finishes the unsightly unglazed ends of tiles, use them as the last row and column and at any outside corners.
3b. Scoring cutters are the easiest fastest way to make straight cuts with most glazed tiles. What to you wanna know?

4. Do not use anything pre-mixed whether they call it mastic, adhesive or mortar. It's not as good as real thinset plus it costs 3-4 times more.

5. Whatever you like.

Originally Posted by L.Yound
So, secure CBU to the wall so it rests on the upper lip of tub right? And then when I set the tile, it should be an eighth inch from the actual top of tub, so the tile will hang over from CBU to cover the joint where tub meets cbu?
See #1.

What's your plan for waterproofing and vapor retarder?

Jaz
 
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Old 08-04-15, 01:12 AM
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Hello everyone, thanks for the replies. There is a slight lip on this cast iron tub so I will space the cbu a quarter inch from this lip and attach to wall. I will be using Hardie backer.
Jaz, my plans for water and vapor block is to use some thinset and mesh tape to cover all joining edges of cbu, and staple a moisture barrier up prior to installing cbu, and making sure the moisture barrier hangs over just inside the tub flange.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 01:16 AM
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I bought 6x6 ceramic tile, but think I will go with 1/8th inch spacers rather than the 1/16th ones embedded into tile. Do u guys use a level piece of wood and screw it into wall to set your first row or do you just start right on tub lip?
 
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Old 08-04-15, 01:19 AM
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First Problem!!
So I removed the old tile today and the underlay was standard sheet rock! Does sheet rock come in 3x5's like cbu? I can't find the seams.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 02:54 AM
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The ledger board method is a good one and, yes, I use it on tubs. Not all tubs are installed perfectly level. I wouldn't worry about finding the seams, as it all has to come down anyway. Just cut it at the profile margins and replace it with 1/2" cbu.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 06:21 AM
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When u use ledger board do you adjust it so the bottom row is a whole tile or do u make it so the bottom row is smaller than a whole tile and cut to fit?
 
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Old 08-04-15, 04:52 PM
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Actually you want to place the ledger at a place where a full tile will fit in the lowest part of the tub. The remainder of the tiles will be cut to fit. Good point.
 
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Old 08-04-15, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by L.Young
Hello everyone, thanks for the replies. There is a slight lip on this cast iron tub so I will space the cbu a quarter inch from this lip and attach to wall. I will be using Hardie backer.
Jaz, my plans for water and vapor block is to use some thinset and mesh tape to cover all joining edges of cbu, and staple a moisture barrier up prior to installing cbu, and making sure the moisture barrier hangs over just inside the tub flange.
Since it's a cast iron tub and there's no hanging flange, like in the cheaper steel tubs, I recommend you bring the Hardie down closer to about ⅛" so you can silicone it better. Remember Hardie is about .42" and will not butt well to existing drywall, esp, since most will have a bead of glue plus several coats of paint.

I also recommend you apply a surface membrane and not use plastic or tarpaper on the studs as you describe. Surface membrane is much better and probably easier too.

If the tub is set level you can start at the bottom using spacers or shims. If not level, start at the lowest part with full tiles and trim off as necessary as you go. Plan ahead of course including how it's gonna end at the top.

Jaz
 
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Old 08-04-15, 10:34 PM
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Ok, so I removed the tile and drywall. Jaz, how do I butt the hardie backer up to the drywall? It's about 1/8th thinner than the dry wall? Do I mesh tape and thinset that seam as well? I originally planned to overlap my last tile at the top over the seem where CBU meets drywall, but the guy at home depot said to never tile onto drywall. I'm kinda stuck?
 
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Old 08-05-15, 04:09 PM
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Before you hang any backer, check all the studs to make sure they're in-plane with each other and that they're plumb. Usually have to add at least one in each inside corner too.

If it doesn't hurt anything, you may be able to shim the stud in question about ⅛", use a 4' straight edge to see. The transition should happen away from the wet area, ie just outside of the shower curtain or door. Installing the last column of tiles or bullnose over drywall if ok to do.

Remember that Hardie is not only thinner than " but it also sucks the life out of thinset and so you need to damp sponge it just before you apply the thinset.

Jaz
 
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Old 08-05-15, 09:06 PM
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Oh man I'm in trouble...I put in the durock cement board and it's level, but it's 1/16th inch thinner than the drywall!! What do I Do?
 
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Old 08-05-15, 10:21 PM
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Would it be ok just to use thinset and tape where the drywall meets the water board and tile right up to the seem, but not go over it. Then run some caulk across to cover the slight transition?...
 
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Old 08-05-15, 10:24 PM
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The guy at home depot said that the backer is thinner because the mortar compensates for the difference in thickness and brings tile out flush with wall, if that's the case maybe my plan will work?
 
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Old 08-06-15, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by L.Young
Oh man I'm in trouble...I put in the durock cement board and it's level, but it's 1/16th inch thinner than the drywall!! What do I Do?
I suggest you have a glass of red wine, then continue.

Jaz
 
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