Tileless shower walls

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Old 06-12-16, 11:40 AM
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Tileless shower walls

I'm modernizing my home and I'm going for a completely tileless/concrete look (two white concrete bathrooms and two gray concrete bathrooms). The showers and one of the bathtubs are going to have a built in look to them. The goal is to have the walls of the bathroom match the walls of the showers and the roman style shower/tub. I'm looking for something to use as a finishing for the walls of the shower and roman tub.

The shower walls will be cement backer board. On top of that, I'll install kerdi membrane for waterproofing. On top of that, I'm looking for something that I can pick up locally here in Southern Florida. Would it be possible to just skim coat all of the walls in the bathroom with thinset to make it all look the same? Something like a VersaBond that I can pick up at Home Depot?

Before somebody mentions something like lime plaster, it's very hard, if not impossible to find down here in Southern Florida except for Diamond Veneer Plaster. I'd have to get it shipped in and shipping alone is a huge cost due to the weight.

Any advice on what I can use to finish these tileless walls would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 12:46 PM
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What about stucco? I have never seen it inside but it would stand to reason that it would handle the water just fine since it is normally installed outside. Stucco is very common in FL so you should have no issue finding it.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 01:13 PM
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Thinsets are not meant to be the "Wear" layer. Cement backer boards are not necessarily structurally sound enough to be a stand alone entity. Anyone that has done a lot of tile work knows that there is a lot of flex in cement backer on the wall and it stiffens up once you apply thinset and tile.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 01:21 PM
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Couple of problems with stucco. Some people have used stucco in showers and have said that the texture is an issue even with fine finish stucco. Very rough to the touch. Also, doing the entire bathroom in it would most likely require putting up lath all over the walls in order to get it to adhere to the non-shower walls which are drywall. Merlex makes a stucco specific for shower areas, but, again, no place to get it locally.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 01:31 PM
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czizzi,

So what would be your suggestion for a material that would be a suitable wear layer? I can always reinforce the shower area with fiberglass mesh sheets. Basically looking for something that acts like the Milestone products which have been used in showers. As far as I know, Milestone is very similar to latex modified thinset.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 04:19 PM
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Have never done what you propose so I have no suggestions. However, it does bring up a ton of questions that need to be answered.

How are you going to address the floor and drain?

What will the finished wall be? Smooth textured or Rough?

How will you clean your shower?

How will you address mold and mildew that will thrive in an environment that is porous enough to absorb and hold water?

How will you address the corners where wall planes changes which traditionally crack out from expansion and contraction?

I could go on, but those are the top of my head.

Consider looking at wall panels - a new to the market product I was shown has the look and feel you desire and comes in large sheets. If you can get a sample, you would see what I mean. It is a sandy wall feel - I got a demo at Ferguson's. It is called Choreograph by Kohler. Why Choreograph | Choreograph® Shower Wall and Accessory Collection | KOHLER

Might just be the ticket to get to where you want to be.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 06:06 PM
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The floor would be a standard mortar bed with the same material that's on the walls overlaid with probably a bit of sand in there to give it some texture to prevent slippage. Not too concerned with the drain system as I've done mortar beds with linear and standard drains before.

Walls would preferably be smooth.

Shower would be cleaned as a normal shower would be.

Sealants should go a long way in taking care of the porosity in order to eliminate mold and mildew. It's kind of a similar setup to making a concrete overlay countertop. Thinset can be used to overlay those.

Fiberglass mesh should be able to handle the corners. Similar to how Milestone works in corners.

Doing all of the bathrooms in wall panels would be extremely expensive as there are 4 bathrooms that are all rather large except for the in-law bathroom. Already looked into that. Not to mention, ceilings are 10 feet and the panels come in a maximum of 8 feet.
 
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