Basement Bathroom Tiling Installation Questions

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Old 03-06-10, 04:27 PM
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Basement Bathroom Tiling Installation Questions

I am having a full basement bathroom installed and just wanted to ask a few questions regarding tile installation.
Half of the basement is already finished. So, we will be breaking through the wall that separates the finished from the unfinished side and adding a bathroom there.

My friend is a contractor who is doing the work, including tiling (except electrical and plumbing).

Here is his plan he gave me for the tile installation.
He said he and his guys are good a the tile work and he even offered to show me jobs he has completed....

Floor:
2x4 sleepers to get the bathroom level with current finished area
Plywood subfloor (3/4" tongue and groove underlayment)
Plywood screwed down (apparently he said they use a lot of screws to secure the plywood)
Thinset and Ceramic Tile over plywood floor

Shower:
Swanstone shower base (bulit up on same sleepers and plywood as rest of bathroom floor)
Quikcrete Sand topping mix under Swanstone base for support
Durarock walls
Thinset
Ceramic Tile
NOTE: 2 of the 3 shower walls will be exposed on the backside. The third wall will be the inside wall of an adjoining closet.
Question: What should I use for a vapor barrier? Plastic sheeting behind the Durock or a roll-on membrane applied to Durock?

I have read that tiling over 2x4 sleepers on concrete is a bad idea.....
Apparently, moisture/dampness in the voids created by the sleepers can cause movement in the 2x4 sleepers...thereby possibly causing cracked tiles/grout. True? Any remedies for this?


Overall, does the plan look good? Any criticisms or suggestions would be helpful.....

If more info is needed, please let me know and I wil provide.

Thanks.
mm
 
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Old 03-06-10, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If he has to build up the floor to meet the other floor, I guess it has to be, but leaving the concrete floor and tiling on it would be best. You must install a concrete backer underlayment on top of your plywood and prior to the thinset for your tiles. You will embed the backer in a layer of thinset and screw it down according to the screw diagram for the product.
Use thinset under the shower base rather than sand, as the sand will eternally shift and the thinset will harden up and provide support for the base.
Apply insulation and a vapor barrier prior to installing the wall cement board, finish the cracks with alkaline resistant mesh tape and thinset, just like you would sheetrock.
 
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Old 03-06-10, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the response, chandler....

In order not to raise the bathroom floor too much, I was reading and found that Hardiebacker comes in 1/4" thickness.
So, I was figuring I could lay the Hardibacker down on the plywood in thinset, then screw it down.

Sound good?


Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Welcome to the forums! If he has to build up the floor to meet the other floor, I guess it has to be, but leaving the concrete floor and tiling on it would be best. You must install a concrete backer underlayment on top of your plywood and prior to the thinset for your tiles. You will embed the backer in a layer of thinset and screw it down according to the screw diagram for the product.
Use thinset under the shower base rather than sand, as the sand will eternally shift and the thinset will harden up and provide support for the base.
Apply insulation and a vapor barrier prior to installing the wall cement board, finish the cracks with alkaline resistant mesh tape and thinset, just like you would sheetrock.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 04:39 AM
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Yes, for floors 1/4" is fine as long as you have a good subfloor base. I prefer Hardibackcer mainly because it cuts better and has your screw hole detail embossed on the face.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 08:15 AM
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I did find out that the 2x4 sleepers are attached to the concrete with Red Tapcon screws and PL construction glue....
Wouldn't that combo of screws and glue hold the 2x4s in place and minimize movement of the floor?

Other tile pros on other sites are telling me to do a mud job....
I'll try to look into that, but I bet that would be real expensive due to the labor involved. Plus, I got to try to find a reputable guy to do the job......

So I guess the new plan (barring the mud job option) is:

Floor:
2x4 PT sleepers to get the bathroom level with current finished area
Plywood subfloor (3/4" tongue and groove underlayment)
Plywood screwed down into sleepers
1/4" Hardiebacker set in thinset and screwed down (Hardiebacker NOT screwed into joists, only into plywood)
Thinset and Ceramic Tile over plywood floor

Shower:
Swanstone shower base (bulit up on same sleepers and plywood as rest of bathroom floor)
Quikcrete Sand topping mix under Swanstone base for support
Poly vapor barrier attached to studs with staple gun
Durarock walls
Thinset
Ceramic Tile
 
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Old 03-07-10, 12:21 PM
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Sand will shift and disappear in time from under the shower pan. Thinset dollops under the pan will hold it firm and will aid in pan support.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 04:57 PM
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Heres a link for installing the swanstone shower pan.

http://www.theswancorp.com/images/li...2006-10-09.pdf

As to the building up the slab to match the height of the adjoining room, the best method would be a mud bed over a cleavage membrane. You could get the floor to the exact height you want, and it'll be rock solid.
 
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Old 03-07-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
Heres a link for installing the swanstone shower pan.

http://www.theswancorp.com/images/li...2006-10-09.pdf

As to the building up the slab to match the height of the adjoining room, the best method would be a mud bed over a cleavage membrane. You could get the floor to the exact height you want, and it'll be rock solid.
Johnny --

Do you have any advice/opinion on whether or not I can do tile on my current set-up....that is 2x4 sleepers over concrete??
 
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Old 03-07-10, 05:56 PM
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Yes, I do. Its not a good idea to install tile over sleepers on a concrete slab. Thats why I suggested a mud bed. Thats the way its done.
 
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Old 03-08-10, 10:31 AM
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Bill --
I have a local tile guy coming to the house this afternoon to look at the job.

But, I was thinking about my situation last night....

Why wouldn't putting down some sort of vapor barrier (either heavy mil plastic or a roll-on product like HydroBan) underneath the 2x4 sleepers? Wouldn't that keep moisture from coming up through the concrete?

thanks.
mike
 
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Old 03-08-10, 03:11 PM
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Michael

Who's Bill?

You seem to be determined to do it your way, so go ahead.

Just so that you know, hydroban is designed to keep water in from above, not below it. Its not designed to keep water/moisture from coming up thru the substrate, but rather to keep water from penetrating the substrate from above. There may be products that do so, but Hydroban is not one of them.

Did you do any moisture tests on the slab? How will you seal the tapcon pentrations thru any negative hydrostatic pressure sealant that you use?
 
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Old 03-10-10, 12:05 PM
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well...i think (actually I know) I am gonna take the advice of the pros and have a professional tile guy do this job......pay now or pay later. id rather pay now.

got a quote from a local guy to do the job.....he's a friend of my plumber....

His price for the job is $1360.00
Includes: mud bed for floor, (including bonding agent on concrete and wire mesh to strengthen the mud bed), set floor tile on diagonal. set shower tile all the way to ceiling, one shower niche with shelf.
The only thing I have to do for him is put up the plastic or tar paper on the shower wall studs, then Durock or Hardiboard.
Floor: approx 70 sq ft
Shower: 34x48, with tile all the way to 7' ceiling (but not on the ceiling)...approx 70-80 sq ft.

I got another guy coming for a quote tonight.....but unless he blows his price out of the water, I am gonna go with my plumber's friend.

the saga continues.....
mike
 
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Old 03-10-10, 11:34 PM
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Bathroom with pebble floor and wall

Have u consider using natural pebbles to overlay on the existing floor? could be cheaper:

check out this blog i found for a pebblewash bathroom and toilet:

Pebblewash flooring for your Bathroom
 
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Old 03-16-10, 07:23 AM
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Update......3/16/2010.

I am gonna use the first tile guy that came out (friend of my plumber). Nice guy, very attentive to my questions, local family guy, etc.
The second tile guy that came out said he guaranteed I will have no porblem tiling on the sleepers over concrete. RED Flag!? He said he would email me a quote......he never did. oh well.

When I order the tile yesterday, I told the ladies at the tile shop who my tile contractor was....they spoke very highly of him....calling him a perfectionist....hopefully that bodes well for me and my bathroom.

So here are the new specs.....
Bathroom floor:
Mud Bed
[including bonding agent on concrete and wire mesh to strengthen the mud bed]
tile se on diagonal
Radiant heat floor set in mudbed
Thinset
Tile

Shower:
Swanstone Shower pan [34x48]
Durock walls
Thinset/tape seams
Mapei liquid waterproofer (either HPG or AquaDefense)
One recessed niche
tile to ceiling

Look ok?

TWO Questions:
1. Any preference for either Mapei waterproofing products? The HPG or AquaDefense?
2. Question on vapor barrier for foundation wall
One wall of the bathroom is on the poured foundation wall. Do I need a plastic between the cement wall and the insualtion and studs?

thanks.
mike
 
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