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teamrudy 12-24-2009 03:07 PM

raised ranch basement bathroom project
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Hello everyone,

My name is Chris, I have a project that I feel is way over my head and I'm looking for some help, big time! If I could afford it, I would probably hire it done, but I cannot right now so here I am, trying to do it myself.

My wife and I gutted an existing bathroom in the basement of our house about a year ago. It had a 3 piece fiberglass shower enclosure installed that we removed so there is existing plumbing for a shower. We would like to create a custom shower made of tile and glass where that enclosure use to be but a a lot larger in size.

Our house is a raised ranch, which means we have a basement that's in the ground about 4 feet.
We are attempting to build a shower wall on that the south side of the foundation wall. There is a sill plate to deal with and an exterior 2x4 wall on top of that. No problem, I built a wall out from the 2x4 wall to make the concrete foundation wall and the new wall the same "plane" so we can tile it and have it all be one wall with a cubby hole for shampoo and etc.

Where I am right now is I am trying to figure out how to moisture barrier the concrete wall before I tile over it. I was planning on just thinsetting the concrete block and tile right over it but then I was reading about vapor barriers because I was planning on stapling up 6 mil plastic up before I screw the 1/4" Hardibacker board to the new filler wall.

I had a thought of screwing the 1/4" Hardibacker board to the concrete blocks and then use 1/2" above that on the filler wall so that it would remain the same "plane" for the new tile wall in the shower.

Dose anyone have a better solution? I have to worry about where the moisture is going to accumulate at the bottom of that wall too which I cannot figure out.
Does the floor need to be installed first with the rubber membrane laid down with the proper drain angle toward the existing drain and then the moisture barrier would go over that so all the water including the moisture from the walls drain to the drain in the floor?

I have attached a picture for clarification. A picture speaks a thousand words.
Thank you and Merry Christmas to all of you!

gregzoll 12-24-2009 04:02 PM

30# Felt is one of the more common methods used to separate concrete walls from wood stud walls.

teamrudy 12-24-2009 04:09 PM

I was planning on applying the tile directly to the concrete wall and on up to the hardibacker that was screwed to the filler wall above it. If I roll 30# felt over the concrete, I have nothing to hang the tile on.
Are you suggesting putting the 30# felt over the blocks then screwing hardibacker over that into the blocks to have something to apply the tile to?

gregzoll 12-24-2009 10:14 PM

Your best bet on that question is to ask over at

7echo 12-25-2009 09:40 AM

Yep, what gregzol said about

The tile guys there are very helpful. Start by searching, then post. And they like pics.

Ron6519 01-07-2010 10:39 AM

I don't know if you received an answer over at the tile forum, but I would definitely not tile right on the cinder block.
Build a wall in front of the block with the aforementioned felt paper. Insulate the wall with unfaced fiberglass. Staple a plastic vapor barrier over the top. Install 1/2" cement or backer board and tile on that.

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