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Old 06-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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Doing the tub surround walls


Have a quick question. If I go the felt paper or poly behind the cement backer route, how does the water actually drain back into the tub? Won't the silicone seal between the tile and tub prevent any moisture from actually draining back?

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Doing the tub surround walls


You're supposed to leave some holes/gaps in the caulk between the tub and tile.

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:47 PM   #4
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Doing the tub surround walls


Never suppose to have a vapor barrier behind properly water proofed cement board!!!
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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Doing the tub surround walls


Strange that you say that. There exist at least 2 methods of doing a tub surround, with a moisture barrier behind the cement backer and one with a surface applied waterproofing material. Your statement about never is not quite correct and plenty of sources show that. You may have an approach that you like and that has worked for you but that does not mean that other time proven approaches as less correct. My question was about a specific detail of the moisture barrier behind cement board approach, which to the best of my knowledge is an industry accepted one.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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Doing the tub surround walls


Joe's point is you don't want to do both a vapor barrier AND a waterproofing membrane...that's bad. One is fine.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Doing the tub surround walls


That is a great point and no I would never do that, I am quite aware that this is not a good approach. I am just still wondering how to strategically place weep holes in the caulk for drainage...
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Doing the tub surround walls


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That is a great point and no I would never do that, I am quite aware that this is not a good approach. I am just still wondering how to strategically place weep holes in the caulk for drainage...

Russ.... Just honest to you....but your poly assembly (barrier.... not felt (retarder)), is a procedure/assembly that I've used alot.

Now, maybe I've been doing it wrong for 20 years, but I've not encountered problems.

I've never attemted to leave weep holes. I use it to prevent any natural moisture migration (from grout to cement board) from entering any framing members.... not as a drainage system.

I always figured, any moisture caught in grout or cement board, would naturally migrate out the way it got in.

Now, I am most interested in the sugestion to use weep holes.... can't imagine how that would work?

I'll stay tuned to hear this one.

Just my opinion.... always open to better ways.

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Old 06-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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Doing the tub surround walls


The holes are recommended but when I did my surrounds I used a membrane and did not leave holes. I have the same opinion as Peter that the water will find its way out. If it was a steam shower or sauna I would leave the gaps but IMO, a shower wall just doesn't get wet enough to have the holes.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:13 AM   #10
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Doing the tub surround walls


So I finally demolished my tub and surround. Guess what? Regular greenboard behind the tile adhered with mastic. About 1/2 inch gap with tub lip, and only very, very slight evidence of any moisture penetration, must have been there for about 20 years like that. So in practice seems like many of our points are overkill anyways.

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