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Old 05-22-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
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How to make cement board thicker?


Hello, this is my first real post in the forum and hope that it will help my situation. Thank you in advance for any replies... I have gutted my bathroom in the house I'm moving into and have just installed the tub and cement board around the tub. I thought I had taken into account the thickness of the CB but now I see that it is not thick enough to allow the tiles to overhang and cover the lip of the tub (on 2 of the 3 walls). The plumbing side is the worst as the wall slopes away from the tub as it comes towards the skirt. I REALLY don't want to have to pull down the cement board and correct this by shimming, or blocking, or whatever, at the stud level (But will if that is my only option). My thought at this point is to "thicken" the wall with layers of thinset mortar. I have just bought the thinset mortar to seal the joints of the cement board, and was thinking I could apply a thick coat where needed (or perhaps multiple thin coats). After I correct this problem I plan to put a coating of HydroBarrier and then set my tiles (3X6 Subway tiles). It seems like this all together may be very heavy?? Any advice is appreciated!

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Old 05-23-2014, 12:21 AM   #2
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How to make cement board thicker?


Well that's about as confusing as anything gets...

You can not and do not want to build-out your walls with thinset. That isn't what thinset does and isn't what it is for. Thinset is not build-able in that fashion and will sag terribly. Why can't you just add another layer of cement board then find a way to deal with the screwy returns you will likely create in the process?

I guess I should ask: What is the thickness of the first layer of cement board you have installed? Please don't say it is 1/4".

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Old 05-23-2014, 12:29 AM   #3
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How to make cement board thicker?


I had considered that... My thinking is that another layer of 1/2" cement board would bring the wall further over the lip of the tub than is desirable. Also this will not address the problem of the wall "fading" further away from the tub as it comes towards the skirt. Though i hear you that the thinset idea will not work, what I liked about it was the opportunity I was going to get to even out the wall and provide a straight line across my tub edge. If I do put another piece of cement board up over top of the old one, do they make it thinner than 1/2"? and will the larger gap between the bottom of my cement board and the edge of the tub be able to be filled with thinset for my bottom row of tile? (this is another area where I am a little less than confident)
This remodel started out very methodical and thought out. However I am beginning to worry that I have gotten impatient and rushed into a couple things. Hope i haven't taken any serious steps back. Ive been working on finishing the drywall while I figure out this tub situation.
I am using fairly small tiles (3x6) and am worried about how the bottom row will adhere, and what it will adhere to, before i caulk the bottom edge that meets with the tub.
THANKS!
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:54 AM   #4
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How to make cement board thicker?


What you need to do is use Furring Strips on the 2x's, to bring them out plumb. That means using a 4 or 6 foot level. Then use a Table saw to adjust to cut a 2x4 or 2x6 with the proper angle difference. Depending on how out of plumb the walls are.

Most likely the Tub is what is out of plumb, not the wall.
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:38 AM   #5
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How to make cement board thicker?


The cement board I have up right now is 1/2 inch...Putting a piece of 1/4 inch over top of it is starting to sound better and better...
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:52 AM   #6
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How to make cement board thicker?


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Well that's about as confusing as anything gets...

You can not and do not want to build-out your walls with thinset. That isn't what thinset does and isn't what it is for. Thinset is not build-able in that fashion and will sag terribly. Why can't you just add another layer of cement board then find a way to deal with the screwy returns you will likely create in the process?

I guess I should ask: What is the thickness of the first layer of cement board you have installed? Please don't say it is 1/4".
I installed 1/2", and I would say im about a 1/4" back from where I would need to be for a tile to cover the lip of the tub
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:25 AM   #7
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How to make cement board thicker?


Another thing to consider is if your walls aren't perfectly plumb it's going to be very evident in your grout lines and corner cuts.

IMO, take it down and fix it the right way.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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How to make cement board thicker?


Thanks for the advice guys...i have taken down the cement board and used 1/4 inch furring strips, and board is back up. 2 steps forward and one step back... but at least its done right now and it looks the way it should
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:18 AM   #9
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How to make cement board thicker?


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Originally Posted by Pocket7s View Post
Thanks for the advice guys...i have taken down the cement board and used 1/4 inch furring strips, and board is back up. 2 steps forward and one step back... but at least its done right now and it looks the way it should
Had to do that myself in a previous bath. Ended up furring out an entire 11' length of the wall to avoid having a bump-out where the tub met the rest of the wall. Saved myself a boatload of tile cutting later on...
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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How to make cement board thicker?


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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Had to do that myself in a previous bath. Ended up furring out an entire 11' length of the wall to avoid having a bump-out where the tub met the rest of the wall. Saved myself a boatload of tile cutting later on...
TRUST ME...that is the lessor of the evils.

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