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Old 08-23-2008, 06:53 PM   #16
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


What kind of drain piping do you have under your bathroom sink? If it's the old 1 1/4 inch chrome plated style of p-trap, it might be a good idea to remove the drywall on the right side up to the first wall stud to the right of the sink, and replace the drain p-trap. That way you would tile the right wall around the front of the tub down to the baseboard and to the right to form a backsplash over the bathroom sink as well, if you want.

Also, I prefer to tile right to the ceiling, but you don't need to do that. That's something you'll have to decide for yourself. I think it's better to, but it really isn't necessary. It just means that you have a little less wall to paint.

When putting up your tile backer panels, it's kinda a good idea, when one panel is up and the wall above has the bare exposed studs, to slip a piece of 1X3 or 1X4 lumber (or the equivalent size piece of 3/4 inch plywood) and screw it to the back of the tile backer so that half of it sticks up above the tile backer. Then when you put the next panel above that, screw the bottom edge of the panel to that same 1X3. That way, the 1X3 straddles the joint between the panels, so if you happen to have a horizontal grout line fall directly on that same spot, you don't have a weak spot on your wall where the only thing holding that joint together is the fiberglass mesh tape, the thin set in the joint and the grout between the tiles. You'll also have lumber straddling that joint allong it's length between the studs. Most tiling contractors won't do that, but it is a better way to do it.

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Old 08-27-2008, 03:54 PM   #17
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


[QUOTE=Nestor_Kelebay;150956]No, the horizontal molding can be narrower, much narrower. The 1/2 inch involves where you attach it to the wall. If, for example you plan to use 6X8 tiles in landscape mode, each tile will be 6 inches high. You would then attach the wood molding so the TOP of that molding is 5 1/2 inches above the tub. If you chose to use 8X8 inch tiles, you'd attach the molding to the wall so the top of the molding was 7 1/2 inch above the tub. That's because bathtubs aren't always installed level and they can tilt front to back or from side to side. Normally they only tilt 1/4 of an inch or so from front to back or side to side, so the 1/2 inch dimension includes a safety factor in case your tub is installed really out of level.

You set your first row of tiles on the molding so they don't slide down the wall as the thin set hardens. Then you set all the rest of your tiles above that first row. Then, you finally remove the molding and cut your bottom row of tiles to fit down almost to the tub.

Guess I'm still confused about this. Why not just nail the molding at exactly the right height to avoid all the extra cutting of the tiles below it? i.e. if 6x6 tiles, nail the molding up so its top edge will be at 6" plus enough for that row of grout and the 1/8" or whatever for the silicone bead along the tub? Why place the molding so that it requires cutting all the bottom tiles by 1/2" or so?
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:58 PM   #18
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Good idea about reinforcing the backer board joints. Will do.

Oh, I went to Coeur d'Alene to buy DensShield yesterday and all they had was DensGuard...? Do you know if it has replaced or is comparable to DensShield?? It is at Lowes, 55 miles from us, so I'm tempted to go with 1/2" HardiBacker which is at a local Home Depot.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:09 PM   #19
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Ok, I'll just use the knife and lotsa blades. Need to achieve straight edges and square corners too, since this will form the exact bed for the tiles, ya?
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #20
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Progress has been slow due to other work, but here's where I am. I wound up with 1/2" HardieBacker which i am about to install once I replace the old insulation and put a vinyl vapor barrier over it. I also need to make the final cut in the old 1/4" drywall to remove the last few inches where the HardieBacker will go. I assume I need to make these cuts precise and right angled exactly. Question: Do I need to use RedGuard too or is the plastic sheet and HardieBacker enough moisture protection? ANd I assume stapling the plastic sheet to the studs is fine. FYI, this tub gets used about two months out of the year then goes into "hibernation."
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:20 PM   #21
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Yes use Red Guard. However it goes on TOP of the backer board not behind it. You will have:
a layer of plastic
a layer of backer board
a layer of RedGuard
a layer of mastic
a layer of tile
a layer of tile sealer
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:35 PM   #22
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Quote:
Guess I'm still confused about this. Why not just nail the molding at exactly the right height to avoid all the extra cutting of the tiles below it? i.e. if 6x6 tiles, nail the molding up so its top edge will be at 6" plus enough for that row of grout and the 1/8" or whatever for the silicone bead along the tub? Why place the molding so that it requires cutting all the bottom tiles by 1/2" or so?
Because typically, bathtubs aren't level from side to side or from front to back. If yours is, then you can do that. In my 21 bathtubs, I only had one that was that way. Typically, the tub will be out of flat and level by a good 1/4 inch from side to side or front to back, so the 1/2 inch provides for plenty of leeway in that regard.

Mark a horizontal line around your tub enclosure and measure from that line to all 4 corners of your tub. The closer the dimensions are, the less wiggle room you need in that 1/2 inch dimension.

Never heard of Dens-Guard. If you have to travel 55 miles for it, then I'd opt for the Hardibacker. Be forewarned, though, Hardibacker has a lot of sand in it, so it dulls any metal cutting tools you use on it, like drill bits and such. When I cut it, I use a hand grinder fitted with a thin masonary blade. Or, just use a jig saw, and use more blades, maybe. Or, a jig saw blade with a grit edge rather than teeth.

On most of the bathroom tiling I did with Wonderboard, I pre-chamfered the holes I'd be using to install the tile backer. I drilled a 1/8 inch pilot hole where the studs would be with a masonary bit, and then used one of those "grinding points" made for die grinders with the conical shap to chamfer the hole. Basically, you just put that die grinder point (that will have a 1/4 inch steel shank) in a percussion type hammer drill and grind out a cone at each 1/8 inch hole. In my case, I used stainless steel flat head screws to attach the tile backer board to the studs. The grinder point allowed me to chamfer the holes so that the tops of the screws were counter sunk a bit under the face of the board. Also, cuz Wonderboard isn't the most homogeneous of materials, sometimes the Wonderboard is soft and crumbly where your screw is, so I would fill the chamfered hole with cement based floor leveling compound, and then drive the screw in. That way, if the chamfered hole was rough or out of shape or anything, the cement based floor leveler would accomodate any difference in shape between the chamfer and the screw head.

And, you can sharpen the die grinder points if you have a bench grinder (or anything else). In my case, I'd switch the drill to rotate only and hold the spinning grinder point against the side of the spinning bench grinder stone. The grinding point was spinning in an axis that's 45 degrees from vertical and the grinding wheel is spinning in a horizontal axis, and the result is that as the die grinder point starts to change shape, you can restore the 45 degree cone on it.

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Old 08-31-2008, 12:49 PM   #23
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Ah, I understand the need to accommodate the tub unevenness now. (I put a long level on this one at it looked perfect but will try measuring from a line to all four corners.) I bought the 1/2" HardiBacker and will install it tomorrow. I also sprang for the special screws made specifically for it that are self-threading, moisture-proof and flush mounting. The Hardie info cautions against using power tools due to the silica dust but I bought extra jigsaw blades--and face masks--because I know I'll need to cut around the plumbing, etc.
(When my wife isn't looking.)
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:59 AM   #24
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


If a 4 foot spirit level tells you the tub is level, then that'll be pretty accurate, say to within 1/8 of an inch over the 5 foot length of the tub.

(The problem is, you can't stretch a tile that much. You can only draw your horizontal line 1/8 inch lower, and trim your bottom row of tiles to fit down to the tub. Having your bottom row of tiles 1/8 inch above the tub in one corner can be covered up with caulk, but it is a nuisance. You'd much prefer to have started 1/8 inch lower, right?)

If you have any clear vinyl hose hanging around, check it accurately with a water level.

How to fill a hose with water: Wrap the hose around the ID of a pail. REach in and grab the bottom end of the hose and stick a funnel into it. Pour water into the funnel so that the hose fills from the bottom, preventing air bubbles getting trapped in the hose.

Take two sticks of equal length (by ripping one stick down the middle) and hold one stick on the tub and the vinyl hose so that the bottom of the meniscus is at the top of the stick. Have a helper do the same thing at the remaing 3 corners of the tub. If the bottom of the meniscus is right at the top of the stick at all 4 corners, then your tub is indeed perfectly level.

That's a more accurate way to check for level. In my case, I just put the horizontal line 1/2 inch down from a full tile height, and just use a short spirit level to draw my line. That way I don't have to be as accurate and careful, and no one ever cares that the bottom row of tiles isn't the same height as the rest of the rows. As long as the whole installation looks good, that's all that really matters. If the bottom row of tiles is 1/2 inch shorter or taller, no one is ever going to notice except people that do this kind of work, and they're going to know that it's of little importance. People who don't know how to install wall tiles either won't notice or will presume there's a good reason.

LIke I say, as long as the end result looks well done and is attractive, that's as close as the average person is gonna look. You or I would look at those details, but we would at the same time recognize that doing it one way or the other doesn't make it better or worse; it's equally functional and attractive done either way. It would only be a problem if the silicone caulk was 3/4 of an inch thick at one corner of the tub cuz the guy that was tiling didn't check to see if the tub was level and found out the hard way that it wasn't.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:47 PM   #25
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Thanks for the sequence, UFO. The Hardie company claims no added water-proofing is required with HardiBacker and the smallest amount of RG I can fine is 2 gallons for 39.00. I'd need about 1 pint. Should I still spring for the 39 bucks to be safe?
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:27 PM   #26
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


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Originally Posted by BillyB44 View Post
Thanks for the sequence, UFO. The Hardie company claims no added water-proofing is required with HardiBacker and the smallest amount of RG I can fine is 2 gallons for 39.00. I'd need about 1 pint. Should I still spring for the 39 bucks to be safe?
$40 is cheap insurance. I used the whole bucket when I did mine. I don't remember it being 2 gallons though. However it was about $40 at home Depot, so I think we are talking about the same size container.

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Old 09-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #27
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


Yup, I could be off on the two gallons. It was Home Depot. Guess I'll buy the 'insurance.'
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:21 PM   #28
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


I would.

The Hardie company is FOS.

If you have a leak through the tiling, say at a grout joint, the Hardiebacker will absorb water. It won't change dimensions cuz of that, but it is possible that any wood it's screwed to will absorb water from the Hardiebacker and eventually start to rot.

Having Red Guard between the tiling and the Hardibacker prevents the backer board from absorbing water in the event of a water leak, and that means the wood stays dry. Dry wood is happy wood.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:44 AM   #29
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Re-tiling a bathtub surround


If you have Kraft-faced insulation, do not use a poly vapor barrier. It will create an "envelope". Such a "vapor envelope" is not to code, because it creates an area that will trap moisture. If you do install a ply vapor barrier, then remove the old kraft-faced insulation, and install unfaced insulation.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:33 PM   #30
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SOunds like a communist faction, but I'll go for it. Also, Atlantic, I put in unfaced insulation so should be ok. Caulking the bottom of the poly to tub was tricky yesterday, but finally got it done. The backer board and tile will obscure the wide bead, thank goodness. I do the HardieBoard today, holding it 1/4" above tub surface, ya?

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