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Old 03-23-2006, 01:02 PM   #1
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tile shower help


Need some info from the tile experts. I am tackling my first DIY tile project and need to know what to use to adhere the tile to the durock in a shower. I spent some time looking around John Bridge's forums and only got confused. Is "thinset" a just add water product, or there something else that has to be added to it?
I learned enough in my research to find out three things for sure:
1. the "experts" at my local big box store a BS artists who will try to pawn off an (uninformed) opinion as a fact.
2. The tile contractors in my area do NOT install the tile the way the Pro's over at John Bridge's site recommend.
3. I ain't smart enough to know the answers, but I ain't too proud to ask.


Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-23-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
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Should have mentioned that I am talking about the walls only here. The base is a cultured marble one piece unit. I didn't feel comfortable tackling a mud bed shower base yet. The tile is 4 in ceramic.

Thanks again.

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Old 03-23-2006, 05:19 PM   #3
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tile shower help


Thinset mortar comes in a bag with everything included, just add water. If you're installing a white or light color tile I would use a white thinset. You can also use a tile adhesive like "Omni- Grip" for walls and shower areas, comes in a bucket and is much easier and neater to use. Don't buy the cheap stuff. Whichever one you use, please read the instructions well. One last word of advice...when you install the Durock make sure the smooth side is facing you, for better tile adhesion.
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:49 PM   #4
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tile shower help


Ron, when you talk about "Omni-grip" (I'm not familiar with the name), is that a mastic? Comes in a bucket, pre-mixed? If so, have you ever seen that stuff after it gets wet? Looks (and adheres) like toothpaste. Not recomended for wet areas. Atric, go with the thinset, just add water and stir...
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:22 AM   #5
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tile shower help


DO NOT use Omni-Grip or any adhesives that come in a bucket for wet areas, the only good thing about these products is when you throw it away, you have a nice bucket.:D

Use a good modified thinset, if shopping at HD, pick up a bag of Versabond, install a vapor barrier over the studs, then use a CBU for the walls, Hardie, Durock, Wonderboard, Etc.

Thay make CBU screws for these boards or you can use roofing nails, screws hold better.

The vapor barrier can be 4 or6 Mill Poly, or 15lb. roofing felt, overlap 2" as you go up.

Tape and thinset the seams while tiling, caulk inside corners and the tile to pan joint when finished with a matching color caulk, they sell this caulk where you purchase the grout.

Anything else?
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&D Tile
DO NOT use Omni-Grip or any adhesives that come in a bucket for wet areas, the only good thing about these products is when you throw it away, you have a nice bucket.

Use a good modified thinset, if shopping at HD, pick up a bag of Versabond, install a vapor barrier over the studs, then use a CBU for the walls, Hardie, Durock, Wonderboard, Etc.

Thay make CBU screws for these boards or you can use roofing nails, screws hold better.

The vapor barrier can be 4 or6 Mill Poly, or 15lb. roofing felt, overlap 2" as you go up.

Tape and thinset the seams while tiling, caulk inside corners and the tile to pan joint when finished with a matching color caulk, they sell this caulk where you purchase the grout.

Anything else?
Thanks RD!
I already installed 6 Mil to the studs, then Durock using the recommended screws. I also purchased the web tabe they said I needed for the seams. Do I need to tape and thin the inside corners also? Or should I caulk that seam (under the tile) and again after the tile is up?

I will look for the Versabond product. That's exactly the kind of info I needed. Whats the ratio of water to powder you use? Should I just follow the recipe on the bag, or is there some trade trick that makes a better consistancy for doing vertical surfaces? Is it OK to mix it with a drill and paddle?

Also, I had already learned to avoid any mastics or latex expanders in a shower from reading JBs fourms. I already told the big box "tile expert" his advice wasn't correct when he tried to sell me the stuff. Grocery clerks passing themselves off as knowledgable. I suggested he do some research before passing out erroneous info to his customers.

I will be sure to caulk the corners and base. Plan to use a 100% silicone (white) Is there a particular brand or type you suggest. Is there a mildew resistant kind available?

Also, I am assuming that the caulk should go in last, after the grouting?
I will be back with more questions when I get ready to grout, but I wanted to get the tile up first. Any time limit on how long I can wait before grouting, or problems if I don't get around to doing the grout for a week or so after the tile is up?

I'm remodeling my hall bath and I don't want to screw this up. If sucessful I will tackle the master bath in few months.

Thanks for your help, all.
Rhett
Licensed Electrician, Licensed plumber, Rookie DIY tile guy on my own house only! (don't plan to add this trade to my biz, lol) :D
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:16 PM   #7
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Maybe I should just come over and do this for ya.:D

Tape and thinset the corners , then caulk them after tile and grouting, they sell mathing color caulks to the grout.

Versabond is sold at HD, white for light colored grout and gray for darker colors.

Yes, use a drill, I assume you don't have a 1/2 heavy duty 7 amp baby, use whatever you have and a mixing paddle, so you don't burn it up, add some water in a 5 gallon pail, not alot, just a few inches, water goes a long way when mixing this stuff, now add the thinset and mix it, add a small amount at a time, you want it so that it holds on the wall without the ridges slumping, but not tight where it balls up, don't mix the whole bag, no more than half a bag should get you started.

Use a 1/4x1/4" trowel.

After grouting, take a small thin screwdriver and carefully without scratching the tile, scrape out the grout from between the tile and pan and in the corners, caulk these gaps the next day, when using a latex based caulk, just put it in, tool it off with a wet finger and go over it with the grout sponge damp, it will look just like a grout joint, you can use 100% silicone, but it doesn't clean up with water and is a PITA to use, unless your used to it.
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Old 03-27-2006, 12:29 PM   #8
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tile shower help


Quote:
Originally Posted by R&D Tile
Maybe I should just come over and do this for ya.:D
If I could afford you, I would take ya up on that. I'm a DIYer out of neccesity, rather than choice.

Instead, I'll have to keep asking silly questions here at DIY and rely on smart guys like you to keep me from steping on my p**ker.

Thanks so much for your help, RD. I think I feel confident enough now to tackle this thing this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out. If it goes well, you'll get the credit. :D

I have a monster of a drill that ought to suffice.

Do I need to "seal" the grout afterwards with anything to help prevent mildew and such? Is there a particular product you recommend?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:28 PM   #9
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If using glazed ceramic, just seal the grout and wipe any excess sealer off the tile, it can leave a hard to remove film.

I use these sealers.

http://www.aquamix.com/

You can buy a small sealer applicator bottle at any home center, pour the sealer into that.

As for the drill to mix the thinset, don't use it if it spins alot more than 350 to 400 rpms, you'll whip air into the thinset, 300 to 400 is best.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron schenker
One last word of advice...when you install the Durock make sure the smooth side is facing you, for better tile adhesion.
Are you sure? I like to burn the thinset into the rough side, makes me fell better about it. I could be all wrong, I havn't done much of it, so I would like a secound opinion about it. Anyone else got two cents worth to throw in about which side of the board to use?

I'm also thinking the smooth side is ment for mastics which I hope no one will use in a shower.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #11
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Rough side out for everything if using cementboards such as Durock and wonderboard, Hardie only has one side that gets tiled if using that.
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:22 PM   #12
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tile shower help


Finally got all my tile on hand, and have decided on a design (thanks to some inspiration from some of the bathroom pics I saw on C Talk) and am preparing to take a stab at this.

Got another question though: Should I backbutter the tile 4" tiles, or is that only neccessary with 6 inch and up?:confused:

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:30 PM   #13
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tile shower help


Quote:
Originally Posted by R&D Tile
Use a 1/4x1/4" trowel.
Just to make sure here, I use 1/4" notched trowel on 4 by 4 tile? Someone told me to use an 1/8" notch for small tile.

Sorry for so many questions, but I don't want to jack this up. Otherwise, "she who must be obeyed" will be less than pleased the next time I demolish part of the house.:D
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:38 PM   #14
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No need to backbutter that size tile, I use 1/4" all the time for 4" wall tile, if you get any oozing between the joints, just angle the trowel a little more when spreading, that will help.

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