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Old 01-21-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


Ok, ok, I've been all over the web, and read all kinds of stuff on vapor barriers for showers and tubs. I'm going to use 4 or 6 mil plastic attached to the studs and durarock on top of that. My question is... at the bottom where I lap the plastic over the edge of the tub (so water caught by the barrier will go back into the tub). I will then tile over the durarock starting a quarter inch above the tub. When I'm done I'll caulk the quarter inch gap between the tub and the tile, also sealing the vapor barrier. So how is water going to get back to the wet side of the tub? The caulk bead needed to keep water from getting from the wet side to the wall will also stop any water stopped by the vapor barrier from draining out from behind the tile. Is there some way to have some weep holes or is this not a problem?

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Old 01-21-2009, 03:06 PM   #2
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


My suggestion is to WATERPROOF the surround area before tiling.
Kerdi is a waterproof membrane that installs over the Durock and then you tile directly over. There's no need to use a vapor barrier behind the Durock.

http://www.schluter.com/6436.aspx

You can find a video about installing Kerdi in a shower so you can see how it's done. You can find the Kerdi instructions and it details installing over a tub deck.

Look at my albums to see a bathroom in progress that has Kerdi.

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Old 01-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


The poly vapor barrier isn't a great way of doing things.

Angus' suggestion is the top notch way to do it, but can set you back $200+. It is the best system available.

If budget is a concern, a good compromise is a product that you "paint" on the exposed face of the backerboard just before you tile. It is called RedGuard, and is available at the box stores. That will keep water from ever permeating your backerboard, which is the best scenario.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


I've heard it's also good to fill your tub before you caulk
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


I never used that Kerdi before. Good tips. Thanks for the posts
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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Bathtub vapor barrier detail


Trust me, Kerdi is incredible. And, it is stupid-simple. Good vids of it on youtube.

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