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Old 01-27-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Need a Tile Expert please.


As part of my never ending project, I am going to have to install tiles in the shower. One of the walls has a slight curve to it, yes it was intentional thank you, of about a 22' radius. I know that is a gentle curve, but it is more than enough to prevent a 12" tile to lay flat.
The pics I have taken to demonstrate to you how the curve looks show a 4' straightedge and a tile leaning against the wall.
The gap in the middle of the straightedge measures a bit over an inch, about 1 1/8".
The photo of the tile barely shows the gap at all. I think this is because the flash on the camera has illuminated the space behind it.
The gap with the tile flat against the wall is only about 1/8" +.
While this may not sound like much, it is more than I care to have.
I have thought of a couple of solutions and would appreciate hearing from anyone who has solved this problem previously.
I could add a few vertical strips of wood in an attempt to make each 12" section flatter. This would not be my first choice.
Or I can cut the tiles down to either 6" or even 4" wide so that the gap will almost disappear.
I previously tiled behind one of the wood stoves here, and cut the slate to 6" x 12". The wall was straight, not curved, but we definitely like the look. I can maybe get a pic of that now that I think about it.
So, ladies and gentlemen, could I ask for your expertise or your opinions, whichever you may have.
Thank you.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:22 AM   #2
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Need a Tile Expert please.


I wouldn't put tile on that substrate. I would get 1/4" cement board and properly attach it to the plywood. Is the plywood properly attached to the framing above to support the extra weight of the tile?
To have the tile conform to the curve, you will need smaller tile.
Ron

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Old 01-28-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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Ron's right. There is a lot wrong here. You can't apply tile to that substrate (which appears to be painted plywood) and expect it to last more than a few months. Don't even consider wood strips.

You should remove the substrate, apply 1/2" cememtitious backerboard directly to the studs, thinset and mesh tape the seams, waterproof the backerboard with RedGuard or Kerdi, and then tile. If the gap/curve remains after you install backerboard you should use the same thinset adhesive that you'll use to apply the tiles to thicken that area, using a wide float.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Ron: The 1/2" plywood is well and truly screwed to the framing. So that is there to stay. I am using Easyboard in other places in the house under my tiles, and apparently it is good for use in a shower. So I can attach that to the existing wall. As far as using a smaller tile to eliminate the space, that is the reason I plan to cut them into thinner strips, either 6" or 4". And I would use a sealer. That's not a problem.

kctermite: I'm afraid the plywood will be staying. But I will follow your advice on taping the board. In fact, that very instruction is printed right on the Easyboard sheets. I have just used two short straightedges of 6" and 4" against the wall to see how much gap would remain. In both cases, it is inconsequential, so your idea of using a little thicker thinset is well taken. I am sure that will work.

Gentlemen, thank you both for your instructive and informative comments. I am glad I asked.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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Easyboard is great for dry applications such as countertops, walls, and floors. I'd definately suggest doing some research before incorporating it and plywood in the shower system. A waterproofing membrane under the tile is absolutely necesssary.

I just hate to see you work so hard on a shower and have it cause you problems or not last the life of the home like it should.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Thanks again. I think I will contact the manufacturer directly and get their opinion. If they say no, then I will use something different.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:14 PM   #7
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Cool! Let us know what they say. I'm sure others can benefit from what you find out.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:46 PM   #8
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I got my email inquiry off promptly to the manufacturer, and they have an automated response which tells you they will respond within 24 hours. While I have not yet heard back from them, it does not concern me too much.
There is an excellent tile site out there in cyberville with some genuine experts.
I found more than sufficient information, including some from one of the patent holders of the product, which leads me to believe that Easyboard will be just fine in the shower.
Providing you follow all the instructions carefully, there should be no trouble.
A large number of the pros are using it, and have taken the time to do very good writeups on the product and what you might expect to run unto.
You cannot treat it as you would cement board, you very nearly need kid gloves.
So, if anyone else is interested in something like this, you will find a short video on the Custom Building Products website, along with installation instructions, which has already been referred to above.
It seems that others think the instructions need clarification in a couple of areas, and I have to agree with that. It was somewhat confusing upon first being read.
But a little sleuthing seems to have provided the answers.
I shall still report on what CBP says, or not, as the case may be.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:06 AM   #9
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One other thing jumps to my mind here. If your slicing up your 12's to 6's or however small you need, you'll be left with a lot of sharp edges for grout lines. Personally I would rather go get smaller tiles to keep smooth edges.

Cheers
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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You're definitely right about that, and I did think about it. So either I could laboriously take the edges down with a stone, or more quickly with a diamond wheel on the mini-grinder. I could rig some sort of jig so it would just make a 1/16" bevel or something like that. Maybe even the stationary belt sander.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocobolo View Post
You're definitely right about that, and I did think about it. So either I could laboriously take the edges down with a stone, or more quickly with a diamond wheel on the mini-grinder. I could rig some sort of jig so it would just make a 1/16" bevel or something like that. Maybe even the stationary belt sander.

Sounds like you have it under control .. Post a pic or 2 when your done.. look forward to seeing it.
Cheers
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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It may take a little while, as I have to get the concrete poured on the floor first and let it cure for awhile. But I shall post pics in due course.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Need a Tile Expert please.


Why hasn't anyone mentioned the use of KERDI Mat. Easyboard is not waterproof and will eventually wick water and it will find its way to the plywood. The end results won't be purdy.

The use of 1/4" cement board with an application of KERDI Mat would totally waterproof the walls. KERDI Mat could also be worked into the receptor and using a KERDI Drain would totally waterproof the entire project.

Obviously the smaller tiles will be necessary but the truth is: If the full 12" tiles were to be used the curve would still be apparent event after giving up the tiny 1/8" behind each 12" tile.

I don't see where Custom Building Products is giving you a "fare shake". It seems their utmost desire is for you to buy their product, damn the technique. Next time you talk to them be sure to ask for Anthony and tell him I sent you. Anthony is a very perceptive kinda guy and will likely understand the total project.

The cost of the EasyBoard isn't necessary in this case when less expensive cement board will work fine and follow the curve easily. Cement board also isn't waterproof but it is an excellent "tooth" for the installation of the KERDI Mat. The KERDI Mat could be applied directly to the plywood but if it has been painted I wouldn't recommend that procedure.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:16 PM   #14
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Thanks Bud. Apparently, I can put 6 mil poly behind the easyboard for waterproofing.
It's looking more and more to me like the easiest solution is to turn the shower into a closet and just use the bathtub upstairs!!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:19 PM   #15
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The "poly" (when used) is intended to be a moisture barrier only, NOT A WATERPROOFING.

I don't see any way for you to do a conventional two-cast receptor using a poly moisture barrier the way you have things set up now. You are heading down a slippery slope and there is no ski patrol on that side of the mountain. Better go back to the bunny-hill for more training.

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