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Old 02-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #1
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my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls


if you like this project, you might like some of my others:

my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls
my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls

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my toilet install, 90 year old home

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my floor refurbish project

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hi everyone,

just thought i'd post my shower install maybe someone will find useful in the future. if you have any questions or comments just post here and i'll get back to you.

thanks to everyone on this board who has given great advice, your help is immensely appreciated!

ok, for this shower it is my first attempt. my wife wanted a frameless glass and tiled walls. when i started this shower i did not know the pros/cons of denshield or i would have gone full kerdi (which i also had no idea existed until AFTER i started the shower).

i bought a MAAX shower from HD, one that was frameless, the plastic walls were optional (in this case i didn't want them) and comes with a prefabbed reinforced plastic base. this was perfect for me because i didn't trust myself with the custom tiled base, i wanted something fool proof.

ps. the instructions for the base that came with shower said that the drain pipe rubber seal should go on TOP of the base, but that is wrong. there should be silicon on top and the rubber goes under - i was a bit off when i found this out the hard way..

but life goes on and the reno continues

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls


first i decided to build a false wall. due to old house i figured it was the only way i was going to get a good flat surface. also, the walls are drywall over lath & plaster so it is a good 1.5 inches before you find the studs.. which themselves are rough cut and are not flat. i used 4" screws to reach the studs and dropped in the framing.

second i placed the base and leveled it meticulously. due to floors having a slope and corners i had to put some 1" board under the feet to raise it up in two of the corners! i'll put quarter round on the bottom at a later date to hide the gap.

i also poured some mortar under the base (after satisfied with dry fit) to add to stability. the mortar was poured in a circle around the draing (i left a 4" gap) and the mortar was about 6" high. the base will push down on the mortar giving good contact. also, i poured some extra mortar in the corner. i did this because when i was standing on the base with both my feet in the corner the front of the shower (where the door would be in the future) actually lifted up off the floor a bit. so i poured mortar under the corner too for added support (there is no leg in the corner, so the mortar acts as a 5th leg on the base).

then it dried and i am much pleased.

i did not screw the base into the studs as instructions did not say. also, advice from different message board said the mortar, glass doors and drain pipe will hold it all stable.



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Old 02-23-2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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then i put up the denshield backerboard. there is much discussion on if this is a good idea or not. well, what can i say, i was ignorant and just bought what looked reasonable and easy for me.

however, manufacturer guarentees the product and if you put waterproofing down the seems then it is even rated for steam shower use.. so must be a good product - right?

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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at this point i found out that denshield is .. OK .. if it is installed properly.

i had screws that went in too far, some exposed gypsum (hard to see in the picture). i got scared..

but the advice i received was to use 2" 10x10 meshtape with mortar over anything that looked questionable and then redgard waterproof it.

the meshtape i found in the drywall section at HD. they didn't have any in the cement board section, so i just bought it. was $5

the redgard i found in the tile section where they cell sealant. some say it can be found in the roofing section. also from HD.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls


i had to put an extra strip of denshield down the center because my temperature valve stuck out too far! now i have a 3D effect.. good spot to put nice trim i guess.

also, this exposes MORE gypsum, on the top & bottom of this 3D strip. will definitely need meshtape, mortar & redgard here!


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Old 02-23-2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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now it is time to break out the big guns...

$72 for 1 gallon, worth every penny.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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with a 2" slighly fuzzy roller it goes on fairly easy. my wife took over this task while i posted our progress to the web. unfortunately the corner was difficult to get redgard into with the roller. instead we put on rubber gloves and just rubbed it in there.

on the bucket it explains how thick you need to apply it. but geez.. there's a lot in one bucket so you could easily do two coats.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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the redgard when on AFTER the mortar was completely dry. it goes on pink, when the redgard dries it turns deep red, takes about 3 hours.

here i show the tiles we plan on using. it is tumbled traveltine, each square is 2"x2". we used tilelab tile sealant, 2 coats, and presaled them.

we will seal them again when on the wall with mortar.

nice thing about these tiles is they are very forgiving. if your line is not perfectly straight, that's ok. the tiles on the mesh from the manufacturer are not perfectly straight! it is supposed to look that way..

you can get these tiles from HD, but if you're in canada you can get them even cheaper from dufferin tile in toronto.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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the mortar i plan on using to put the tiles on is something i found from HD. it says on the bag it is for stone tiles and is a polymer modified.

my wife wanted a rain shower. but finding some chrome for this shower head was impossible!

in the end, i found a kitchen sink chrome nozel which was coupled to a 4" chrome exention via the old 1/2" threaded coupling which is rough brass (is designed to look old fashion). the rest of our bathroom is old fashion style so it kinda fits in.
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:16 PM   #10
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the tiling started.. nice thing about tumbled stone is that it is pretty forgiving. since the stones are all different (colour, shape, placement on the mesh tape behind each stone) the look is rough. that's good for beginners who do rough work! ha.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:17 PM   #11
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i started out by applying a very thin layer of mortar with a 6" trowel. then, i used my notch trowel to thicken up the mortar.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:17 PM   #12
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here is the tiling done..

now i let is dry for a couple of days and will use non-sanded grout.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:18 PM   #13
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my shower project, denshield backerboard, tiled walls


one thing i should mention at this point...

the tiling took me about 6 hours!! i was getting much better at it and faster as i moved a long but sheesh.. this was a lot of work.

for those professionals out there that would have charged an arm & a leg, all i got to say is its worth every penny... every penny..
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:19 PM   #14
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ok, so now i am grouting. i chose non-sanded polyblend, polymer modified, alabasker colour, grout.

wow, that's a mouth full.

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Old 02-23-2008, 05:19 PM   #15
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i had a foam float and i just put it on according to directions. nothing too complicated here.

about 5 minutes after i applied it to one section, my wife came by with a damp sponge to wipe away the excess. you're supposed to do this according to the instructions on the box, but it was hard to tell how long you're supposed to wait. anyway, came off looking good so we kept with our plan.

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