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Old 02-18-2011, 04:56 PM   #16
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Mr. Michael: "Is this standard practice? Not doubting your methods, I've just never heard of it being done this way before. Can anyone else weigh in on Redgard vs vapor barrier behind cement board?"
If you have seen or followed any of my offerings for the past ten years on these forums you will know that I am usually the first to insist that everyone follow the recommendations of the manufacturers. I like having rules and I like following them and I like being successful as a result.

Having said all that BS I can tell you that that moisture barrier behind the wallboard thing has been a recommendation/standard for a long long time. I can also tell you that I have no idea what the hell you are supposed to really do with that moisture barrier tail.

It doesn't seem plausible to install a moisture barrier on the studs and then just let it tail-off in a crevice behind the lip of a tub or pre-made shower base or out onto the concrete floor of a cast receptor. I have fought those bastoids for decades and not always with the greatest of success. I can honestly admit that I have no idea where all of my moisture barrier tails are today. I got tired of fighting the issue. It wasn't always possible to get them where they were supposed to be, on top of the lip.

Even if the moisture barrier did its job and did collect some moisture and if the moisture was in some fashion in abundance then gravity would naturally take over and that abundance would then find itself at the bottom of the moisture barrier somewhere behind some grout or caulk.

I suppose if grout was at the juncture of the tile and whatever the base may be then the collected moisture would have an opportunity to drain through the grout and finally dissipate through evaporation. But, If the collected moisture found itself poised on the backside of caulk instead of grout...then what. All of those junctures are supposed to be caulked.

So Mr. Michael,
To answer your question, "is this standard practice?"
The answer is yes. It has been a recommendation for decades. But to further answer your question I can tell you after installing showers for 245 years (that's dog years) it beats the hell out of me how all of that is supposed to work.

Liquid membranes have been around for a long long time. Laticrete Product 9235 I think was the first decades ago. I have been using 9235 for years and years but it hasn't been until recent years that the liquid membranes have come into their own and now-a-days there seems to be a new one or a new and improved liquid membrane hitting the market place almost monthly. Liquid membranes are the way to go in most cases as long as an installer understands how they work and understands their limitations.

The use of water proofing membrane at the surface (as opposed the use of a vapor barrier deep inside the project) is far superior. One day soon this is how all tile showers will be built.

If you have never heard of this vapor barrier thing then you haven't been running in the right circles.

How's that for an explanation?

WOW! That got longer than I thought it would.


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Old 02-20-2011, 06:32 PM   #17
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Did I mention Bud's my hero? He really helped me out when I was re-tiling my shower.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:11 AM   #18
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The use of water proofing membrane at the surface (as opposed the use of a vapor barrier deep inside the project) is far superior. One day soon this is how all tile showers will be built.

How's that for an explanation?

WOW! That got longer than I thought it would.[/quote]

That was a helluva answer Bud, and thank you. Very insightful and raised/addressed some issues I was thinking about regarding the vapor barrier behind the CBU, mainly, where does the water go after it runs down the barrier, onto the front of the shower lip...Does it evaporate? Does it reabsorb through the tile? Does enough water ever even get back there to really be an issue? I know it can't get through the silicon caulk, so it's trapped, right?

That, along with not knowing how to secure the vapor barrier at the lip (which I've since researched), has led me down the path to a roll-on membrane on front of the CBU. This should be applied tonight, with tiling (hopefully) this weekend. I'll try to get pics up.


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