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Old 10-17-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
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Tub Tile Surround Question


I am in process of a total remodel of the main bathroom in my 1930 built home and I have a question about tiling the tub surround. A little background before the question. From the looks of the bathroom, it had a minor upgrade in the early 50s and hadn't been touched since.

I gutted it down to studs, replaced the tub, and upgraded all plumbing to copper. Tub is on exterior wall which I added insulation to. The exterior walls have a slight angle just above the window lines where the walls meet the hip roof. I installed 1/2 Hardi CBU on the vertical walls of the tub surround.

My plan is to tile the tub walls up to the hip angle which is about 77" from the tub ledge. And finally my question is, should I tile the hip angle portion of the ceiling in the tub or will green board be sufficient? Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Old 10-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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Is there a shower involved in all of this, or just a tub?

Not an expert, but if there is a shower and there is any potential at all for water to splash that wall I would go with CBU and tile.

A pic may help others picture your situation.

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Old 10-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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From a water stand point, I don't see a need to tile the roof line. Up 77" would preclude splashing water. This would be purely a visual thing.
Would it look better or not?
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:14 PM   #4
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Tub Tile Surround Question


Thanks for the replies. Seems to me that splashing water on the ceiling is rare and gravity would prevent it from soaking thru to the drywall. I suppose my concern is about humidity/vapor. I haven't seen shower ceilings tiled so I thought I would check experts opinions about whether painted drywall is good enough. The shower head height is about 84" from the tub floor. I'm 6'2" and the old shower head height just didn't cut it.

Here's a photo of the worksite. This is before the Hardibacker went up. I will use Redgard on the Hardibacker, thus the reason for pulling the paper off the insulation behind the shower wall.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Tub Tile Surround Question


Well it seems that my photo file is too large. I'll have to find a way to reduce the size as i don't have the right software installed at the moment. I'll try to get some photos of the project up soon.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GrooveMerchant View Post
Well it seems that my photo file is too large. I'll have to find a way to reduce the size as i don't have the right software installed at the moment. I'll try to get some photos of the project up soon.
You can use one of the photo places like photo bucket or the like to change the photos.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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Is there no vent in the bathroom other than say, a small window? If that's the case, I would strongly recommend installing a ceiling vent, and my recommendation drastically rises as the window size decreases. Moisture can build up from even a moderate bathroom and leave for a sticky situation once done with showering (bathing, not so sure), and I know from personal experience. I don't think it's necessary to tile on the angled portion (If I understand the room layout correctly...) but I believe adequate venting is pretty much a must unless the user enjoys cold showers.

Just make sure that the drywall above the shower is all adequately sealed with the correct paints (If you put in new drywall, for example, sealed with drywall paint and not typical sealer, I just learned the difference recently) and well caulked. That would go a long way in diverting water issues from steam buildup. Without adequate venting of steam, however, I think it's a setup for more future heavy duty work to be done.

Edit: I forgot to ask- since it's a tub/shower surround... Did you place a moisture layer barrier of some sort behind the hardi?? Something like decently thick plastic sheeting or tar paper (roofing paper, whatever it's called)? If not, and it's not too late, you might reeeeeally want to do that. You may have already and just omitted it, but I do a lot of tiling so that omission caught my eye.. Just want to help so don't take it the wrong way

Last edited by scyarch; 10-24-2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention the edit portion above
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #8
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Syarch. Thanks for the info. Good advice regarding venting. I forgot to mention it, but I did install a good quality ceiling fan vented to outside to handle the moisture buildup. The bath also has 2 windows so hopefully adequate ventilation won't be an issue.

I was't planning to use a separate moisture barrier behind the hardibacker. From the reading I've done on this site, I understand that poly, tarpaper or paper-faced insulation is not recommended behind the cement wall board IF Redguard (or similar) moisture barrier is used inside the wall surface. I plan to use Reguard on the Hardiback as a moisture barrier/sealer. Let me know if I misunderstood that point. This is still something I can correct easily at this point in my project.

I'll do some research into drywall paint. i didn't know there was such a thing. I assumed a regular latex paint (over primer) would act as a sealer.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:36 PM   #9
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Syarch. Thanks for the info. Good advice regarding venting. I forgot to mention it, but I did install a good quality ceiling fan vented to outside to handle the moisture buildup. The bath also has 2 windows so hopefully adequate ventilation won't be an issue.

I was't planning to use a separate moisture barrier behind the hardibacker. From the reading I've done on this site, I understand that poly, tarpaper or paper-faced insulation is not recommended behind the cement wall board IF Redguard (or similar) moisture barrier is used inside the wall surface. I plan to use Reguard on the Hardiback as a moisture barrier/sealer. Let me know if I misunderstood that point. This is still something I can correct easily at this point in my project.

I'll do some research into drywall paint. i didn't know there was such a thing. I assumed a regular latex paint (over primer) would act as a sealer.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Well... I've just used tar paper or plastic as a barrier for the wall between studs and hardibacker/cement board, and I can't recall off the top of my head about if I've done it when greenboard (the green drywall) is separating them. I don't know if it's needed in that case. I'm no professional, it's just knowledge that I've picked up along the way so there could be more than one way to do it. I haven't heard of Redguard barriers so I'll look into that for my future use, however as long as there is some sort of protection, I think you're good . Not too sure what the point of it is, however, I think it has to do with the fact that if you take a hot shower, the heat from the warm water combined with the cool thinset and concreteboard can condense on the otherside to provide issues if there is insulation and to the studs or something... Maybe you know better.

It could also be something of a locational issue. You're in Ohio, I gather, where I believe you have actual.. seasons, haha. Here in Los Angeles, there's like... one season (which varies by about 10-15 degrees for half the year). Leads to very stable building environments unless there's an earthquake . As to what I meant about drywall paint- that is only if you redid all of the drywall and it's not yet been painted. You can use a sealer, I've been told, however the fibrous qualities of drywall (at least the drywall we have here) are such that they would suck up a LOT of sealer before you had an adequate layer for painting on top of. I don't do a LOT of drywalling myself, so I never knew about it, and figured you might not either as it's more of a DIY site.. Apparently this primer seals porous surfaces better than standard sealers which are meant for going over pre-sealed, non porous paints.

Here is a link to a brand Home Depot carries (around here, not sure what your local main hardware store is out there..): http://www.homedepot.com/Paint-Prime...atalogId=10053 (if it doesn't work, go to homedepot.com and search for "drywall primer")
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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Tub Tile Surround Question


So I finally got around to adding a photo of the project in question. Thanks Ron6519 for the PhotoBucket tip.

This is where the project is today. My goal for the weekend is to finish mudding, prime and start adding the wainscoat to the walls.


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Old 11-03-2011, 10:23 PM   #11
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That ceiling looks huge. How high is it? 9'?? What's the shower stem height off the floor at? Maybe it's just the photo stretching things, haha.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:34 PM   #12
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The recommendations with respect to moisture barrier or no moisture barrier, Groove is correct.

A moisture barrier is required when cement board is used and no waterproofing is applied to the cement board surface.

If the cement board surface is waterproofed or if any other system used has waterproofing at the wallboard surface then moisture barrier is not used on the studs.

I have always tiled the ceilings in my custom showers when the tile went all the way up the wall to the ceiling. I really don't think it is necessary and it certainly isn't a requirement that I am aware of but I think it has a huge impact on the appearance of the shower. In my case it sells showers.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #13
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The worm's eye view makes the ceiling look high. It is 96". Shower spout is 84". I'm 6'2" though and got fed up with the old shower at 5 and a half feet.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:16 PM   #14
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The worm's eye view makes the ceiling look high. It is 96". Shower spout is 84". I'm 6'2" though and got fed up with the old shower at 5 and a half feet.
Hahaha, I have the same deal. I'm short, at 5'-8" but I still prefer high mounted shower heads to hit the top of my head when showering. I can't handle when my head can hit the shower head because it always happens.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #15
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Tub Tile Surround Question


Alright. I am finally ready to start tiling the bath/shower surround. I need some advice on selecting the proper trowel size.

The wall tiles are 12x18 ceramic tiles. I've done some searching but haven't been able to find install instructions for this tile size.

What size trowel spacing should I use?

While I'm at it I'll ask the same question for my floor tile. It is 12x24"

I may be stating the obvious, but I'm all about using large tiles!

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