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markg 04-22-2009 10:52 AM

master bath remodel
I am remodeling my master bath. Had a leak in the shower and as I am starting to tear into the wall am finding some mold. Have several questions.

I got a Schluter kit for the shower and was going to take the shower down to studs, re-rock it and put up the Kerdi. The tile I plan on using is 13 x 20 tiles up about 4 courses, a 4 " stripe of glass mosaics 1 x 1, then 6 " tiles on the diagonal above the stripe. The floor will be natural stone pebbles. Have been looking around at different thinsets and was wondering if Kerabond would be a good one to stick everything with or do I need to use different thinsets for different tiles? What would be best?

On the bathroom floor, the builder did part of it in carpet and part of it in vinyl. The section with vinyl has an extra layer of particle board to match the height with the carpeted section. My thoughts were to tear up the extra layer of particle board, add maybe a 1/2 in plywood over the whole area, the heating mat, Ditra, then tile over that using the same 13 x20 tiles. Is that an acceptable sequence for a good floor?

Also there is a separate tub. We have some issue with the tub not draining well, there is a low spot that is away from the drain. Am planning on redoing the deck and tile surround there as well to match the rest of the tile. Is there any tricks to tweaking the tub to get it to drain properly?


MattCoops 05-03-2009 05:34 PM

About which thinset to use, it really depends on the composition of your tile. Being that you are installing a little bit of glass, you should use white thinset. Stay away from pre-mixed thinset or mastic. I like to use unmodified thinset and mix it with an addmix additive. (If I'm tiling a cieling, I'll use a bit of baking soda in the mix as well to speed the set process)
Pebble stone looks good on shower floors. I just don't like the way it feels under my feet. I suggest before installing it, lay a few pieces on the floor and have you and your spouse walk barfefoot on them to see how they feel.
You're correct in tearing out the particle board. Adding a 1/2" layer of plywood over your subfloor will strengthen it, and is most likely a necessity for deflection issues if installing natural stone. I wouldn't install ditra over a heating mat. Plastic and heat don't mix. I would install your heating mats, and check the circuit. Then pour a thin layer of self-leveling compound (SLC) over the heating system, ensure it is level (sometimes some additional spots may need attention of a thin second coat). Then tile away.
There could be a number of reasons for the tub not draining as it should. I'm not a plumber though. You may want to check the slope of the pipes.

markg 05-04-2009 09:43 AM

Thanks Matt.

I had the same thought as you with the ditra over the heating mat, but the Schluter site says that is the way to do it. Was wondering if anyone had experience one way or the other.

As far as the tub, the problem isn't in the drain pipes, it is in the tub itself. There is a spot about half way along the tub toward the wall side where there is always a puddle that doesn't make it to the drain. I've done a little more demo since the first post and can see under the tub. It looks like they poured a puddle of thinset on the subfloor and then dropped the tub onto the deck. I was thinking that I may be able to shim up the back end and wall side just a little and use some of the left over thinset from one of the tiling steps to fill the gap under the tub.

I also noticed that it is just a huge dead air space around the tub. It sits in the corner of two outside walls. There is six inches of unfaced fiberglass bats on walls. We have noticed that the water doesn't stay warm very long when taking a bath, so I was thinking of throwing some more insulation around the tub in there. Is that a bad idea?

MattCoops 05-04-2009 12:18 PM

Then it just sounds like the subfloor the tub is sitting on is not level.

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