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Jay2013 06-15-2013 12:35 AM

Tiling Shower walls
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Hi all. I've perused through many of these threads, and have finally armed myself with enough knowledge to start my own project.

So I demoed my master bathroom, and plan to tile the walls using porcelain tile. However, I don't want to tile to the ceiling. Iíve chosen to tile to the height of the bottom of the bathroom window, which is about an inch below the window sill. This will allow the showerhead to also rest on tile. So here is the problem. I don't want to remove the entire inch of drywall that is beneath the window sill. It is textured, and nicely painted. I could if recommended, but Iíd rather not. So, can I just screw the CBU to the studs and butt the CBU up against the drywall below the window silll? If so, what will I use to mesh the CBU to the painted drywall? Can this agent bond to the painted drywall? Iíve attached a picture for a view of what I am faced with.

Also, how do you tile when near a corner? Meaning, when I finish one wall and start tiling on the adjacent wall, will the newly laid tile be placed up against the tile on the adjacent wall? Or, do I leave a space between tiles for grouting? Or is this section caulked?

Lastly, is there a specific grout that is recommended? What agent do I use to bond the tile to the CBU?

Oh, and yes, I do plan on redguarding the entire CBU walls.

All suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!

oh'mike 06-15-2013 06:08 AM

You will be fine with Durrock below and the existing drywall above.

Make sure the rock is the same thickness as the drywall--furr out the studs if needed.

Scuff sand the painter surface that will be covered with tile---use thinset and tilers mesh to fill and tape the joint.

This could be done as you tile--or before ,if you are going to waterproof the rock with a paint on waterproofer like Red Guard or Hydroban.

Jay2013 06-15-2013 09:34 AM

Got it. Thanks!

cleveman 06-15-2013 10:11 PM

When you tile a room, you choose which walls to do first and lead out of. For example, the back wall of a shower or bath is usually done first and the walls comng out but into it. This is done so that the grout lines are not as visible.

Regarding grout, you can grout with normal portland baseds grout, a ureehtane basd grout, or epoxy.

jeffnc 06-16-2013 08:48 AM

You have a couple choices for tiling the corners, depending on how much cutting you want to do, and how much you care about how it looks.

On the side walls, you can start with a full tile in the corner and work out. Since you don't have to stop at any specific point working out, you can stop with the last full tile that ends about where you want the tile to end.

On the back wall, you don't have this choice because it's a fixed length - you have to tile from corner to corner. You can start at one side with a full tile and go across, but this might leave you with a thin cut tile at the other side - doesn't look good. So you need to measure (make sure to count your grout lines). For example, if you have 6 feet, and you are using 4" tile, and a 1/8" grout line, then you'll have about 18 grout lines, or 2 1/4" of grout lines. In other words, you're going to have a full tile on the left, and only a 2" tile on the right. This looks bad, so make sure you put a 3" tile on the left and that will leave you with a 3" tile on the right.

If you have a more complicated pattern, like subway tile, come back and we'll talk again.

Where side walls meet back walls, you leave a space for grout (same space as your regular grout line.) Make sure you use a caulk, not grout, at any angles, such as against your tub, or in the corners where side wall meets back wall. Grout tends to crack at those areas, whereas caulk will not.

Jay2013 06-16-2013 10:51 AM

Thanks Jeff. So to make sure I understand, lets say I first tile the window wall, making sure my measurements are correct so that I have equal size tiles on both ends of the walls. On the first row of the window wall (as with all subsequent rows) and as I approach the corner where the window wall meets the shower wall, the tile that is used will NOT butt up against the corner wall. Rather, I will leave a grout space between that tile and the wall. Then, as I continue the row onto the shower head wall, I will also leave a grout space between the shower head wall and the window wall tile. After all walls are tiled, I will first caulk the entire vertical length of both corners, wait a day, then grout all walls minus the calked corners? Or can I grout over the caulked corners?

jeffnc 06-16-2013 11:01 AM

On the window wall, you can tile pretty much right up to the sides without leaving much of a gap. Oof course you won't make it tight - there will be 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch.

Then when you tile the side walls, the thickness of the tiles (plus the thinset) means that the tile will stick out from the wall far enough to cover any gap along the window wall. However you will leave those tiles exactly 1/8" away from the window wall tiles in the sideways direction. That's what will give you the perfect 1/8" grout line (you can use tile spacers to do this, and of course you won't need tile spacers at the edges when putting on the window wall tiles.)

I would probably first grout the corners with caulk, and then grout everything else with regular grout. This will keep the regular grout from getting in the corners. They make matching (sanded or unsanded) caulk to match your regular grout exactly. If the caulk gets messed up at all during cleaning of the grout, you can touch up afterward.

Jay2013 06-16-2013 11:32 AM

Thanks again. Would you mind chiming in on my post in the Kitchen and Bath remodel section?

cleveman 06-16-2013 02:24 PM

I once did a couple of shower surrounds with 6" tile. I think that is a nice size for a shower. This tile was available with a sanitary cove, and I used this in the corners. The back wall worked out fine with no cuts along the 59" or whatever it was. The sanitary cove turned the corner for me, and I came out probably 30". So there was no corner.

Jay2013 06-16-2013 02:51 PM

So here's a few more questions for yah:

What type of mesh tape and bonding agent do I use to unite CBU and greenboard? CBU to drywall? CBU to CBU? As depicted in the above picture, there is about 2 inches of greenboard below the window sill. Regular drywall was used on the rest of the walls that aren't exposed to water.

Do you recommend using some type of silicone between the CBU and greenboard/drywall?

Lastly, should I use hardibacker or durock?

jeffnc 06-16-2013 03:26 PM

Well personally I use Kerdi over plain drywall, and avoid all that stuff. Otherwise you can just use the thinset recommended by Durock, and mesh tape. Greenboard and drywall are essentially the same.

I don't see a need for silicone, because that area should never get wet. When I say "wet", I mean an occasional splash with a little water is fine. But it shouldn't get constantly sprayed. That's why painted drywall is fine at top of the wall in a shower. And tile over drywall is fine near the top of the tiled area. But if it's a place that needs silicone for waterproofing purposes, then you should be using drywall there. And conversely, if you're using drywall there, then it shouldn't need silicone because it will never get wet (i.e. water should never get through the tile and grout in that area.)

oh'mike 06-16-2013 04:05 PM

The instructions ,so far have been good--excep the part about caulking before you tile---I've never heard of that method---

Typically , you grout the entire job--while the grout is still soft---knife out as mush grout as you can in the corners---then you are ready for caulk when the grout is set.

A tip on layout---find center of the back wall---measure from center to the wall===should be about 29 1/2"---

lay out a line of tiles and spacers and measure over 29 1/2"---
if there is less than 1/2 tile--shift the center line over by 1/2 tile---

small cuts at a corner look bad--especially if the walls are out of plumb--

jeffnc 06-16-2013 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1202225)
The instructions ,so far have been good--excep the part about caulking before you tile---I've never heard of that method---

Typically , you grout the entire job--while the grout is still soft---knife out as mush grout as you can in the corners---then you are ready for caulk when the grout is set.

That is fine, just that caulking first saves the step of knifing out grout. Is there any problem you know of when caulking first? It will firm up while you do other things, like mix grout, etc.

Jay2013 06-16-2013 04:32 PM

Thanks all. The Durock will be going up next week sometime. I'm still undecided on whether to replace the shower valve and copper connection pipes. On the one hand, it makes sense to replace them now, especially since the plumbing is exposed. But, the house is only about 15 years old, and I don't really see any issues with the current pipes and connections. I did a simple water test and did not observe any leaks. I don't know how long soldered pipes last, but changing them now make sense and doesn't make sense - if that makes sense.

oh'mike 06-16-2013 04:46 PM

Your method would work---but seems like one more step than necessary---

I always have a knife in my pocket----every day I learn something new.

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