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Old 07-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
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New tile in shower


Hi
A contractor is coming to install a window in my bathroom
He will also replace the tiles on the walls. He said he will have to put cement boards (there is already tiles, so I guess whatever is behind will have to be replaced anyway)
Is it "mandatory" to install a membrane (between the studs and new cement boards) to protect the framing?
I've already worked with him, and I trust him....But I just want to make sure he will not skip that step (from what I've read on internet, it's an important one)
In the same time, I will ask him to maybe remove the current insulation (the house is 30 years old) and install Rockwool instulation...Is it a good idea?

Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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You mentioned a window---

The membrane behind the backer board is a vapor barrier---
There is a much safer way to do this---waterproof the face of the board with a paint on waterproofing--Red Guard and Hydroban are two brands--there are several more---

If you have a window--it is important to waterproof the board and the window opening--
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
You mentioned a window---

The membrane behind the backer board is a vapor barrier---
There is a much safer way to do this---waterproof the face of the board with a paint on waterproofing--Red Guard and Hydroban are two brands--there are several more---

If you have a window--it is important to waterproof the board and the window opening--
What if he doesn't do the membrane nor the Redguard, telling me the cement board is good enough?
Sorry for my ignorance, but what is the "board" (I'm French and don't know yet all the technical terms....)
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #4
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The first thing you need to learn--tile and grout are not waterproof--some water will reach the cement board---the cement board is not waterproof either---

so some moisture will reach the studs---installed that way you need a sheet of plastic between the cement board and the studs---

Rather a weak way of doing things---because you are driving nails through the board---

Better---nail or screw on the cement board---fill in any gaps with thinset--then paint on a surface membrane---if done properly--you are waterproof before the tile goes on---what could be better?

If your contractor does not know these common protections---talk to him--perhaps offer to pay for an upgrade---the Red Guard costs about $50--for a typical tub surround---mighty cheap insurance.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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OK, I will ask him what is his plan.........
I remodeled a bathroom in my house when I was still in France
It was drywall (the green one, that support humidity better) and i used some kind of liquid membrane on top of the drywall, using mesh in all the corners...Everything went well
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Here is his answer when I asked his plan for waterproofing:
"The tile/grout sealer is what I use and I never had a problem with any of my jobs to date! If you want to use redgard waterproofing stuff that will be $xxx more plus the cost of material? It's up to you but I have never had a leak over 20 years!"
What do you think?
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:14 AM   #7
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I waterproof---it's cheap insurance---with a window in the mix---it's more than insurance--it's needed.

That argument is just dumb----grout sealer is not for waterproofing--just there to make the grout stay clean longer.

I've installed tons of tile in the last 20 years----and gutted many baths---
But only one of them was one of my installations---how would he know he hasn't left a trail of failures?
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:39 AM   #8
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Yes, I know.........
When he quoted, waterproofing was not specifically mentioned, but I thought it was common practice so it had to be included
(It's like a new header for the window: it's not specifically mentioned in the quote, but I know he will put one)
I'm not even sure he is planning to install the vapor barrier before the cbu

It's not the 1st job he does for me, and he works pretty well....

So I have 2 options: I talk with him and tell him to apply the Redgard (additional $100 labor + material) or I do it myself next week-end (he should be done with the window install and cbu just before the week-end, so it will leave me 2 days to apply the Redgard myself before he comes back for the tiles)
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:43 AM   #9
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Your call---If you have time---apply it your self---cheap paint brush and small paint roller---be careful--Red Guard is tough to get off of the tub---

His up charge is not bad---so-----your call-----

no plastic behind the cement board if you use the surface waterproofing---
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:10 AM   #10
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If I do it myself, should I embed the mesh in every corners and cbu joints in Redgard itself during the 1st coat, then apply a 2nd coat?
Or should I embed the mesh in some thin-set mortar 1st, let cure and only after apply my 2 coats of Redgard?
What time of adhesive should he use to apply the tiles over the Redgard (and which SHOULD NOT BE USED AT ALL)?
Thanks
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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Actually, he really doesn't know if he's had a "leak in 20 years". Those guys always say that. They have no idea what's going on behind a tile job. As long as the tile doesn't actually fall off the wall, then how would you know? Virtually every time I have taken apart a tiled shower or tub surround, I see evidence of water damage, if the job wasn't properly waterproofed. If they put it over drywall, then there is always mold. If it's over cement board, then there is always water staining on the studs.

So, quite frankly, while he is the same as 95% of the other contractors out there, he doesn't really know what he's talking about in this case.

What he really means is "I've never had anyone call me back and complain that the tiles fell off the wall, and there hasn't been a leak that was so bad it made a big visible mess. Or maybe it did, but they called someone else instead of me because they wanted it done right this time. Or they forgot I was the one who did the job. Or the house was sold and the new owners didn't know who installed the tile. So I guess I don't really know what has happened to all my old tile jobs after all."

By the way, I use Kerdi, not Redgard, so I can't answer your question about that.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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Yeah………………that sucks!!!
Looks like he is also considering the tile/grout sealer as the final waterproofing somehow…..
I will talk to him tomorrow

Redgard (HD) or Mapei- AquaDefense (Lowes) seems to be the same concept anyway
I guess it also depends on how the CBU seams will look like
Should I fill all the gaps/seams 1st with thin set mortar and when it’s dry apply 2 coats of liquid membrane?
Or can I tape the gaps/seams/corners with the mesh+Redgard (or Mapei) and apply a 2nd coat when it’s dry?


How should I proceed at the junction bathtub/cement boards?
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:53 AM   #13
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Some people think that grout sealer is waterproofing, but it is not. Even if it does tend to keep water out, you should not rely on it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:46 PM   #14
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There are people on this forum who claim that grouted tile is waterproof... it's not just this contractor.

I would check the website for the roll on membrane to find out how the cement board should be finished.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:40 AM   #15
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Mesh and a very thin coat of thinset--the waterproofing is thick--and will fill small voids--
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