Reuse Existing Mud Bed For New Porcelain Tile? - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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Reuse existing mud bed for new porcelain tile?


I am replacing the floor and vanity in our main bathroom in a house built in 1963. I have removed most of the floor tiles and the mud bed looks like it is in decent shape. There are a few cracks, but nothing major and none of them run all the way across the room. None of the existing floor tiles were cracked. I've seen other posts that say it is ok to install new tiles over the existing bed with just thin set as long as it is in good shape. Would it be appropriate to do it in my case? I will be installing 12" x 12" porcelain tiles. See pictures below.






My other concern is the size of the area for the vanity. The old vanity base was 18" x 62" and the new one is 21" x 60". I plan to set the new vanity on top of the tiles opposed to on the subfloor like the old one. My main concern is how to build up the ~2" gap I will have on the left side of the vanity and tile over it. Any suggestions?



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Old 07-02-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
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That old "mud bed' needs to be pulled out. It's not the "mud bed' that you have read about tiling over,

from the 1800s till about 1930 the floor joists were dropped and a 3 to 4 inch bed of concrete was installed--that was fine to tile over. Yours is not.

To prepare that for tile--remove every thing down to the 1x6 ship sheeting--add 1/2" or thicker b/c plywood exterior glue(exposure 1) then add 1/4" Durrock or Wonder board set in thinset and nailed or screwed.

If you come back with your floor joist size--spacing and unsupported length,one of us will check the deflection chart for you.---Mike----
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the clarification, Mike. For my information, if this isn't a "mud bed", what would you call it?

My floor joists are 2x10s spaced at 16" oc. The distance between the load bearing wall in the basement and the exterior wall is 11 feet.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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Your deflection is excellent( 687---360 is good for tile--720 for natural stone)

That is called a Jersey mud set---wire mesh with a thin layer of mortar---popular years ago but no longer a method deemed acceptable by TCNA or any of the other tile associations.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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Great! Thanks!

I plan on posting pictures of my progress on this project and I'm sure I will have more questions. Is it better to keep one thread for one project or to start a new thread for unrelated questions on the same project?
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:33 AM   #6
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Keep every thing in one thread----that keeps everything in context and often folks will have threads marked so we get an alert when there is new activity on a thread.

People love pictures--that always gets extra attention.

There are several tile pros here and countless experienced DIYers that will find your project interesting.-----Have fun--Mike---
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Got it. I ripped up the Jersey mud job and am off to pick up 1/2" exposure 1 plywood and 1/4" backer board. I screw the plywood into the subfloor and not the joists, correct? How should the screws be spaced?

I'm assuming I should not hit the joists when installing the backer board either. I plan to use the cheap CustomBlend thinset from HD to set the backer board.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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First screw any of the 1x6 s that are not tight---ply gets screwed about every 7 inches--3 or 4 inches at the edges.

You are fine with the inexpensive thinset under the backer board---backer can be screwed with Rock on screws or 1 1/2" hot dipped roofing nails.

I prefer Durrock or Wonder Board over Hardibacker---your choice---Mike---
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #9
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New development. I was leaning on the edge of the bathtub while doing some cleanup and the corner dropped about 3/4". It looks like there were shims along the edge of the tub that were probably moved when I was tearing up the old thinset and wire mesh. The one on the right side is still holding up the tub (barely), but the one in the middle and on the left side are pushed back underneath the edge the tub. The bathtub was the only thing in the bathroom I was planning on leaving untouched. Can I just move the shims back into place and be ok or am I in bigger trouble here?

Side note...it looks like there is some mold on the subfloor (drywall in the picture will be removed). Is it acceptable to give it a quick bleach cleaning and cover it up?

Left side:


Right side:


Shim on right side:


Middle shim pushed under tub (I pried up the edge of the tub to see it):


Drop:
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Make up some new shims---Glue them in this time---

By the way,a Kohler Villager cast iron tub is $380 a drain set another $50 to $70---

Be kind of nice to say you have a completely new bath room.






By the time this bath is done you're going to hate me.--Mike---
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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Oh,the mildew--if the wood is solid--wash it with bleach water---
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #12
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Thank you again, Mike. You're practically running this project at this point!

A new bathtub is tempting, but we're trying to do this on a tight budget. That being said, I think we'll still end up eventually paying $400 to have the existing tub professionally refinished. I've gone back and forth on this decision a million times, but I think I've ended on refinishing. The company offers a five year warranty and we will be out of the house by then, so it fits our needs. That, and I don't feel like figuring out how to install a 400 lb bathtub.

Progress was slow today...mostly because I spent nearly 3 hours at HD picking up a variety of things. I'm now about 95% complete with demo. I left the existing drywall up everywhere except for around the tub because I plan on covering it with wainscoting.



I had intended on getting started on some minor plumbing modifications tomorrow, but I'm starting to think I should pull a permit. I need to move the supply lines and drain for the sink about 18" to the right and install a new mixing valve for the shower.





Since I won't be able to talk to anyone about a permit until Tuesday, I'm planning to measure and cut the plywood and backer board for the floor. Before I get started, I have a question about the toilet flange. Should I cut the plywood and the backerboard to hug the outer diameter of the pipe under the flange? The bottom of the flange is almost 3/4" from the subfloor, which means I might not be able to squeeze the backer board underneath it. How should I handle this?



One more question - do I need to do anything special bringing the plywood and backer board up to the bathtub? I was planning on just coming up about flush with the outer face and leaving a gap on the ends where it gets narrower. Now that I think about it, the shims are 3/4" tall, so maybe I could just sneak in the plywood and backer board under the edge of the tub about an inch or so in place of the shims. Bad idea?


Last edited by bnmn; 07-03-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:48 PM   #13
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Got a Jig Saw? I'd scribe a line off the tub to get a tight fit. If you can go underneath I suppose that'd work to.

FYI, I'm not sure where in MN you are, but in Minneapolis they charge double for the permit if you've started work already(demo counts).
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:41 AM   #14
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I'd tuck the 1/2 " subfloor under the toilet flange---add shimming and screw the flange to that--then rock around the flange.

When you get to the tub---either tuck the subfloor under the lip of the tub or come as close as you can to the face of the tub----When thinsetting the backer board---push thinset under the tub edge,that will help stabilize the tub.


I see that you have copper piping---good news there!

A very common oversight--the electrical outlet for the vanity might need to be raised if you use a taller vanity----good luck,mike--
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:29 AM   #15
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You should replace the shower controls with a pressure balanced set and move it up higher on the wall. I put them solar plexus high.
Refinishing the current tub will be a mistake you will hate yourself for.
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