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bryanp22 05-30-2013 09:37 AM

My wife started looking at tile for our shower. We have an exist cast iron tub we will be keeping and just replacing the tile. She picked out tile that are 18 inches wide. The side walls in the shower are only 33" wide or so at the widest part. This bath is on the second floor of a colonial so the shower also has a angled ceiling so as the wall goes up it gradually gets smaller. Any recommendations for minimum wall size for 18" tile?

Blondesense 05-30-2013 01:05 PM

If you were doing a stand alone shower you would want to use smaller tiles for the floor.
But since you are doing just flat walls there are no hard and fast rules or laws. It is very much what looks good to you. Before your final decision you might get a design program and figure out where your cuts would land. If you're happy with it (or should I say "If she's happy with it") you're good to go.

One word of caution: If this is your first time tiling, large tiles (anything over 13" or so) are more difficult to work with. Lippage (where the edge of one tile sticks up higher than the next) is more of a problem the larger you go. And I sure wouldn't want to try to stick them to a sloped wall. Not that it can't be done, but I wouldn't try it.

bryanp22 05-30-2013 01:09 PM

Okay since I am taking wall to studs can I just shim tile backer to ensure its plumb?

bryanp22 05-30-2013 01:34 PM

Okay since I am taking wall to studs can I just shim tile backer to ensure its plumb?

wkearney99 05-30-2013 02:00 PM

Well, wait, the wall would need to be plumb regardless of the size of the tile. So what're you really asking here?

You'd definitely want to plan the layout ahead of time. You might end up with a fair bit of waste with larger tiles depending on the layout and the wall areas to be covered. Few tiles are available is just an 18" size. When you find a size like that then it's very likely it's also sold in other sizes too. Investigate that and consider using other smaller sizes as part of the job.

The comment about lippage is important. If the tile's rectified it should be less of an issue. Be SURE to check this first.

It's rare that there's just "one" tile that can achieve a look you're after. Sometimes it's worth branching out and searching for alternatives. Ones that might be less expensive, more readily available and/or easier to install. Don't get too hung up on one particular variety of tile if it's going to mean the job will be a pain in the ass to complete.

bryanp22 06-06-2013 08:07 AM

Anyone know of layout software to assist with tile layout for a tube surround?

wkearney99 06-06-2013 08:10 AM

Sure, use a program like sketchup. It's not specific for tiles but it's a free 3D modeler. There are youtube videos that discuss using it for tile. Just be sure to factor both the tile size and the grout widths.

But, no, there's nothing specific for a tub surround.

bryanp22 06-06-2013 08:23 AM

Okay great. I'm trying to see how a rectangular tips that is 18" wide is impacted by my roofline. Unfortunately my tub ceiling slants with the roofline after about 6.5 feet.

wkearney99 06-06-2013 09:51 AM

Yup, one cool way to approach it is to model the space and then use a rectangle of tile objects and slide them around behind the model's edges to see how things come together.

Otherwise do it old school and just make some cardboard or tape outlines on a large enough floor area and lay it out manually.

Like I said before, sometimes it's better to figure out what materials will or won't fit an area before insisting that only one particular kind of material is required....

bryanp22 06-06-2013 09:57 AM

Yeah, and my wife needs to see it visually so I think the modeling is the way to go.

md2lgyk 06-06-2013 12:40 PM

There is no magic formula for tile size. Use whatever looks right to you (or your wife LOL). I would heed the suggestion earlier about using smaller tiles if you've never tiled before.

We designed and built our own house, and the master bath has a large, oddly shaped walk-in shower with a slanted ceiling (no tub - SWMBO wanted it that way). Anyhow, when it came to tiling, she asked why I never let her do it. So I said OK, have a ball. Not the smartest thing I've ever said. Even though she's an artist, she has no concept of correct tile layout; you don't tile from both ends of a wall and try to fit the last piece into the middle. But she was determined to do it so I shut up. As long as she's proud of what she did, I'm cool with it. But, as an anal engineer, I still cringe every time I get into the shower.

FL Contractor 06-13-2013 05:36 AM

Reply : Tile size guidelinss for shower
There are 11 Steps For it :

  1. Gut the shower stall down to the studs
  2. Choose a vapor barrier to install and install according to manufacturer directions.
  3. Put up a sturdy cement board backer.
  4. Mark your tile layout on the substrate (hardi) and mark out your first course carefully.
  5. Mix enough thinset for the bottom row.
  6. Dampen the cement board with a sponge.
  7. Trowel on some thinset and spread it with a notched trowel.
  8. Repeat the procedure, setting each row of tile on top of the last row of tile.
  9. Let the tile set for 48 hours
  10. Grout the tile.
  11. Let the grout cure for approximately 3 days before sealing.

oh'mike 06-13-2013 06:22 AM

May I add one more step? between 1 and 2--
1 1/2----Sister in new studs where needed to get the walls perfectly flat---

wkearney99 06-13-2013 10:04 AM

Or furr out the studs where you need space to properly fit a tub or other materials. Like add a 1/2" to avoid odd tile cuts or larger grout lines.

I chose to furr out one whole wall in our old bath to avoid a 1" bump-out that would've been needed due to the new tub being smaller than the rough opening. 1/2" on both walls made for a continuous plane of tiles on each wall. Instead of having to bump it out on one side or the other.

bryanp22 06-13-2013 11:16 AM

I'm planning on keeping the same cast iron tub and just having it refinished. From what I've read refinished is suppose to last 15-20 years which seems to be the life expectancy of fiberglass anyway.

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