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Old 07-26-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
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Tiling A Tub Surround With An Unlevel Ceiling


Alrighty, so I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel and I'm just about ready to tile our tub surround. I have my new tub installed, vapor barrier up, and the durock screwed in place. Right now we are in the process of finding which style/color tile we are wanting to use but while installing the durock I noticed the long side of the ceiling is a bit out of level. It's flat, but from end to end is about 5/8" out of level.

We are really liking the looks of the longer 12x24 tiles and originally planned to place them horizontally, but with an out of level ceiling I'm not quite sure how to compensate for that. Other than to try and creep each tile up on the way to the ceiling to hide it to the eye. OR I could install them vertically, which I would think would also mask the out of level ceiling as well? Or just leave it and deal with the fact it's an old farm house and no walls are square in this house

My other question is this: Is there a difference as to what types of tile can be used on walls? From what I've read "wall" tile shouldn't be used on floors but "floor" tiles can be used anywhere? Only reason I ask is because the 12x24 tiles we are interested in are much thicker than the other 12x12 samples we have been looking at. As long as the proper trowel is used is it going to be an issue?

Thanks for any impute, I'm a bit new to tile jobs. I've done a simple backsplash but other than that my tile experience is somewhat limited.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:00 PM   #2
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5/8 is a lot---but if you have a wide piece of tile at the cieling,you should be all right.

Tiles that big require a FLAT wall---very flat---I would also use a leveling clip to pull the edges together---and ,most likely back butter the tiles and trowel the walls---

Very challenging to cut the big ones---your mixer valve may fall into the center of a tile--a diamond bladed cutter in an angle grinder will help make that cut---
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:55 AM   #3
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At this point when I realized the ceiling is out of level my thoughts were "why wouldn't it be". This house is SOLID(actual 2"x4" lumber)...but over the last 100 years has settled a bit so it always a challenge trying to remodel a room. But it adds to the fun, and you learn one hell of a lot in the process.(you should have seen the floor!)

Back to the topic at hand, I furred out the studs so the durock would overlap the tile flange on the tub. (1/2" cement board) While doing so I double checked the plumb of the walls and they are - for the most part - very flat. I sistered in a few 2x4's on the corners to give me enough meat to screw the cement board to so I think I should be ok if we decide to use the 12x24 tiles. We're still up in the air on that.

As for cutting the tiles I have a "budget" wet saw but for cutting holes in the tile for the faucets would a rotozip with a diamond bit work to cut the large hole for the mixer?
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:01 PM   #4
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Not likely--the Dremmel bits get hot and fail in a matter of inches---

If you have a Harbor Freight store near by---get a 4 1/2" angle grinder ($20 or less) and a Diamond blade---I set the tiles in a shallow pan with enough water to just cover--(a scrap of Durrock under the tile) --make sure you are plugged into a GFCI outlet---that will make a circle cut ---
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:23 PM   #5
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We used a cheapo tile saw to do our shower. It was painful.

A GC friend of mine showed me how to use an angle grinder with a diamond blade in about 5 minutes. I will never, ever use the tile saw ever again.

Mike, I just clamped my tiles to a big piece of 3/4" plywood and used my 12A grinder. Didn't use any water. It was a little dusty, but I'm a painter so I just used my respirator. Are you using the water to keep the blade cool?
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:49 PM   #6
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Yep---the water keeps the TILE cool---so it does not expand unequally and crack---

Dry cutting can split some hard tiles--I have a couple of shallow plastic pans---

I've gone back in time---I was so thrilled to have a good wetsaw 20 some years back--before that everything was cut with a score and snap cutter and a pair of nippers---

I'm back to using a score and snap---and a grinder (no more nippers) --for most cuts.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tips guys! I've got a 4 1/2" angle grinder in the shop I will use when it comes time to do any cutting. Great ideas!
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