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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question regarding Tiling over Wood. Before immediately assuming I am out of my mind let me explain entirely the situation. I am building some custom Shapes (out of exterior grade plywood) that will ultimately be part of a Water feature, the interior will be sealed and then probably fiberglassed to protect the wood against the water exposure. I plan to apply strips of exterior grade slate (i.e. 3/4" to 1" wide) for decorative purpose to the exterior. No one will be walking on this, if the strips of slates crack I don't care (it will just add character). I plan to use a latex modified (high bond) thinset to stick the tile to the wood. Will the tiles stay stuck? I know that backer board is the preferred back material but if for this purpose there is no real benefit then I can save time and weight by not adding the backer board.

Last question: Can thinset be purchased in colors other than white or beige or can it be colored with an additive?

Thank you in Advance:
 

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Tile can be adhered to exterior ply with modified thinset--Also with unmodified and a liquid additive--

I would be concerned about the ply deteriorating if left unprotected.---

Seriously investigate Hydroban by Latacrete---it is a paint on waterproofing membrane that is used to waterproof showers/swimming pools and fountains.

You may find that it is better than fiberglass for the interior portion of your project.

You can waterproof a cardboard box with that product.---Post some pictures as the project comes along---sounds like fun----Mike----
 

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is it possible to use metal studs and cover it with 1/4" cement board? that would be more stable then anything made of wood. the wood will still expand and contract with temp and humidity changes, the metal and backerboard wont. tile to wood will always fail eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you for replies. I have considered gluing backerboard over the wood because I know it is more stable. Right now I am undecisive as to the value of the extra step. I am basically building something as an experiment/test. If it works as HOPED! I am sure it will need improvements so maybe at that time I can do this with something longer lasting.
 

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If you paint it inside and out with Hydro Ban it will last a long time,without any cement board.

If water can't reach the wood it will remain stable.----Mike---
 

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Last question: Can thinset be purchased in colors other than white or beige or can it be colored with an additive?
Thinset comes in many colors both of them are nice. Gray is good and white is better. You could add masonry/mortar pigment to white thinset to color it but colors are limited.:)

How about a little more information about what you are doing without giving away your secret project?:) We may be able to help a little more.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok so I was ask what I am doing/building. Well I'm building a fountain for my deck, that hopefully will have a weir outlet into a small pond on the deck. My deck is very large but I did not build it, it was here when I bought the house. So i can tell the Support columns are sitting directly on the Patio (i.e. no footer under the column) so I want to keep the weight to a minimun. I also want something different and something reasonably priced and I am handy with tools. So my small pond (half of a 3' x 3' square cut on a diagonal) and about 12" deep will sit in the corner of my deck. That's less than 30 gallons of water. I have built a Wedge Shape Box (similar to a planter, but a lot cheaper and lighter) about 30" tall, it will have a false bottom so that only about half of it will hold water. It will sit on a riser (in the pond) so that it is not sitting directly in water. My pump will sit in the pond and feed the water portion of my box from the back or bottom. I want to cover the Wedge shaped box with exterior rated slate and I will probably frame the top of the Wedge shaped box with a ledge or box shape (more aestetics than anything). Of course the pond will be constrcuted of wood but lined with a pond liner for protection.

I will try tomorrow to draw a sketch of my idea and post it here.

Thus my question about applying tile/slate to wood in an exterior environment. I know it won't last for ever, and I don't expect it too. I am new at Fountain construction and if this doesn't flow corretly or I am not happy with the appearence I am not out a lot of cash.

thanks all for your responses.
 

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Please keep us updated as your project moves along----It's refreshing to have a fun , different and creative job like yours.-----Mike------
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so I had time to do a rough or basic sketch today, see attached. I have the water pot constructed and will have it caulked and sealed easily. What I am having a bit of a struggle with is finding something to create the sue-do weir, and possibly how to seal the water feed from the pump that will be in the water in the lower pond.

Pump Arrangement:
Pump will sit in the pond and the water feed will probably enter the back of the box. I plan to put a false bottom in the top half of the box and so the feed would probably be easiest inserted from the back into that section. I would prefer to come in from the bottom but I still need to be able to service the line in case of breakage.

Weir
I can purchase a prefabricated Stainless Steel Weir but they are expense and what fun would that be, however I am struggling to find something that I can use to create the weir, i.e. preferred object would be stainless steel but acrylic might work as well. Any Suggestions would be appreciated.

Once again I appreciate everyone's help and suggestions:
 

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Nice drawing-----Is the pump going under the pedestal?

A brass nipped fitting (to accept the pump tubing ) could be easily waterproofed into the bottom of the tower so all or the mechanical could be hidden.

The Wier? (pond ) could be constructed with a double layer of 3/4 exterior ply--waterproofed on all sides with Hydroban--Tile the exposed surfaces---that should hold up for years.

Same treatment for the tower---

Look in the brass fitting section of the best store around--I think you will find the fittings you need.

The Hydroban will stick to just about anything.-----Keep us posted.---Mike---
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had sort of thought about hiding the pump in the pedestal but that might make it more difficult to plumb. Yes also know I can get
brass or even Threaded PVC fittings and some rubber washers. I had not planned on having the entire pot be completely full of water, if I did that would make it easier to plumb and make hiding the plumbing easier.

good idea about possibly making the weir from Plywood and water proofing. Originally I had hoped to use something that I could buy cheap and adapt easily. But I have spent several hours in various hardware store and have had no luck.

The more difficult part will probably be guessing the size of the pump required to make for a nice fall. i.e. 400, 600 or 800 gph. I realize I can throttle it a bit with a ball valve.

Will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So here are some snap shots of the basic shape for Small Plant pond and Fountain. I have fiberglassed the inside of the Pond and will begin tiling it later today. The Fountain still needs the top half inside fiberglassed. Hopefully I'll have more up dated photos by Monday evening.
 

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Buy some Hydro Ban or even RedGuard and waterproof all surfaces----that will keep the wood stable and prevent the plywood from swelling and shortening the life of the sculpture.

HydroBan is about $100 for a gallon---call a tile shop----RedGuard is about $50 a gallon from the Home Depot.

Nice clean work---thanks--keep us posted!----Mike---
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for the compliment Mike. I have the inside of the lower portion completely fiber glassed now, the taller upright will have a false bottom and the inside of that will be fiber glassed as well. I plan to feed water into the upper portion of the upright from the bottom, that structure will sit on a something to keep it out of the water i.e. maybe a black bucket or some other contraption. Next I plan to have approx 3 - 1/2" diameter copper Tubes on two sides so that the water has a nice sound effect and that will allow the water to drain back into the bottom portion. I purchased a pump yesterday at Harbor Freight (not High Quality I know) for only 10.00. It's about 250 gph, probably way over kill but, I can valve it down and probably run additional components i.e. some kind of pond item. Hopefully tomorrow we will start the tiling work. This has gotten much more expensive than I orginally planned. Oh well, live and learn, it'll be worth it if it turns out nicely and works I guess.
 

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It looks fine---Please get the plywood waterproofed before tiling---It will last for years if you do.

It's your project, do take my suggestions as that, suggestions--Have fun and post more pictures--Mike--
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well it is finally operational. The finished project is now what I envvioned in the beginning. I hit a few snags and it took much longer than I thought it would. The original design had a different upper vessel for the water to come out of, I still have that but it is incomplete and for now I just needed to move on so attached are pics of what I have to date. I did fiberglass the inside and the outside and all outer seams to protect against water.

thanks for everyone's help
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks all, we're pretty happy with, the bubbler may not last so looking for a new head unit. The current bubbler puts out such a fine layer of water that it is affected a lot by the wind, thus keeping the area in front of the pond wet. But that's a minor detail.

thanks for everyone's input
 

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Thanks for the update looks great--You will enjoy that. I sure would.---Mike----
 
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