Retiling a tub surround, not sure how to shim it


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Cement Backer Board Picture 1Bathroom Concrete Backer Board Brightpulse UsHow To Install Shower Surround Tile Backer Board Durock Or Cement Board Part Quot 1 QuotBathroom Retiling A Tub Surround Not Sure How To Shim It Home Improvement Stack ExchangeWedi Shower System Wall Boards Ceramic Tile Backer Board For...
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I see that the floor tile (and possibly the plumbing, a cement bed, or whatever) prevent you from moving the tub. That was going to be my first suggestion. If it's a possibility, do that. Move it only as far as necessary toward the long wall to make it flush with the cement board.

Otherwise, I also see that you have the drywall cut back some distance on the flat wall. I'd cut it back further if you can, then intall the shims as you describe above the tub. Taper shims out on the studs outside the tub. Use a 4' or 6' level or other straightedge horizontally to find the best compromise between flat wall and parallel to the tub. (You may need to continue the taper over the tub, toward the corner, to maintain a flat wall.) Take the taper all the way to the next corner if you need to and can, or as far as possible.

It appears that you only need to gain about 1/4" (I'd eyeball the gap plus the thickness of the tub flange to be about 3/4".) That should be no trouble to taper...

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I was afraid of that and one reason I asked about why no soap dish or corner soap dishes. You obviously didn't realize it, but it's not a good idea to leave bottles of soap, shampoo etc. on the ledge of tubs that have been refinished. I've seen the paint be eaten away.

Furthermore, some cities require you to have soap dishes and in tub surounds, a towel bar. These codes may not be enforced especially in this case where no inspection is gonna happen. But they are needed and sometimes must be installed when selling, for example.

Up to you but I doubt the refinishing company will warranty the paint job if it peels due to bottles stored there.

How long will it take to grout? Who knows? But figure it'll take longer than you expect.



TILE GUY - retired- TROY, MI - Method & Product suitability consulting.


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You are here: House Improvements Home > Bathrooms

Tub surrounds can be easily installed in 1 - 2 hours but you must wait for the panel adhesive to dry 6 - 12 hours before you can apply the final silicone sealant to the joints. After it has dried overnight, you can be using your shower the next morning.

There are a few different types of surrounds available in varying amounts of pieces. Generally speaking the less pieces, the less joints that need sealing and the less chance of a leak in the future. There are one piece tub surrounds out there but in my experience when installing these, the are very difficult to get to fit perfect, especially on an existing tub that may not be perfectly level. So I would recommend a 3 piece or 5 piece unit.

Skill Level: 4/12

Tools Required:

utility knife hole saws or spade bits carpenters level caulking gun

Materials Required:

tub surround 4-5 tubes of adhesive masking tape mineral spirits silicone


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Shopping for surrounds is fairly simple because quality and price are directly related to panel thickness. At the starter level, you’ll find ABS or PVC plastic panels so thin they won’t stand against a wall without additional support. Midpriced thermal-plastic units with formed features and appearances are generally more stylish and better made. And finally, there are pressed-fiberglass kits, with thick, nearly rigid panels that are very durable.

Because all these kits do a good job of repelling water, ease-of-installation, appearance and maintenance issues are the deciding factors. The flimsier the material, the more troublesome it is to install. Thin panels often require wooden bracing until the adhesive sets and they can mirror adhesive beads and imperfections in the walls. As for maintenance, it’s best to avoid a pebbly texture or a high sheen unless you have soft water and clean religiously. A smooth, low-luster surface does a better job of concealing water spots and...

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I'm in the process of retiling a bathtub surround. I found the problem when moisture was noticed in the ceiling below the bathroom. I've removed the tile and the plaster off of the walls, leaving the wood lathe.

The plan is to place a vapor barrior, then cement backer board, and then the new tile.

My question is I'm not sure if it's better to leave the wood lathe on the wall and just install 1/4" cement board or if I should remove the wod lathe and install 1/2" cement board?

There are a few places where I've removed the wood lathe due to some rot, and I'm not sure if I need to install some plywood where the wood lathe was or if I can just shim the studs so that area is the same height as where the wood lathe is?

Also, has any noticed any significant quality differences in cement backer boards (i.e. hardiboard, durock, etc...)?

I'd insert a picture, but I'm having difficulty inserting the image? It says that the image is too large (640 x 480) Any...

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Choose your setting material and prepare it. Mix enough thinset for the bottom row. Follow the directions on the bag of thinset as to what type of trowel you will need. At your designated starting point, trowel on some thinset and spread it with a notched trowel (Image 1). With the notched edge of the trowel, comb the material into ridges. Then set the tile into it by twisting slightly while pushing into the thinset. Remove the tile to make sure you have good coverage on the back. Reinstall and keep setting the tiles (Image 2) using spacers in between. Let the bottom row set for up to 24 hours. Pick out the right trowel for your thinset and tile size, also pay attention to spacing recommendations and use the right spacers. To achieve an even tiling job, use consistent measurements for the space between your tiles where the grout will go. This measurement may vary depending on what you prefer, but 1/8" is a good standard. Shim in some spacers between your tile rows (Image 3). How...

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I am redoing the bath I did 25 years ago and need some advice on what is acceapable for the sub-floor. The floor was 3/4" plywood on 16" joist, when I did the tile 25 years ago I put 3/8" plywood on top and the floor lasted great. I am redoing the floor with 12x24, 3/8" thick porclean. After removing old tile some of the thin set is still sticking to the old sub-floor. I hate to remove old sub-floor, walls and cabinets have been built on top. Here are what I am thinking of doing, if wrong by all means let me know.

I plan on using Ditra, so I was hoping to be able to level with thinset and just put ditra on top of that.

I tried to grind the old thinset down with angle grinder, but this is very, very slow go. Would a belt sander with some kind of abrasive paper work better?

I am trying not to gain any height but can I put 1/4" [that is the smallest?] cerment board down? Then do I tile over that or still use the ditra?

Last option; would I use some sort of...

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The ideal underlayment for ceramic tile is cement backerboard, which comes in 1/4- and 1/2-inch-thick panels measuring 3 x 5 feet and 4 x 8 feet. The dense, gray material is very heavy, so use the smaller size for replacing tub walls.

The panels are nasty to handle because of their sharp edges, so wear heavy leather gloves. Protect the surface of the tub with a heavy dropcloth.

Be prepared for a noxious odor when you cut cement backerboard. No kidding. Wear a respirator when cutting this or any other cement-based product.

Installing cement backerboard is not on the top-ten list of fun projects because the material is difficult to handle. But working with the panels is a short-term stint compared with the long-lasting and durable surface they provide. Before you get started, have the following tools and materials handy:

Carbide-tipped hole saw (or a jigsaw with a carbide blade)

Carbide-tipped scoring knife

Carpenter’s level (4-foot...

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I'd also make sure you put up a real good waterproof membrane (like 6 mil vapour barrier) over your wall insulation and caulk it to the lip of your tub with something like accoustical sealant before putting up the Dens-Shield over top of it. You want to run the Dens-Shield down to about 1/8 inch above the lip of your tub, and have your bottom row of tiles hanging down in front of that lip to come within about a 1/16th of an inch from the tub.

First, put a piece of carpet pile side down in your tub to protect the finish.

Basically, once you get your vapour barrier up, caulked to your tub, your backer board and Redguard or Dens-Shield over that, then you should attach a piece of STRAIGHT wood molding to the wall all the way around the tub. The distance from the top of the tub to the top of that wood molding should be about 1/2 inch less than your tiles are high, so that you'll be cutting about 1/2 inch off the bottom row of tiles.

I prefer to use 6X8 inch tiles...

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