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  1. #1
    Pat Guest

    Default Taping Shower Seams

    Hey,

    I've been working as a carpenter's apprentice throughout college and have decided to go out on a limb and try doing the tile in my shower. I've framed everything out and installed durock. My question is what should I be using to tape the seams? The shower is squeezed into the corner of a doghouse dormer and has a ton of angles and inside corners. Should I just treat the corners as if they were drywall and use mortar with mesh tape instead joint compund???? Any advice would really help.

    Thanks,

    Pat

  2. #2
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    I would suggest that instead of trying to tile your shower, that you actually do it instead. You may have learned how to use a saw and cut angles, but tiling calls for skills that I think were not part of your carpenter's apprenticeship.

    First, get a copy of the TCA Handbook. There used to be a hot link to the TCA site, but when the look of the forums changed recently, somebody upstairs decided links to the various tile associations were not needed, so you will have to call for your copy (864-646-8453). The new 2002 Handbook should provide you with a wealth of basic information.

    Second, get a binder for the Handbook, then add mfg's installation brochures, and MSDS sheets for all the materials you want to use. Every tile backerboard is different and requires a different installation approach. Don't make the huge mistake others make when they assume all tile backerboards are waterproof and will protect the underlying structure from water damage-most don't and require an extra waterproofing membrane.

    Third, don't assume that tile, grout, or thinset are waterproofing materials--they are not, but rather materials that are unaffected by water and useful for masking the waterproofing membrane.

  3. #3
    Scooter Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Do not use joint compound under any circumstances.
    Use an alkaline resistant 2" tape (sold everywhere where tile is sold) and a good quality thinset.

    And Pat, consider using a trowel on waterproofing over the joints. I would recommend trowel on waterproofing for the seams and corners at the minimum, and doing the whole verticle area is probably best. Keep the joints flat.

    Please get some books, videos, literature and other information on the Web (other bulletin boards) on how to do this. The information will serve you well.

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Pat Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Thanks for the advice guys. It looks like I've got some reading to do. I realize that I'm a bit out of my element when it comes to tile but,
    figured since I've seen it done on a lot of jobs
    I could just read a book on the details and handle it from there.The problem is I've seen tile done about a million different ways and never hung around long enough to see which was the right way. Thanks again for steering me clear of jumping in unprepared.

    I do have one question though, reading the forum I came across a post completely laughing at that article in FHB on how to install a shower floor. I hate to say it but, I've seen that done on lots of jobs here in and around NYC on relatively high end jobs. What gives? Maybe I'll come across my own answer in the materials you guys suggested.

    Thanks Again,

    Pat

  5. #5
    Scooter Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Hey Pat, join the party! You can construct a shower, its not a big deal. Ask a lot of questions. After all, as my pappy once said, "Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic"

    As far as the article goes, I also noticed a lot of wrong things in the article but nothing that would cause the shower to leak. Yes, there was a lack of blocking at seams; Yes, I didn't see a poly moisture barrier, and Yes, the pan did not go fully around the curb. Possibly imperfect? Yes. Horribly negligent work leading to a leaking, fetid, moldy shower? No.

    All and all the article accurately described how to quickly and efficiently install a leakproof pan. Others might fail the author. I'd give him a "B".

    Ultimately, this is a business, and we have construct a shower that lasts, won't leak, and that is affordable for the customer and that can be built in a couple days. Corners sometimes need to be cut.

    As far as bad showers are concerned, the most common error I see is placing the pan on a flat plywood subfloor, without a pre-slope. This deserves an "F". I also see crazy pan membranes (like torch on roofing), improper shower drains, and concrete instead of deck mud.

  6. #6
    Pat Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Scooter,

    Thanks for all the encouragement. I completely
    understand the whole business aspect of getting things done and the philosophy behind acceptable shortcuts. Working in the trades throughout school has been the best business education I could ask for. Someday my college is gonna come knocking on my door asking for that sweet donation and claiming credit, you and I will both
    know the truth!

    I plan on reading MB's book and asking a few of the "Old Timers" about things on the next
    bathroom we do.

    Thanks Again,

    Pat

  7. #7
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    That article was a perfect example of doing something half-way--if you want to perform sub-standard work, by all means follow the advice, especially if you want to experience the thrill of wood rot and mold-growing. Negligent and irresponsible.

  8. #8
    Pat Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    MB,

    I just picked up a copy of your book and will follow your recomendations. I'm glad you guys set me straight on this.

    Thanks,

    Pat

  9. #9
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Pat,

    Regarding my book, please be advised that the details regarding the placement of the lower edge of tile backerboards in hybrid shower stall installations is not accurate for all boards. According to mfg's, some can be embedded in the mortar floor--some cannot. Be sure to consult mfg's instructions for the latest detail.

  10. #10
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Pat,


    Regarding my book, please be advised that the details regarding the placement of the lower edge of tile backerboards in hybrid shower stall installations is not accurate for all boards. According to mfg's, some can be embedded in the mortar floor--some cannot. Be sure to consult mfg's instructions for the latest detail.

  11. #11
    Pat Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    MB,

    Thanks for the warning. I did notice that comment in the book and am going to check things out. I'm still a bit hazy on the trowel on waterproofing you have recommended. The shower walls are 1/2" USG Durock. Do you think it is I should water proof the entire wall surface or just fill and reinforce the seams? Also, do you suggest laticrete 9235 for either application?

    Thanks Again,

    Pat

  12. #12
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Waterproofing the seams only is like using a condom with holes in it.

    I try to make suggestions only to clients. Readers often think the only materials worth using are ones I have written about, and consequently travel 100 miles to get a product when there is a perfectly good substitute just down the street at the local supplier.

    I think it is more important to single-source your installation rather than mix it up with different products. Laticrete 9235 is an acceptable product, but I won't go out of my way to use it instead of another brand that I know will work.

    For many years, when I installed tiles in northern California, I used Laticrete products for two reasons: they performed as expected, and my local dealer stocked Laticrete products. There are many tile installation products available that are superior to some Laticrete stuff.

    When I make recommendations and write specifications, material choice is very often based on nothing more than local availability.

  13. #13
    Homza Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Pat,
    I don't have to worry about people driving a 100 miles to buy products I suggest so yes (as Michael said) the 9235 is an acceptable product. If you want some in NYC, Nemo Tile on 21st St. stocks it. 212-555-0009.

  14. #14
    Pat Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    I've called USG and asked for a specific recomendation on a waterproofing and they told me it wasn't needed. They instruct only to tape the seams with thinset and mesh tape. In all the bathrooms I've worked on, a trowel-on waterproofing or a membrane behind the boards was never used. Most of our business is repeat business and we are by no means a "fly by night" operation. To my knowledge we have never had a callback for leaks or mildew problems. I realize this doesn't mean we haven't made a mistake and I've raised the question with my boss and he thinks I'm crazy.

    Anyway, as I said in the first post I'm renovating the bathroom in my house and want to do it right. Applying waterproofing to the BDUs makes sense to me. This would eliminate any water absorption by the durock that could lead to a dank, mildew ridden shower.

    If I install poly sheeting behind the durock does this eliminate the need for a trowel-on waterproofing or just protect the framing?

    I'm determined to do all the tile myself now that I've noticed some serious shortcomings in the tile work in this area.

    Thanks again for all the advice.

    Pat

  15. #15
    mb Guest

    Default Re: Taping Shower Seams

    Pat,

    As has been stated here many times, running poly film or tar-saturated roofing felt behind the board can lead to problems since these membranes are punctured by the fasteners.

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