Author Topic: Question for you tile experts.  (Read 10053 times)

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Offline rjwz28

  • Posts: 190
Question for you tile experts.
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:15 AM »
I want to add tile to the front part of my alcove bathtub that I'm replacing. I'm thinking to make a false front and then tile up the front until it is below the height of the tub. I don't know how to finish where it joins to the tub to make it water tight. Any ideas?

Thanks to all beforehand.

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 06:26 AM »
Is that the actual profile of the tub?  Do you already own the tub?  Normally in the situation you would have a drop in tub that did not have a "front" and would build a tile platform.  Here is a thread from Dan Clark showing this.  http://www.talkfestool.com/vb/home-improvement-projects/1294-bathroom-project-design-challenge-2-w.html

Peter

Offline Alex

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 07:13 AM »
Here we typically waterproof a tub with a special bathroom caulk, it's a silicone caulk that's mildew resistant.

You tile all the way up to the tub, leaving just a thin joint that you fill with caulk.




Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 07:20 AM »
Alex,

In a drawing such as shown is the wood framing attached to the tub or is it actually attached to walls at the end?  Are tubs usually a composite or cast iron?

Peter

Offline Alex

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 08:30 AM »
Alex,

In a drawing such as shown is the wood framing attached to the tub or is it actually attached to walls at the end?  Are tubs usually a composite or cast iron?

Peter

Peter, there are so many variations possible that it's hard to answer your question. Tubs can be cast iron, composite, porcelain or plastic. A lot of them are self supporting but others sit on a metal, wooden or stone structure around it. You have free standing tubs and tubs that are built along a wall. Everything is possible. I think that in most cases where a tub is built along a wall, the surrounding structure is firmly connected to the wall.

I'm not very knowledgeable about installing the bath tub itself as I never done one so I never delved into it. I only know that I've done enough tiling jobs to know the general way for final waterproving over here is with a flexible silicone caulk that's mildew resistant. First you tile all around the area and make sure that's completely waterproof, and then close up the final seams with a flexible caulk. If you don't use a flexible caulk cracks will appear over time because of the movement of walls and floor.

Offline Mopowers

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 08:34 AM »
Alex's image is the correct process but it is going to be difficult to execute. I am assuming from your drawing the front of your tub has a finished apron front and not meant for this application. Whether its cast iron or acrylic i dont believe your caulk joint between the tile and tub will hold up over time. Too much movement will occur between the two. Additionally the front of tubs are rarely flat which will complicate your project.

I recommend you get a different tub of different approach. If you do decide to go this route be sure to also caulk your tile substrate to the tub before you tile. I would use a polyurethane caulk or Kerdi Fix (Kerdi fix might just be poly) under the tile. I also recommend something more water tight than cement board in that location.  

Offline Len C

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 08:37 AM »
look at using some kerdi-band at the seams and seal with kerdi-fix, rather than standard silicone.
http://www.amazon.com/SCHLUTER-KERDI-BAND-5-X-33/dp/B003C69J1K


Ignore amazon price, it is about half at local tiling stores. The Kerdi fix is expensive but will adhere and waterproof better.

better yet, ask at a tiling forum.

http://www.johnbridge.com/articles/showers/tiling-over-kerdi-fix/

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 08:47 AM »
Are you sure you want to add the additional distance to step over when exiting the wet tub? You will lose about 4 1/2" of floor space also. If I was really set on doing this and not going to buy a new tub I would cut the front skirt off and inset the new knee wall. The cement board would be KerdiBoard or Wedi the top covered with the waterproof board also. The top should be pitched slightly, away from the tub. The tile transition from vertical to horizontal would be Schulter Jolly. Make sure the tub is full of water while caulking, do not drain for a few hours after completing the caulking..

Tom

Offline Mopowers

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 09:12 AM »
Quote
Are you sure you want to add the additional distance to step over when exiting the wet tub? You will lose about 4 1/2" of floor space also. If I was really set on doing this and not going to buy a new tub I would cut the front skirt off and inset the new knee wall. The cement board would be KerdiBoard or Wedi the top covered with the waterproof board also. The top should be pitched slightly, away from the tub. The tile transition from vertical to horizontal would be Schulter Jolly. Make sure the tub is full of water while caulking, do not drain for a few hours after completing the caulking..

Great suggestions!

Offline Dan C

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 10:00 AM »
I just finished a pretty big install of Kerdi in my shower, and I can tell you that you do not want to use Kerdi Fix as a caulk.  The product is more of an adhesive than anything else, and can be used to seal around protruding pipes for valves or heads.  It is very sticky and you won't get it to tool to a clean transition very well.  I used a Bostik caulk around my tub that was 100% silicone (that is the key for the sealing to be as effective as possible around the tub), and made specifically for tub/shower/bath situations.

The John Bridge forum is quite helpful, and I was able to find a ton of help over there.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 10:02 AM by Dan C »

Offline Mopowers

  • Posts: 86
Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:20 AM »
Good point Dan. I should clarify what i suggested. I too would recommend against using Kerdi Fix as a tile caulking. I was suggesting using it as a sealant below the tile between the tub and the tile backer, not as a final caulk joint.   

Offline Jalvis

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 11:28 AM »
Best to ask the guys at the John Bridge Forum...although they will tell you to get a different tub.

Alex's drawing will work well if its a steel tub and you mount the frame securely.  

The only change I would consider are the following:
Slope the top seal with the substrate
Use Treated 2x4
Lift bottom 2x4 a 1/4" from floor 
Use 1/2 Hardie.  
Lift hardie 1/4" from Floor
Tape seems.
Silicone hardie Seam at tub
Use Liquid membrane on hardie
Silicone Seam at tub and tile.

Remember to use silicone at changes of plane.....so that means at the bottom of the tub wall and the transition from the seal to tub wall.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 11:35 AM by Jalvis »

Offline Holzhacker

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 12:24 PM »
- Tile should be run under the lip of the tub NOT up against at the outer rim. Running the tile up against the tub flange creates a vertical caulk seam that will fail over time and allow water into the wall. Running the tile under the flange eliminates the seam. If you slightly slope the tile ledge outward the water has no place to go besides away from the tube and down the wall area.
- Depending on your usage expectations you could install a waterproof membrane or not. 1st floor bathroom with not that much use, save the money. Primary bathtub that will get used a lot to wash the little kids, membrane would probably be worth it.
- durock, densarmor, kerdi board will all work; you couldn't pay me enough to use a Hardie product on a job; total junk designed to fail
- love the Schluter membrane but Noble also makes a very nice membrane; they also make nice floor drains at better prices than others
- depending on how you build this front you may want to use one of the Schluter edge profiles between the fiberglass and tile, this can provide a much cleaner and more stable joint than just caulk
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline rjwz28

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 03:51 PM »
Thanks everyone for your tips. It seems like my biggest problem will be the movement issue that will make the seal fail over time.

I don't have the tub yet and I'm still looking for a tub which has the 3 lips on the wall sides (alcove) so I can tile over the edges and a removable front "skirt" which will let me tile under the lip instead. Anyone know who makes one like that? That would solve my problem right there.

Thanks,
Rob

Offline rjwz28

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 04:05 PM »
This would be ideal. If I can find a tub like this, I'll do it this way! Any leads?

thanks

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Question for you tile experts.
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 08:32 PM »
Choose any drop in tub, order the tile flange for 3 sides.

If you click on the installation guide on page 2, American Standard calls it a "tile bead kit";

http://www.build.com/american-standard-2675-002-colony-60-x-33-drop-in-soaking-bath-tub/p1051498

What ever you do, do not bear weight on the tub deck until you place the outer support wall.

Tom