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View Poll Results: What do you put behind porcelain tile when it has to be waterproof?

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Thread: What would you put in your 'Forever House' under porcelain tile in your bathroom

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bathroom rookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    san diego county

    Default What would you put in your 'Forever House' under porcelain tile in your bathroom

    It's your forever house, and you're going to live at least 20 more years, with teenagers using your shower (hours at a time), the lady of the house taking long soaks in the seperate tub. Occasionally todlers will slosh gallons out of the tub onto the floor.

    What do you use on the floor?
    Can't use Kerdi, porcelain requires latex modified thinset. What do you put over the plywood floor to waterproof? Redgard? Noble TS?.

    What do you make the walls behind the tile out of? Some of you love Denshield and some say it turns to mush. Mixed reviews on cement board. You want it waterproof but Remember plumbing leaks can happen behind the walls too. What would you use in your forever house?
    (guess what I'm remodeling due to massive waterleak behind the walls)

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Anything you put in a bathroom should be 20 year life easy. A 'forever' bathroom would mean 50 years!

    Why not kerdi? How about Redgard: http://www.custombuildingproducts.co...s/RedGard.aspx
    I have used that and like it. No reason to NOT use just regular drywall on the walls ( except the shower ). I don't know of any better product than cement board for tub and shower walls. I am definitely NOT in tune with the very latest engineering developments and products. Keep your eyes and ears open for new developments.

    As far as all the water you expect on the floor, there are some basic things you can do:
    > use lots of bathmats/towels on the floor
    > carefully caulk all joints at the wall/floor interface: tub apron, all baseboards, base of toilet.
    > install about twice as many CFM of quality, quiet, exhaust ventilation as you think you need! Consider a quite remotely located in-line fan.

    Do these things and live happily everafter!

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Petal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Pittsburgh Pa


    If you don't want Kerdi, how about Superseal? It can be used on walls and floors.

    If you're not wanting porcelain tile on the floor, look into Konecto. It's waterproof on all but the perimeter when installed properly. I have the commercial grade Konecto in my kitchen and love it. (This is not the same cheaper type version as sold in the big box DIY stores though). It's a floating floor and can go over virtually any type subfloor.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    First, it is a fallacy that you have to use a modified thinset with porcelain tile...just not true. You must use a quality dryset mortar with ANY waterproof membrane for best results, though. The cheapest stuff sold in most big box stores is just the minimum, and it's better to use something better. A $5 bag of thinset is mostly sand...best to opt for something better. In most places, HD no longer sells a decent dryset mortar. Yes, it meets minimum specs, but except for underneath cbu, I'd rather not use it. The difference in bond strength is there between a good modified and a good dryset, but it isn't as large as people are lead to believe. And, if you do a quality install with 100% coverage (and back butter larger tile), you'd never get a tile up, regardless of whether it is standard ceramic or a porcelain tile. FYI, porcelain is ceramic, just a denser version - different manufacturing technique. A good dryset mortar will produce nearly 300#/sq. in bond with porcelain. Over a 12x12 tile, that's over 21 tons. Not something you'll see in a typical household!

    But, as to Kerdi, Kerdi is designed for showers...what you want on a floor is Ditra, if you go that way. Personally, if the tile are at least 2x2 (the minimum recommended for Ditra), I'd use it verses any cbu. The membrane is lighter, easier and neater to cut, and, provides better decoupling. If it is important to you, you can use Kerdiband on the seams and make the floor waterproof, but where is that water going to go? Most floors are flat, so you have to run it up the walls some, but then you have the doorway, so it leaks out there anyway.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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