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RE: Lines of *reliable* heated floors still functioning after yea (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 10.14.2009 at 08:32 pm in Bathrooms Forum

While I've used the mats when specified, when I could choose my own I'd go with mat-less cable.

As far as mats go, I've used SunTouch, NuHeat, Warmly Yours, maybe one or two others. They all seem fairly predictable. I've had to tease some of the mats out to get them properly arranged.

Personally though, I just prefer the mesh-less and mat-less cable.

Biggest thing I advise DIYers to do is to not thinset the cable and set the tile in one step. They tend to ding the cables with the edge of the trowel. when doing that.

Or use SLC. Let it cure, then tile. If you use SLC don't forget the primer. Figure 1/2" gain in elevation for the thickness of the layer of SLC/cable.


clipped on: 10.21.2009 at 06:23 pm    last updated on: 10.21.2009 at 06:23 pm

RE: What handheld shower/slide bar would you recommend? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: suero on 09.09.2009 at 12:12 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I went with the Grohe Tempesta because there is a knob to adjust the tension, rather than just a friction grip, to keep the shower holder on the slide bar. The Tempesta Trio has three settings, rain, jet and massage. I'm happy with it.


clipped on: 09.28.2009 at 12:53 am    last updated on: 10.21.2009 at 06:20 pm

RE: Inspiration pictures (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sue_b on 10.08.2009 at 01:00 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Let's all add the cool sites where we saved Inspiration Photos. These are so beautiful that I think it's best I'm finding it now instead of before I bought all my stuff. Use the Search by Room feature for "Bathrooms".

Here is a link that might be useful: Bathroom design inspiration photos


clipped on: 10.08.2009 at 07:58 pm    last updated on: 10.08.2009 at 07:58 pm

RE: What handheld shower/slide bar would you recommend? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: susan631 on 09.24.2009 at 10:06 am in Bathrooms Forum

Just wanted to give an update on my Grohe Movario now that I've actually been using it for a while. I LOVE it. It works GREAT. Love, love, love it. I was worried about not having enough water pressure, but that has not been an issue whatsoever. This thing has great pressure and I have no trouble at all rinsing my hair with it. It has a few different settings, too...normal, rain, champagne, massage, etc. I plan to put the same exact thing in my son's bathroom when I do that remodel. The only problem I have with this showerhead is that it makes me want to spend more time in the shower than I used to because I enjoy showering so much! It was well worth the money. By the way, did I mention how much I love this product?? LOL. And no, I do not work for Grohe or own stock, LOL.


clipped on: 09.24.2009 at 11:01 pm    last updated on: 09.24.2009 at 11:01 pm

RE: Question for Bill or other expert about Redguard waterproofin (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: bill_vincent on 02.20.2007 at 02:10 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Donna, either one is about as simple as it gets. I'm going to post a link to Kerdi's web page. On it is a streaming installation video. Believe me when I tell you, it's as easy as he makes it look in the video (might take a bit more time, but just as easy!) Kerdi and Ditra are about as goof proof as you can get. Matter of fact, the first time I used Ditra, I'd never even seen the stuff-- only ehard about it. I sat down for about 15 minutes, read the directions, and the rest is history. It's really that simple.

Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter Kerdi


clipped on: 09.02.2009 at 08:42 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2009 at 08:42 pm

RE: Towel bar in Shower? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: remodelzombie on 08.25.2009 at 01:53 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We just put a towel bar in our guest house shower where we are staying until our main house reno is complete. We love it!

No need for a heated bar because the towels are warm by the end of your shower...and we don't have to walk out into the cold air to get our towels...convenient location to the rear above the benchseat where they don't get wet. Going to do this in our main house also.


clipped on: 08.25.2009 at 07:30 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2009 at 07:30 pm

RE: What size floor tile to make bathroom look larger? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: pkirkha1 on 11.08.2007 at 09:33 am in Bathrooms Forum

I don't know if this will help but it is a handout that the tile store gave me - very interesting...


clipped on: 08.07.2009 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2009 at 05:37 pm

RE: Bain Ultra Amma or TMU? Looking for comfort + style (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: mydreamhome on 08.07.2009 at 02:22 am in Bathrooms Forum

OK, I figured it out! Here you go...

Old Hollywood Mater Tub

Master Tub Column Enclosure

Masculine House-Master Tub

Off HP Rd

Angle View Stencilled Tub 1

Elegancia Tub 2

Elegancia Tub 1


clipped on: 08.07.2009 at 01:23 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2009 at 01:23 pm

RE: Blanke UNI-Mat Pro vs Schluter Ditra (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 08.05.2009 at 09:53 am in Bathrooms Forum

Ditra is better because I've never heard of Blanke. Just my opinion.


clipped on: 08.05.2009 at 01:14 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2009 at 01:14 pm

RE: Show me your Shower Threshold (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bill_vincent on 08.01.2009 at 10:47 pm in Bathrooms Forum

It CAN be done any of the three ways (solid piece of stone, shower tile, or bathroom floor tile). In most ways, it's a matter of aesthetics. However, the solid piece of stone will also do two things for you. First, if you're getting a glass door, it'll give a solid surface for the door to seal to. Secondly (and most importantly), it'll also give less chance for water intrusion into the curb, especially if it's wide enough to overhang the inside of the curb by a 1/2" or so, providing a drip edge.

But for the record, I DO install them both with 1 piece stone, as well as tile.


clipped on: 08.02.2009 at 06:33 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2009 at 06:33 pm

RE: Does radiant floor heat cause grout issues? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 08.02.2009 at 05:02 pm in Bathrooms Forum

julie, yes and no.

If it's done correctly, you don't need Ditra. But Ditra can absorb some sins. But if the mesh still isn't filled with thinset and then it's covered with Ditra, problems could still occur.

Like most areas of employment, there's a fair amount of ignorance and apathy in construction. Sometimes it doesn't affect things, other times it can cause problems.

Faster and cheaper often takes longer and costs more.


clipped on: 08.02.2009 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2009 at 05:33 pm

RE: 12 X 9 master bath with HUGE tub (pics) (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: cindywhitall on 01.24.2009 at 11:43 am in Bathrooms Forum

Sorry, I didn't mean it looked worn out, just the materials, mainly the shower doors, which they do still sell and the vinyl flooring. You need to upgrade those.

Most people love my large tub when they see it and say they wish they had one. Nobody has ever said they would prefer a smaller tub. I think the tub is probably meant to be the "focal" point of the room, and consider what a smaller one would gain for you. If you think you would really prefer it, then do it. I think with some paint and some good wall decor items the tub would not be as overwhelming. I think you would gain more from investing in a quality (I'm partial to granite) countertop with good fixtures and door handles to match. That would also draw attention that right now goes to the tub. Have you looked at granite? Check out the gallery images and you will see how nice it looks! By not changing out the tub and shower you will save a lot of money and demolition (mess!). The counter is an easy installation. Good luck.

PS If you go granite, choose the granite before the paint and tile. I did it backwards and had to limit my granite choices, which was dumb because it was the most expensive part.


clipped on: 08.01.2009 at 07:15 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2009 at 07:15 pm

RE: If we use Ditra can we skip Kerdi? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: terriks on 07.16.2009 at 12:58 am in Bathrooms Forum

Ditra goes under floor tiles. Kerdi is a waterproofing system for the shower.


clipped on: 07.31.2009 at 07:02 pm    last updated on: 07.31.2009 at 07:02 pm

bathroom tile FAQ's

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.01.2008 at 09:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

This is going to take me a while, so I'll post as many as I can each night until it gets done. To start, here's the first set of questions and answers:

Okay, here we go. These questions come from the thread on the discussions side where I solicited questions from everyone for this thread. These are in the order they were asked:

Q) What are the different types of tiles you can use in a bathroom and what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

A) There are several types of tile available. They fall into two general groups: ceramic and natural stone. I'll take these one at a time:

Ceramic tile-- For purposes of this discussion, there's glazed conventional, unglazed porcelain, and glazed porcelain. All three are good tiles for bathroom use, but the porcelain is a better choice only because of its density and lack of water absorbsion, which makes upkeep and cleaning easier. Also, with reference to steam showers, you DO NOT want to use natural stone, being that the steam would tend to permeate into the stone even more readily than liquid water, and could end up giving you algae problems, as well as mold and mildew problems, unless you don't mind being tied down to your bathroom.

Natural Stone-- There are several types of stone that are used in bathrooms. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're all GOOD IDEAS for bathrooms, expecially the softer (and more absorbant) stones, such as slate or limestone. Now, I know I'm going to get a world of flack about this from epople who have bathrooms finished in these materials. I know they CAN be used.... so long as you're aware of the extra upkeep involved. But if you're someone who doesn't like to keep after things, you may want to pick an easier material to maintain. Generally speaking, the softer the stone, the more the upkeep. Limestone being the softer of the stones, and that would include travertine, next would be many slates (although some would actually be harder than even most marbles, such as brazilian and british slates), then marbles, with quartzite and granite rounding off the list as the harder and more dense stones that you could use.

Q) What should I be sure to look for when choosing tile for a bathroom?

A) Short answer-- something that you like! The bathroom is the one place that just about anything the showroom has can be used. The only limitations are basically the upkeep you want to put in, and slip resistance on the floors of your bathroom and shower. Now, although ceramic tile is basically maintenence free, you don't want to use something with a texture to it that will catch all kinds of junk in the shower, making it more difficult to keep clean. At the same time, you don't want to use a polished stone or bright glazed ceramic tile for the shower floor, either. These both CAN be used, but again, it comes down to upkeep for textured wall tile, and doing something to rectify the slippery floor.

Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

A) Tile can be used on every single surface in the bathroom, if that's what you like. This is all a matter of taste... for the most part. About the only place where there's a requirement is any place there's a showerhead involved. If tile is to be used either in a shower or a tub/ shower combo, The tile MUST go up to a minimum of 72" off the floor. Past that, it's up to the disgression of the owner.

Q) What size tile and what layout patterns to use in various areas?

A) Again, this is a subjective question that can really only be answered by the owner. The ONLY place where there's a recommendation for mechaincal reasons is on a shower floor. TCNA recommends that mothing bigger than 6" be used on shower floors due to the cone shape of the floor's pitch. In addition, most installers will request no bigger than 4", and prefer a 2x2 tile to work with on the shower floor. This is also advantageous to the homeowner who'll be showering in there, because the added grout joints will add more traction to the floor.

Now, I've heard many times that you shouldn't use large format tiles in a small area like a powder room floor, and if you have a wide open bathroom, you don't want to use real small tiles. My response to both is the same-- HORSEHOCKEY. I've done bathrooms both ways-- 24x24 diagonal in a 3' wide powder room, and 1" hex ceramic mosaics in an open 100 sq. ft. bathroom floor. The rule of thumb is if you like it, it's right!

Q) How do I find/choose someone to install the tile?

A) Many people will tell you to get names from the showroom you get your tile from. This is no good, unless the showroom is willing to take responsibility for the installer by either having them on payrool, or as a subcontract. Then they have something to lose if they give you a bad installer. Many people will also tell you to get references and to actually check them out. This ALSO doesn't work. I've been in this work for just under 30 years now, and I've yet to find a single installer who ever gave the name of someone they had a problem with. They say even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while. The same can be said for "fly-by-nights" and good work.

So if you can't trust recommendations, and checking references is a lost cause, what do you do? REVERSE THE PROCESS!! Instead of finding an installer and getting references, get references, and thru them, find your installer!! No matter where you live, if you drive around, you'll find constructions sites and developements. Stop and ask who the GC uses. Get a name and phone number. Sooner or later, after asking around enough, you're going to find that the same names will begin to show up time and time again. THESE are the guys you want to use. But don't expect a bargain price, and be prepared to wait, because these guys will be in high demand, even in the worst of times, and they may demand a bit higher price, but they'll be worth every penny, if for no other reason, just because of the peace of mind they'll give you in knowing you're getting a good quality installation. Ask anyone who's gone through this experience, good or bad-- that alone is worth its weight in gold.

Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

A) There are several, and I'll take them one at a time:

CBU (cementitious Backer Units)-- This is the term that generally covers all cement boards (such as Wonderboard or Durock) or cement fiber boards (such as Hardibacker). This is the most common used tile underlayment. Generally speaking, it comes in two thicknesses-- 1/2" and 1/4"-- and each has its use. !/2" must be used for wall installations, due to the fact that the 1/4" is way too flimsy with nothing to back it up, and would flex too much to last. Besides, the 1/2" CBU will usually match up nicely to most sheetrocks. The 1/4" is used for floor installations, unless the added height of the 1/2" is needed to match up to other floorings. Being that neither has very much structural strength, so long as the subfloor is 3/4" or more, the 1/4" CBU is all that's needed. Keep in mind that even though it's basically fiberglass reinforced concrete, the only thing it adds to the floor is a stable bonding surface, so the 1/4" will do just fine. One place where alot of contractors will try and shortcut is by using greenboard instead of CBU for shower walls. This is expressly forbidden in the IRC (International Residential Code) by the following code:

IRC Greenboard Code:
The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) states in
Section R702.4.2 that "Cement, fiber-cement or glass mat
gypsum backers in compliance with ASTM C1288, C1325
or C1178 and installed in accordance with manufacturers
recommendations shall be used as backers for wall tile in
tub and shower areas and wall panels in shower areas."

The 2006 IRC also states in Section R702.3.8.1 that
"Water-resistant gypsum backing board [Greenboard] shall
not be used where there will be direct exposure to water."

Membranes-- There are several around that work well over many different surfaces. Most of them are what's called "Crack Isolation Membranes". Just about every manufacturer has one, from trowel ons or roll ons, such as Hydroment's Ultraset or Laticrete's 9235 or Hydroban, to sheet membranes such as Noble's CIS membrane. All will give the tile a little more protection against movement than just going over CBU. However, there's another class of membranes called "uncoupling membranes" of which the most popular by far is Schluter's Ditra, that are made from bonding two layers together, usually a fabric fleece backing and a plastic sheeting with dovetailed waffling to "lock" the thinset in place ( as opposed to accepting a thinset BOND). These membranes will, as their name implies, uncouple their two layers in case of movement, to save the floor, and for thinset floors, it's the most protection you can give your tile floor.

Plywood-- This is one where I get the most flack. I'm one of a dying breed that still believes in tiling directly over plywood. However, I can very well understand the reluctance of the industry to embrace this installation method, even though the TCNA DOES approve of its use for interior installations (Those with a handbook can check Method F-149). The reason I say that is it's a very "tempermental installation method. You need to be very familiar with what you're doing, or you risk failure. There are even many pros I wouldn't trust to tile using this method. Everything you do is important, from the species of plywood used, to the direction the grain is laid with relation to the joists, to how it's gapped, and a host of other specs, as well-- many of which won't be found in the handbook, and if you miss just one of them, you're flirtin with disaster. All in all, when people ask me about it, I tell them that with the membranes available, there's no need to go directly over plywood. There are other methods that will give you just as long lasting a floor, and aren't NEARLY as sensitive.

Mudset-- This is the oldest, and still, after THOUSANDS of years of use, the strongest installation method available. In a mudset installation, a minimum of 1 1/4" of mortar called "drypack" (mixed to the consistancy of damp sand) is either bonded to a concrete slab, or laid down over tarpaper or 6 mil poly with wire reinforcement, packed, and then screaded off to flat level (or pitched) subfloor. This is what most people see when tiling a shower pan. Initially, the mud will be a somewhat soft subfloor. But over time, if mixed properly, it'll be stronger than concrete.

Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

A) This is one where I could write a book. It all depends on what kind fo tile you're installing, and what the underlayment is that you're going over. I'll give a generalized list:

Polymer/ latex modified thinset: For all intents and purposes, this is the "cure-all". For almost any installation the modified thinset, which is basically portland cement, silica sand, and chemical polymers added for strength, will work. There are some that are specialized, such as the lightweight non-sag thinsets (such as Laticrete's 255 or Mapei's Ultralite), or the high latex content thinsets (like Latictrete's 254 Platinum or Hydroment's Reflex), but with the exception of going over some membranes, there's a modified thinset for every installation.

Unmodified thinset: This is the same as above, but with no polymers added. It's usually used in conjunction with a liquid latex additive, but will also be used mixed with water for going over some membranes. It's also used as a bedding for all CBU's.

Medium Bed Mortars-- This is a relatively new class of setting mortars, used mainly for large format tiles, where the normal notched trowels just don't put down enough material, and with thinset, it would be too much, causing too much shrinkage as it dries, causing voids under, and poor bond to, the tile, but at the same time, there's not enoough room for a mudset installation. This mortar is usually used with either a 1/2x1/2" or 1/2x3/4" notched trowel.

Mastics and Premixed Thinsets: THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! Let me say that again-- THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! They work well for vertical installations, where the tile used is 8x8 or less, and it's not a wet area. ALL THREE of those conditions must be met!! I know just about every pail of type 1 mastic says it can be used in showers except for the floor. DON'T BELIEVE IT!! Also, both mastic and premixed thinset (which is just mastic with a fine sand mixed in to give it bulk) claim they can be used for floor installations. Unfortunately, for the amount of material needed under virtually all floor tiles to bond to the subfloor, neither of these will fully harden. I had a personal experience where I helped a sister in law across country, telling her husband exactly how to do his main floor, what to use, and how to use it. Unfortunately, he went to the big box store to get his tile and materials, and they talked him into using premixed thinset. I didn't hear about it until SIX MONTHS LATER when his tile and grout joints started showing cracks all over the floor. When he called me I asked him what he used for thinset, and sure enough, this is when he told me. I told him to pull one of the tiles, and SIX MONTHS LATER, IT WAS STILL SOFT!!! DOn't let them talk you into it!! Use the proper thinset, and don't try and shortcut your installation. You're spending alot of money for it to be "just practice"!!

Q) How do you deal with different thicknesses of tile?

A) Whatever it takes. I've used membranes, built up the amount of thinset being used, I've even doubled up tiles when it worked out that way. Whatever it takes to get the two tiles to be flush toeach other.

Q) What are the typical tools required to lay tile?

A) Generally speaking, this is a list for just about all installations. Some may require specialized tools, but this would be for all:

Proper sized notched trowel
measuring tape
chalk line
margin trowel
high amp low speed drill and mixing paddle (best would be 6 amp or better and less than 400 rpm)
several buckets
score and snap cutter for straight ceramic cuts
4 1/2" grinder with a continuous rim dry diamond blade for ceramic, anything other than straight cuts
wet saw (can be used for ALL cuts, ceramic or stone)
grout float
hydra grout sponges (2-- once for grouting, one for cleaning)
24" and 48" levels (for vertical work)
heavy duty extension cords
screwgun or nailgun (where CBU will be used)

Q) What about tile spacing and tpes of grout?

A) According to Dave Gobis from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation in Pendleton, South Carolina, there will finally be a new standard for ceramic tile next year. The tolerances are shrinking. There will also be a standard for rectified tile. Along with that, there will be a revision to the installation standards that will specifically recommend a grout joint no less than 3 times the variation of the tile. For rectified tile the minimum grout joint width will be .075 or just over a 1/16".

As for grout, there's only one thing that determines whether you use sanded or unsanded grout, and that's the size of the grout joint. Anything less than 1/8" you use unsanded grout. 1/8" or larger, you need to use sanded grout. The reason is that the main ingredient in grout is porland cement, which tends to shrink as it dries. In joints 1/8" or larger, the grout will shrink way too much and end up cracking ans shrinking into the joint. The sand give the grout bulk, and the sanded grout won't shrink nearly as much and therefore, can be used in the larger joints.


clipped on: 07.30.2009 at 07:54 pm    last updated on: 07.30.2009 at 07:54 pm

RE: What are por's and con's of Wonderboard vs Hardybacker (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 02.14.2009 at 02:15 pm in Bathrooms Forum

- a true cement board with a mesh facing for integrity
-brittle. Cut it into thin strips and the strips can easily break
-cutting, score the surface and cut the mesh reinforcement with a handheld carbide cutter and snap, or cut with a diamond blade. Diamonds make dust.
-no surprises when you use it, it's an honest product
-can be tough to screw unless you use the proprietary high/low screws. If you screw close to the edge and overdrive the screw you can break off the edge of the board (brittle, remember?)

-fibercement versus just cement (has cellulose fibers in it)
-not brittle like wonderboard. Much more structural integrty, can cut into thin strips.
-Not a score and snap like cement board due to the fibers in it. If cut with an abrasive blade, again it's dusty. You can actually score it with utility knife and then "fold" it back and forth a couple of times to break it on the cut line. It'll give a raggedy edge. sort of
-sheets are lighter and easer to handle than cement board.
-easier to screw, but driving the screws to deep can cause the face to mushroom.

So, with all that, guess which I prefer?


Personally I prefer true cement boards, Wonderboard and Durock, over fibercement. But I'll use each. Typically cement board to cover large expanses of wall, and if I need long thin strips to line a niche, thin enough where I think wonderboard will snap or fracture either when cutting or fastening, I'll consider changing over to fibercement for those thin pieces.

When working solo I'll sometimes use hardie on ceilings. I can hold a sheet up with one hand and drive screws with the other. And due to it being more flexible, it's less likely to snap in two like cement board would. I could use supports to hold a sheet of cement board to a ceiling and fasten it with no problems, and I've done that many a time...but hey, I'm giving you a pro/con here.

Cement board, you mist it, and you know when it's wet. With fibercement, sometimes it just keeps sucking up water. It seems more thirsty than cement board.

Both good products. As far as getting physically hurt or "working safe", wonder can hurt you in more ways than hardie. Wonder is heavier, has sharper edges, and is more brittle.

My opinion.



clipped on: 07.28.2009 at 01:35 pm    last updated on: 07.28.2009 at 01:35 pm

RE: Perfect bathroom vent fan - does it exist? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: fidoprincess on 01.09.2009 at 04:43 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I have whisper warm and we installed a timer switch for the fan portion so we dont have to remember to turn the fan off when we are leaving the bathroom. Works great. I was told it cant go inside the shower though so ours is right outside where you step out and the heater is great. I too bought one bigger than the space called for and have no regrets. I read that some complained that the heater didnt warm up enough and that made me get the larger size. The heater is great! Remember though that it takes a whole circuit breaker of its own-20 amp if I recall correctly so make sure you have enough space on your electric box.


clipped on: 07.27.2009 at 05:48 pm    last updated on: 07.27.2009 at 05:48 pm

RE: How high should bathroom tile go up on wall? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bill_vincent on 04.02.2009 at 07:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

While you'll see answers anywhere from 36" to 72", the norm is usually between 42" and 52", depending on where your vanity, mirror (or hutch), and electrical switches and outlets fall. You want to make sure that especially the electrical face plates fall either all on, or all off the FIELD tile (It can't have any raised tiles like chair rail or raised pencil liners falling underneath the plates, either).


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 08:29 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 08:29 pm

RE: Questions on Panasonic Whisper fans (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: justnigel on 11.18.2008 at 05:29 am in Bathrooms Forum

As you gleaned, Panasonics are well respected. I have one in my own house and have installed many. The only push-back happened once, when the client didn't think it was working because it was so quiet. A sheet of paper held up to the fan proved otherwise.

Anyway, go for the bigger size. Sones are a relative measure of noise levels (lower=quieter), and if I remember correctly, they're logarithmic.

Extra options are going to be extra switches, but it's not a lot more cost at the electrician side.

My personal one has a light, but not heat. The only quirky thing was difficulty finding bulbs in a "warm" light color. That said, the bulbs seem to last forever.

I don't know why they claim green status. Maybe the bulbs?

Serious plumbing supply stores tend to stock them. Most people look at them there and then buy them online for noticeably cheaper.

One thing you didn't ask about is ducting. Get rigid piping -- not flexible -- if at all possible. Rigid is more efficient and quieter.

And I have no idea if California changes any of that...


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 08:22 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 08:22 pm

RE: Help me decide: white carrera or beige travertine bathroom? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: boymom on 04.22.2009 at 12:44 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We have polished nickel faucets and fixtures - if they're not right next to chrome it's hard to tell the difference. They're a slightly deeper, warmer color, much richer looking in my opinion. My designer led me that way, and I'm so glad.

I can't imagine them ever looking dating either.


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 08:13 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 08:13 pm

RE: Another ming green copycat bath (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mlk58 on 02.10.2009 at 11:26 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Trying to post a photo:



clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:38 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:38 pm

RE: green board vs. hardiebacker (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: bill_vincent on 06.25.2008 at 04:07 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Mongo just gave you three of the best suggestions-- Durock, Wonderboard, or Hardibacker.


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:34 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:34 pm

RE: green board vs. hardiebacker (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: bill_vincent on 06.24.2008 at 11:46 am in Bathrooms Forum

In the wet areas where the cement board is going up, there needs to be a continuous vapor barrier. Where it runs across an exterior wall where there may already be a vapor barrier, or paper faced insulation, just cut slits in it, so that you don't have two solid vapor barriers back to back.

Tammy-- Nah-- I don't chuckle at all. Everyone has their strengths. I'll bet there are some things you could really make ME feel dumb about if the conversation were to swing over in that direction. :-)


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:32 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:32 pm

RE: green board vs. hardiebacker (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bill_vincent on 06.23.2008 at 05:00 pm in Bathrooms Forum

The reason for the cement board is that the greenboard will rot out. It makes for a great feast for mold and mildew. You can use greenboard ANYPLACE where there's not a shower head. If there's a showerhead over your tub, better use cement board!! Otherwise, greenboard will be fine if it's a drop in tub only.


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:31 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:31 pm

RE: Tiles 12 x 24 in walk in shower - Pictures to share?? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: homey_bird on 05.10.2009 at 01:33 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Hi Gowelch, I think 12x24 would look lovely though 12x12 would look nice as well.

I found this site with really lovely bath remodel photos: they used a lot of rectangular tiles (likely 12x24's) -- but there is no info available:

(Click on the first project and click on images to view larger size; some pix show rectangular tiles that look like 12x24).

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: sample bath project by a remodeller


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:12 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:12 pm

oops (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 07.03.2008 at 07:27 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Ooops, that was my wife's sink.

Here's my side of the bathroom:



clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 06:50 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 06:50 pm

RE: can we please discuss kerdi vs. alternatives ...AGAIN? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bill_vincent on 05.28.2009 at 10:57 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Although Redgard will do a good job, it is NOT comparable to Kerdi. In fact, there's only ONE membrane that is, and that's Hydroment's Ultraset. All other trowel or roller applied waterproofings that I'm aware of require the use of a vapor barrier in conjunction with the waterproof membrane to be completely moisture proof. The reason is that although they're waterproof, they are NOT vaporproof. Kerdi is, as is Ultraset. It's the only one, though. Not even Laticrete's 9235 or Hydroban. Matter of fact, about a year before they came out with the Hydroban, Laticrete invited several of the local contractors in Connecticut to brainstorm on what the perfect waterproofing system would be like. My sister was one of the contractors that went to that meeting, and before she did, she called me to ask for my input. The biggest thing I asked for was a single barrier system, where no vapor barrier was required. It's the only reason I use Kerdi-- It can be used for a steam shower without having to also install a vapor barrier. Anyway, they came up with Hydroban, which still requires a vapor barrier .

That said, for normal showers, the Hydroban, I'm told, works great in conjunction with the Kerdi drain, as a topical membrane system. But again, if you're going to do a steam shower, stick with the Kerdi. For my money, it can't be beat.


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 06:28 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 06:28 pm

RE: can we please discuss kerdi vs. alternatives ...AGAIN? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 05.28.2009 at 10:42 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Kerdi will not prevent mold. But it can minimize moisture buildup within the walls that can promote mold.

All that can get wet with Kerdi is the tile, the grout, and the thinset.

There is no tile backer board to wet and hold water.

The deckmud between the membrane and the tile is not exposed to water, so it will never wet.

What Kerdi does is prevent deep wetting. No deep wetting means faster drying. But if you have a poor grout job, or a poorly draining tiled floor, or inadequate ventilation in the shower, then mold/mildew can still form within the shower.

Alternatives? Wedi. Any topical roll/trowel on membrane (like RedGard). Some of the tile backer boards that have a water and vapor proof acrylic face.


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 06:27 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 06:27 pm

RE: Mongo, would you give me some specs on your fab bath?? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mongoct on 04.03.2009 at 01:06 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I thought I had a more comprehensive series of photos, but I might have not brought them over when I bought new computers a few weeks ago.

The following are not pretty, but they might help:

ABOVE: This shows a couple of things I had to work around. High over the toilet is a jog of the vent pipe, it comes into the room because it jogs around a load bearing beam in the wall.

Lighting: You see two illuminated light bulbs. Those are the sconce locations for the "new' design. The original design had two sinks, two wall mirrors, and three wall sconces. The old wall sconce locations are the covered up junction boxes. I redid the wiring so there is no live wring in those now unused j-boxes.

Outlets: Look at the middle shelf in the closet on the left. In the back right corner you can see a box. I built that to house a couple of electrical outlets. Two outlets for inside the closet, another outlet that is on the closet sidewall facing the sink, you can barely see the cover plate for that box on the closet wall to the left of the drill.

More electrical: In the 48" tall cabinet that hides the toilet, there are four outlets in the upper part of that cabinet box. There is one outlet that faces the sink, there is another on the opposite side that faces the toilet. There are two inside the upper cubby to provide power to items in the upper drawer. To protect those outlets, there is a false back wall in the rear of the upper cubby of that toilet cabinet. The cabinet itself is about 32" deep, the false back wall is about 10" out from the cabinet's back, affording roughly 22" of depth for the upper toilet drawer.

The cabinets: Nothing fancy, 3/4" birch plywood boxes. Horizontal shelves/tops/bottoms are recessed into the cabinet sides in a 1/4" deep dado. Titebond glue and screws. Cabinet backs are 1/2" MDF, recessed into the cabinet sides/top/bottom. Glued and screwed. Recessing the cabinet backs into the cabinet helps keep the cabinet perfectly square.

I typically use a 2" wide vertical stile on my cabinet face frames. I prefer my frames to be flush with the edges of the cabinet sides. With the cabinet sides being 3/4" thick, two of them make 1-1/2". So I'll use a strip of 1/2" filler between adjacent boxes to get that 2" thickness. With my face frames being flush with the inside faces of the cabinet sides, to get square face frames you need square cabinet carcasses. You can't disguise sloppy construction with this method.

Toekicks: Under the cabinets you see scrap pieces of 2x4. Those were eventually covered with wood and painted black. They simply limit the depth of the hole under the cabinet to round 8", giving dust bunnies less room to hide.

ABOVE: This shows the same run of cabinets with the face frames installed. You can see the electrical outlet on wall of the left closet, facing the sink. You can see the outlet on right side of the toilet cabinet, facing the toilet.

ABOVE: Everyone needs a place to keep their "to do" list. I know I'll never lose this list. At least not until I cover it with the teak top.

ABOVE: Remember that really small vent pipe that jogged into the room? Well, I covered it with this really big soffit. Nothing like overkill, eh? I actually used it to balance out the visual weight of the upper part of the closet on the left side of the sink. Visually, it centers things to the open area over the center of the sink. Might sound like a lot of silly voodoo design, but visually it feels comfortable to me.

The band around the upper walls is backer for the crown molding.

ABOVE: Speaking of teak...this is 4/4 teak, or "four quarter" teak. If you go t a lumberyard and by a "one-by-four", it'll be 3/4" thick by 3-1/2" wide. If you go to a lumberyard and order 4/4 lumber, it'll be 1" thick. For 4/4 thickness or less, I'll use one row of biscuits. For 5/4 and thicker, I'll use a double row. In this bathroom the tub deck is 2" (8/4) thick, the sink countertop is 1-1/2" (6/4) thick, and the toilet cabinet teak top is 1" (4/4) thick.

ABOVE: I usually use epoxy with teak. I thought I read a recent article that the newer titebond forumations work well on teak, but hey, when you buy epoxy by the gallon, you may as well use it, right? Except that I buy Titebond 4 gallons at a time. Hmmmmmm....

Okay, anyhow, I use epoxy. Teak is an oily wood, so prior to using epoxy I'll wipe down the edges to be glued with acetone. The acetone removes the oils. I mix the epoxy, apply it to the biscuits and the edges with an acid (flux) brush, sap it all together and clamp it up. Biscuits are designed to absorb moisture from water-based glues like Titebond and expand within the cut slots, they really lock the pieces together. Although there is no moisture in epoxy for the biscuit to absorb, it still provides more surface area for the epoxy, plus the biscuits help register and align the teak during the clamping process.

ABOVE: After the epoxy has cured. I'm getting ready to belt sand these with 80-grit to smooth it out. Top photo is for the "toilet" cabinet, the bottom photo is a teak window sill for the window behind the tub.

So...not the greatest series of "how to" photos. But hopefully they'll help a bit.



clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 05:53 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 05:54 pm

RE: Mongo, would you give me some specs on your fab bath?? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mongoct on 04.01.2009 at 03:36 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Okay, going from left to right:

1) The closet on the left, 20-3/4" wide and 23-3/4"deep.

2) cabinet to the left of the sink: 18-1/4" wide, 21-3/4" deep, cabinet is 33-1/4" tall, with 1-1/2" thick countertop the top of the teak countertop is 34-3/4" high.

3) center sink cabinet: 32-1/4" wide, 23-1/4" deep.

4) same as #2.

5) The tall dividing cabinet: 15-1/2" wide, 32-3/4" deep, the cabinet is 48" tall, and with the 1" thick teak on it, the top of the teak is 49" tall.

Cabinet #5 is indeed a pullout pantry type of cabinet. The top drawer has electrics in it, my wife uses that for keeping her hair dryer, etc, plugged in.

The bottom part of the pantry is storage. Looking at it from the front, vertically it's divided in half. When you pull it open, the shelves that face the sink are 4" deep. It's almost like a medicine cabinet for my wife. The shelves that face the toilet side are about 5-1/2" deep, that's where we store cleaning supplies, rolls of toilet paper, etc. I sized the shelf depth for rolls of TP and paper towels.

Construction was very basic. Birch plywood carcasses and poplar face frames. There is some MDF mixed in there as well. Oil primer. Two coats of latex topcoat in that room. I'm almost always an oil paint guy, but I think I painted that room in the winter and with closed windows I went with latex.

I may have some as-I-went construction photos.

Original design had a slightly different layout; two sinks, and a makeup "desk" area with a kneehole. My wife wanted no part of a makeup area, she stands in front of Cabinet #5 and uses the round mirror. She also wanted no part of two sinks. We share, no issues.

I did a mock up of the countertop height, as I'm 6'4" and my wife is 5'1". She actually loves the taller height.



clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 05:49 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: dmlove on 06.12.2007 at 01:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Bumping this up (because I never responded :)):

Best decisions:

1) Thermobalance valves on each shower head (two people shower concurrently most mornings and like different water temperature)

2) Kitchen-height cabinets (although I failed to take into account the height of the sink, so they're about an inch higher than would be ideal)

3) Toto toilets everywhere

4) Large drawers to store clean towels and wide shallow drawer to store daily use items. I keep them in two baskets which can be easily removed and replaced.

5) Adding a beautiful frameless shower door (had an open shower for 20 years before)

6) Shampoo shelf (we got the idea from a hotel shower)

Bad/less bad/unnecessary:

1) Seat in shower - used only as a place to prop up a leg.

2) Body sprays - used infrequently

3) Keeping the old full-wall mirror (still going to change it, but it has kept us from "finishing" for a almost a year now).

4) Should have done heated floors (even though this is California, tile floors are cold, period)

Worst decision:

Not putting the plug for the hairdryer inside the top drawer.

Mariainny, I don't know if this is what home_nw was referring to, but here's a picture of our shampoo shelf. We have no glass except for the angled door, so you can't see the shelf from elsewhere in the bathroom.

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clipped on: 07.19.2009 at 01:30 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2009 at 01:30 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: claire_de_luna on 03.09.2007 at 11:56 am in Bathrooms Forum

I didn't want to post until we put the last finishing touch on the bathroom. I'm happy to say the details are done, hallelujah! My Bests list includes many of the same things others have mentioned.

Worst decision: Rejuvenation Medicine Cabinets. Trust me, you can do better. There's nothing worth the Huge Hassle I had with this company over these poorly made items.

Best decisions: SunTouch heated floors, even into the shower. I particularly love it in the shower because the floors dry quickly which was an added bonus.

Doorless, curbless, curved wall shower. No glass to clean! Easy access and open feeling to a small space.

Handheld (extra long hose) and regular showerhead with separate on/off and thermostatic valve.

Hinged, drop-down shower seat so it's out of the way when not needed.

Sinks (36 '' high) with Tapmasters, which I love because the basin is closer to my face!

ADA height Toto with Washlet.

Separate reading light over the toilet, switch located next to fixture.

Timers for heat/vent fan. Set it and forget it!

Tile to six feet high, including tiled baseboard which makes the room easy to keep clean.

Shelf ledge instead of counters to keep the clutter to a minimum. I wondered whether it would be enough shelf space; it is.

Tall trash can next to the door so I can access it on the way in/out.

Hooks for towels to save space. This allowed me to have more hooks to hang more items.

Unfitted furniture for storage cabinet/table space. The cost was much more reasonable and I like the option of being able to change these items ''down the road'' if I want to.


clipped on: 07.19.2009 at 01:29 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2009 at 01:29 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: patrice607 on 03.08.2007 at 02:46 pm in Bathrooms Forum


I love my beveled mirror, Kohler soaking tub, marble vanity top, mosaic insets in the floor tile and timer on the vent fan. Guests are impressed (or confused ) by the Aquia duo flush toilet. New vanity has a full width drawer under the plumbing. The niche was also a good decision.

I wish I could have talked the electrician into wiring one of the drawers. It would have kept the chargers off of my vanity.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


clipped on: 07.19.2009 at 01:28 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2009 at 01:28 pm

RE: Air Tubs: Access panel AND air vent? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mongoct on 06.18.2009 at 05:22 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Not the best example, but it shows a couple of ways to do it:

The vertical grate on the left side of the tub apron is open for airflow.

The open toe kick at the bottom of the closet to the right of the tub is also an open pathway for air to get under the tub deck.

Any of the three "raised" panels on the front of the tub deck can be removed for plumbing or motor access. Or all three panels as well as the entire front face frame can be taken out for total access.

No tools required. Just lift and remove.


clipped on: 07.19.2009 at 01:21 pm    last updated on: 07.19.2009 at 01:22 pm