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Marble Tile Bathroom Renovation

The Whole Process
By: Harry Dunbar

The pre-sloped mortar bed is ready for the liner to be installed. The purpose of the sloped mortar bed under the liner is to direct water to the weep holes located in the drain assembly.

Remove the upper sections of the drain and leave the bolts hand tightened in the threaded holes so that sand and dirt can't enter and cause an obstruction.

After the pre-sloped mortar bed is scraped and swept clean, lay out the liner material centered on the floor.
Tuck the material into the corners and edges so that voids are absent. Fold in the corners where necessary and in such a way so as not to inhibit the cement board panels from setting tight to the studs. Whatever works ... works. It doesn't have to be pretty.

Attach with a few staples ONLY near the top of the liner and into the studs.

Attach the liner material with staples .... ONLY ONTO THE OUTSIDE of the curb.
The excess liner shouldn't be cut off if it can be helped. In this case where I have unwanted material (where the curb meets the wall), I just fold it under. See next photo.
After the liner is properly installed, it's time to locate the drain. Feel for the 4 bolts and carefully cut around each bolt and then the drain hole.
Cut away liner material where ever the weep holes are located on the drain assembly. There are various designs for shower drains, this one is a better quality and makes it easy to locate the weep holes which in this case are 8 total. There are 2 between each bolt.
Fit the top ring on and check that the weep holes are unobstructed.
If you're happy with the job so far ... it's time to attach the upper section of the drain.

Apply a small bead of caulking under the liner material on the OUTSIDE edge of the flange perimeter. If you apply too much it may block some of your weep holes, so be careful. The purpose of the silicon is to create a gasket material more than it is for bonding.

Attach the top section of the drain, screw the trap into the assembly and admire your work. Notice the 2 weep holes visible between the bolts at the front.

The customer's contractors hung the cement board. They've kept it up off the liner about 1/2" as I requested.

Before I start packing the final layer of mortar into the pan I install lath for my curb's construction. The lath is molded to the contours of the curb and stapled ONLY on the outside. The inside section will be securely fastened with the weight of the mortar packed against it.
See how the mortar holds the lath in place?
Build a level screed with the deck-mud at preferred level higher then the drain which will give you the desired slope.
After the screed is finished add more mortar to build your slab.
Scrape it giving special care to a nice even slope without humps or indentations.
Instead of trying to remove mortar from around the drain to accommodate the tile ... try unscrewing the drain (if you've allowed enough threads) upwards until the trap/plate is flush with the finished surface of your tile.

The finished mortar bed is ready to be waterproofed and tiled.

Before I construct the curb I want to get a couple of things out of the way for the sake of time. I need a sound surface for the 18"x18" marble tile so I've decided to use Halex which is a 3/8" thick plywood underlayment which has the same strength as 5/8" thick plywood. I can create a strong floor without a radical increase to the height of the finished surface level.
I've installed a Flextherm electric heated floor system and spread a layer of medium bed mortar over top to level and protect the cables. I'll need one more coat to bring it to the required level.

I'll tape and mud the seams of the cement board and build the curb before I do anything else.

The Next Day

I've protected the heating cables by laying down a drop sheet and then covering with plywood.

Ok ... Now the curb.

I'm using Mortar-Mix to build my curb.
Apply the mud and level to exactly where I want it.
The shower is now ready for waterproofing.
But before I go home for the day to allow the mud work to cure .... I've applied another coat of medium bed mortar in order to build up a level surface to protect the cables and support the tile.
The Next Day

I used Laticrete 9235 liquid membrane to waterproof the bottom section of the shower.
I put one final coat of mortar on the floor to make it completely level.
... and the following Day

I'm using Flextile 52 (white mortar) for both the floors and walls.

I'm setting 18"x18" marble tile.

Everything is flat, level and there is no lippage.
The Next Morning

It's common for walls to be warped causing a very uneven surface. It's up to the Tilesetter to correct this as he sets the tile. See below.

There is enough mortar added behind the tiles to bring them into the same plane as all the others.

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