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Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?

 
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


When I tile a shower I hardibacker and liquid membrane the whole shower, two coats.

I'm working with a friend on one of his projects and our local tile supply told him to only liquid membrane the joints because the hardi and thin set both have a mold blocker added.

I think this is silly, liquid membrane is expensive but also a very high quality product.

If we don't membrane the whole shower does this mean we need a vapor barrier behind the hardi?
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Originally Posted by duburban View Post
When I tile a shower I hardibacker and liquid membrane the whole shower, two coats.

I'm working with a friend on one of his projects and our local tile supply told him to only liquid membrane the joints because the hardi and thin set both have a mold blocker added.

I think this is silly, liquid membrane is expensive but also a very high quality product.

If we don't membrane the whole shower does this mean we need a vapor barrier behind the hardi?
If you're not going to liquid membrane the whole shower, you might as well just put a moisture barrier behind the Hardi and be done with it.

Does the framing, insulation, sheathing, etc have a "mold blocker" as well?

I love when tile shops give out such well informed "advice".

It's always better to follow the manufacturer's instructions than to take any anecdotal advice from a tile shop.

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Old 02-03-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


Sadly code allows this type of installation.

Your technique is better in my opinion but I would double check you are getting the right coverage with two coats of liquid.

We use liquid all the time and getting a proper 22mil thickeness can be tough with 2 coats only.

When prepping for liquid membrane we wash all bond breakers and dust away. The first coat is burned into the backer by brush and we work it in all directions. It almost dries straight away so we then go back and hit it with the "Johnny Roller". That is coat one.

Second coat is a roll on coat.

When your done measure your container and determine if you have the proper amount of product left. If not a third and final coat will be needed. Expierment with different brushes and rollers until you find a pair that does the job.

If you wish - here in Vancouver you can just bang up Hardie, tape the seams and your good to go. This gets done all the time. There is no shortage of work in this industry because most people build showers to last maybe 3-10 years at most.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


Did they happen to mention how to tie in the bottom of the vapor barrier to the PVC pan liner as well?

This method is nick named, water in-water out. That's because the substrate is allowing moisture through it. The vapor barrier is the last line of defense and directs this extra moisture down towards the pan. A vapor barrier that isn't tied properly into the pan liner, will just collect the moisture and deposit it to the lower part of the framing.

This also means the pan and liner need to be properly installed. But that's a whole other thread.

Now doesn't it just make so much more sense to <sarcasm> spend all that extra big cash </sarcasm> on a liquid and just keep moisture out of the substrate in the first place?
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


This is a cheapo shower with a swanstone base. I would agree its obviously worth membraning while you can. With this stuff we so often go by word, the word of fellow tradesman or the manufacturers. If you were all installing this way with 100% confidence I'd run with it, but no one is, as i suspected.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


Redgarding hardibacker with two coats? You're working too hard using products that are not installer friendly. Kerdi / Wedi make sheet membranes that are easier to install right over the hardibacker, or even just regular drywall for that matter. As I said in another thread, DensShield with a good sealant is the easiest method I've found.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Redgarding hardibacker with two coats? You're working too hard using products that are not installer friendly. Kerdi / Wedi make sheet membranes that are easier to install right over the hardibacker, or even just regular drywall for that matter. As I said in another thread, DensShield with a good sealant is the easiest method I've found.
Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm really just going with the system that has the least learning curve. I think the roll on membranes and kerdi drains make for a pretty easy custom shower pan. I'll ask the tile supplier about the den shield next time.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm really just going with the system that has the least learning curve. I think the roll on membranes and kerdi drains make for a pretty easy custom shower pan. I'll ask the tile supplier about the den shield next time.
For shower pans, I highly, highly recommend the Wedi foam system. Super easy, super light, and has very good statistics where it's been used over time in Germany.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


I don't think its a bad idea to put a vapor barrier up anyway. It's not that expensive and its just another layer of protection.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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I don't think its a bad idea to put a vapor barrier up anyway. It's not that expensive and its just another layer of protection.
It can't hurt, you're right.

Still, I'd never rely on one and I'd certainly never use CBU without a membrane layer over it. I'm not a fan of the CBU products because they soak up water and eventually fall apart. I've pulled out hardibacker that's had exposure to water over time and it basically had the consistency of soggy cardboard. Tile falls right off of it after the first fibrous layer that the thinset is attached to goes. Even if the tile holds on, the plastic behind the board has holes in it where moisture can collect and start mold/rot on the studs, or worse, an actual dripping leak could form.

Edit: Oh yeah, and moisture in the studs is just inviting termites to set up a nest in your home. For those who don't know, termites need a water source near the wood they eat.

Last edited by BuildersII; 02-12-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #11
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


Why would you want to trap moisture in the walls if its not a steam shower with vapor barrier. Your going to screw it to wood anyway and theirs your holes in vapor barrier so theres goes your air seal.




Unto i joined this site i never heard anyone use wedi , kerdi around hear. Hardi , durock seal seams with thinset or mastic and tile. Liquid membrane thats funny.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #12
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Why would you want to trap moisture in the walls if its not a steam shower with vapor barrier.
The age old debate (that involves a lot of things other than slapping up board and tile).
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:09 PM   #13
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Originally Posted by skillman View Post
Why would you want to trap moisture in the walls if its not a steam shower with vapor barrier. Your going to screw it to wood anyway and theirs your holes in vapor barrier so theres goes your air seal.




Unto i joined this site i never heard anyone use wedi , kerdi around hear. Hardi , durock seal seams with thinset or mastic and tile. Liquid membrane thats funny.
Whats funny is that you dismiss the idea of waterproofing a shower.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Whats funny is that you dismiss the idea of waterproofing a shower.
Im not really dismiss it. In which we waterproof showers. That the idea that if we dont do it new school some how old school is stupied and wrong in which has been done for years and worked well. Many ways to skin a cat.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Im not really dismiss it. In which we waterproof showers. That the idea that if we dont do it new school some how old school is stupied and wrong in which has been done for years and worked well. Many ways to skin a cat.
I think you need to see Angus or Whipple about PERM ratings of your methods. While they may last in some circumstances, I think that more often than not, we open the wall to find: moisture, mold or wet materials.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:03 PM   #16
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


I say let people build how they want to. Its job security for the rest of us.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #17
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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I say let people build how they want to. Its job security for the rest of us.
Second time you have made me laugh today! Keep up the good work!
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:05 PM   #18
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Second time you have made me laugh today! Keep up the good work!
Dont forget to hit the thanks button. :
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: Tiling Shower Vapor Barrier Behind Hardi?


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Dont forget to hit the thanks button. :
Thought I had...oops! I am usually very good at that.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:07 PM   #20
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Thought I had...oops! I am usually very good at that.

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