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Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms

 
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:04 PM   #21
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Tar paper and/or poly sheeting behind lathe/screed mud walls were used 50 yrs ago. I'm unclear how something that worked then is no good now.
You cannot be serious. Don't tell me because it was good enough then, it's good enough now.

Lead paint
Asbestos insulation
Knob & tube
Cast iron drains
Green board

You see what I'm getting at. There are better ways to do things. That old way done years ago is not optimal. Hell, it's not even waterproof. It's not that it "worked" years ago. It didn't. That's why I rebuild bathrooms today.

Like I said, waterproof means a 1 perm rating or better. ANY penetration through a "vapor barrier" compromises it...and it's no longer waterproof. That's not some crazy voodoo science, it's plain logic.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:28 PM   #22
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Actually it does specify a layer of waterproofing behind either cement board or cement mortar bed walls. 2003-2004 41st edition, TCA Manual, pg 39 (steam showers- sr613-03)
But not in front too, like you say you do. BTW, we're on TCA 2009, you need to retire the old one.

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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
the poly works as a safe guard. Even with sheet surface membrane, leakage could occur. With either liquid or solid membrane, I'd rather have a safeguard in place (poly) than risk a possible leak. Even with solid membranes, if they're not installed properly, there's nothing to stop water from passing through.
So, you do it to protect against your installation errors? What about the holes in the poly everywhere you fastened it to the studs and everywhere you fastened the cbu?



Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Prior to the advent of todays technology, steam showers were built with tar paper/poly and mud walls over lathe. The preventive source of protection was the vapor barrier.
You said it, "today's technology", which is superior the old ways.





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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Tar paper and/or poly sheeting behind lathe/screed mud walls were used 50 yrs ago. I'm unclear how something that worked then is no good now.
Because people take longer, hotter showers. A shower that gets used by a whole family today sees far more water than the era you describe.

You can do your showers however you wish, but you are doing your customers a disservice by not using the best methods and materials available.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:04 PM   #23
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Angus, I get your point.
Lead pans and cast iron failed so we switched gears. On the other hand, Mud walls and floors are still top rated substrates that are used today. Hell, I'm one of only a handful of installers/contractors (in this area) who knows how to pull mud walls. Tile and marble mechanics is becoming a lost art, so I am slow to migrate to newfangled products that I dont' feel have had time to be "vetted". (polybutelene?) Like, I tend to laugh when I see a guy buying a pitch kit to mud a shower floor because they can't pull a damn bed of mud (screed sticks and a level). You get my point, I hope. Newer doesn't always translate to better. But your point is duly noted. Hell, I see "contractors" who attempt to replace a mud bed floor with multiple layers of cement board and level quick. WTF!!
Sometimes, it helps to know some old technique.


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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
But not in front too, like you say you do. BTW, we're on TCA 2009, you need to retire the old one.
If you can show me a substantial difference between 2004 and 2009, I'll eat my words and if you follow the links on my previous post, you'll see they are identical regarding steamers. IE: vapor barriers.



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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
So, you do it to protect against your installation errors? What about the holes in the poly everywhere you fastened it to the studs and everywhere you fastened the cbu?
That's cute. No, I anticipate the RedGuard as stopping any penetration, the same as any solid membrane would work. Either way I'd use a vapor barrier. I've yet to find that trapped moisture is an issue. If the suface waterproofing works properly, the poly sheets is immaterial. I just see the poly as insurance that if, by some chance, there's been penetration of the waterproofing, there's a good chance it's captured. You could have a hole in either liquid or solid membranes and if the surface is stopping 99% of any moisture, the 1% is captured. Unfortunately, we can't properly "test" a steamer for leakage because that's more residual, so having insurance insures no leaks.


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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
Because people take longer, hotter showers. A shower that gets used by a whole family today sees far more water than the era you describe.

You can do your showers however you wish, but you are doing your customers a disservice by not using the best methods and materials available.
Well, 1 of my clients from almost 20 yrs ago still enjoys her steamer, and I'm sure it isn't dumb luck that there's no mold or wicking issues. Pre-pitching pans and keeping cbu off the pan liner about 3/4" are the best way to prevent mold near shower floor.

I might try the newer sheet materials you're referring to....... someday.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:39 PM   #24
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


I didn't say the illustrations weren't the same, I said you weren't following the spec you posted with your "double" waterproofing method.

I know plenty of old school mud installers that utilize waterproof membranes over their installs because they know it's the better way of doing it.

As far as never having had a problem with your old way installs and no mold or wicking issues, you can't say that definitively. In my experience, the customer never calls back the original installer about the failures.

Keeping the cbu off the pan liner 3/4"? But you still have the saturated, mud bed in contact with the cbu. Do you think it might wick?

Old style mud beds in heavily used showers are nothing more than a thin-bed septic tank.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:17 PM   #25
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
I didn't say the illustrations weren't the same, I said you weren't following the spec you posted with your "double" waterproofing method.

I know plenty of old school mud installers that utilize waterproof membranes over their installs because they know it's the better way of doing it.

As far as never having had a problem with your old way installs and no mold or wicking issues, you can't say that definitively. In my experience, the customer never calls back the original installer about the failures.

Keeping the cbu off the pan liner 3/4"? But you still have the saturated, mud bed in contact with the cbu. Do you think it might wick?

Old style mud beds in heavily used showers are nothing more than a thin-bed septic tank.
Shawn, out of curiosity, I checked your profile. I see no pictures of any work, no link to any web pages, but there are 224 postings on Contractortalk. And while you seem fairly intuitive at debating issues, I can't help but think it's just an invidious act, at this point.

Per your first concern about double waterproofing, I think I covered this in my most recent post, but I will repeat it here for you; whether I use RedGuard, Noble Seal or some other "surface" waterproofing, there is always a "chance" that somewhere along the way, you've missed a potential leak. Poly sheeting behind whatever substrate is used, draining into the shower pan liner, is "insurance against such chance. And the 1% moisture that might get through either method would be contained with Poly sheeting. I dont' see the argument here. I think there's been much ado about nothing if we're debating trapped moisture; IE, if surface waterproofing is working 100%, the poly sheeting is a non-issue. If it IS leaking, I would think they'd be glad they have the insurance of poly sheeting.

Second, regarding your assertion that I couldn't "definitively" know about such issues, I keep good records, AND I've done followup with clients years later. It's called "reputation". In the case of the steamer I'm referring to, of 20 yrs ago, I have, in fact, repeated with work for that family within the past 2 yrs (yes, 20 yrs later) and I've seen that shower myself. If you would like, I could ask my client to come here and attest to this herself, but I'm hopeful you'll take my word on the subject. Your mileage may vary and your customers may not call you back because.... well, I'm not going to speculate here...but.... mine do.

And once again, I will stick to my guns on shower floors. Read my lips; pre-pitching pans eliminates buildup of water in a shower pan, something most plumbers don't even do. cbu has to come into contact with a mud bed and so long as it isn't down against the pan liner, it has a chance to dry properly.

BTW, why dont' you provide a suggestion for the shower floor/mud bedding concern, the one you call a septic tank, since you find it such a critical issue.. I'm not hearing your input as much as your criticism. Are you a master tile mechanic with a better plan or a jack-of-all-trades trying to stir the pot? Is there some newfangled solution to shower floor mud?
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:29 PM   #26
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


I'm not gonna throw any gas on the fire here or anything. I'm not gonna question anyone's abilities. I'm a simply trying to state why the newer methods have become so important.

Here's another way to look at their differences:

* A complete mud bed installation is designed to allow moisture in THEN deal with it.

* A waterproof membrane system is designed to NEVER allow the moisture in.

Floating walls and the floor is a lost art (at least becoming one). However, even in that situation, there are many benefits to installing a membrane OVER the mud.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:38 PM   #27
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Shawn, out of curiosity, I checked your profile. I see no pictures of any work, no link to any web pages, but there are 224 postings on Contractortalk.
Completely irrelevant and a blatant attack. But that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing. Nor does it mean that I don't run a successful business doing quality work.

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And while you seem fairly intuitive at debating issues,
I'm simply telling you that you are incorrect about saying you follow the TCA spec you posted. Show me your double vapor barrier illustration or post a link to it.


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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Per your first concern about double waterproofing, I think I covered this in my most recent post, but I will repeat it here for you; whether I use RedGuard, Noble Seal or some other "surface" waterproofing, there is always a "chance" that somewhere along the way, you've missed a potential leak. Poly sheeting behind whatever substrate is used, draining into the shower pan liner, is "insurance against such chance. And the 1% moisture that might get through either method would be contained with Poly sheeting. I dont' see the argument here. I think there's been much ado about nothing if we're debating trapped moisture; IE, if surface waterproofing is working 100%, the poly sheeting is a non-issue. If it IS leaking, I would think they'd be glad they have the insurance of poly sheeting.
The point is, as others have said, is that you have a double vapor barrier. If you do have a leak in your redguard, the potential for problems exists when the cbu then becomes saturated in between the double vapor barrier.

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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
Your mileage may vary and your customers may not call you back because.... well, I'm not going to speculate here...but.... mine do.
I'd say if anything was "indivious" in this whole discussion, it would be that statement. Nothing I said in my reply was false. You cannot definitively say that you have never had any mold, mildew, or wicking issues on every install you've ever done. And, it is my experience that customers with failures, not immediate, but 5 or 10 years down the road don't call back the original installer. I never said your customers didn't.

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Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
And once again, I will stick to my guns on shower floors. Read my lips; pre-pitching pans eliminates buildup of water in a shower pan, something most plumbers don't even do. cbu has to come into contact with a mud bed and so long as it isn't down against the pan liner, it has a chance to dry properly.
And again, in heavily used showers, the mud bed never dries out.

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BTW, why dont' you provide a suggestion for the shower floor/mud bedding concern, the one you call a septic tank, since you find it such a critical issue..
I did. You're so intent on trying to attack me that you've missed the whole point of this discussion....Surface Applied Waterproof Membranes and no double vapor barrier. With the continuous sheet products such as Noble and Kerdi being more effective than the liquid applied due to the possibility of pinholes, missed spots, and not achieved proper mil thickness. But, liquid membranes applied consistently and correctly are effective as well.

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Old 02-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #28
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Angus, I Wasn't suggesting mud walls or floors were waterproof. If I had a call for a mud wall steam shower construction, I'd treat it with waterproofing too. I was just noting the fact that I'm hesitant to jump all over some new product before I've come to know it as being a viable alternative. I appreciate your input, and I can tell you know what you're talking about. I wasn't trying to dispute your knowledge.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:04 PM   #29
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Angus, I Wasn't suggesting mud walls or floors were waterproof. If I had a call for a mud wall steam shower construction, I'd treat it with waterproofing too. I was just noting the fact that I'm hesitant to jump all over some new product before I've come to know it as being a viable alternative. I appreciate your input, and I can tell you know what you're talking about. I wasn't trying to dispute your knowledge.

I didn't feel you were questioning me at all

When a discussion like this pops up, I feel it's a good way to get others that may be reading this to understand what "waterproof" really means.

I won't say a liquid applied membrane can't work, I just feel it's much more work than a fabric membrane. For instances, to get RedGard to a < 1 perm rating, you need to apply 60-70 mils wet on a wall and 90-93 mils wet on a floor. Especially in a steam shower situation, those are critical specs to follow.

As an installer, not only is quality important to me, but time is too. Once Kerdi-Board is released, I will be able to start from framing and have a shower ready to tile in a few hours. That's a completely waterproofed shower. I can plumb the walls and build niches or benches without much extra time needed.

As an experienced installer yourself, you should keep an open mind when it comes to how waterproofing can benefit your installations....and your bottom line. Upgrades are a good word in our business
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:44 PM   #30
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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I won't say a liquid applied membrane can't work, I just feel it's much more work than a fabric membrane. For instances, to get RedGard to a < 1 perm rating, you need to apply 60-70 mils wet on a wall and 90-93 mils wet on a floor. Especially in a steam shower situation, those are critical specs to follow.
What does the 60-70 mils equate to in coats? Is that 2-3?
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:50 PM   #31
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What does the 60-70 mils equate to in coats? Is that 2-3?
It depends on how it's applied. If rolling or using a trowel, there's only so much you can apply per coat. I'd do no less than 3 with either method.

If you spray, you might be able to achieve minimum thickness with 2 coats.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:09 PM   #32
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Completely irrelevant and a blatant attack. But that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing. Nor does it mean that I don't run a successful business doing quality work.
More a statement of fact- noth9ing personal; and certainly no indications of your abilities. But photos and websites can speak volume. Just a bit of nostalgic advice.

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The point is, as others have said, is that you have a double vapor barrier. If you do have a leak in your redguard, the potential for problems exists when the cbu then becomes saturated in between the double vapor barrier.
And I would say the same again. IF.....IF... anyone's surface coverage (Kerdi, Noble Seal, RedGuard, UltraSet, Laticrete, etc) isn't lock tight, a leak could occur, and there's no method of testing a steam shower, prior to installing tile. Therefore, a safety liner, (vapor barrier per TCA guidelines) would be, IMO's, a smart idea. And in the event of said leak, I can't fathom how much of a critical issue it would be, because if it was an issue, then clearly the surface wasn't prepared properly.



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Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
I'd say if anything was "indivious" in this whole discussion, it would be that statement. Nothing I said in my reply was false. You cannot definitively say that you have never had any mold, mildew, or wicking issues on every install you've ever done. And, it is my experience that customers with failures, not immediate, but 5 or 10 years down the road don't call back the original installer. I never said your customers didn't.
Says you.
And I know plenty of HACKs who avoid previous clients by changing numbers, moving, and burying their tracks. Let me reiterate- I have TONS of repeat work, which isn't possible if I dont' keep the same number. It's commonly known as reputation. So I DO have the opportunity to see my own work and get feedback from clients for work done years prior, and I'm sorry if you can't say the same.



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And again, in heavily used showers, the mud bed never dries out.
Most shower floors won't dry out in a single day, period. But pre-pitching shower pans greatly reduces any buildup because it drains immediately. Most subfloors are not level and most shower flanges are not set properly, so drainage IS an issue.... you're correct in that regard, but that's the case if no pre-pitching is used. Pre-pitching pans eliminates that type buildup.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Prentice View Post
I did. You're so intent on trying to attack me that you've missed the whole point of this discussion....Surface Applied Waterproof Membranes and no double vapor barrier. With the continuous sheet products such as Noble and Kerdi being more effective than the liquid applied due to the possibility of pinholes, missed spots, and not achieved proper mil thickness. But, liquid membranes applied consistently and correctly are effective as well.
Pot- meet- Kettle
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:05 PM   #33
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


OK guys, let's try to keep it civil. I'm not trying to be a mini-moderator but I feel this thread contains some pretty good info and I'd hate to see it get locked down.

HUGS!!!!
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #34
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Changing technology brings strife and uncertainty.

Ignoring the last 5,000 years of tile tech is foolish. One must learn and respect those lessons.

Clinging to out dated tech out of stubborn fear is limiting and leads to extinction.

Each must choose his own path as he sees best, learning, listening and weighing advice carefully, while assuming that each man, although his path may differ from one's own, has the same goals of quality and honesty in his heart until shown otherwise. There is not, and never has been, one answer.

The difficulty in our trade stems from the wisdom of a certain path being unknown for 20 years. Thus old ways are considered best. What you may see as stubborn resistance to change is the choosing of the sure footing on a muddy slope.

Confucius say.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:44 PM   #35
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Each must choose his own path as he sees best, learning, listening and weighing advice carefully, while assuming that each man, although his path may differ from one's own, has the same goals of quality and honesty in his heart until shown otherwise. There is not, and never has been, one answer.
Wow. That was good.

I was wondering when you were gonna chime in
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:00 PM   #36
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No vapor barrier with kerdi, once you usethe kerdi especially in steam rooms you will never look back, they are coming out with kerdi panels like wedi panels even faster as you only need to do the seams and screw heads.
That orange kerdi stuff is the way to go. Kerdi panels. INTERESTING. I also think the stryofoam showerpan they make looks interesting. I seen them use that all the time on TV.
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:32 PM   #37
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Hugz Angus!

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Changing technology brings strife and uncertainty.

Ignoring the last 5,000 years of tile tech is foolish. One must learn and respect those lessons.

Clinging to out dated tech out of stubborn fear is limiting and leads to extinction.

Each must choose his own path as he sees best, learning, listening and weighing advice carefully, while assuming that each man, although his path may differ from one's own, has the same goals of quality and honesty in his heart until shown otherwise. There is not, and never has been, one answer.

The difficulty in our trade stems from the wisdom of a certain path being unknown for 20 years. Thus old ways are considered best. What you may see as stubborn resistance to change is the choosing of the sure footing on a muddy slope.

Confucius say.
What I find interesting is the numbers of guys I come across who elaborate on their shower construction. My first question always involves the shower pan and curb installations and it's amazing how many tell me they're nailing cement board to curbs. So I mention the dozen or two dozen screws they're using that penetrates the pan material (top and inside) thus creating a sieve effect. There's no mention of building solid poured curbs with lathe/custom float or mud filled quik-curbs. I just laugh because I know it just means job security for me, but it amazes me how we lose eye contact when I propose to them building a solid curb without nails.
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #38
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Why would anybody care if you are nailing CBU to curbs, walls, ceilings etc...?

Unless you can build the entire shower underlayment behind the tile and waterproofing out of 1 solid injection molded material, what difference does it make? You've got penetrations all over it, including huge ones at every seam in every corner.

A nail or screw through CBU, or a deck mud built curb are both porus materials until the membrane or water proofing is applied.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:03 PM   #39
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


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Why would anybody care if you are nailing CBU to curbs, walls, ceilings etc...?

Unless you can build the entire shower underlayment behind the tile and waterproofing out of 1 solid injection molded material, what difference does it make? You've got penetrations all over it, including huge ones at every seam in every corner.

A nail or screw through CBU, or a deck mud built curb are both porus materials until the membrane or water proofing is applied.

WHY .....would they care if you nail cbu to curbs? Uhm... becuase THEY LEAK, ?

Curbs are entirely different than walls, and endure sheets of water cascading down the glass door directly over the curb, through the grout, and through the nail holes. The wood beneath absorbs water, swells, and blows out the curb. If you use a quik curb, that won't happen, but there are limitations to using quik-curbs. The best method is to tightly form wire lathe over the rough curb/pan liner, and make 5-6" forms with durock, wood, or sheet rock, and pour a solid curb. Next day you pull away your forms and voila~ you have a solid curb in any configuration needed. Check my website under shower pan repair for a specific example.

Walls are entirely different than curbs. For instance.....you wouldn't put nails in your shower floor pan liner would you? I hope you wouldn't because it's a straight leak. there's no difference in nailing cbu to a curb....I've actually repaired a shower whre some hacks nailed durock to the inside pan liner and didnt' have a clue how to mud a shower floor. LOL>...`

(>>>My first case in point ^^^^)
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Last edited by StoneHorseTile; 02-06-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:59 AM   #40
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Re: Vapor Barrier In Steam Rooms


Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneHorseTile View Post
WHY .....would they care if you nail cbu to curbs? Uhm... becuase THEY LEAK, ?

Curbs are entirely different than walls, and endure sheets of water cascading down the glass door directly over the curb, through the grout, and through the nail holes. The wood beneath absorbs water, swells, and blows out the curb. If you use a quik curb, that won't happen, but there are limitations to using quik-curbs. The best method is to tightly form wire lathe over the rough curb/pan liner, and make 5-6" forms with durock, wood, or sheet rock, and pour a solid curb. Next day you pull away your forms and voila~ you have a solid curb in any configuration needed. Check my website under shower pan repair for a specific example.

Walls are entirely different than curbs. For instance.....you wouldn't put nails in your shower floor pan liner would you? I hope you wouldn't because it's a straight leak. there's no difference in nailing cbu to a curb....I've actually repaired a shower whre some hacks nailed durock to the inside pan liner and didnt' have a clue how to mud a shower floor. LOL>...`

(>>>My first case in point ^^^^)
Let me clarify, cause I think we are talking about 2 different things. If you are screwing or nailing through your membrane that's wrong. If your membrane is over nailed or screwed CBU that's not.

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