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Theological Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on a job, and a new tile shower is going into the master. It has two 36" sides and a 60" back. The 36" side without the plumbing is over a 24" pocket door. There's a 1/4" of plywood over the pocket door frame and the wall framing, and then the substrate (we're using the wedi system). The tile hasn't been installed yet, but the door frame still moves.

My question is if that pocket door and the flex inherent in the wall is going to present problems down the road. I am not too experienced with tile, and the tile guy says it will be no problem, that the substrate and tile will stiffen it up. The old tile shower was installed over the pocket door, but they used an 1 1/2 of mortar and it was solid as heck. (It was just a small bathroom but we filled up two small dumpsters from all the tearout!) Have any of you installed tile over pocket doors before?

I want things to be done right for our customers and I've learned to ask questions when I have a bad feeling about something - but I also don't want to make myself a pain in the butt by arguing with people who have more experience than me.
 

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You could glue some ply into the pocket between the metal studs. Then screw it tight from the outside with screws that have a bare shank >= wall thickeness (that's what pulls it tight). If your screws are too long for the pocket, just remove them after the glue is dry. If the screw head is going to sink into the wall, use a finish washer or fender washer temporarily.
 

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Theological Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The CDX idea is good, but won't work in this bathroom. The idea of putting ply in the pocket is a really good idea that I think I'll try.
 
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I've used pocket screws in plywood and pl premium between the horizontal frame members of the pocket door to stiffen it up before. You can also add some angle iron to the edge to make it a little stiffer.
The pocket screws and trim all glued and screwed made the last one I did stiff enough for my tastes and there hasn't been any cracking in the last year. Caulk the corner as always.
 

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I've done tile over a pocket door several times----

Like others have suggested, fill in the spaces between the 1x4 horizontal slats with 3/4" plywood---I usually use a good grade of ply so it stays flat---

then add your 1/2" tile backer and you are ready to water proof and tile---
 

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1/2" Mdo on the paint side 1/2 osb behind the cbu on the inside... make sure the tile setter uses short screws as it is possable to push the steel frames into the door because the CBU/MDF holds the threads better than the wood in the steel pocket door wall frames.
 

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Theological Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. It's good to have additional voices to give peace of mind.
 

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Hair Splitter
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we did a pocket behind shower... stiffened it up with angle iron and screwed 1/2" hardi backer to it toped with kerdi and tiled. she is solid!
That gets my vote. Plywood just doesn't seem like it would add enough stiffness to the wall to give me a real sense of security that the tile would hold up over time. :thumbsup:
 

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General Contractor
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Like others said, no matter what method you use make sure you stiffen that wall and you will have no issues... and don't forget to put a small plaque "Do Not Bump...It's Fragile" it will add a nice touch :thumbsup:
 

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bathroom guru
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I've done tile over a pocket door a few times. Have done the plywood between the pocket door framing, other than the last job where we used 12x24 tile. 1/2" cub, hydroban, and Lat 4xlt. Wall flexed as I set the tile....solid as a rock the next day.
As for wedi, which I like, I would maybe put some wedi sealant on the studs, then screw them on
 
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