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I would like to put a tile surround 18" up around a tub. I have discovered that that while the walls are vertical, the floor is not level. Indeed one end of the bathroom is 2 inches higher than the other, if my black and decker laser level is to be believed. (Hmm. Check that.)

In a couple places the drywall has cracked, so the room has moved since the was drywalled 30 years ago.

I have visions of tiles (6" ceramic) popping of the wall if the house continues to shift.

I'm consdiering hanging a sheet of something by 2 screw at the top edge, with a couple washers behind the sheet as spaces, then using a dollop of silicon seal at the bottom edge. The spacers at the top allow for a reasonable thickness, and attaching tile to the sheet.

The idea is that this sheet is now decoupled from the house movement and can in essence float.

Is this workable?

  • Your 30yo house has settled so much that the bathroom is 2" out of level? Aside from working some tile, you need to figure out what happened to cause that, and ensure it's not continuing to get worse. Any solution for a finish like tile will only last if the underlying structure is under control. – Shimon Rura Feb 21 '17 at 19:00
  • I don't know that the house is still moving, hence the idea of mounting tile on a subassembly that is only tied solidly at two points to the house. This wing of the house is roughly 40 feet square. The centre beam that divides the space in two, is supported on blobs of concrete. In essence they rest on a 4 foot diameter 15" high cowpie of concrete, with shims to level. First approximation these two blobs have settled, so this whole wing is dish shaped. – Sherwood Botsford Feb 21 '17 at 19:08
  • If it's not moving any more, a standard installation on cement board should be fine. Silicone at corners is standard practice with any tiled walls as the corners tend to flex more and crack grout. – Shimon Rura Feb 21 '17 at 19:13
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    P.S. You wrote "I have discovered that that while the walls are vertical, the floor is not." Pretty sure you left out a word at the end there -- otherwise, yeah, that's the point of floors! – Shimon Rura Feb 21 '17 at 19:14
  • Added the word level. <grin> Question is, I don't KNOW that it's not moving. Not exactly amenable to timing with a stop watch. – Sherwood Botsford Feb 21 '17 at 19:36
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When installing tile, use Flexbond mortar and admix instead of water. This mortar with the admix creates a very strong chemical bond in the mortar and then equally strong mechanical bond to the hardibacker board.

This combo is designed to install tile over wood or other flooring that might have "flex." Very effective installation wherever mild instability is a concern.

  • Thanks for info about flexbond. However I think what is needed is a material that rather than being solid, actual will 'creep' with motion. I think the Flexbond, from it's name does this. – Sherwood Botsford Feb 23 '17 at 19:01

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