previous
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Cut and Assemble Dryer Duct
    Cut and Assemble Dryer Duct
  • Cut Drywall Without a Square
    Cut Drywall Without a Square
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
next
Pin It

Master Carpenter: Old-School Path to a Wide-Open Bath

A classic mud job forms the tile base for a modern curbless shower

Before tile backerboard became available, setting tile for a shower floor required laying down a substrate of troweled cement mortar, known as a mud job. Veteran tilesetter and frequent Fine Homebuilding contributor Tom Meehan continues to use this method for curbless showers. In this Master Carpenter article, he demonstrates how. He begins by lowering the subfloor in the area of the shower so that he doesn't have to use so much mortar. There are three ways to do this, and Meehan describes each one. When the subfloor is ready, he puts down a layer of builder's felt, followed by galvanized diamond-mesh wire lath. After mixing the mortar, Meehan dumps it around the perimeter of the room up to the shower area, tamps it down, and checks to make sure that it's level. When the perimeter is done, Meehan fills in the interior, screeding the mortar with a level or other straightedge. He then moves to the shower area, where he creates a 3/4-in. pitch down to the drain, marks the location, and sets the drain. To seal the mortar, which is porous, he installs a waterproof membrane, beginning with 5-in. strips split between the floor and the wall. When the perimeter is complete, he moves on to the rest of the floor, making sure to have at least 2 in. of overlap on all seams. At this point, the floor is ready for tile and then grout.

Master Carpenter: Old-School Path to a Wide-Open Bath
Plus get a free gift
Become a Fine Homebuilding Member. Start your free trial now