Hi, I have a couple of questions about building an apron around my spa
tub that I have in my bathroom. I want to build the apron and then
tile it. Should I be using plywood as the base or cement board. Also,
I am putting in an access area where the motor is. Any advice about
this would be great!
How are you making the apron? If you are using 2x4s - especially on 16"
centers - 1/2 " cement board should be OK. You *could* use ply (well
supported) and then put 1/2" cement board over that. You could even use
2x4s, ply AND cement board. IOW, make it strong and top with cement board
to lay on the tile with thinset.
Not knowing where the motor is, all I can say is make it neat and pretty :)
The tub base is made of 2 x 4s, but not with 16" centres.
I thought perhaps the 1" ply would be the best route to go. If I do
both ply and cement board, think the wall will be too thick and will
not fit under the lip of the tub. I would have to check that. I think
that in order to make that scenario work, I would have to change how
they installed the tub.
The access area is on the short side right in front of the motor. It
is an 14 x 10 vent cover, I figured to just have a hole there, and
cover it with a white vent...thingy....
Not sure if you can post pictures here, but I can take some and see if
I can show what I mean.
I don't think I'd go to that extent.
Basically, you want whatever you put tile on to be rigid and inflexible.
That applies to the top too since - as someone pointed out - people will
likely sit on it. Much depends upon the structure to which the ply and/or
cement board is to be afixed but 2x4s should be entirely adequate.
Cement board is a good surface for tile because it is cementacious and
thinset - also cementacious - sticks very well to it. Thinset does NOT
stick well to ply; for that, one uses a mastic...sticky stuff that dries
hard but which is not cementacious.
Perhaps you could use 3/4" ply and 1/4" cement board?
Google is our friend.
Not sure how you deal with the grout lines...
Tileable, with a metal frame...
Looks cheap, but they say it's tileable...
Go to http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/index.php
This is a website where tile professionals will walk you through a
project like yours. They give great advice and it's free.
Good luck with the project.
Thanks for all the advice. I am thinking that I will go with the
1/4 cement board and 3/4" ply route and add in more vertical 2x4's
for added support. I will check out the site in case there is an
alternative. You just screw the cement board onto the ply correct?
Yes. However, you need screws made for the purpose with heads that will set
flush but not try to pull into the cement board. I don't recall the exact
pattern but if you use screws every 6-8" you will be fine. Use longer
screws over the 2x4 area so you bite into them.
You really should have some kind of substrate over the plywood. You'll
need a layer of thinset between the ply and regular cement board so it
starts to add up. There are other substrate options (Ditra) that
aren't as thick. You also want plywood and substrate on the front and/
or sides. Tiling directly on plywood is asking for trouble. You may
also want to waterproof the deck if you've got splashy people. (I'm
assuming there is no shower.) You don't want to have to re-do this
project just because you cut some corners.
A vent cover should work for the access. You could also use matching
tile on the cover and caulk it in place or use magnets.
Don't forget to have fun.
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