Flooring and Carpeting/shower ceiling


QUESTION: I am re-tiling a shower and going over existing  ceramic tile with 18" travertine.   The shower ceiling is 3'x4'.  Will thin set like LATICRETE 254 PLATINUM  hold these big guys to the ceramic tile on the ceiling?  An alternative is to cut them into 4"x4" squares which would match the pattern I will be using on the shower floor, but I am unsure if even these smaller ones will stick well.
thanks for your help,

ANSWER: Thank you for your question Bob,

  Tiling over tile is certainly an acceptable method of installation providing proper preparation has been done before hand. I am going to assume that you have accomplished that part of things before you start to hang everything. So lets move to the basis of your question...the ceiling. For me I would not tile over tile on any kind of overhead scenario, mainly because there will be an inherent potential to a barrier of adequate bonding being used as a substrate for the install. In other words...I wouldn't trust it, even should you cut down the size. But...if you were to supplant the ceiling with new substrate material ie: Wonderboard or Durock or even Denshild sans any tile layer then you would be able to bond over that with even full size material as there would be a much more confident and quicker bond or grab for the Travertine...follow me? So just replace the tiled ceiling with a single well attached layer of substrate and you would be good to go based on my experience. I hope this helps you with your project Bob...feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the advice.  Is there a difference between using Hardibacker and Durock for the ceiling?  It will be applied over 3/4" plywood and screwed up into rafters.
thanks again.

Welcome back Bob,

    When I started out in the Tile Industry nearly every thing we did was mud based, floors/walls/ceilings etc...the first real change came along for us in the mid to late 80's with a product first introduced as "Wonderboard" which was a 1/2" cement product. I fell in love right from the start and I have continued to employ this product whenever the need for it made sense. Durock came out some years later then Hardibacker board. Durock has gone through some changes over the years when they made it "lighter" to handle and then it for some unknown reason became "flimsy/flexible" which was awful, these days it has reverted to a more ridged material which is what you want in a cement board. Now the Hardibacker by all accounts is a high quality material but to be honest I do not like it very much and after trying a few times decided to not use it again. I will stay with "Wonderboard" as long as they keep making it flat and rigid. So given the choice you have presented to me Bob I will lean towards the Durock rather than the Hardy board. One thing I need to bring to your attention in regards to the ceiling of your shower. If you should ever plan to make a steam shower out of it at some point you should be sure to put a pitch on the ceiling to direct any steam drips down to the back wall and not your head. Other than that you should be good to go. After you have changed out the ceiling board be sure to wipe it down with a damp sponge to remove any dust or particulate that may interfere with the bond...ok? That's it Bob, hope this helps, Happy Thanksgiving...


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Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

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