The remodel is moving along. This morning the contractor finished the drywall in the basement, did touch-up on the drywall in the bathroom, painted the ceiling and started building a box behind the tub all before the tile guy arrived. And by the end of the day my Italian trained tile-setter had the Wedi for the tub and shower about 80% installed.
Although my general contractor can do all things well, I opted to hire a sub for the tile work. Setting tile is an art form so it is not uncommon, even in a small job to use a different sub for this portion of the work. One of the reasons I chose to have another sub do the tile work is I wanted to use a sub who was familiar with Wedi. I am a Wedi convert. I sell, I spec it, I wanted it.
In my job as a project coordinator for Toss the Tub, I am often in the position of explaining Wedi – the substrate used by our contractors. Wedi is a extruded polystyrene rigid foam with a fiberglass mesh on the tile side. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, makes awesome shower pans (according to my plumber the drains are bullet proof- but I won’t be testing the shower pans out on this job), has low VOC, has insulative properties, is easy to cut, has dust free installation. It is so amazing the substrate for an entire shower can be installed by an experienced contractor in less than a day. (There are similar substrates on the market, but at this time this is the best option.)
The downside as you may have guessed is that the stuff is extremely expensive and it is important to have an experienced installer. Unlike traditional shower substrates the entire thickness of the Wedi material is waterproof. The contractor need only seal and caulk all seams and washers to ensure a water tight perimeter. It goes up easy, which means by the second day your tile setter is putting up your tile. So stay tuned. Tomorrow is when the fun really starts. Because isn’t the bathroom all about the tile?
The white dabs are the caulking at the washer. A washer is shown in the photo at the right.