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Wooden walls and floors in shower

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Wooden walls and floors in shower (post #216048)

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First let me say I've got a lot more experience woodworking than laying tile. I am putting in a new master bathroom on the second floor and we were planning on Kohler Cast Iron shower base with slate tiles for the walls. I was excited about the cast iron shower pan since there wouldn't be flex and I wouldn't have to learn how to mud in a pan.

Then I noticed this in the Fall/ Winter issue of 2006:

Both the wife and I really love the idea but I'm not quite sure how to execute. For the wall the author shows cement board over roof paper but doesn't show how he attached the tongue and groove boards. Maybe they were glued to the cement board? Would the Kerdi system be better for the walls? I was thinking about screwing three vertical 2x4's through the Kerdi system with stainless screws and putting silicone in the holes. Then I could attach the tongue and groove boards to the 2x4s with more stainless fasteners. That way there would be a 1 1/2" air gap between the kerdi and the tongue and groove, and I could take them down to refinish or replace.

As for the shower base, the author did traditional mud with tile on top and then the wood platform over that. Seems like the grout below could get moldy that way. Would it be better to build the wood base over a standard plastic base, or even something like Redi Tile? Or would those be too flexible for the loading of the wood platform?

Thanks for any thoughts.