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Old 05-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
laskas
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outdoor step failing tiles

hello,,i have been reading these boards for about threeyears,,this is myfirst post.. i have outdoor step,,front door,,where the bricks/tiles..are falling off the vertical surface,,,, there doesn't seem to be a cement bed underneath the step,,,so i think thedirt has moved and thus thefailure,, also,there are ants that were behind thefailed surface tiles,,what would be the correct way torepair this?? it's about 4 tiles,,but i want todo it right,,, was it maybe that the builder didn't use theright kind of thinset/cement to attach,,?? or didn'tallow the cement tocure before grouting??? help.

oh yes,,myname is laska

houston tx
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:59 PM   #2
John Bridge
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Welcome aboard, Laska.

First off you'll have to get the loose tiles out of the way so you can see what's going on. It might just be a case of reattaching them. I'll bet part of the problem is due to the lack of movement joints between the steps and other adjacent concrete surfaces. It the steps were originally grouted in tight they were doomed from the start.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:04 PM   #3
laskas
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hi john,,wow,, a repsonse fromthe man himself..lol

i actually have called you before to get your recomendation on a expert stone guy to do an inspection on a multimillion dollar home (my friends). your referral was perfect,,,,and theinstall ended upbeing good,,my friends were much relieved..

ok,,so i have looked behind the bricks..it looks like the attachment wasn't good,,,what product should i use,, can i sue kerabond with keraset latex additive,, or is there a special cement for outdoors,,also,, it's only one step off of the front of thehouse.. going down tothesidewalk,, is there a special grout i need touse?? the left corner front tiles are theones coming off...

-laska
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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oh yes,,,do i have to get all of the old dried cement off,or can i cement right over it..??
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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You need to get any of the old thin set off that might become loose. Otherwise, you can go right over it. I use VersaBond for things like that. You can get it at Home Depot. Mix it with water.

Glad I was able to help on the other matter. Where are you in Houston?
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:14 PM   #6
laskas
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i'm in the memorial area...outside the loop.. thanks tothe years of reading this forum,,i just finished installing travertine in my bathrooms ,kitchen and did a gorgeous travertine backsplash with a mosaic insert.... i'm so thrilled with theoutcome,,, all of the little hints and tips i;ve read over the years made it very doable without any major problems,, i really love working with tile,, i wonder how i would go about apprenticing under someone,, i make jewlery,and i truely think good tile work is as detailed and artistic as jewelry. just bigger pieces and different tools..:-)..
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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ok,i guess noone is going to jump in and give me any encouragement to apprentice somewhere? anyway,,

i went and checked out the stair,,it's actually slate...and all the pieces are falling off the front,, there are 8 pieces.. all are the size of 1/2 a 12x12 tile...
i.e. 6x12... one of the slate tiles on the top edge of the stair is also cracking,,, as i pulled the pieces off,,the cement is just kind of globbed on there...and it is adhered to the slate tile,but didn't stick to the cement step underneath,, so my question is,,is the failure because the original in installers didn't cover the back of the slate tiles completely with cement ,i woudl say they covered 60% of the backs of the slate tiles.. also,, it is seriuosly globbed on,, like maybe 2 or 2.5 inches thick,,is that normal for outdoor applications,,,i think maybe they were trying to fill space,, the thick globs are only on the vertical tiles.. thanks all... i hope these questions are explanation of the issue is understandable..
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:01 AM   #8
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sorry to repost..but i kinda need to know about the failure.. would the way the mortar was just globbed and not completey covering the tile back be a cause,,why did the tile and mortar stick together but the mortar didn't ahere to the cement understep?? wrong mortar maybe?? or did the step need an underlayment..on the vertical side??
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:59 AM   #9
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Tiles on vertical surfaces don't need 100% coverage to be effective. I'd guess that the concrete sucked too much water out of the thinset or that the stone wasn't properly smooshed against the concrete (possibly because they were trying to maintain a flat plane). Anyway, 2 inches is a lot for thinset to fill, they probably use a brick mortar (or should have).
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