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Old 02-25-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Schulter Kerdi shower problems - Help!

My name is John. I recently purchased an older home and am currently remodeling the bathroom. I've been reading your forum and it sounds like you can help me out. I purchased the Schluter Kerdi system and had no problems with the walls at all. I'm using Laticrete 317 unmodified floor and wall thinset mortar. No air bubbles - good adhesion - like putting up wallpaper. The floor and curbs were a bit of a problem. We mixed the thinset to a cake batter like consistency as advised (loose). During the install of the Kerdi no air pockets were visible. I did have a hard time on the top edges of the curb. But initially after the install everything looked good. I tiled the walls over the next couple of days with no problems. Moved on to tiling the floor with 2 x 2 mosaics - with no visible air bubbles. But now when I'm cleaning out my grout lines I'm seeing slight movement in the Kerdi under the tiles. The tiles are adhered to the Kerdi - it looks like the Kerdi is lifting from the pan under the tiles only slightly. In checking the curbs I'm seeing lots of air bubbles. I'm thinking I should remove the Kerdi from the curbs and reinstall the Kerdi on the curbs. But what about the floor? Do I need to pull everything up and start all over again? If so, will I be able to do that and salvage the tray and curbs?

Is there a trick to applying the membrane to the styrofoam pieces as opposed to the sheetrock? I obviously had no problem there as the walls look good and are holding tile fine. Any help would be greatly appreciated - at this point I'm afraid to go any further!
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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your sure you can see the kerdi lifting from the pan?

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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The tiles certainly have movement in them. I can push a corner section (where 4 2x2's meet) and all 4 will slightly bounce up and down. I attempted to lift the tile to see if it was a tile to membrane issue. It seems as though when i lift the tile, the membrane is coming up with it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Welcome John,

Sorry about your troubles. For the curb, I'd peel or cut off the loose Kerdi and re-do, the sooner the better. The trick with those, or any, tight corners is to pre-fold the Kerdi before applying.

The floor is trickier... does the tile move? Try pulling up on them. If the tile moves, might be a re-do. If it's just a few grout joints that look like they didn't get adhered well, I might just carry on. If you just stuck the tiles down, they might break loose if you tap sideways on em... maybe. Did you do a flood test of the pan before tiling?

edit: Well, you answered that one. Now to remove the tile & Kerdi while leaving enough down for a 2" overlap for the new piece.

"the road to hell is paved with osb, mastic, pre-mixed latex 'grout' or 'thinset', "
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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If the tile is actually moving, you're going to need to correct that by removing the loose parts and putting some new Kerdi down. Are you able to remove the loose areas and still get a 2" overlap with the new piece?

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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For the most part there are a lot of spots that don't have movement, but I honestly feel like there are just as many that do have movement. The drain and the tiles surrounding the drain don't have movement. I don't think I'll be able to remove the drain. What's the best way to work around that? Before I screw this up again, is there anything specific I need to do when working with the sytrofoam as opposed to the sheetrock. I felt pretty confident the first time around but ended up with problems. I want to make sure I get it right this time. Do I have to change the consistency of the thinset for the floor and curbs (styrofoam)?
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:55 AM   #7
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Can you pull tiles up or do you just see movement when you push down? I know with my Schluter curb I have to be careful because you can just push a finger in and dent it without hardly trying. It makes me glad I'm planning to use a slab curb top rather than tile. I know there are demonstrations showing you can drive heavy equipment over a tiled kerdi pan without harming it, but isn't that after grouting makes it more monolithic? I'm using pebbles in my shower, and fear of denting and point load were some of the reasons that made me switch to using a mud pan.

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Old 02-26-2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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When i say push down, i mean as though the tiles are sitting up (air bubble under them) and i can push them down. I'm certainly not pushing hard at all, I don't think its the foam tray denting in. Im pretty certain its just that the kerdi is not properly adhered to the tray.

Im going to try and upload some pictures for you all to see.
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