ceiling tile [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-05-2014, 03:59 PM
gentlemen , I need your help , tiling a shower , it has 13x13 porclein tile for the ceiling , backer board on the ceiling ( permabase already installed on ceiling by contractor, I started out with 3/8x1/4 '' quality thinset on the backer board & then back buttered the tiles ! they fell , then scraped the thinset off the tile & b-board remixed thinset , used 3/8 x1/4 trowel again spread that on ceiling & then spread the same on tile . they fell again , what I'm I doing wrong ?
thanks for any help , Denny o

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07-05-2014, 04:31 PM
What brand thin set are you using? Not all thin set is made equal and have the
"Grab" that you are looking for to do this type of application.

07-05-2014, 05:24 PM
It's very important that the ceiling is flat. Scrape off the thinset and put a straight edge on it (if you haven't already) and see what you have there.

When the tile fell, was there adequate thinset transfer on the ceiling?

07-06-2014, 05:23 AM
I was using custom's lft , I had on jobsite , also had some versa bond , but knew that wasn't near enough grab , the ceiling is flat , I do have some custom's pro lite on hand , or can pick up something with more grab .
The dealer in my area carries the custom full line .

07-06-2014, 05:25 AM
forgot to add , when tile fell there was full coverage on ceiling & back of tiles !

Vegas Sparky
07-06-2014, 07:57 AM
FWIW, I used Prolite to set 18" x18" travertine tile to my shower ceiling, and was very impressed with how sticky it was.

07-06-2014, 07:58 AM
Lotta ceramic tile been installed on alotta ceilings using Versabond, Dennyo. You don't need any special mortar for that application, just a proper technique whereby the mortar is mixed to the proper consistency and properly applied to ceiling and tile.

No way to tell what you're doing wrong from over here. If you'll type ceiling into the Advanced Search feature and ask for Titles you'll find a few hundred threads on the subject. Look for the longer ones in the Professionals' Hangout and perhaps you'll find something you're doing or not doing that is causing you grief.

You'll note also some fancy ways of applying the mortar to the back of the tiles that is supposed to help. I've never tried any of those. I've always just been sure to key in mortar to both surfaces and then apply enough mortar to ensure 100 percent bonding coverage.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Bodie Powers
07-06-2014, 10:09 AM
I've installed a lot of large porcelain on ceilings using Versabond...never had one fall.

What thickness Permabase did the contractor install? What's the joist spacing in that ceiling?

I press pretty hard and slide the tile around or back and forth a bit when setting ceilings. You want to hear any trapped air escaping. With no air present, suction should hold the tile tight against the ceiling.

I'd do as CX suggests and research this forum for clues as to what you're doing wrong.

07-06-2014, 03:04 PM
I'd be interested to see the consistency of the thinset involved. If it's set a little too long it won't bond properly. Conversely, if it's too wet, it may not hold for long.

Houston Remodeler
07-06-2014, 03:19 PM
Have you seen this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyt2US_SSBM) ? Granted the thinset in the video is a bit runny for the camera lights, but the idea remains the same.

07-06-2014, 03:25 PM
I spread my thinset on the ceiling as I would for any other surface, then lightly back butter each tile and make a small gasket style bead of thinset around the perimeter. Press hard with a slight twisting motion and you should have it.
This has worked for me with any number of thinsets.
Just on a precaution note, I have used screws with pieces of cardboard as supports of sorts.

07-06-2014, 06:08 PM
Thinset needs to be a little the loose side, the little bit of extra water is what gives you that suction hold.

07-07-2014, 04:49 AM
Thanks , to everyone for the replies , with new info I will give it anoennyther go today .

07-07-2014, 09:11 AM
the tile needs to be pressed into the thin set. (well always, but even more so on a ceiling)
Push it into the thin set and rock it back and forth. Force it in really well. Doing that I have never had one fall, in fact I have to use my margin trowel to pry it off if I want to adjust. Ive put 1'x2' 3/8" thick porcelain on ceilings like that, never had to support anything.

07-08-2014, 04:09 AM
Thanks to all who responded , I set the tiles Monday without a hitch using
pro lite , I'm sure I know the problem was me , by not combing the mortar
like I always do on the floor , at the time I was on a two step ladder reaching
up to far to be comfortable & did not comb it like I should , dah ....so to correct the problem , I purchased a folding alum. scaffold giving me more working space.
Thanks again