Cracked tile in brand new shower...contractor EFFED up!! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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tristatlc
01-12-2017, 07:58 PM
I can't believe this happened...my contractor is not even done with my bathroom yet and there is cracked subway tile all along the area where the scratch wall for the shower and hardy backer meets. If you look at the pictures u can clearly see that there is a crack in the cement for the scratch wall and then the tile is cracked along the same line. My contractor said he's never seen this happen in all his years of working. At this point I do not trust his subcontractors ability and would like to know what they did wrong and the correct way to fix this.

Thanks so much!

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Houston Remodeler
01-12-2017, 08:16 PM
Trista,

Welcome to the forum.

Do you have any idea how the shower walls were waterproofed?

tristatlc
01-12-2017, 08:21 PM
Hi Paul, I remember them stapling chicken wire and black paper in that area and then putting cement on top of that? The crack goes along the entire seam of where the cement for the shower ends and meets the hardy backer.

Houston Remodeler
01-12-2017, 08:27 PM
Is the crack inside the wet area or outside ?

Jim Farrell Tiler
01-12-2017, 08:32 PM
its obviously a movement crack and to fix it will need a expansion joint there

tristatlc
01-12-2017, 08:37 PM
Hi Paul,

It's in the dry area of the tile. If the glass enclosure for the shower was installed, the crack would be about 2" to the left of the glass.

Here is a video that explains a little better:
http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=2iw6o2g&s=9

Houston Remodeler
01-12-2017, 08:50 PM
I've never seen it either.

I'll defer to the 'mud' experts on the forum.

Somebody wake Davy :stick:

tristatlc
01-12-2017, 10:23 PM
Hi,

I'm not a professional but a homeowner seeking professional advice. I can't believe this happened...my contractor is not even done with my bathroom yet and there is cracked subway tile all along the area where the scratch wall for the shower and hardy backer meets. If you look at the pictures u can clearly see that there is a crack in the cement for the scratch wall and then the tile is cracked along the same line. My contractor said he's never seen this happen in all his years of working. At this point I do not trust his subcontractors ability and would like to know what they did wrong and the correct way to fix this.

Thanks so much!

jerrymlr1
01-12-2017, 11:11 PM
where the scratch wall for the shower and hardy backer meets
Why didn't the mudwork go all the way around? Why have Hardi and mud in the same area? I think it's obvious why it's cracked. IMO the Hardi area should be removed and replaced with mud that ties into the existing lathe and mud. Or...... somehow remove the tile and bridge the 2 different substrates really well with some tape and thinset. I would hope that the seam would meet at the stud. Doesn't look like it and I don't see any sign of mesh and thinset above the tile at the seam.

Tool Guy - Kg
01-12-2017, 11:22 PM
Is the mudwork only 1/2" thick?

And as for the Hardibacker walls outside the shower:
There's no evidence of tape on any of the seams that are currently exposed. Can you confirm a lack of mesh tape on the seams that have been tiled over? This appears to be a basic, day-one mistake of not taping the seams.

Looks like you've got light marble for the threshold and shower floor? Please tell us about the shower pan construction, if you know. Any details at all will help us help you know what's going on with the rest of the tile job.

EDIT: Trista, please limit your questions to a single thread so the volunteers aren't performing redundant work. I've merged the two threads into one. Thank you.

And now that I see the pictures from the second thread, I'm really concerned about the waterproofing of that niche and the shower pan.

:)

tristatlc
01-13-2017, 01:36 AM
Bubba, you are correct..there does not seem to be tape at the seams of exposed hardibacker boards....although they did use tape for the seams on the 1st wall they tiled (see pic attached). If I understand correctly, it is important to use this tape at all seams no matter if they are in dry or wet areas of the bathroom right? Especially since I have subway tiles from floor to ceiling on every wall of my bathroom. I want to make sure when I meet with my contractor tomorrow what I should tell them to fix and how to fix it.

As for the shower pan, I remember them stapling a black paper to the wall, this metal mesh thing and then putting tar on the bottom of the shower pan.

rmckee84
01-13-2017, 06:54 AM
Yes mesh tape must be used on all seams and corners along with thinset.

Houston Remodeler
01-13-2017, 07:44 AM
Not just the easy parts in the middles? :stick:

Just In Tile LLC
01-13-2017, 07:49 AM
Looks like y'all have a handle on the cause, weird that they didn't mud it all the way?

I've also seen cracks like that when the guy left his sticks in the mud and tiled. But in this case, knowing the hardi and mud meet there it's obvious.

Did they tile it the day it was mudded?

Davy
01-13-2017, 09:30 PM
Paul, I was almost asleep.:gerg:

If I were going to take a chance on using CBU right beside a mud wall and bridge over the seam with tile, I think I would have left the felt paper off the studs and used a paint on membrane on the CBU surface instead. I would think it would act as an anti fracture membrane and possibly help.

Or, like someone mentioned, tape and thinset over the transition would have possibly helped.

tristatlc
01-16-2017, 12:21 AM
Thanks for your replies everyone!

Update:

They removed ALL OF THE TILE and are starting from scratch...when they demo'd I noticed ares of concern that I'm hoping you can help me out with!

1. If you look at the picture where there is tile surrounding the window, I noted where hardibacker was used under the tile. I’m not sure why they laid hardibacker on top of the scratchcoat and then tile on top of that? This is located in the “wet area” of the shower. There is another picture that shows where the window is in relation to everything. What’s the point of the scratch coat if they are then going to put hardibacker on top of that right? The hardibacker has no waterproofing to it now.

2. There is also a pic that shows how hardibacker was used on the left and right side of the shampoo box. Not sure why this was done but how can this be properly fixed? My concern here is the same with the window…if water get into the shampoo box, the hardibacker is not properly waterproofed and could get moldy right?

3. In the pic where I highlight where the cement scratch coat meets the hardibacker. As you can see the seam is tight and was not prepared with mesh tape and thinset. Based on what I read doing my own research, there should be a small gap in between these two surfaces, then they should be mesh taped and then thinset applied on top of the tape. Is this the best way to prepare this area or is there a better way?

4. There were many areas that the hardibacker boards were not joined at the seam with mesh tape & thinset (see pic). They said they will fix this but I pointed out to them that not all the hardibacker was plum with each other. I would think that you should have everything plum and they said they were floating the hardibacker (or something like that) bc my wall itself was NOT plum. Not sure if they just didn’t want to fix this or if there is some merit to what they’re saying. They said it wouldn’t even matter bc they float the tile but it just doesn’t make sense to me how if the hardibacker isn’t plum that it would be a “solid” base for tile installation. Correct me if I’m wrong..which I hope I am!

5. The pic I attached shows where the scratch coat ends and the hardibacker begins. My concern is that small area of hardibacker is not water proofed…I’m wondering why they ended the scratch there vs. on the other side of where the glass enclosure will be? Without removing the hardibacker I can only assume they ended it there because the stud is there. What do you think? Should I have them remove the hardibacker there and have them continue the scratch coat beyond that point? If there is a stud there, does that change anything? I’m assuming either way they just can’t leave it the way it is right?

Thanks in advance for your help...this has been such a nightmare and I just want my bathroom done right! I paid so much money for this and this is just getting f*cked up left and right!!

JET
01-16-2017, 09:21 AM
are those drywall screws?

Davy
01-16-2017, 09:40 AM
I have the same concerns you do. They mudded the easy part, the walls. Mudding the niche and inside the window takes more time, especially for no more sq footage than they cover. In my opinion, all the surfaces should be mudded and leave the Hardi out or vice versa. If they sold you a mud job, it should all be mud, the whole bathroom. That way the lath can tie it all in instead of all the cold joints between the different substrates.

If they are starting over from scratch, make sure the moisture barrier covers all the shower walls at least to the shower head height. As far as the area over the curb where the mud meets the Hardi, make sure the moisture barrier on the walls lines up with the outside of the curb. A little extra won't hurt. If there isn't a stud there, add one. It's easy to do when everything is open. Planning ahead goes a long way. Figure out where the shower door will hang, you might need a stud there. Same thing with blocking between the studs for grab bars, etc.

Edit. I agree with John about the screws.

tristatlc
01-16-2017, 04:27 PM
thanks guys...I'm not sure what kind of screws those are...if they are drywall screws is that a problem?? FML!!!

so I asked the installer today about the hardibacker in the shampoo box and window. he said that I don't need to worry that there is waterproofing membrane underneath the scratch coat and that's what matters....not sure if he's blowing smoke up my ass or what??

problem is I knew nothing about remodeling bathrooms when they started so I didn't know what should have been done. they said if I wanted to do cement everywhere it would cost more. I don't want to pay these guys anymore money and the relationship is sort of strained right now.

they reinforced all the seams with mesh and thinset and put red guard on those areas as well.

ive attached new pictures of the shower area where the cement meets the hardibacker.

do you think this will suffice?

cx
01-16-2017, 04:54 PM
I think he's blowing smoke in a number of different areas, Trista.

One other being the spot bonding of the wall tiles. The industry standard calls for a minimum of 95 percent coverage on the back of each tile with good coverage on all edges and corners. I think you can see that was not even close to the case on the tiles that were removed.

Do you have any written contract at all with these guys? Given what they gave you previously and what they're trying to give you now, I honestly don't think they are capable of giving you the new bathroom you were promised.

My opinion; worth price charged.

rmckee84
01-16-2017, 04:56 PM
Drywall screws will not work, the thinset will corrode them. They should be using approved fasteners.
Whether there is a membrane or not is beside the point, if moisture makes its way to the stack of cbu it will just sit in there. Cbu can absorb moisture.

Will the fix work? Maybe, a little difficult to trust anything these guys have done so far.

tristatlc
01-16-2017, 04:56 PM
I do but it's really basic...what do I do now??

tristatlc
01-16-2017, 05:13 PM
here are the close up pictures of the screws...someone help me...were paying this guy $16 to do our bath...it may not be a lot of money to some people but it's a lot to us :-(

cx
01-16-2017, 07:28 PM
...were paying this guy $16 to do our bath...Mmmmm, $16 per hour? $16 per square foot? $16 for the entire job? $16 every now and then? More hints, please. And if you'll add a geographic location to your User Profile it would make any pricing comparison more meaningful.

Perhaps more important is how much he's already been paid. I would recommend you not pay him a dime more until he comes up with a way to make this right. All of it.

Again, have you a written contract with these folks?

Houston Remodeler
01-16-2017, 07:42 PM
In my fair state every contract -whether its printed with the following or not - includes all manner of applicable construction and contract law. You can't avoid that.

He owes you a bathroom built to current industry standards and your local building code. Nothing less. MOre is nice, but nothing less.

pokerliz
01-16-2017, 09:22 PM
[Mmmmm, $16 per hour? $16 per square foot? $16 for the entire job? $16 every now and then? More hints, please. And if you'll add a geographic location to your User Profile it would make any pricing comparison more meaningful.

CX, lmao.

I sure as hell hope that doesn't mean 16K!!!