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-   -   Taking out epoxy grout on change of planes and re-doing using 100% silicone (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=119202)

007maribeth 03-04-2016 04:47 PM

Taking out epoxy grout on change of planes and re-doing using 100% silicone
3 Attachment(s)
This shower was built in 2002. I am taking out all of the Hydroment epoxy grout in vertical planes where shower walls meet as some grout has cracked. Having read many useful posts here, I believe 100% silicone like Latisil or Colorsil should be used in these areas, not grout. In many sections I see that closed cell backer rod should have been used as grout just pops into the space behind when tapped, but in other spots it is harder than stone, with the entire space filled, and I cannot get it out. The grout lines vary from 1/8 to 3/8 wide and perhaps 3/4" deep into the recesses. One wall is a 90 deg angle and I can actually see the 2x4 post where the durock meets the 2x4. (picture posted) I know thinset and durock mesh tape was used, so this really confuses me. (Water does not directly hit this spot as it is about 2.5 ft above the bench.)

So my questions are:
1. How can I fix this area in the 90 deg angle? Could I use something like red-guard in there and let it dry well before inserting backer rod and silicone?

2. How does one fill the recessed area in a 1/8" vertical corner with backer rod, when I can hardly get into this area to get the grout out?

3. Am I correct that closed cell backer rod should be used to fill deep recesses and use silicone over it? If so, what 100% silicone brands and backer rod would you recommend?

Thank you for your advice and this forum!

dhagin 03-04-2016 06:23 PM

Welcome Maribeth. :)

You already answered your own caulk questions. Getting the grout outa there will be tricky.

What kind of waterproofing did you use on the shower? :)

007maribeth 03-05-2016 03:34 AM

Dana, Thank you for replying so quickly!

I have four of these marbled maintenance nightmares in my house. This shower is in the basement on a sloped mortar pan with a PVC liner up the wall probably 1.5 ft. Bench and curb also liner covered. (NO crazy nails or screws were used to attach liner and it was folded/siliconed correctly.) Pan not leaking, floor tile and grout are solid with no cracks, shower is dry, no mold issues. Walls are just durock with tile backer tape/thinset covering joints and planes. I remember red-guard 'type' roll on products came out just after we built these showers. I was disappointed that they weren't available when the four showers were built.
We used Hydroment Unsanded Epoxy grout and I am thinking the wall joints cracked bc they were too wide and deep for unsanded grout?... and they should have been caulked or siliconed to begin with! I've tried to get all grout out, but a few narrow 1/8 " lines were left with thin lines of grout stuck to the sides of the marble. Seeing I can't get this off 100% will silicone or caulk still stick in these areas? And, please advise if you think silicone or siliconized caulk is best or something else?

And... then there is the problem with the crumbled durock on the 2x4 at the 90 deg angle. I know it was taped/thinset but I can't see any durock backer tape! I am able to see this area from the storage room behind and it doesn't look like there is any water damage....yet. But, I don't know how to seal this and was hoping there might be something I could paint in the gap before placing the backer rod in.

Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate any and all advice you offer!

Davy 03-05-2016 01:00 PM

Hi Maribeth, I've never heard of unsanded epoxy grout but maybe there is such a thing. I would try using a Dremmel type of tool with a small grout bit, probably a 1/16 size. Hopefully that will remove any left over grout.

A pic of your crumbling Durock may be needed, not sure if I follow you there.

dhagin 03-05-2016 01:48 PM

I like Davy's idea of a dremel with diamond disc. I've used them for similar jobs and it will work, but you have to be careful not to ding up the stone or backer board too much. Just go slow and take your time.

Once you get the grout outa there, then take some photos of what you have and we'll see about getting backer rod in there. Backer rod is compressible, so you can squeeze larger diameter rod through a smaller opening. :)

Backer rod

007maribeth 03-05-2016 02:53 PM

To Dana and Davy
Dana and Davy, Thank you for your help!
I will pick up a small diamond bit this weekend and give this a try! Dana, sorry...it was a modified epoxy admixture we put into the grout, not a 100% epoxy. I will try to get a close up of the cracked/crumbling durock when I get into that area and measure the dimension...depth and width.
This forum is the best! Just love it!

Davy 03-05-2016 03:03 PM

Dana, what I use is the bit, not the diamond disc. Not sure if you could get into the corner with the disc but maybe so. The bits come in 1/16 tip and also 1/8. :)

K_Tile 03-05-2016 03:06 PM

Hydroment 1900 was a modified epoxy that mixed with standard cement based grouts. I never liked it or considered it to have the same "true" epoxy properties. You are finding this out unfortunately.

dhagin 03-05-2016 10:49 PM

Sorry Davy. I've only bought the discs... gotta check into the bits. Thanks. :)

Davy 03-06-2016 09:38 AM

That's funny, I've only used the bits. :) The discs may work just as well or better. Of course with the bits you have to be careful and not let it jump out of the joint and across the stone. Hopefully, Maribeth won't have this problem since she's dealing with the corner joints. Take your time and don't rush it. :)

007maribeth 03-07-2016 03:05 PM

dremel bits
2 Attachment(s)
I used the diamond disc and the 1/8" diamond bit. They both worked great! The disc removed grout faster but was harder for these arthritic hands to keep under control, especially in the vertical corners near the floor. I was able to get ALL the grout out!! I discovered that dental pick type tools work well for pulling pieces out.

Below is a close up of the 90 deg angle from the first pics I posted. It is about 3/8" wide at the tile face but inside the recess it is a bit wider due to the angle and about 1/2" deep. I can actually see the two, 2x4's where the 2 sheets of durock meet. This angle was taped/thinset but I certainly do not see any mesh at all, just cracked thinset (which is what I thought was crumbled durock.)

Should I try to fill where the two 2x4's come together with a 2 part epoxy of some type, or would a thin bond breaker tape help at all?...(if I can even get it in there) I was even thinking of weld bond. I think I am in trouble here, I don't have clue what can be done..:bang: It is only about 6 inches above the liner...I didn't know it was this close until I had a good look at it today.

Then...another problem: where the back wall meets the left side wall there is a 3/8" gap along the edge of the back wall tile, then it still has the normal 3/8 grout line along the side wall. Can I fill gap with backer rod? This is hard for me to describe and I can't get a pic of it because it's behind the marble.

Hoping you guys can save me! Thank you so much for your help!

ceramictilepro 03-09-2016 05:15 PM

Epoxy Bond waterproof grout
I personally fix grout cracking issues at any change of plane, or more commonly known as a corner. Doesn't matter if it's vertical or horizontal.

Most movement in showers are cosmetic. All tile installations do not require permits, EXCEPT if you are also waterproofing the shower floor (which I do). My point is that tile installations are considered "cosmetic" and not "structural" or a permit would be required.

So those cracks at any corner, are usually just enough movement to cause grout to crack. TCNA says to use 100% silicone for all change of planes areas. What happens when we use 100% silicone, caulk (acrylic or latex), sealants, or any other pre-mixed type of sealant in wet areas? I think we all know what happens.

I have been using Epoxy Bond waterproof grout for over 5 years in my tile business. Areas include any corner (vertical and horizontal), shower floors, curbs, walls, where tile meets tubs, windows, patio sliders, etc...

I am not trying to sell this product. Simply sharing what this professional does mon-fri. I got tired of using all types of sealants and caulk because a phone call from a unhappy customer wanted to know why the repair was short lived.

note: those who live by the TCNA handbook and just can't wait to start a debate, that's fine, just be respectful and don't knock the product until you try it.

cx 03-09-2016 07:04 PM

Welcome, Jason. :)

Is this the product you're recommending? If you're affiliated in some way with the company, please add some information to your User Profile indicating any affiliation you might have with the product. We've nothing against product reps participating here, but we like full disclosure.

We would welcome a discussion of your product in the Professionals' Hangout where we like to conduct such technical discussions. I'm tempted to move your post over there as we try to restrict recommendations here in the Advice forum to those that comply with building code, manufacturer's recommendations, and ceramic tile industry standards to the extent possible.

We'll suffice in this case to warn our visitors that the product you're recommending does not conform to ceramic tile industry recommendations for the application. The recommendation is for the use of a flexible sealant in the tile installation wherever the tile backing changes plane.

Feel free to start a thread in the Hangout and I'm sure we can have some participation in a discussion of your method.

ceramictilepro 03-09-2016 09:52 PM

Hi CX and thank you for the warm welcome!

Just to clarify, I'm a full time tile contractor and yes I do sell a few products online. I also use those products personally in my business and have since 2011. I won't go into detail regarding all the testing that I have personally performed on hundreds of shower floors, and am not here to peddle my product. That is not my intention.

However, I do like to share my 30+ years experience in the tile industry, especially DIY'ers. I am also aware of TCNA and their recommendations regarding changes of plane. It has become the accepted method to settle and replace damaged 100% silicone when it turns black. That is another debate that I choose not to dive into. All I know is that in the real world, I get the same phone calls asking me to fix their shower floors. I have removed more silicone in the last 5 years that I care to mention. I really feel that the TCNA needs to update their standards on this one. I have over 5 years proof personally.

I can tell you one thing for sure, if my methods and repairs weren't professional, my phone would be off the hook with all the call backs. However that is not the case and I am helping people all over the country with their phone calls discussing their issues and helping them fix their showers.

I have way too many social media connections that are available for unhappy customers that may think I'm a fraud and want to share and protect others. I am transparent and feel good about what I'm about.


cx 03-10-2016 12:10 AM

Again, Jason, that discussion is best suited to the Hangout.

And please drop by there and start a thread of introduction and meet some of the other pros here on the forums.

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