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-   -   Testing slabs (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=119399)

Chad Deiter Company 03-21-2016 07:36 AM

Testing slabs
How many of you test for moisture and Ph in a slab before installation ? I'm being told I am supposed to be testing.

dhagin 03-21-2016 02:04 PM

Never had to worry about that before moving here. I should probably spend time getting up to speed on it...

Dave Gobis 03-21-2016 03:07 PM

If your using a membrane or a gyp based SLC it is a good idea. No requirement industry wise. Hear that fairly often. Seems driven by the carpet guys doing tile. The exception is Mapei. They post limits on their products.

Steve Taylor 03-21-2016 05:09 PM

We are going to see more need to know the moisture vapor emission rate from concrete slabs with all the new materials we are seeing installed. Now that most installations require a membrane, many of which are pressure sensitive or adhered with adhesive, we will be concerned with the moisture effect on the adhesive; as do the vinyl, wood and carpet installer. Some of the new tiles are sensitive to moisture and can be affected by moisture from the slab. So unless you are bonding tile directly to the slab with a traditional Portland cement mortar, you probably should check the MVER and discuss it with your installation product manufacturer.

Chad Deiter Company 03-21-2016 06:18 PM

Gobis knows this situation and I don't want to blab it all over the Internet. Basically I am getting hung out to dry here cause there was a moisture issue on an install I did. They are also saying that the concrete had high PH levels and that I should have checked both.

Now I pride myself on going to training to keep up with products. I have been to your training Steve Taylor when we stayed on the Queen Mary. But not one companies training has ever said or even discussed how to check these things.

dhagin 03-21-2016 11:10 PM


Originally Posted by da Man!
No requirement industry wise.

Thats good enough for me. Just checked ANSI and Handbook, didn't see anything. If there's nothing in either of these, nothing in codes, and nothing in your contract Chad, I think they're blowin smoke.

Most of what I know about it came from here

rocjr 03-21-2016 11:12 PM


This is fresh on my mind as I'm going to look at a 1000 sq.ft. install of Ditra heat over a basement slab. I'll need to discuss every line of testing with this guy. I certainly don't want to be hung out to dry myself. I'm truly sorry to hear that you're in this spot. It's like seeing another man getting kicked you know where. You can just feel it yourself.

ded dux 03-21-2016 11:54 PM

I've always done tests in the past, but have only gone over a slab maybe 1 time a year for the last 6 years so haven't for awhile. I only did it because I started doing vinyls and other sensitive floorings. I think the moisture is an issue with membranes. Some companies science may come into question with their claims of how cement works if we start focusing on this. Atleast in my mind. I think CBP did a good job introducing people to moisture evaporation rates when we did our training.

Mr.Miyagi 03-22-2016 03:58 AM

Sorry to hear about your troubles Chad. I started doing them last year with the Lignomat Blue Peg system. Wagner also makes an easy to use RH kit as well. I bought into it after reading an article in FCI magazine and attending a webinar sponsored by Wagner. Just by chance I had a client that hired HD to install a LVP floor in the basement I just finished off for them last year and they had an issue in one of the rooms due to moisture related problems in the slab which just solidified the issue for me.



Chad Deiter Company 03-22-2016 07:02 AM

Don was that the same training I went to cause I don't remember anything on vapor emissions ?

I only do tile no sheet vinyl or VCT , wood nothing else but tile.

fhueston 03-22-2016 07:35 AM

Let me chime in here. In Florida and some other states where there is slab on grade I see tons of failures due to excess vapor emissions. Now, keep in mind that moisture is not the same as vapor emission. In other words, using a moisture meter is not going to tell you how much vapor is emitting from the slab. There are two ASTM standards for testing for vapor emission or relative humidity. ASTM F1869 and ASTM F2170. Look them up for more info. I use both of them and would recommend that any installer dealing with stone or terrazzo, especially epoxy terrazzo have these tests performed. Just my 2 cents.

Chad Deiter Company 03-22-2016 08:10 AM

In the 20 years in the trade I've never heard of or seen anyone test a slab for tile.

Dave Gobis 03-22-2016 10:45 AM

Not for ceramic tile products. I would agree with Steve and Fred on some stone, epoxy and polyester resin stone, concrete tile....and membranes. I really don't have a handle on the acrylic, silicone, and urethane grouts and moisture just yet.

Higher Standard Tile 03-22-2016 02:14 PM

What about large format porcelain with small grout joints, especially if it is epoxy grout?

I imagine excess vapor emissions would cause more problems for that than if was 12 x 12 with 1/4" joints and sanded grout.

Steve Taylor 03-22-2016 02:34 PM

It is possible that moisture vapor emission can cause efflorescence in the grout joints, but it has to be a severe case.

To date there are no standards for tile, but I suspect in the future we will see this become routine testing for all floor coverings.

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