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-   -   Sukabumi tile damage (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=127787)

heyautonomy 07-15-2019 02:58 AM

Sukabumi tile damage
4 Attachment(s)
The Sukabumi tiles in my shower were never sealed and are crumbling in places. They have been in for over a year and I’m not sure what to do... can they still be sealed and will grout be an acceptable filler for the lost material?

Or, do I need to drill the tiles out and replace them?

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Kman 07-15-2019 08:22 AM

Welcome to the forum, Anthony. :)

Certainly not my area of expertise, but I'll offer what I can.

Are any tile loose, or just pieces coming off the face of the tile?

Do you know what adhesive was used to install the tile?

Grout can be use for a lot of things, such as filling in areas like what you there, but there are limitations such as depth, depending on the grout. The one spot in your first picture looks like a natural void. Has it always been like that?

What kind of grout is in the joints?

heyautonomy 07-21-2019 04:08 AM

I don’t seem to be receiving notifications, so I apologise for the late reply.

The tiles were all previously honed flat and the material has gradually fallen out.

There are a few tiles that are loose but they appear unconnected from the crumbling tiles that I’ve documented. One of the loose tiles isn’t even in the wet area although three are.

Unfortunately I don’t know what was used as adhesive or the original grout although I’m tempted to believe the grout is sanitized-coloured-grout-eco-cfg-davco

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Davy 07-21-2019 08:13 AM

Sealer wouldn't have kept it from eroding. You can try patching the voids but I think it will continue. I'm sorry about the problem but I'd plan to replace the shower with tile that will hold up better.

heyautonomy 07-21-2019 07:58 PM


Originally Posted by Davy (Post 1526475)
Sealer wouldn't have kept it from eroding. You can try patching the voids but I think it will continue. I'm sorry about the problem but I'd plan to replace the shower with tile that will hold up better.

Looks like patching is where I’ll start and later down the road I’ll have to take it all out. It’s disappointing that it’s a “wet area” stone that isn’t great in wet areas.

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Tool Guy - Kg 07-21-2019 08:04 PM

Can you tell us more about this tile?


speed51133 07-21-2019 09:07 PM

It's typically used in swimming pools fully submerged.

heyautonomy 07-21-2019 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by Tool Guy - Kg (Post 1526512)
Can you tell us more about this tile?


“Green sukabumi stone is volcanic stone which is containes chlorite mineral and formed by many iron nodules and layer so that makes this stone has many color variarion and some issue after instalation. There are two common issue which is appear on the green sukabumi stone such as:
1. Color changing
This problem caused by the iron that contains in the stone makes the stone oxidized. This kind of problem can be minimized by the matterial color selection during the production process
2. Crumble
Some matterial contains clay especially in crystal color based which leaches out in the sun and with water flowing over it and drying up again. To minimized this kind of problem by the matterial selection in the factory using the water test and sort the matterial that possibility to get crumble.”

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heyautonomy 07-21-2019 10:50 PM


Originally Posted by speed51133 (Post 1526514)
It's typically used in swimming pools fully submerged.

There is a PDF outlining the approved installation of this tile in Swimming pools by laticrete on the ineedstone website. It doesn’t mention sealing the tile around the pool though.

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Elkski 07-22-2019 02:25 AM

I guess some of those tiles should have been sorted out and not used on the wall like that one with a gigantic void I would never have installed something like even on a backsplash , even if it was made out of travertine.

heyautonomy 11-27-2019 09:48 PM

Loose tiles: cavity below
4 Attachment(s)
I have a few wobbly tiles in my shower area. As well as areas where the grout seems to blacken very easily. I’ve taken up two of the tiles and I’m concerned that there are cavities below the tiles.

Is it the case that there ought be cavities and I just didn’t know? Or is this just another cowboy job that I’ll be forever patching up? What should I do?

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thuffner3 11-27-2019 10:03 PM

Hi Anthony,
Based on what I can see it looks like this was a patch from a previous repair.
You can see the mud case it the top right corner.
Also the smoothness of the mortar tells me the was not a good bond to tile.
I would maybe take a couple more tile out around these and see if in fact you can make a new base and or adequately set your tile properly.
A picture after you remove tile would steer me in a better direction.


heyautonomy 11-27-2019 11:10 PM

I can take out a couple more and I’ll get back to you. The bad news is that we had the whole room stripped out and replastered. The tiling I think was done by another guy in the team... so really... it’s not a patch...

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cx 11-27-2019 11:20 PM

This the same shower with the Sukabumi tiles, Anthony?

I'll be curious to see more of what might be under those shower floor tiles. No matter how many years I spend here there seems always to be at least one more very strange surprise waiting out there. And in the ceramic and stone tile industry, surprises are rarely a good thing, eh?

Kman 11-27-2019 11:40 PM

Anthony, do you mind if we merge the original thread about those tiles with this one? It might save you and our volunteers from asking/answering duplicate questions, and everyone can see the earlier story on this project.

heyautonomy 11-29-2019 12:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
See comment 11 for more photos. I’ve taken the loose tiles out where I can find them. It isn’t too many but they are spread out and you can see the same laying method was used throughout. My better half is telling me to patch it up ASAP so she can use the shower again... what’s is the quickest way to do this. From the looks of things the whole thing will need tipping out and redoing, but not today, or this week or even in the coming months. It doesn’t look like it validates buying an entire bag of mortar... would sanitized grout eco hold it all in place for long?

Davy 11-29-2019 02:58 AM

I'm wondering if you have any left over tiles in case you were to break one or two. The loose tiles you pull up can probably be cleaned up around the edges, the bottoms should be clean since all the mortar is on the floor.

Looks like they were back buttered with thinset when they originally installed them and you can do the same to stick them back. For a quick repair, I would take a small (1/4-3/8 wide) cold chisel and slowly chip away some of the thinset mortar you see. This will make room for more thinset. You can use Speed Set thinset from Home Depot that sets within a few hours and get it grouted the same day. I'd let it set over night before using the shower. I have no idea where to get the grout you mentioned.

heyautonomy 11-29-2019 04:23 AM

Thanks for the recommendation :) can I check some things with you.

1. Would I be filling the cavities with the thin set at the same time?

2. You mentioned breakages... do you think I should rip more up than I already have?


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heyautonomy 11-29-2019 08:35 AM

Ok, so it looks like I should take a few more tiles back wherever they are loose. Take out some of the mortar that is there and then fill it all in with thinset. I’m sure I can’t fill all the gaps and I’ll have to live with the knowledge that there are cavities I can’t do anything about. Thanks for your guidance everyone and I hope I’ve interpreted the advice correctly where offered :)

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Davy 11-29-2019 11:57 AM

Hi Anthony, I would take up all that are loose, hopefully it's not the whole floor. Barely bonded tiles usually don't break when pulling them up, depending how fragile they are. That's why I was asking about having extra tiles handy. Sometimes you're opening a can of worms with this type work. When removing tiles, tiles that seemed to be bonded are now loose due to the hammering/chiseling of the thinset. Most of the time we will cut the grout out first to help get the tiles out and hopefully not disturb neighboring tiles.

If you have left over grout from before, I would throw it away and get a fresh bag.

heyautonomy 11-30-2019 04:27 AM

Thanks Davy, I’ll see what happens when I start chiseling away. I’d rather take up more and fill in more of the voids if I can... I have found two mortars locally that seem to fit the bill. One is a rapid set mix, they say it can be used in high traffic areas after 4 hours. Work time is 20 mins, pot time 40-60. It’s recommended for Swimming pools and submerged areas. The other says it’ll need 7days before the area can be used. Same work and pot lifetimes. That one is recommended for showers. The only significant difference in performance seems to be that the rapid set mortar seems to need a cleaner substrate while the slow set mortar seems to set to anything that isn’t oil based. Is this difference generally true for rapid and slow set mortars?

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heyautonomy 11-30-2019 07:23 AM

A good deal of the grout is just falling out, particularly where the cavities fall below.

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Davy 11-30-2019 01:43 PM

There are different kinds of mortars. I would make sure you're using a modified thinset mortar. You can get by without speed set but you may have to wait till the next day to grout.

heyautonomy 12-09-2019 01:10 AM


This seems to answer the question, “can I set the tile with grout instead of thinset?”

It’s the only one I’ve seen so far that is set like this.

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speed51133 12-09-2019 08:49 AM

that may not be grout. thinset mortar is available in white and in gray. either way, looks like your tile setter likes to "spot bond" which is where you put a glob of mortar on then press the tile in. It is not the correct way and has all sorts of issues.

heyautonomy 12-09-2019 07:55 PM

You’re right, when I took it off, the “spot” was mortar but it was filled in with grout, so I’m guessing that the tile came loose while they were grouting so they restuck it with the grout as they were going by.

I’m also curious as to why the plaster is smooth in places and rough with a kind of sticky coating in others. This is on the wall.

On the floor there seems to be a bed of mortar but where the tiles have come loose, there is no bed, just a blob of thinset that goes down to the waterproof membrane.

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