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Old 02-07-2019, 09:38 AM   #1
Xanathos
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Yet another kerdi question - small void in band?

Long time listener, first time caller?

I'm doing my first ever shower, and went with Kerdi just because it seemed the path of least resistance. When doing the bands on the joints between the foam boards, I came back the next day and identified a spot where there's actually a very small void between the band and the board with no thinset behind it (as evidenced by the fact that I can push on it, the band moves, and the void disappears). I've taken a poor picture to show it.

From a functional standpoint, this void doesn't matter, as it's above the shower head, but I'd like to know for future reference if this matters. This void doesn't run all the way inside the band to the joint, it's basically just a little edge bubble that eventually hits band + mortar as intended after about 1/8", and there's still about 2 more inches until the band actually hits the joint I'm trying to waterproof. Were I to take a knife and notch out that voided part of the band, the band itself would be completely sealed.

Would this sort of thing matter from an installation standpoint were the void to be located in a spot that could reasonably expect to ever get wet? I've got 4 more bathrooms to do in this house, and it stands to reason I might see this again. Need to know whether, when it happens, I should rip off the whole band and re-do.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:04 AM   #2
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If it is just a small spot like you say you can just stick a little kerdifix in there, because of its location and how you describe it would probably be ok to push a little thinset in when tiling the area.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #3
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Welcome, Xan.

Best to attach photos from storage on your computer using the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box so the image appears in your post and becomes a permanent part of your thread. And much easier for folks to see it who might wanna help.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:05 PM   #4
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Didn't see a paperclip earlier. Musta missed it. Anyhow, as you can see, it's probably less than the length of a square on the board (extreme close-up)
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #5
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i would dab some kerdi fix on it and spread it around, getting the goo under the flap as well. not a big deal.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:49 PM   #6
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Something that small, Xen, I'd not even bother trying to do anything at all with it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:15 PM   #7
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Run bench to curb, or leave halfway?

The only part of my bathroom I didn't rip out was a bench that had been built at the foot of the old shower pan. I've since installed the Kerdi board, shower pan, curb, etc., mortared it up, and have started the process of scraping the excess thinset (first time using it, went a little thick but amazingly everything stayed pretty straight and I've only had to get creative on a couple of tiles) and also have started tiling, but my question is whether I "should" extend the bench to meet the end of the curb or not.

In the previous shower, it was just one of those cheap acrylic 32x60 show pans and the shower slider doors ran atop it, so there wasn't really a curb to speak of, and the extra static glass to complete the shower sat near the edge of the bench.

Attaching some pictures. My options are to quickly build out the bench, or leave it as is and then, with the new shower door, have them fabricate something that sits...um, either on the end of the bench or just beyond it? The latter choice seems bad because it sounds like a nightmare to clean and might look janky. First photo is the bathroom before I took it down to the studs.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:37 PM   #8
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Xan, let's keep all questions related to this project on this thread so that questions and answers aren't duplicated, and the history is in one place.

I would have removed the bench and built a new one, but keeping it is at your discretion.

I would agree that building it close to the glass would be a mistake due to cleaning issues. If you run it to the outside of the curb, the glass will have to go up and over the curb. I'd stop it short of the curb a few inches, enough to clean that area.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:24 AM   #9
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Where is the proposed glass plane at? Can it be off center on the curb so it steps up over the bench? I don't see a kerdi corner or kerdi on the curb to bench joint.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:39 PM   #10
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Mortar has no adhesion to glass tile

Tiling up one of my showers right now. Kerdi system. It's alternating columns of marble and a glass tile. Unmodified thinset, per Kerdi requirements.

The marble has adhered to the thinset and the Kerdi board just fine. Completely solid. The glass tiles, I'm having to float a mortar bed because of a discrepancy in the width of the tile in relation to the marble.

The glass tiles, however, the thinset in many cases isn't adhering to the back of the tile AT ALL. I can literally peel many of the glass tiles right off the wall after letting it sit for about 2 weeks. Some are stuck to the wall really well, others take basically ZERO force to pull off.

See pictures below. The thinset is adhered to the Kerdi board just fine. The smoothness of the mortar indicates it was well and fully smooshed between the wall and the tile. On the wall side the thinset is as smooth as silk. On the back of the tiles I pull off? Almost no thinset at all. They look like they weren't even mortared. I figure it's got to have something to do with that glossy backing on the back of the tiles (and no, it's not removable).

What can I do to remediate this? Normally I'd say the problem is that I'm using unmodified, but Schluter doesn't want me using anything else. Should I apply a layer of Quikrete concrete bonding adhesive to the backs of the tiles? Should my mortar be wetter? Drier? I'm kind of at a loss here.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:33 PM   #11
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Did you burn any thinset onto the backs of those glass tile before setting?

Are there clumps on the back of the tile that fill in those gaps on the backer at the wall? You REALLY need 100% of the edges and almost all (ideally, all) of the rest of the tile to be covered in thinset.

Do you have a new tile? If you do, and you rub your hand across it, do you pick up any dust or film?
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:45 PM   #12
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Turns out, it was none of the above possibilities.

Had I used the search feature, I could have found an old thread that talked about exactly this. Seems the problem is glass is impervious and requires modified thinset, but Kerdi wants unmodified. You can't use unmodified thinset with glass at all, it'll never bond. Which is why the thinset stuck to the Kerdi board just fine, but never adhered to the glass.

So it seems the solutions are to either buy Schluter All-Set (though I'm going to call the tile maker first to make sure that'll work) or else void the warranty by putting a modified thinset up for this stage of the project. The additional curing time actually doesn't matter to me, as nobody will ever use this shower, regardless.

Lesson: If you're using the Kerdi system, just pass on the glass.



BUT....now I have a new question: Removal of the thinset from the Kerdi board. I've noticed as I've been chiseling and peeling it off that it's taking a thin layer of the orange outerlayment of the Kerdi board with it, creating a "fuzzy fabric" situation. Which, I guess makes sense since the outer layer of Kerdi board is actually a fabric of sorts.

So the new question: do I have to apply Kerdi Fix or Kerdi Bands along these columns of kerdi board where I'm having to chisel off the thinset and am messing with the orange covering but not denting it, gouging it, or in any way creating an actual breach into the foam itself? Basically, I'm asking if the "secret sauce" is the orange outerlayment or the creamy white center of the Kerdi board.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:08 PM   #13
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FWIW, I've visited some ancient ruins in the dead sea area that had some glass tile on the floor of a ruin...over 2,000-years old. Thinset wasn't even invented until the 1950's. Go to Europe and visit some old buildings...glass tile intact. Now, the coating on the back of the tile may be the issue, but an unmodified mortar will bond to glass as will cement. A modified may end up with a better bond, quicker.

Given what you have, a modified approved for use on the waterproof membrane should have a better bond, but it still will never get as good as the bond with a ceramic tile which will have more imperfections that allow the cement to bond. Almost any modified that is not latex based will work.

The crystals that form during curing are pretty fragile for awhile. They need time to grow and interlock with the few imperfections on the back of the glass (or whatever kind of tile you have).
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:14 PM   #14
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Lesson I'd rather see you take away, Xan, is if you're using glass tile, just pass on the un-modified thinset mortar.

On Schluter's foam board the secret sauce for waterproofing is the foam, but if you're removing the fleece from the orange covering you'll not have the proper bonding surface for your thinset mortar. I've not enough experience with their foam board to tell you exactly how bad it's gotta be before you don't have a useful bond for your tile, but removing the mortar from the board is not a good thing, for sure.

Hopefully someone who has done what you're doing will chime in here and tell you whether it's hopeful or not.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:11 PM   #15
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Use heavily modified thinset mortar for glass tile. Your glass tile is so small that there won't be any drying issues at all. You could buy a small bag of Flexbond from Homers. Problem solved. I've tiled an entire shower with Kerdi and modified mortar. Never had a single issue.

Doesn't work, obviously, if you now lose the bonding fleece. Better be careful in removing the old stuff. I've never done it but I wonder if a true epoxy adhesive might help.

Also, I am somewhat getting tired of Schluter instilling fear into their customers with this non-modified obsession. In situations like this, it is a problem when someone compromises their bonding fleece.
In all fairness, in the instructions it says to contact Schluter for setting glass tile on Kerdi. I assume (but aren't sure), they might informally tell you over the phone to use modified thinset mortar in that application.

Sad to see people struggle who want to get it right and go by the book.
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