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Unread 06-14-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
concernedclient
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New Bathroom tile concerns

Hi everyone, I found your site this morning and am hoping that someone might be able to provide some sound advice.

We have recently had a basement bathroom finished (well, it's almost finished). We hired a contractor, who in turn hired a "tile guy", to do the work since we have previously only done minor jobs (ie. tiling the floor of a straight mud-room, some drywalling, and painting). Our hope in hiring 'professionals' was not only that we would save ourselves time from having to do the work ourselves, but also that everything would be done properly. The 'tile guy' ended up a being a disaster, and he was dismissed after we had to take up the entire floor and have the contractor re-tile it because it was done terribly (chipped tiles laid in the floor, uneven grout lines, nothing level). But the shower tile looked fairly decent and we were happy with it.

However, we are now very concerned about the fact that neither the contractor nor the 'tile guy' recommended we use a waterproofing system over the shower walls (we have a standard tub with shower and tiled walls). Instead the tile (9"x12" ceramics) were laid directly on the aquamarine drywall. I have been reading a few forums and watching all the 'shows' lately, and everyone seems to recommend using a waterproofing system prior to tiling to prevent any moisture getting through grout lines and causing mold and rot. (How I wish I had done this prior to hiring them!!)

My question is this: Since it is already done, brand new (never been used yet), and is a basement bathroom, is there anything we can do to remedy this without having to tear it all down and redo? Would a grout sealer be 'good enough' (perhaps it could be reapplied every few months, or when the room is heavily used, ie. when we have company)?? Any other options?

Thanks!
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Last edited by concernedclient; 06-14-2011 at 10:08 AM. Reason: unfinished sentence
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Unread 06-14-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Welcome, Andrea.

Don't know just what you might mean by "aquamarine drywall." Is that some sort of brand name or are you just describing the color of the exterior paper face?

But if it's actually "drywall," or gypsum board, or "sheetrock," or any of the other names for same, you have a serious problem.

And your contractor, at least, should know better. Has he been paid for this work?

No, a grout sealer will be of no real value to your installation.

Have you any photos of the construction of this shower you could post for us?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
Lazarus
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Andria~It appears that the drywall was existing, and therefore no good. It is an acceptable method of waterproofing if you had a cement board there...and you don't. If the "Aquamarine" is a roll-on Surface-Applied Membrane, great.

If it's there, you're good to go. If it's not, it was built incorrectly. This is not to say that it won't last....just that it isn't correct.

Did he use morter (powdered mix from a bag) or mastic (premixed stuff in a tub)? Morter is good....mastic gives you "two strikes."

Sealing the grout will not waterproof the gaps...just makes it easier to clean dirty grout joints.

If the unit is not subject to daily use, it may still last for years...hard to project and your mileage may vary. Short of tearing it down and building it back up, I would suggest that, after showering, you towel down the walls. Actually, good advice for any shower.

Please keep us posted.
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Unread 06-15-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
concernedclient
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Thanks for your responses CX and Laz.

Sorry for my lack of knowledge on certain terminology - that is why I'm a client!

By "aquamarine drywall" I was referring to the blue-green drywall that is mold resistant and made for bathrooms.

But, it turns out I don't have as much to worry about as I thought. There was some type of roll-on membrane applied prior to the tiles being installed with mortar. My spouse and I had forgotten about this because it wasn't on our "to buy" or "to reimburse for" lists, as the contractor brought it left-over from a previous job.

So thanks for your advice, and here's hoping that everything will be ok!

Cheers!
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Unread 06-15-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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It may or may not help, Andrea. We'd need to know what it is.

It's still not approved by building code nor tile industry standards, though, and may not even be suitable for adhering tile directly to.

It may help some. Find out what it is, eh?

You got any photos of the construction process?

And again, has this guy been paid?
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Unread 06-15-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
tilelayer
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I know Redgard is approved for use over drywall maybe they used this? Did they use thinset mortar to set the tile, the kind that comes in a 50 lb bag?
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Unread 06-15-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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RedGard is not approved for use over drywall in wet areas by code or the manufacturer, Rich, unless you know a secret?
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Unread 06-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
tilelayer
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I checked their site says it is, and hydroban is too.
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Unread 06-15-2011, 08:26 PM   #9
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The Custom site will likely list gypsum board as an acceptable substrate for their RedGard, but that doesn't mean it's for wet areas, Rick.
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