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Unread 12-04-2019, 12:53 AM   #16
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, James. I lit up your hyperlink in the first post.

Nothing is going to stop the moisture from getting into the tile and darkening it. If you seal the tile, the problem worsens, as it will slow down evaporation, effectively helping accumulate moisture.

If you use epoxy grout, the tile will still absorb moisture. And to add to your problem, each and every individual tile would likely be stained by the resin from the epoxy. Each tile would have a stain around the perimeter known as “picture framing”.

Changing the tile to a porcelain tile that mimics stone is a good option.

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Unread 12-04-2019, 06:54 AM   #17
Davy
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I've tore out a few shower floors that were saturated like this. None were mine. Every time, either the mud wasn't true 5 to 1 deck mud which means it was too hard and dense for water to flow thru it. Or, the preslope was too flat, or the weep holes were blocked.

This happens with surface applied membrane showers too. Some people says it happens even more often. Plus you can't have a surface membrane with the drain set up you now have. You can remove enough tiles around the drain to check the weepholes. I wouldn't unbolt the drain, that's not where the problem is.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 09:27 AM   #18
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Nature of the beast, it happens, all the time.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 12:11 PM   #19
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Maybe the weep holes got plugged some how idk. I don’t really want to switch floor materials at this point because my perimeter row is under the bottom wall tiles. If it were not I would switch to a porcelain that matches the walls. I know grout can be in contact with water 24/7, be under water, even possibly setup and cure under water but not normally for our application. I know everyone says it’s not the grout but here me out. I think the grout, especially in the area around the drain got over worked and became too porous. Yes grout will absorb and transfer water at some point but think of comparing concrete vs deck mud, both will absorb and transfer water but at much deferent rates. You could pool 5 gals of water on concrete and it could take days, weeks or months to convey all of that water through it were as deck mud could convey that amount of water in minutes.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 12:54 PM   #20
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it's not the grout
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Unread 12-04-2019, 02:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
You could pool 5 gals of water on concrete and it could take days, weeks or months to convey all of that water through it were as deck mud could convey that amount of water in minutes.
I'm not getting what this has to do with water failing to drain from beneath the floor tile.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 03:39 PM   #22
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Assuming the grout is hard (indicating it cured and was not too old and already fired off), as said, it's not the grout that is the problem.

Natural stone varies, even across the same quarry, and definately from place to place. SOme is quite dense, some isn't, and that can affect how much, if any, moisture it can absorb.

Thinset is denser than deck mud, and your use of it to 'fix' the slope surface prior to setting the tile didn't help...limiting how fast the water can percolate. Plus, as I said earlier, assuming I read your post correctly, your slope is not up to minimum standards. It may be a combination of things.

One thing I noticed when installing a granite tile in my shower surround is that it got darker after setting. It took it nearly 2-weeks to return to the dry coloration. But, in that interval, I decided that I liked the increased contrast of it looking 'wet', so I used an enhancing sealer on it to return it to a uniform 'wet' look. That's a possibility for you, but test it on a spare tile and wait for things to dry out prior to doing it should you opt for that possibility. Not all of your floor tile may change color with an enhancer, depending on the stone.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 03:41 PM   #23
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It's not the grout.

area of top of 2x2 hex: 3.5 sq in
area of sides of 2x2 hex (assuming 3/8" tick tile, 1/2 of sides covered in thinset): 1.3 sq in

The tiles are soaked through, with the most exposure and ability to dry coming from the top/bottom surfaces. Also, the sealer you used isn't waterproof, so the top of the tile will absorb water just as readily as the untreated sides. Take some scrap tiles, soak it in a bucket, remove and let dry. They will dry very fast even after being fully submerged. You have moisture trapped in your tile and/or mud bed likely from one of the three reasons mentioned above by Davy (deck mud too dense, poor slope, clogged weep holes) all of which will be exacerbated by the floor tile choice. If you suspect the weep holes are clear, and are confident in the porosity of the mud job, you may just want to learn to live with the discoloration.

I built a shower similar to yours last year. In my research, I saw how widespread this same issue was with marble floor tiles of all shapes and sizes. Not wanting to risk it, I quickly ordered a grey through-body porcelain penny hex that closely matched my grout color and complemented the marble wall tiles. My shower pan is a surface applied membrane, the tile is maybe 1/4-3/16" thick, and it all dries out very very fast.
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Unread 12-04-2019, 07:01 PM   #24
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The day after mudding a shower floor, I can drop a tall cup of water on the mud and it disappears from the surface in two seconds. It soaks right into the deck mud. Try it sometime the day after mudding a shower floor.
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Unread 12-07-2019, 04:40 PM   #25
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So when I posted here I had also reached out to Bostik. They asked for pics which I sent them. They called back and referred me to the area rep who also asked for pics and said he would consult with their tech expert. His words were that this should not be happening. Interested to see what they say if and when they reply.

It’s been a week drying out, 5 of those days with a small heater fan running. Some tiles are lightening but the side against the dam looks more spread out.


I think I am going to cut out the grout around the outer parimeter row of tiles and pull up all the middle. Grind down all the thin set, remove the drain to try to check the weep holes, see if I can grind the long side slopes down for more pitch and lower the drain 1/8-1/4”, do water absorption tests on the mudbed maybe?

I believe these marble hex’s are MSI, they also make the same size/style in a faux Carrara porcelain that might be a possibility to retile the center with if it doesn’t look too bad? I have a sample coming. Funny though I noticed under the specs for each at it says the water absorption is the same at .5%.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/MSI-Carr...HEXP/205762409

https://www.homedepot.com/p/MSI-Carr...2HEX/206941547
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Unread 12-07-2019, 06:39 PM   #26
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A mud bed SHOULD become saturated if you flood it. It should also drain the surface water off when you open up the drain, but there will be water weeping down the drain for maybe hours afterwards.

SO, if you were to put in a plug in the drain, flood the pan, it might take it awhile before the level stopped dropping as the whole thing became saturated, but eventually, it should stabilize.
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Unread 12-08-2019, 11:42 AM   #27
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Weep holes are clogged.
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Unread 12-08-2019, 07:50 PM   #28
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And still exploring...,

Thoughts?
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Unread 12-08-2019, 08:33 PM   #29
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1- place a sponge or something to block the drain
2- From here it looks like they didn't use any weep hole protection and
3- Looks like they used regular concrete mix and not proper drypack.

2 strikes
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Unread 12-08-2019, 08:50 PM   #30
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Yes I pulled the plug for the pics.

I built this shower.

You can see the pebbles in the mud side wall but being that I packed the hell out of it, it looks like the mud fully enveloped around the pebbles

I used Portland cement and sand at 1:5
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