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Unread 01-04-2006, 09:34 PM   #1
fosters351
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poor installation

happy new year all. Having some problems with the master bath in my new house I could use some help with. First thing i took care of when i moved in was having the bathroom retiled. Sort of rushed into it without researching and now I'm paying for it. A local guy did the installation which looked pretty good when he was done. He showed up when he said he would and didn't want any money up front except 50% of the tile cost which i was ok with. About 3 weeks ago i noticed pieces of grout missing from a few areas in the shower. After further inspection it turns out the grout is all soft and just comes out of the joint with ease. It was tiled a year ago by the way. I couldn't get in touch with the installer (typical) so i had another tile guy check it out. He looked at the wall and the reciepts for the materials and found the problem. Laticrete mastic and mapei premixed grout was used for everything. He said the one thing the guy did right was use cement backer. This new guy says everything has to be ripped out and tiled again. None of the tiles are loose so i don't think the mastic has been compromised which from what i now know is vulnerable to water. They are solid. Couldn't i just regrout it with polymer-fortified grout and then top it off with grout sealer?? Also i only have one shower to use now so if i regrout could i protect it with 4mm polyethylene until the grout cures so can shower. Thanks
ray
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Unread 01-04-2006, 09:41 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Ray.

Way too much of that sorta work goin' around, unfortunately.

Don't know how you'd get all the pre-mixed grout out of that installation sufficiently to allow a proper grout job. Maybe some big-time tile guys herabouts have some insight into this. It's not gonna make you a good shower, but if that's what you wanna do, perhaps someone can 'splain you how.

I'd be very concerned with the consturction of the shower pan, given the methods used on the tile. Or is this a tub with shower surround? In either case, I think you should plan on a total replacement sooner, rather than later.

If it's a tub/shower, yes, you could just hang poly all around and use the shower. I think I'd use 6mil, though, so's not to be pokin' no holes.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-04-2006, 10:05 PM   #3
fosters351
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it is a tub surround. I figured i could get all the soft grout out with a razor knife. Of course the grout is much harder in high areas so i still have to figure out how to get that all out. I'm just concerned about the mastic. I called laticrete and they told me as long as it's a tub surround and not stall it should be ok. Words are cheap though so i guess time will tell. thanks
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Unread 01-04-2006, 10:47 PM   #4
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That like asking the waitress..."how's the meatloaf"? You will know it failed about 5 years after it did!

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Unread 01-05-2006, 01:31 PM   #5
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Ray:

Here is my unprofessional opinion.

Don't rush to rip anything out. IF you can get most of the grout
out (I stress IF), then regrout it with polymer modified grout, wait at least 2-3 days (longer is better) and seal it. Then each time after you take a shower, wipe all the tiles dry with a terry towel. This will help moisture evaporate thru the grout and sealer much faster, reducing stress on mastic.

You really don't have much to lose at this point and ripping everything out and redoing it can be done if all else fails.

Just my CAN.02

Andriy
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Unread 01-05-2006, 04:16 PM   #6
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I agree with Andriy. I think that the most you'll lose (and you WILL lose) is the cost of re-grouting now. I am a believer that it WILL fail. The question is just WHEN. As long as you're willing to take the chance that you will catch mold/moisture issues before they seep into the adjoining room or the mold makes you or your family sick, then keep what you got. Regrout now and plan on a full tear out later down the road.

If you have the time, finances and patiences, do it now.

Best of luck.

And hey - what a way to start a new year!

sw (Shawn)
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Unread 01-05-2006, 08:51 PM   #7
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Replace it already,you lived and learned--now pay the piper.
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Unread 01-05-2006, 09:43 PM   #8
cx
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What Andriy said.

But keep in mind he offered only his two cents Canadian! That ain't worth near as much.






But I think he's right.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-05-2006, 10:57 PM   #9
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So how did the new guy know excactly what brand of mastic and premixed grout? does mapei even make such a product?
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Unread 01-05-2006, 11:29 PM   #10
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Hi Ray, welcome! I wouldn't go tearing anything out yet. If the tile is sound in the walls elave them alone. You can test this by trying to pry where there is no grout, being careful not to chip the tile. If you need to really pry hard LEAVE IT. Get the grout out up as high as you can. You can use a dremel or a rotozip. Like CX said poly it off so you can still use the shower while you repair it. Regrout with a drymix grout that you have to add water to or an additive.
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Unread 01-06-2006, 08:56 AM   #11
aluchkovsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cx
What Andriy said.
But keep in mind he offered only his two cents Canadian! That ain't worth near as much.
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Unread 01-06-2006, 11:43 AM   #12
fosters351
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Thanks for the replies all. Chase2000gt asked how the new guy knew what materials were used. I showed the new guy the materials reciepts the installer gave me with the bill. I'm just gonna regrout and play it by ear. Wipe down the walls after showers and always use the vent fan. Any suggestions for best grout to use?? I read that polymer-fortified grout is the best way to go. What about the sealer?? Will most brands be good enough and how long after i grout should i wait before i seal?? I know it will be in the directions but it will probably be minimum amount of time you should wait. I noticed one other thing that the installer did. I remember he came back to seal the grout but read that sealing premixed grout will actually cause it to fail. The only good thing to come out of this mess is I'm learning quite a bit about the technicals of tile work whatever thats worth. thanks again ray
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Unread 01-06-2006, 11:46 AM   #13
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Polymer mod grout is fine. Wait three days before sealing. I like Aqumaix products. The crew here likes Stonetech as well. Don't care much for the Tilelab products though

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Unread 01-12-2006, 02:58 PM   #14
fosters351
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ok i decided to tear it all out. I Just didn't feel comfortable with it. Sure enough some tiles were loose but not due to water infiltration but because there was only a dab of mastic on the loose tiles. Some dabs as small as a quarter. Everything else was solid including those at the bottom near the tub. Anyway I took it all down to the wall studs and put up 1/2" hardibacker with 15# roofing felt vapor barrier. Now here is where i need some advice. I'm putting up 10x13 ceramic tiles. What thinset is best for ceramic on hardi?? Should it be fortified?? The tiles will be going to the ceiling in the shower so i want to make sure they stay there and don't fall. Also i will be tiling a 4' section of bare drywall outside the shower. Will the same thinset work on drywall too?? Do the seams between hardi sheets get filled before or during tile installation?? What should i do about the seams between drywall and hardi??? Anything else i need to know?? I know it's a tall order. thanks ray
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Unread 01-12-2006, 05:01 PM   #15
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If the tile is solid then try regrouting before you rip anthing out.
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