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Unread 09-01-2021, 03:50 PM   #1
smokingtable
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Bridge to be tiled......

It's been a while since I've been around yall, but this one has me guessing. My client wants me to tile this bridge. I make mosaic murals out of handmade tile. Basically I was thinking about knocking off the thin skim coat of mortar then screwing concrete backer over pretty much the whole thing and tiling that. The only thing not tiled is the road, but the bridge top and sides would be tiled to the ground.
I don't know if I should bother putting any thinset under the backer without etching the whole thing first, seems like it really wouldn't matter. Anyways, what do yall think?
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Unread 09-01-2021, 04:08 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Jerimiah.

I'd tell your assistant that it was time to make cut-offs outa them jeans.

I don't thin the CBU idea is advisable or even workable in that application.

I think, judging only from your photos, that I would recommend using serious effort to remove any loose plaster that's still holding on. Then I'd power-wash and patch/re-plaster with a Portland cement based material to make the surface as smooth as you need it for your intended pattern.

The big crack and the others we can't see? I'd ensure that my design accommodated them so that a grout joint over/near them could be filled with a flexible sealant to match the grout in the rest of the mosaic.

Where is that located in San Antonio?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 05:53 AM   #3
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Yep, here in San Antonio, good to be back on the forum!. I was thinking if their original plaster wouldn't stick to the bridge, then I'd probably need to sandblast the cement to get my thinset to adhere. (After chipping the old plaster off) I figured adding the cbu would eliminate a LOt of extra work and I can guarantee the tile will not eventually come back off.
I always worry about trying to bond mortar to old hardened concrete.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 07:43 AM   #4
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Perhaps I should have worded the question differently? Or punctuated it differently? Where, in San Antonio, is the bridge located?

You're certainly free to try your CBU approach, but I think you're gonna be a bit surprised at the difficulty of attaching it adequately. The manufacturer is not gonna be of much help as none has a published method of attaching their product to a concrete structure. And be sure you choose one that is indicated for outdoor use. My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 10:10 AM   #5
Dave Gobis
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The job is a lot of work. The loose plaster has to go. Seen a job where someone tried something similiar, didn't last long. Would be willing to bet John Cox would be willing to lend his thoughts.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 10:30 AM   #6
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Yeah, but Cox would want his guys to set the tiles, too, Dave.

I can't recall John's screen name and he's not been on the forums for a looooong time, but if you Google Cox Tile you'll find him just down 281 off E Rhapsody Drive.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 11:41 AM   #7
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Thank yall, I went ahead and sent in a quote. The more I look closely at the pictures the more I realize that there's no way around covering that bridge with cbu. It will blow my mind if they approve this job
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Unread 09-02-2021, 11:54 AM   #8
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Is the location of this bridge, other than the city and state it is in, top secret?


Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingtable
The more I look closely at the pictures the more I realize that there's no way around covering that bridge with cbu
Why is this? I would think the obvious approach would be to blow off all the loose
with a power washer and true it up with plaster or fat mud, am I missing something?
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Unread 09-02-2021, 12:23 PM   #9
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well, it's private property, so it's kinda top secret. If they are ok with me posting the info i will. If they OK the bid, I'll post pics of the work
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Unread 09-02-2021, 01:20 PM   #10
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Yeah I'd use a bonded mud job to anything that needed it, the big problem I see though is the bridge itself looks to be in disrepair. Those large cracks on the side beams seem to be more than just age and minor expansion and contraction. I can't see tile or fat mud stopping or helping any part of that structure for any amount of time? Maybe they want to pretty it up before selling?
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Unread 09-02-2021, 05:00 PM   #11
Davy
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Like dad always said, tile is only as good as what's behind it. I'd pass on this job.
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Unread 09-02-2021, 08:31 PM   #12
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I dunno, Davy. He's apparently being given the opportunity to create his own substrate. Sounds like a good opportunity so long as the customer is willing to pay for those improvements.

Well, so long as he doesn't opt for that CBU "improvement."

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-04-2021, 02:31 PM   #13
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I can think of ways to tile the bridge but none of them include using any cement backerboard. I would isolate any cracks with flexible water proofing and mesh reinforcement. Then mud and tile.

If you don’t have experience with mudding you might get someone who does to give you a hand. I also think as others do here that you will find that using cbu for that application is not as easy as you think.
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