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Unread 10-19-2021, 07:41 PM   #1
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Advice on Inherited Installation


I just purchased a house which had all three bathrooms recently redone (~6 years). The second floor bathroom, which is an all-tile shower, had a tile fall out. A friend said that the tile seemed to be installed using bucket mastic. I had the original contractor come by and take a look. He said he would never use bucket mastic in a shower and he pointed out some hairline cracks in the tiles that he said were not there on installation. He advised that the plaster walls were moving some and this is leading to cracks in the tiles and the fall out. He recommended we not use the shower until the tile gets ripped out and redone.

I'm looking for opinions on the validaty of the contractors claims. Definitely looking for a second opinion as well from a nearby licensed contractor, but looking for opinions on this problem to gain more information. Any help is appreciated.
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Unread 10-19-2021, 08:34 PM   #2
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Welcome, Charles.

A photo or two from farther away to show us some perspective would be helpful.

Is the place from which the tile is removed in the wet area of the shower?

Can you tell us any more about these "plaster walls" he says are moving?

The area from which the tile is removed appears to be a joint in the wallboards which has some mesh tape over it, but the joint was not filled. Can you verify that's what you see there?

Cracking tiles do usually indicate movement, but I certainly can't guess at this point why the movement would be taking place. Do you have knowledge of how this shower was constructed?

Six years is a very, very short life for a shower to be failing. Have you noted any indication of leaking from this shower?

Let's start with that.

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Unread 10-20-2021, 10:51 AM   #3
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You might try putting that tile in a pan of water overnight. In many cases, if mastic was used, exposure to water will will re-emulsify and soften the material. If it remains hard...probably morter. If soft, probably mastic.
They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.
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Unread 10-20-2021, 03:08 PM   #4
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It's scary how many tiled showers are not built to industry standards, but if they are, assuming the structure is sound, they should last until you decide to remodel.

So, as CX said, a picture from further back to get an idea of the scope of the shower may help.

Generally, in a wet area, you wouldn't be tiling on plaster. Cement board or other concrete products, yes, but not plaster.
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