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Unread 06-23-2008, 09:04 AM   #1
bmacior
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crumbling thin set

If I use wrong terminology, I apologize. It just goes to show I'm no tiler.

When we built our house 5 years ago, the tiler talked me into tiling an outdoor uncovered upstairs patio (16x22) over an interior living area. I was leary as I was concerned about the freezing and thawing cycle and popping of tiles. Told me not a problem. Wrong.

The grout is popping out. I have tiles that have released from the thinset (?). However those are the least of my problems. The patio was built with a slope for draining water. It has a rubber dam under all the tile stuff. Interior leaking has not been a problem to this point. Unfortunately the tiler didn't get the slope right, and the last row is higher due to the metal drip edge and not all the water could drain. This caused some tiles to pop. The thin set has disintrigated to sand. The water instead of draining off the end of the drip edge, goes under it and drains on the main wood beam supporting the upper floor (BIG PROBLEM), which then probably drains somewhat down behind the brick. We have just roofed the area above the patio so water hopefully no longer be a problem. we have not had a rainstorm since roofing so see how protected the last row of tile is going to be from direct rain; and of course that is the direction our weather comes from.

How do I fix the problems with the thin set? How hard is it to regrout? Can I pop good tiles without breaking them for re-use? The roofer broke a couple of tiles. How do I get them out and replaced? I do have some spare tiles. I do plan on hiring a professonial. I just want to be able talk to intelligently. Thanks.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 09:18 AM   #2
ceramictec
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so did the tile setter set the tile directly on your rubber roofing material ?

thats not a good thing, your probably going to want to take up all the tile, redo a proper substrate & waterproofing correctly and re-tile.

if you just patch the edge tile your probably looking at some unseen
problems again down the line with this water doing somewhere.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 10:34 AM   #3
bmacior
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no, he put something down which I think is thin set.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 10:59 AM   #4
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No thinset will stick to rubber roofing. You need a reinforced mud bed, waterproofing, then your thinset and tile.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
bmacior
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All tiles were solid when originally installed. A few are starting to feel looser, and two on the last row where the main standing water problem was, have totally popped loose. Under those two what ever was used is now just sand, but it had to be solid at one point for the tiles to be solid. The tile next next to them is also sandy underneath, but I believe that tile is solid. I will see how far under that tile I can remove the sand. The bed, which I have been calling thinset can't be more than 1/2" thick. I will check.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
ceramictec
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thats just the start of your problems, you cant set tile over a rubber roofing material.

your option will be to remove, waterproof, create a proper substrate to set the tile on and then tile it.

the method you have was not a proper installation.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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what is proper substrate? Would I have any legal recourse on this guy 5 years later?
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Unread 06-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #8
jadnashua
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Most warranties are for a year, but you could try.

How thick is the layer under the tile? If it is in the order of 1/4" or less, you're lucky it lasted this long. You'd need a layer about 1-1/2" thick to survive, with a waterproof layer on top of it and properly designed and install flashing for it to survive. Don't remember if you said...do you live where it freezes? Keeping water from under the tile is essential if it can freeze. The whole floor is on borrowed time.

To remove a tile, you need to first remove the grout around the tile, then you have a chance to break out a tile without damaging adjacent ones, but normally, you can't pry one up without it breaking. Since the thinset won't adhere well to the membrane, you might have a chance. Rubber by its nature is flexible...tile and cement don't like flexible.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 05:20 PM   #9
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It is less than 3/4" thick. What's my best soultion out of this mess.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 07:03 PM   #10
Davy
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I think the sandy part is a dry pack mudbed, although sounds like a thin one. There should be a harder material (thinset) directly under the tile that he used to bond the tiles to the drypack.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 07:46 PM   #11
matman
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That patio is on the second floor? I assume it's built on a wood frame. 16x22 is a long span in either direction if it's open span below. How is the patio constructed? Joist depth and lengths, floor decking material?

Where do you live, ice and snow country?
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Unread 06-23-2008, 08:21 PM   #12
jadnashua
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There probably weren't any expansion joints, either.
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Unread 06-23-2008, 09:09 PM   #13
ScottIdaho
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Even with another roof over this now, since is the prevailing weather direction, you are likely to get some water on this patio on the future. Especially on those last rows toward your drip edge.
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Unread 06-24-2008, 08:12 AM   #14
bmacior
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1. we live in winter country where it freezes. Top priority during the winter was always to get the snow off the patio.
2. the house is built in the shape of a U. The N and W side of the 2nd floor patio are supported by steel beams, the E side is a 2x6 stud, bearing wall, the S side of the patio is open, with an open span below. The S side walkout basement wall is constructed of 6" SIPs panels. The floor joists are TJI 550s, 16" centers (I'm not at home so guessing 20 to 24" tall). The floor decking is 3/4" subflooring.
3. the waterproofing, if memory serves me correctly, was done in two layers. The system used is used for roofs and went up the side of the walls. A fabric strip was placed on the wall down unto the floor, and the 2nd layer sprayed over all. A 3rd layer of was put down by the tiler. He used the rubber strips used by roofers on roof decks at the drip edge of the roof. His company would not guarantee water proofing without it.
4. according to my husband, the tiler did use a dry pack base (measured at less than 3/4" where the tiles have popped off). Tile was set with thin set. There are no expansion joints. No tiles have broken (til the roofer dropped something on 2 of them). Some grout lines have separated from the tile, but have not broken into pieces. The tile is 18" porcelain.
5. the new roof over the patio extends appx. 4 ft. past the tile. Our weather comes from the open end of the patio.
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