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Unread 12-21-2020, 07:51 PM   #1
dtrhilary
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Pebble shower floor - 4 pebbles out - how to reapply

Hi,
I'm hoping this will be fairly straightforward, but I'm surprised that I haven't found anything online that addresses this issue of stones popping out. I found one post regarding a mid-century house that used gorilla glue.

I have a pebble shower floor in the home I lived in for 8 years, but now rent. 50's ranch. remodeled in 2010. On a large crawl space. So the shower is about 10 years old. Four of the pebbles are now out of their place. The original tile was the pebbles that were attached to a grid. I was pleased with the installation - it looked good and you couldn't see the grid. And I don't know much about the materials originally used.

I've asked friends and researched online. Options that I see now:
- Water based glue / gorilla glue to adhere tile, then new grout around it. Seal after?
- Use a thinset mortar to put pebbles in place, then mortar around them. Seal after?

The shower has not been sealed in 10 years. There is no evidence of any leakage, but I will check the property when I get there Wednesday, 12/23.

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas.

Hilary
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Unread 12-21-2020, 08:17 PM   #2
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Welcome, Hillary.

I'm afraid I can't tell just what was used to bond those stones. Perhaps some one with better eyes will be able to help with that.

But one of the problems with some of those mesh-mounted tiles or stones is that the glue used to mount the stones to the mesh is not waterproof and in too many cases the glue covers far too much of the stone surface. Thus, regardless the bonding mortar used to set the stones, the stones are still just bonded with a water soluble glue.

If that's the case here, what I see in the photo may be what's left of that glue in the hole for the stone.

Do you know how the shower receptor was waterproofed? It would help to know exactly what the stones were bonded to. If it's just a mortar bed, as with a traditional shower construction, my recommendation would be to scrape out those holes 'till you hit bare mortar and re-set them with thinset mortar.

If, instead, the shower receptor was built using a direct bonded waterproofing membrane, much greater care would be needed in preparing the hole for the re-setting of the stones.

Regrouting would be necessary, of course.

I do not recommend using a penetrating sealer at all on shower floors.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 08:32 PM   #3
dtrhilary
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Re: Pebble shower floor - 4 pebbles out - how to reapply

Thanks for the fast reply! Helpful info, and I'm sorry that I can't answer your questions about the receptor. I think I'll just scrape away what I can of what appears to be the old glue residue.

To be honest, I'm leaning towards using Gorilla Glue to glue them back, and then grout around them once in place. Do you have any strong objections to that? I am ignorant as to standard protocol here. You mention that once I could get to bare mortar, to just use thinset to bond them. But I think I'm looking for some flexibility since I'm not there now and need to improvise on the spot on Wed in case I don't reach mortar. Very much appreciate any product recommendations for how to secure them in place.

Thanks again.
Hilary
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Last edited by dtrhilary; 12-21-2020 at 08:49 PM. Reason: I'm a dummy. Replied too fast.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 08:38 PM   #4
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If you were to use an adhesive of some kind (I'll leave whether that's a good idea or not to someone with more knowledge) I think it might be a good idea to use something like Wedi sealant or Kerdifix or whatever Sika makes that's similar rather than a multipurpose glue. Wedi/Kerdifix are used as part of their respective shower construction systems and whatever else happens you can be sure they're suitable for being part of your shower.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 08:59 PM   #5
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Hillary, if you don't know what's under the stones, you want to be very, very careful about scraping what's in those voids. If you do not have a traditionally build receptor, you'll be looking at your waterproofing immediately below what you now see at the bottom of the voids. Below that mesh - and I mean touching it- could be the waterproofing of your receptor, which you do not want to damage.

I can't fault Jeff's thinking on using one of the sealants used with one of the direct bonded waterproofing membrane systems to bond your individual stones.

I would also suggest you poke about on the other stones a bit to see how many more are not well bonded and only held in place by the grout.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-21-2020, 11:20 PM   #6
Lazarus
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I agree with the Sika method. I know I once fixed something similar with a single faulty stone with (horrors) hot glue......
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Unread 12-23-2020, 05:59 PM   #7
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Well, I did it! And I think it went fairly well. It looks good. I think. Tenants won't be back for another few days, so plenty of time for everything to dry. Thanks for all of your help.
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Unread 12-23-2020, 06:08 PM   #8
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And what was your fix, Hilary?
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Unread 12-23-2020, 06:30 PM   #9
dtrhilary
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Well, I'm a little embarrassed but I went with the Gorilla Glue and then grout. I started to research the Wedi sealant or Kerdifix or Sika and without a specific product to buy, I was easily overwhelmed. Ended up going to Lowes and there was pretty much only one choice for small fixes for grout, and then just went with gorilla glue to stick them in place. I just couldn't think about it anymore. I have to say I'm proud of my grout job, being the first time ever doing it. Here's the "after."

I checked the crawl before even getting started, and it was good. No evidence of leakage in the sub floor. And when I cleaned the shower floor, water pooled inside the 6 holes, so that was also a positive sign that it wasn't leaking. The existing glue between the mesh and the rocks came off really easy with just a sharp pick.

If it all comes apart in a week, I'll slink back for my punishment.
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Unread 12-23-2020, 08:56 PM   #10
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I have no idea what Gorilla Glue does in a wet environment such as that. I hope it works out well for you.
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Unread 12-23-2020, 10:00 PM   #11
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Being that we are not sure how well this will hold up, I think now would be a good time to continue that research project on the sealants, so you are ready if it fails.and please come back and let us know how well it is holding up.


I too have used hot glue to adhere a random loose tile. But I use a hot glue that will hold tackstrip to concrete for the purpose of stretching carpet not found at your arts and craft store
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