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Unread 04-19-2021, 04:07 PM   #1
Karl Bausch
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Ghosts in my glass shower tile

A few years ago I refinished the master including this glass tile throughout the shower and tub area. A few weeks later I noticed this “ghosting” coming through the back of the tiles located near the lower part of the shower. I used a waterproof backer board and a Mapei tile adhesive and of course, I sealed the grout. Did I use the wrong mastic? Maybe I didn’t completely butter the backs of the tiles that are now showing the fogging? I don’t think it’s moisture since I have let it sit for up to two weeks ( I live in a very dry climate in Colorado) and it doesn’t go away. In fact it’s only gotten worse. I’m gonna have to tear out part of the tile and backer and don’t want to make the same mistake again! Any ideas as to what caused this? I’ve read it may be the adhesive eating through the white finish the maker of the glass tile puts on the back of the tile, but as I said, most of the tile looks great. Thanks.
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Unread 04-19-2021, 04:09 PM   #2
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Did you mix the “adhesive” or buy a tub of something?
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Unread 04-19-2021, 04:16 PM   #3
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Welcome, Karl.

If you don't add that geographic location to your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

Can you tell us very specifically what tile you used, what tile, what "waterproof backer board," what "adhesive," and what grout you used? Brand name, make and model.
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Unread 04-20-2021, 03:17 PM   #4
Karl Bausch
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Thanks, I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the backer and tile brand labels. The tile brand is called “PURE” and I’ve included front and back pieces. The back piece is grey and the front is Smokey clear.

As far as the adhesive, I’m pretty sure it was mapei type 1, pre mixed in a tub.
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Unread 04-20-2021, 04:07 PM   #5
Mathman
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I will let the pros chime in on options, but I don't think the buckets of mastic are meant for shower walls. Most advice is to use it for kitchen backsplashes. And I am pretty sure glass requires some special considerations.
Hope you get some useful answers.
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Unread 04-20-2021, 04:25 PM   #6
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mastic IS NOT made for wet environments. your pics show the lower area of shower,which coincides with where most of the water will be,in a shower. Delamination/voids seem to be evident,within adjacent tiles,lower area. think your answer lies within what you used as an adhesive,not the backing substrate.
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Unread 04-20-2021, 05:42 PM   #7
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Have to disagree with Kirk and Rich here. According to ANSI A136.1, Type 1 organic adhesive is indicated for use in intermittent water environments, including tub and shower walls.

But if you'll read MAPEI's online TDS it clearly says not to use the product over waterproofing membranes (I think your DensShield would be close enough to qualify) and specifically says not to use it with glass tile.

Without any further evaluation, I'd hafta conclude the use of that product to bond the tiles in your application is the likely cause of your failure. It would require some demolition of course to verify that, but the product was clearly used in a manner not recommended by the manufacturer.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-20-2021, 06:05 PM   #8
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Hey there Karl!
Sorry to hear of the troubles you're having in that shower.

CX is on the right track here. While Type 1 (and all similar mastics) can be used in intermittent wet environments (like shower walls), it cannot be installed over a nonporous substrate. Also, this particular adhesive is not suitable to install glass with.

Unfortunately you have a couple things working against you here, of a nonporous tile installed over a nonporous surface, with nowhere for the adhesive to dry out but through the grout joints.

If you want to reach out to our friendly product support team, they can help get you steered in the right direction moving forward!
1-800-992-6273
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Unread 04-21-2021, 01:07 PM   #9
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I will call. Thanks for the input,all! I’m prepared to do the required demo to fix the issue - just don’t want to face the same issue again. Fortunately the rest of the bathroom looks great; just gotta get this part cleaned up!
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Unread 04-21-2021, 01:09 PM   #10
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Unread 04-21-2021, 03:36 PM   #11
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Confirmed: wrong backer board and the wrong adhesive/thinset. Will be replacing lower section using a cement backer board and a high polymer liquid-mixed thinset made specifically mosaic and glass tile. The tech support for Mapei was super helpful. Thanks all!
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