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Unread 01-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
RobinR
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Ardex X77 Manufacture Date

Does anyone know how to decipher the manufacture dates? I'm a first timer and would love to get some tile on the wall today (Sunday) but I had to order in the X 77 from out of town and want to make sure it is fresh!

Codes on the bags are:

16019 490 x77 white 1546-75
16013 490 x77 white 1546-81

At first I thought that the 16019 might be Jan 6, 2019 .... but with the 13 in the same place as the 19 in the next bag I'm a little freaked out that maybe this was manufactured in 2016?! Hard to find Ardex in my area so I could be looking at stuff that has been in a warehouse for a long time.
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Unread 01-19-2020, 02:56 PM   #2
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Welcome, Robin.

I would recommend you contact Ardex through their Contact Us page.

I'm not familiar with their date coding.
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Unread 01-20-2020, 02:32 PM   #3
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Waited for Monday to get the info from Ardex. I don't know if this same code works for all products as I was specifically asking about X 77, but I bet it is the same. They have been producing product for 493 months. The three numbers that follow the first 5 numbers indicate the month it was made. Month 490 for them (my product) was October 2019. So January 2020 is 493.

So, weekend warriors, there you have it!
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Unread 01-20-2020, 03:14 PM   #4
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Definitely not the same manufacturer date numbering system used by other manufacturers, Robin.
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Unread 01-20-2020, 04:08 PM   #5
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Grout order for good corners? Tile/grout ... tile/grout?

First off - greenhorn here! I won't bore you with ALL of the horror stories, but the guy I hired to remodel the kid's bath was a master class in how to do everything really, really wrong. After seeing what he did to the floor - non-directional trowelling, lippage, tiles higher than the entrance material to the bathroom (there might be 5% coverage on the tiles I lifted) - I wasn't letting him back in the house. Saved me from having the "why is there a bucket of mastic in the garage" conversation with him!

I've been making slow but "perfect" progress on 3x9 subway tiles and the back wall of a tub surround is done. So, while I know this wouldn't make sense on a professional job where time is money (and skills are more abundant), would it make sense to grout the back wall BEFORE tiling the side walls? Basically, how hard is it to get full grout coverage in the corners withough getting grout in your expansion joint? I'm probably overthinking, but is there merit in the idea? Or, is pushing the grout into the corners not that big of a deal? My tile is handmade - 3/8" thick - so I will have a bit more to fill than the really thin subway tiles.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Unread 01-20-2020, 04:27 PM   #6
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Welcome, Robin.

First, if that tub surround includes a shower, we should probably go back a few steps to learn how your contractor prepared the surround for moisture contol, etc.

You could grout the back wall before setting the rest of the walls, but I can't imagine what benefit that would provide.

Grout coverage in the corners, in any case, is not a concern at all because you will not put any grout in the corners. The tile industry requirement is that you use a flexible sealant (caulk in the vernacular) in the tile surface at any changes in plane of the backing material. That would include your vertical corners in that tub surround.

In wet areas (again, if that's also a shower), the most common choice is a 100 percent silicone sealant in color and texture to match your grout.

This is where you're using the Ardex X77 you asked about earlier?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-20-2020, 05:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for weighing in and you were right to be suspicous of the underlayment. At first he was going to use cement board only and I was concerned and he said he would redguard it. I was concerned about him doing that right (he said one coat was fine) and so I started researching and bought Wedi as a "gift" as it seemed the easiest to install/get right without as much training and I knew my guy would be hesitant. Well - I knew he wouldn't spend time truing up my very non-plumb walls so I spent 4 hours one night shimming the wall true. I didn't nail/glue it down because I wanted to let him save face and just check my work. Anyway, the jerk ripped my shims down and installed the board unlevel. Oh ..... this is all AFTER his fantastic plumber installed my tub 3/4" out of level. My guy "fixed" it by shimming up one side so that it was 1/4" out the other way. When I demanded it be reset/installed correctly because it was acutally moving/creaking he looked at me like I had 9 heads and insisted the movement was because the wall boards weren't on and so there was just flex. There are more stories .... but I digress.

In any event, there is wedi for waterproofing it and enough sealant in the corners, etc. to make be comfortable. My tile store gave me Mapei ultralite pro to build up a little to as I was trying to fix some of the issues. I know that is the wrong thing to do - I didn't do more than 1/4" but I made it better. Anyway, I am SLOW and am switching to Ardex 77 for the extended open time. I know I don't need a non-sag for this type of tile, but as I am slow and messy it does let me go back right away to clean thinset out of joints, etc.

Back to the corner question. Yes, I am definitely not grouting the corners (will use silicone) but I was wondering about getting good grout coverage up to/behind where the caulk will go. I guess I'm thinking most about the horizontal grout lines where there is no tile but the caulk has to adhere to the grout. I can imagine that is is easy for that area to be less filled and so be a bit recessed when you really need it to be very full to keep a straight caulk line. I'm not sure I'm explaining that well. My goal is to have as small/tidy of a caulk line as possible and so was just looking for the "side grout" it hits to be full. I was thinking if I did the back wall before tiling the side walls, I would be able to grout "straight on" and would know that the grout was pushed all the way in/full/supported.

Does that make sense or is it just crazy overkill?
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Unread 01-20-2020, 06:23 PM   #8
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Both. Your explanation does make some sense, but it's overkill in the respect that it's not necessary and won't really help. If you'll just grout when you're finished tiling and mix your grout to the correct consistency (I'm presuming a cementitious grout), you should be able to fill those joints adequately. You may well grout beyond the ends of your horizontal joints a bit, but if you let the grout set up for an hour or so you should find that it's easy enough to just square off those ends using your margin trowel or similar.

That's a difficult joint to properly finish with a flexible sealant if you've stopped both walls such that just their outside edges are forming the joint, but you'll do as everyone else has to do - the best you can. This is what a properly executed caulk joint looks like:

Name:  Caulking Bead.jpg
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Even if you get really skilled at doing that sorta joint, it won't help you much at all with a joint such as you'll have in that corner as described above. You'll likely end up with too much sealant in the corner and it's difficult to get the sealant bonded to the tile edges in there, but you give it your best shot and make it look good. Fortunately, the sealant/caulking is entirely aesthetic and whatever you do will be OK. You could even leave the joint open forever and it wouldn't affect the operation or use of your shower, but the joint would likely get really nasty inside after a couple years of soap and shampoo and body oil and (insert name of stuff you use in your shower).

If your corner joint has one tile all the way nearly to the wall and the other tile one grout joint width from abutting it, you can make a joint more closely like the "optimal" joint in my photo, albeit without a backer rod. Try not to have your sealant all the way in to where it's bonded to the back wall of your joint.

I am concerned with your shower's waterproofing, but I'll leave that up to you if you're content with it. Can you tell us, though, how the joint between the Wedi wallboard and the tub was handled?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 01-20-2020 at 06:48 PM. Reason: typo
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Unread 01-21-2020, 06:57 AM   #9
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Robin, we've gone ahead and merged your two threads since they concern the same project, doing so really helps all the contributors see what questions have been asked and answered, the big picture. Please let us know if you'd like the thread renamed to something more generic.
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Unread 01-21-2020, 06:29 PM   #10
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CX,

Thanks for such a thorough response. I think my tile is installed in a way that will get me closer to the ideal caulk joint. The "back wall" tile extends close to the edges (1/8" from the corner) and the side/fixture wall tiles will butt up to those with an expansion gap. Since the tile is 3/8" thick plus apprx 1/8" thinset, I'd have to really force it in to get all the way to the corner! The thickness of the tile and getting enough grout back in there to serve as a "side" for the the caulk was my concern. Dumb, but I guess I was thinking that this was giving me water protection. You are right which does give me a bit of peace.

As to the Wedi/tub join, I found a Youtube video and sent it to him. I got 1/4" lathe-type spacers to build up the back wall studs which allowed the Wedi to come down over the flange to the tub (I think affixed with sealant - my memory fails). Wow, this was only a couple of months ago but now I honestly can't remember if the side walls were notched a bit on the back or if they came down flush on the flanges - it was done per the demo instructions with sealant. There is quite a bit more visible sealant on the side walls than the back wall (per the video). I got the wedi corner tool, everything was covered with sealant. While I watched lots and lots of videos and searched this forum for preferences, I was still trying to work with this guy but had been getting concerned. Wedi seemed the most foolproof for a non-trained person who was working with foam board for the first time. After seeing the lack of care in his drywall joins in other areas, I definitely think what I have is much better than if he had done cement board and 1 coat of redguard. The tear out revealed actual drywall (!!!!) so anything is an improvement.

I know the answer to this of course (caulk) .... but .... one of the exact corners I will be doing is on the second floor, right above my kitchen. We renovated it 10+ years ago and the vertical corner was grouted (silicone to the counter). This was done before I knew to question/ask/understand!
Happily there hasn't been any cracking or other problems. Our house was built in 1985. So ..... would you gamble that most of the settling has been done and gamble on grouting the vertical corners while still siliconing the tub, or, deal with the looks and do the right thing?

Thanks again for all of your time and help!
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Unread 01-21-2020, 06:54 PM   #11
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Robin, 100 percent silicone sealant is available that will look almost exactly like your grout. Check out the ColorSil caulks at ColorRite. Available in satin or sanded finish also and they'll match any manufacturer's grout. Just give them the specifics. I've been impressed with their products.

Would I grout the vertical corners of a shower? If I had framed and built the shower, likely yes. Have done so for years. But that's in opposition to the ceramic tile industry standards and recommendations. And yes, sometimes my shower tile joints crack. Usually just a hairline crack that my customers have been told to expect. Back in the day of nothing but clear, shiny, silicone caulk, they'd usually prefer the hairline crack, which has nothing at all to do with the function of their shower.

Is your house done moving because it's old? Nope. Moves a bit in one place or another with every change in seasons, at least. Enough to affect your shower installation? Maybe. Enough to bother with movement accommodation in your tile installations? Depends upon your risk tolerance, I suppose. But I can assure you those tiled walls move a tiny bit with every hot shower taken. If you'll add a geographic location to your User Profile, I might even raise that to a guarantee.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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