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Old 06-15-2018, 09:06 AM   #61
MolecularMan
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Yeah, they are using the same 12x24 tiles on the wall.

I went out and spent my own money to buy the small 1x1 mosaic style tiles for the floor. I wasn't going to let that one go.

I figured if I just went and bought them, they wouldn't have a problem using them, lol. At that time the builder was dead set on the idea that everything he did was right. So I just offered to buy the tile for the floor as a compromise.

Of course then I realized the issues went deeper and the whole thing needed to come out.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:11 AM   #62
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I see. When it comes to tile size, there are no rules, just recommendations. I've used large tiles on shower floors but it sure makes it difficult to install. Plus the added grout joints when using small tiles makes the floor less slippery.

Again, my main concern would be the curb at this point. There should be no nails or screws in the top or inside of the curb. Only the outside. And tiles can't be bonded directly to the gray liner you see now so they will have to prep it with something. Hopefully it will be with wire lath and cement.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:05 PM   #63
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I doubt these guys even know what lath or mud is. The picture of the finish mud on the floor kind looks like a piece of hardi on the inside of the curb. If it is screwed in your screwed. If it is glued on you are screwed.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:28 PM   #64
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How low did they fasten the hardibacker on the walls?

Did they add blocking between studs before installing the liner?

Can you see if they used the preformed corners at the ends of the curb? Or did they just cut and fold?
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #65
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Yeah, they screwed on hardi, then covered in aqua defense. They raised the curb by another 2x4, but I'm sure the screws aren't high enough. About 2 inches from the the floor tile. But at least it's got a topical membrane over, so it's got that going for it I guess.

They did do blocking before the liner and bed. The builder apparently watched a lot of Starr Tile on youtube and just tried to follow what he does (mostly)

I feel like I have to come in and just look over them every 2 minutes, but I just can't do that. I also feel like, because I ultimately don't have all the answers I've not pushed for things to be done other ways.


They are having a hard time installing the 1x1 tile. He was using the same large trowel for the big wall tiles. I mentioned it would make sense to use smaller trowel. Well, eventually he figured that out and took up all the tile, and scraped up all the mortar to restart with the smaller trowel.

I think he made 3 trips to Lowes (About 25 minutes away) for various things and supplies today

They spent a large part of the day trying to figure out how to tile the niche. Before, they just tiled right up to it, then slapped the bullnose over the bigger tile. I wanted them to just make it flush - which I guess was a mistake as it took forever for them to cut all the tiles around it and they still haven't actually put in the bullnose pieces.

So they were here from about 7 this morning to 7 this evening and the shower is about 70% done.

I really wish I would have pushed for him to just give us some money and hired an actual pro to come in and do it. It'd be done better with way less stress and aggravation.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:11 PM   #66
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John, these are the type of hacks that we compete against. Folks can't figure out why my prices are higher than theirs. At least now he has two different size notch trowels to choose from.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:12 AM   #67
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He watched a lot of Starr Tile...never something I want to hear when someone approaches an install. Tell your installer to check out Sal Diblasi if he would like to learn how to correctly install tile. Starr tile ranks right next to the diy videos
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:36 AM   #68
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John -

Even though they AquaD’ed the Hardibacker, the bigger concern is that screws down too low puncture the liner below the height of the curb and are an entry point for water.

And check the ends of the curb for the corner patches. They’ll look like this https://www.supplyhouse.com/Oatey-41...SABEgJvYPD_BwE.

A lot of leaks start at improperly constructed curbs, so if they didn’t use those corners and just cut and folded, that’s a problem.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #69
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John. Sorry to see you are having such issues. If they used hardi board on the inside or top of the curb and ran screws thru and into the liner I would make them remove the hardi,patch the liner and redo the correct way with metal lath and mud.If not it wil be when not if you have a failure.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:15 PM   #70
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Starr-freakin'-Tile.

He thinks grout sealer is all you need for a waterproof shower.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:32 PM   #71
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I've learned a few things from Starrtile, I have to admit. In particular, his teardown videos are helpful in understanding what to expect when you do that yourself. But I agree that some of his advice is just outright wrong. His disdain for preslopes is the main problem. He also seems to ridicule Schluter products as overpriced and overengineered (which I find silly).

The fact that a contractor is announcing to a customer that he watched Starrtile is not a good sign, though. Strikes me as utterly unprofessional.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:36 PM   #72
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Utterly unprofessional is the theme, lol. Though I think they learned some good things from watching him so what they have done now is much better than what was originally there - but still not totally right.


What really make me mad, about the whole house.. Initially the builder was really stand-offish and acted like nothing was wrong. He even told me "I didn't need to sell you this house, I could have put in on the market a week later and sold it" He acted like they really went through the house and were happy with what they were selling me.

Now I'm hearing about how he hired a different crew than normal and they had all sorts of issues with them and he had to go back last minute to try to fix stuff..etc.

It's just really odd all around. I'm not sure why he tried to build this house while all of his normal crew were doing other things. And why he has changed his tune now.


Back to the shower. Honestly, I am so stressed and frustrated with the process, I just want them to be done. I went back over the tile when they left, trying to even it out. I know the walls are done well enough, so eventually we might just pay to have someone come in and redo the floor.

Asking them to go in and do anything else at this point will just add way more time and way more chances for them to mess stuff up.

I did have a thought though. So you have the wood curb with the rubber membrane over it, then screwed in hardi then mesh tape and aqua defense on it. What if you then skimmed some mortar over that, then applied another thing of aqua defense? Obviously not the ideal solution, but I'd think it would be better than nothing yeah?

I know these days a lot of folks are doing the liner -> bed -> redguard whereas in the past people talked about a mold/moisture sandwich doing that.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:49 PM   #73
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John, having a PVC liner (is that what you mean by "rubber"?), only to have it pierced again by screws for backer board plus a coat of something with liquid membrane on top just doesn't sounds very practical nor durable. It might buy you an extra year or so before leakage will cause mold and rot again.

Did they really screw through the membrane again? Or are you kidding?
I am afraid "better than before but not totally right" will not cut it when water is concerned. Either it's watertight or not.

If so, you might just call it quits and get busy on your own shower project. Buy yourself some Kerdi and do it the right way. You already know where to find support and advice. We all get fooled. I certainly was when I bought this old house not realizing all the things my home inspector had overlooked. At least your mess is a few decades younger than mine.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:37 PM   #74
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I hope you have a second bathroom with a shower.
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