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Unread 06-15-2021, 03:06 PM   #16
RichVT
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It would probably be a good idea to check the framing by putting a long straight edge across the studs to see if they are all in the same plane. A straight board will work fine.

If you find anything out of whack, you can point it out to the new guys. They may assume that the other guy took care of any issues. They should check all work done before them to make sure it is satisfactory before they proceed but you never know.
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Unread 06-15-2021, 04:03 PM   #17
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Ben, I've combined your new thread on the project with the original so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. Any moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

The removal of those fasteners should have been part of the demolition effort, but that's an in-house problem on the part of your contractor. The lack of effort or attention to detail in the demolition certainly does not give me a lot of confidence in the do-over, but someone from their side will need to remove all the screws before proceeding with the new shower.

I would suggest you tell them you want something other than Hardiebacker as your wallboard for the reason Davy points out among others. And this is also the time for the walls to be plumbed and flattened as has been suggested.

Clearly you're gonna need to keep a close eye on their work. Shouldn't be necessary, but you have already seen their idea of a completed job.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-16-2021, 05:50 PM   #18
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Thank you for that, CX! If I can suggest a new title, perhaps: "My Home Repair Company Nightmare"?

Thank you once again for all your responses. I agree that they should have removed the screws from the wood. Further, when they broke everything down, little handfuls of dried mortar pebbles (is it just called concrete at that point?) fell into pockets of the insulation that they didn't notice. If y'all are curious I can post more pictures but in short, it's a bit of a mess in there.

However, I they were visibly spooked—and I have a feeling the boss lit a fire under them. I wouldn't be surprised if he walked back out to their truck and said something to the effect of "You guys need to get in there and rip all that stuff out ASAP and then get outta here." They just had a normal pickup truck, and after the demo, there was way too much stuff to fit in there (bags and bags of broken tiles, drywall, the tub, all their tools) but they just piled it on and tied it down to avoid having to come back and make a second trip. They pulled away at about 5 mph. They even left some of their tools behind but never came back (I'll pass them along to the next guy). You'd have thought they were a lifeboat paddling away from a capsizing Titanic.

The truth is, though, those two guys were intelligent and obviously knew a thing or two about tiling (they also did a bunch of other stuff, like siding repair, some window replacement, etc., that was truly excellent) but just not ready to take the lead and do it themselves (It was admittedly hard to have that perspective a couple days ago when I thought I'd be stuck with an $8,000 macaroni-art shower). They had all the right ingredients, and they did things in the right order and knew what everything was supposed to look like, but they didn't have enough experience with the recipe. It was one of those classic "nailed it!" moments where you see a masterful cake next to the half-baked DIY version.

Case in point, I can confirm that the new studs are straight and totally level, so no worries there, but they put up half-inch-thick Fibrerock directly adjacent to quarter-inch-thick HardieBacker, and the mortar they applied over the (non-alkali-resistant) FibaTape was only about 4 inches wide and applied heavier on the thicker board. This reeeeeally accentuated the difference in thickness between the two boards, and made it so that the tiles closest to the top stuck out almost a full half-inch from the lower tiles. They were in such a rush that some of the RedGard even mixed with the mortar because they didn't let it dry first.

So yeah, I've gone out to our garage and taken stock of all the supplies out there, and I'm going to read all the technical manuals and watch their instructional videos, and I'm going to watch this new guy like a hawk to make sure he does everything by the book. My hope is that I don't have to say anything, though. I've attached some pictures form their Instagram of what I think are great looking jobs, so hopefully they send out the guy who did this stuff.
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Unread 07-08-2021, 03:49 PM   #19
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Exclamation

Hello, everyone. Okay, so the construction company came back earlier this week to start the bathroom re-do. I was pretty excited after the first day, but now, halfway through the third day, I'm starting to get nervous again.

So far, they've re-done the plumbing (I pulled a permit for it, so the city guy came out yesterday and gave that the thumbs up), installed a shower pan, and today, they have installed most of the Hardiebacker. But... the Hardiebacker sheets are right up against each other, there's no mesh tape (alkali-resistant or otherwise), and the seams have been filled with caulk.

The manufacturer says Hardiebacker should have a little bit of a gap between boards (apparently it's a structural integrity issue), and that they should always be joined with mesh tape and thinset.

So here's the thing. I want this done right, but I DON'T want to fight with them and be a bad customer if I don't have to. Even though this isn't what the manufacturer says to do, will it be a problem?

Couple notes:

1. They are going to be coating the Hardiebacker in RedGard. I have a feeling they're only going to apply one coat. Is it still effective if they ignore the manufacturer directive to apply two coats?

2. We're going to have subway tiles installed—you know, offset? Does this matter? I've seen elsewhere on this board that when people neglect to use the mesh tape, that's always where breaks occur, but will the offset pattern make that less likely?
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Unread 07-08-2021, 05:13 PM   #20
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Ben, if they don't follow the product manufacturer's installation instructions the installation doesn't even meet building code, which is the very lowest standard in residential construction.

And the proper treatment of the CBU seams is especially critical in those places we see where the small pieces span only two studs. It's not done correctly. You're paying for it to be done correctly.

1. The RedGard needs to be installed per the RedGard instructions. The instructions are readily available online. For waterproofing it always requires at least two coats, properly applied.

2. Makes absolutely no difference.

I would suggest you get hold of the guy who made them tear out the first installation and suggest to him that he's looking at having them do that again if they don't start doing things correctly.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-08-2021, 05:18 PM   #21
benHaskett
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I e-mailed the project manager and told him about the above. He said:

"Hi, sounds good yes we will do that before laying the tiles and tomorrow we’re having an inspection just wanted to let you know."

My response:

"Hi ***, thank you for the quick response, but I don't understand. If the seams have already been filled with caulk, how can they be filled later with mortar and fiber tape?"

His response:

"Yes we always do that because mortar can crack later but that caulking underneath it will prevent it from water leaking in thru the crack so it’s even better to do it this way."
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Unread 07-08-2021, 05:29 PM   #22
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You need to throw the BS card on that, Ben.
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Unread 07-08-2021, 05:39 PM   #23
makethatkerdistick
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That sealant smear might also act as a bond breaker for the Redgard. Not good at all.
Also, they scabbed a lot of small backer board pieces together. Seems to me they could have avoided that, had they been willing to prepare more thoroughly.

Redgard on Hardiebackers needs a primer coat of diluted Redgard/water mix. Otherwise, it will dry prematurely and compromise the bond for sure. That is in addition to two full coats of regular Redgard. Your outfit does not like that because it costs extra time. Hardiebackers are a difficult substrate to work with because they suck moisture up so readily.
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