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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:20 PM   #1
ChicagoGuy
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Kerdi Band Didn't Embed?

Hi guys!

Been browsing this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting.

I just my alcove tub and shower, pretty basic, it's 3x6 white ceramic subway tile. I have a single tile that's loose on the course that meets the deck of the tub. I peeled the tile off, and the kerdi band under it is loose. I gently made a vertical cut in the band with my knife and the little bit of thinset under it is damp and sticky. I installed the band the Wed before Labor Day, and ran the course of tile that I am referring to now on Sunday evening. So I think there would have been enough time for the thinset to cure. No other tiles are loose, everything else seems rigid and firm.

My theory is that the band didn't embed correctly, hence the loose tile. My plan right now is to let it sit for 24 hours and come back and see what has happened (has the thinset dried out, etc). I am thinking about putting a new piece of kerdi on top of the failed band, with fresh thinset, letting that sit 24 hours and then setting a new tile in there.

Just wondering what feedback/ideas/experiences you guys have had with this sort of thing? I am open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks!
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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:34 PM   #2
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what thinset did you use? Modified or unmodified?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:43 PM   #3
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I used premixed unmodified thinset, from Home Depot.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:50 PM   #4
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Did it come out of a plastic tub or a bag that you had to mix?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:51 PM   #5
jadnashua
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Quote:
I used premixed unmodified thinset, from Home Depot.
What messes lots of people up is the word thinset. Thinset is a METHOD, and does not indicate a specific type of the material. While what you used, used the thinset METHOD of applying things, it is NOT the type of thinset that Schluter REQUIRES for installing Kerdi. What you must use is a cement based thinset, and that cannot come premixed. Curing of cement is a chemical process...what you have is better referred to as a mastic, and if you think about it, the stuff stays pliable for maybe a year or so in the bucket it comes with. Cement will start to cure as soon as you add the water.

So, you've got a problem. I'll leave it to others, but your whole installation is at risk. The rest of the tile may pop off if you try. You might actually be able to wash off the Kerdi and the walls and start over, but the grout could be a pain as that probably did either set or cure, depending on the type used.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 12:52 PM   #6
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It came out of the plastic tub
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Unread 09-25-2020, 02:14 PM   #7
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Jim, thanks for the feedback. I'm not going to rip out all the tile and start over.

I'm really just wondering if anyone on this forum has experienced something like this and has any feedback or suggestions.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #8
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Welcome, Kevin.

1. What bonding mortar did you use to install the Kerdi?

2. Over what substrate?

3. How large an area of tile did you install with that organic adhesive?
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Unread 09-25-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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Hi CX

1. I used Custom Building Products SimpleSet Gray 1 Gal. Premixed Thin-Set Mortar. I can't seem to put links in here so I attached a screenshot of the product.
2. Kerdi band was put on top of kerdi board
3. The alcove I tiled measures 30"x60"x30" and is about seven feet high.

I also attached a picture of the area I tiled - please don't laugh at my amateur tiling skills!
Attached Images
  
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Unread 09-25-2020, 05:14 PM   #10
jadnashua
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The reason the mastic you bought stays pliable in the bucket is that it doesn't dry out with the cover on it. The Kerdiband and Kerdiboard are waterproof materials. The tile, if it's porcelain, absorbs almost no water, thus, it's about the same thing as sitting in the bucket...IOW, it can't dry out.

Then, you have the functionality of how and why Kerdi works and bonds things. It is designed to have the semi-fluid cement based thinset literally flow around the fleece, then, as it cures (note, not dries), it solidifies, locked around the fibers in the membrane.

I think since you have Kerdiboard, that you MIGHT just remove that bottom row of tile, the kerdiband behind it, clean off the mastic, and put things back with a cement based thinset that is what is called for in the instructions. It also wants the bottom edge of the Kerdiband to be sealed to the tub with either KerdiFix, or 100% silicone caulk. The tile on the Kerdiboard will not be well adhered, but MIGHT eventually dry out enough to stabilize. But, I'd bet that they would peel off, you could wash off the mastic, and put it back together with a thinset meeting A118.1 that is called for in the instructions. Note, they also require that you use a premium version of thinset meeting that spec. The cheap ones are mostly sand with a little cement in them. You want a premium one that will have more cement, finer sand and aggregates, and thus, will spread and flow better to embed the Kerdiband.

If you used mastic to seal the seams in the KerdiBoard and the screws, those areas are NOT waterproof, but that isn't as big a deal on a wall. On a floor of a shower, it would be catastrophic. On a wall, most of the moisture flows down without penetrating. The areas right at the base of the wall tend to see more moisture, and it can wick up from the tub, and that's probably why you noticed that tile becoming loose. In reality, it never probably bonded really well. A mastic can resoften if it sees enough moisture.

If you want it right, you need to remove the tile, which, you can probably reuse, band all of the places that need it, then reinstall the tile with a proper adhesive per the instructions.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 05:55 PM   #11
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One other problem you're likely to see over time is mold growth on the lower part of the shower. With a proper Kerdi installation, water either exits through the grout joints, or runs down and drains into the tub.

Yours will do neither because the mastic will not allow it, and the mastic will stay wet for a very long time, if it ever dries out. But it will promote mold growth, and you won't be able to stop it.

It's your shower and your call to do as you wish, but I think the pros here will straight up tell you what they would do, and that's start over with the proper materials.

Good luck.
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Unread 09-25-2020, 07:50 PM   #12
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Ah man, that hurts. Chalk it up to practice and you’ll have a quicker go at it second time around. Baffles me as to why they still stock/sell that junk, has virtually no business at all in a tile assembly.
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