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Old 10-10-2018, 06:14 PM   #1
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Do Professional Tile Installers use Construction Adhesive for Floor Tiles?

So, my newly installed tile floor is being torn out. Looks like my tile guy used construction adhesive to lay some of my tiles. I'm posting pictures. Several pics are of a broken tile still attached to a section of backer board - it goes backer board, thinset, construction adhesive then tile on top of that. The other tile appears to have been attached directly to the backer board as you can see the Durock sticker still attached directly to the construction adhesive. So, is this normal or acceptable? By the way, this was not some cheap tile installer.......most expensive quote I received and told me he has been laying tile for 20 years.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:35 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the belly laugh. Of course you already know our answer; NO !

To properly install cement board (CBU) a layer of thinset is applied to the floor, then the CBU is placed, next comes securing the CBU with approved fasteners (not drywall screws)

Before the CBU is placed, the deflection of the substrate must be calculated to be assured it can support tile.

Additionally, the plywood must be up to snuff.

After demolition, let us know what you are looking at.

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Old 10-10-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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Not sure it's construction adhesive (might be a mastic, though), but one thing to seriously consider is that whatever was used, wasn't done to industry standards because of the coverage. On a floor, it calls for 100% of the edges and at least 80% coverage on the rest of the tile. On a larger format tile, that becomes harder to do, especially with a square notched trowel...it takes a lot of shuffling back and forth to collapse and spread out those notches to achieve that coverage along with a moderate amount of pressure (a larger format tile spreads out whatever pressure/weight you can apply making it harder to collapse those ridges). There are different types of trowels that can make that easier.

There are some mastics that conform to industry standards, but they tend to cost more than a good cement-based one, and most are not approved for use with a large format tile.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:50 PM   #4
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Hi Misty, welcome. You said the floor is new. What kind of problems were you having with the floor? Loose grout, cracked tiles?

Safe to say he's been doing it wrong for 20 years.

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Old 10-10-2018, 09:16 PM   #5
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Paul, Glad you got a good laugh . I'm sure I'll be able to laugh about it some day, but I'm not there yet . He did use thinset between the CBU (Durock) and the subfloor (Advantech). The area we're replacing has been torn out already. In fact, some tiles popped off in one whole piece and have absolutely no thinset stuck to the back!

Jim, Nope, you're right definitely not 80% coverage. Yes, our tiles are large format ..... 48" long. I have no idea exactly what he used, but definitely something squeezed out of a tube.

Davey, We had significant Lippage all over and the grout ended up light grey in most areas when it was supposed to be black. Also, his grout spacing was so inconsistent (1/8" here 1/4" there). I tried uploading some pics of the lippage, but they wouldn't load for some reason (invalid token?)
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:22 PM   #6
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Every once in a while something pops up here that makes us go "what in the ???!!!" . This is one of those times.

20 years you say? More like 20 minutes.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:57 PM   #7
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My guess is that he let the mortar dry too much before covering it with tile. When they were found to be loose, he simply stuck them to the dried mortar with construction adhesive.

That's just a theory, but it seems to fit what you've described and the pictures you've posted.

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