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Unread 01-01-2020, 09:49 AM   #1
McMom
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My contractor used mastic in my shower and we have some decisions to make

We had our master bathroom gutted and remodeled. The project took much longer than it should have, but overall seemed to be going well until we got to the floors.

We have 12 x 24 tiles on the main floor. He used Acrylpro on it, and we’ve had minor issues with one or two tiles not setting properly, so they aren’t holding the grout. But this is minor when we start talking about the shower and you know where I’m going with this.

He installed the KBRS shower pan (ready to tile) and apparently used the Acrylpro to adhere my sheets of mosaic tiles and 4 x 4 border tile. We also have 4 x 8 subway tile all the way up the shower walls and half way up the walls in the rest of the 5 x 14 bathroom. Acrylpro on everything!!!

After two weeks of using the shower, the sheets of mosaic tiles pulled right up. The mastic emulsified and looked and felt like toothpaste. I went to a tile retailer and they were the ones to point out he used Acrylpro and it clearly states on the back of the bucket to use it on small tiles and places with intermittent moisture.

So, rather than looking back with this contractor (he’s not coming back), we have some decisions to make.

Can the new tiler use thinset over the KBRS system (once mastic is removed)? Do we pull that out and some of the subway tiles are around the base and have it built the way most tilers do it?

For the most part, it’s not about money. We don’t mind spending it to get it right. But then the thought of ripping out floors and walls and the shower is very upsetting.

I just need to get grounded and make some wise decisions.

My first post. I apologize if I left out critical information. I have a lot of pictures of the project if that helps. Please let me know if I can provide more details.

Thanks in advance! Happy New Year!
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Unread 01-01-2020, 09:56 AM   #2
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Myself, I don't see a way to save anything. An attempt to do so will result in something quite questionable.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 09:56 AM   #3
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Unread 01-01-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:18 AM   #5
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I have had one person come out and look so far. He didn’t seem eager for me to tear out all of the shower. He mentioned pulling out the pan and a few rows of subway tiles at the bottom. He said I could be okay as long as we watched the grout lines and made sure they stayed sealed.

Clearly, I need more opinions and quotes. Sigh.

I understand anyone reputable would want to tear it out so they can warranty their work versus “fixing over” someone’s mistake.

This whole thing is heartbreaking.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:21 AM   #6
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Welcome, Dena.

Sad that folks out there charging large dinero to build showers can't even read the product manufacturer's installation instructions. Both the AcrylPro manufacturer and the KBRS manufacturer specifically tell you not to use organic adhesive (aka mastic, pre-mixed mortar, etc.) on those shower floors.

If you were doing the remedial work yourself, I'd say you might be able to salvage some of what you've got, but if you're going to hire this out again I gotta agree with Dave; tear it out and start over. That's very likely what your new contractor is gonna recommend, too. Not likely he'll want the liability of trying to patch up what you've got.

Is it possible to remove the mastic from the KBRS tray and re-use it? I honestly don't know as I've never used one of their newer products. I would be very, very reluctant to tile over what you'll be left with once all the tile is removed, though.

I would also be very skeptical of the treatment of that window in the shower. Those are notorious places for waterproofing failure in showers. I'd need more detail on just how that was handled in your case to comment further.

Is that a foam board of some sort on the shower walls?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:25 AM   #7
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Walls are stamped “hardiebacker” ? I’m not versed in this industry.

If you knew what we paid for this remodel, you would say we got ripped off. I’m trying not to focus on that aspect because it brings me to me knees and has me in tears. I just need it right.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:28 AM   #8
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From my understanding, he chose a shortcut to get it done quicker since we have been working on this six months (coworkers husband) and he wanted to get it finished. He even admitted as much.....but irrelevant at this point.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #9
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Dena,

You have my sympathies.

For me this is a complete tear out for two reasons; I don't know what is under there, I want to be able to warranty my work. That's the only way I can stand behind the product.

If you put your location in your User CP (linked in the blue bar above) maybe we can find you a Pro.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:52 AM   #10
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I see you have USG's Durock on the wall outside the shower, but I couldn't read what's inside the shower (old eyes). Sorry to hear that it's Hardiebacker, because that means you have one more problem in that the shower walls are not properly waterproofed. I'd need to retract my opinion that you might be able to salvage some of what you've got.

It's a damn shame that you're put into this situation, but other than tearing out what you've got and starting over, the only thing I can think of is trying to clean up that shower receptor after removing the rest of the floor tiles, installing new tiles with an appropriate mortar, and using the shower as is while you save up your dinero for a proper replacement.

With the coworker relationship being an issue, I don't know if you would want to consider small claims court to recover some of the expense of the replacement shower, but you would certainly have plenty of ammunition with which to do that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:54 AM   #11
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When you say tear out, do you mean the shower?

Would the walls be okay in the surrounding area? The picture I included shows the other side of the bathroom where our washer and dryer reside. But you can see the subway tiles go all the way around.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:56 AM   #12
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Will the hardiebacker need to come down too or can it be waterproofed?
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Unread 01-01-2020, 10:59 AM   #13
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It can be waterproofed, but how flat is it? Are the corners nice and plumb?


You see where I'm heading, right?

You might be able to save the tiles outside the shower if the ones that need removing can be removed without damaging the substrate. Dunno until we try to yank one off.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 11:03 AM   #14
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Welcome, Dena, so sorry to read of your remodeling debacle.

Unfortunately I just don't see how anyone will be able to effectively and thoroughly remove the mastic from the pan and the walls. That stuff doesn't just sit on the surface, it gets into the fibers and, as such, might well compromise the ability of mortar to adhere properly.

"Sealer" is, well, not actually sealer, it's more of a retarder. It is not water proof, though it will slow the migration of water into the grout. As such one cannot rely on it to prevent water from getting through the grout and into the mastic. Even the tiles themselves are not water proof, they will absorb some moisture, and some more than others. The stuff just isn't a viable long term solution for an area that will see copious amounts of water on a daily basis.

Though it might be viable to save some of the install that is outside of the shower, there will be a minor challenge at the junction where the tile set with mastic abuts the tile set with mortar; the mortar thickness will likely be more than is the mastic so the tiles set in mortar might end up out of plane from the tiles set in mastic. A skilled tile setter might be able to mitigate the difference.

Windows in a shower pose a challenge, for anyone. And given the proximity of your window to the shower head, it is going to see a lot of water. The water proofing needs to be spot on. Maybe a couple of photos of the window during and after construction will help is see what was done.
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Unread 01-01-2020, 11:27 AM   #15
McMom
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The house is 70 years old and had a window from the get go. However, there was a tub instead of a shower.

Not sure if these window pics help. I’ll see what I have during install. I added one of the current shower floor situation.

This is like a bad break up...when you know the answer, but don’t want to hear it!
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