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Unread 09-02-2008, 11:52 AM   #1
Rutili
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help. Tiles falling off

Good Afternoon,

I am currently tiling a steam shower.

I am tiling on Kerdi. I am setting 12 X 24 inch tiles on the walls. I have created a dedecorative strip in the middle of wall, using 3inch by 12 inch tiles that I ripped from the 12 X 24's.

I set the 3 x 12 strip. Then proceeded to the next course above it of 12 X 24's. To set the tiles I have been using a rubber mallat. When pounding on the 12 X 24 tiles to set them some of the 3X12's fell off the wall.

- there was full coverage behing the tile
- when the tile fell off it was clean - no thinset on it
- the thinset was hard as a rock, still on the wall adhered to the kerdi and had the pattarn of the back of the tile on it.

Note: I am using versibond (I have the john brige kerdi book)


1) Does anyone know why this would happen?
2) How do I make sure the rest of the tiles are secure and will not fall off?

Thanks you very much
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:04 PM   #2
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Were the 3x12's wet when you set them? Or did you dry them off after cutting on the saw?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:08 PM   #3
Splinter
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That really sounds like the thinset sat on the wall too long before you set those tiles... You should be pulling tiles off occasionally as you go just to make sure there's complete coverage on both the wall and tile. It would probably be a smart idea to skimcoat the backs of those tile just before installing each one to be sure you get a good bond.

Geez Mike, ,4 minutes? Do I type that slow?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
Rutili
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Yes.

The tiles were dry. As I cut them all at one time and set them 1 week later.

Additionally, I buttered the back, of each tile.

Thanks,

Joe
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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Joe, I think Alex might be onto something. Generally speaking, how much time transpired between combing the mortar onto the wall and setting those tiles?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:35 PM   #6
Rutili
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Mike,

I did not comb the mortare on the wall. I combed it on the tile.

Joe
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Unread 09-02-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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OK, different question.

Generally speaking, how much time transpired between combing the mortar onto the tile backs and setting them in place?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
Rutili
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Mike,

Thank you for your patience.

I would say 30 seconds between combing the mortare on the tile and then setting the tile on the wall.

the thing is the mortare stayed on the wall and not on the tile.

Joe
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Unread 09-02-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
Saldibs
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Was there dust on the back of the tiles.
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Unread 09-02-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
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How long from when you mixed the versabond to when you set the tile on the wall?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 02:49 PM   #11
ceramictec
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you guys all asked everything I could think of.

wet tile after cut, thinset skinning over & dust on the tile after cutting.

how about possible wall movement?

either your beating the hell out of them too hard with the mallet or not hard enough.

I never use a mallet on wall tile. I spread the thinset, place the tile and slide back and forth to get good contact/coverage and to work flush with adjoining tile.
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Unread 09-02-2008, 02:57 PM   #12
Rutili
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Thank you everyone for the feed back.

Dave, I do not know how fresh the thinset was.

? when do stp using the thinset? Is there a point when the thinset sitting in the bucket is garbage?
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Unread 09-02-2008, 02:59 PM   #13
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Hi Joe. Just wanted to say, hang in there with us. You're doing a good job so far.

There really is a method to our madness (questions) here. If the backs were wet; If the mortar was allowed to dry out/skim over before being set; If the backs were dirty; If the VersaBond was mixed hours before being used, i.e., beyond useful pot-life; All those things could have contributed to a bond failure which is exactly what you have described.
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Unread 09-02-2008, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Is there a point when the thinset sitting in the bucket is garbage?
Yes, Joe. VersaBond has an advertised pot-life of 4 hours, assuming it's mixed properly. In reality, during summer months, it's probably less than that.

If the mortar began to stiffen up on you AND (this is important now) you added more water to thin it out (called re-tempering) that very act will kill it. But you didn't do that...
.
.
did you!?

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Unread 09-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #15
Rutili
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Mike,

It is possible that I may have engaged in this so called tempering. All of the effected tiles were set on the same day.

1) How would you recommend I identify any other effected tiles?
2) What exactly do you mean by "killed it" will any and all tiles set with tempered thinset fail.

Thanks

Joe
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