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Unread 08-12-2003, 06:27 AM   #1
OnAMission
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Greenboard in 20+ year old installations

Just curious here ... I'm under the impression that it is expected that a greenboard installation in a wet area will generally cause problems within years. With the low level quality of workmanship I have observed throughout my present home, I am definitely not too thrilled about trusting any greenboard at this point.

But ...

Our prior home was built in 1980 ... tub shower combos w/greenboard behind the tiles. As far as we know we never had a moisture problem with it. Was there something different about how they installed the tiles 20+ years ago that 'saved' us? Or were we just blind to any damage because tiles weren't falling off the walls and water wasn't leaking anywhere we could see it.

Does this mean that someone who does a 'good' tile installation ... and homeowners who are vigilant about maintaining the grouting/caulking and wiping the walls down could still have a successful experience with greenboard?

Now ... don't start throwing things at me ... I'm just askin' since so many of us do have at least partial greenboard, if not full greenboard in our new homes, in spite of the standards that recommend otherwise.
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Unread 08-12-2003, 06:51 AM   #2
tileguytodd
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Hi Cathy, you are correct. A good installation on greenboard requires vigilant mainteance of all grout and caulking and maintenance done immediatly.If these steps are followed,religiosly,you may have a serviceable shower with greenboard for quite sometime.Why do we and the tile industry in general not reccomend it?? Because this maintenance doesnt take place ,thats why.I am not sure what the percentages are, but i am sure 9 of 10 showers with greenboard could have lasted longer with proper maintenance.The Cement board is to keep your installation from dying prematurely because maintenance wasnt dealt with immediatly.
Seal your tile and grout with a good quality sealer,and replace your caulking as needed(ussually every 2-3 years) This will help to keep your shower serviceable for many many years
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Unread 08-12-2003, 07:00 AM   #3
OnAMission
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Todd,

When you say to seal the tile ... does that include all tile? We have the plain vanilla white glazed ceramic tiles. I understand sealing the grout ... but ... you also seal those tiles with that high gloss, shiney glaze as well???
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Unread 08-12-2003, 10:02 AM   #4
Scooter
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You seal it all. Its just the grout that is porous enough to absorb it.
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Unread 08-12-2003, 10:42 AM   #5
OnAMission
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OK ... so what do I clean the grout with before I seal it?

After two months of daily showering, my kids showers do have some staining on some of the grout. The tiles seem to be residue free ... but I haven't cleaned them with anything other than a one time application of Tilex and washing with a rag (before getting out of the shower.) If the tiles 'feel clean' ... are they ready for sealing ... or does they need a little more work first?
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Unread 08-12-2003, 06:13 PM   #6
John Bridge
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Clean the tiles and grout with Tile Your World Heavy Duty Cleaner/Stripper. Allow it to dry out a couple days and then seal with TYW Stone Armor, tile and grout. Standard wall tiles, depending on the glaze, can and do absorb moisture through the surface. Wiping over with the sealer never hurts. Just make sure you don't leave any sealer on the surface. Wipe it clean before it dries.

For routine maintenance of showers and any other surface that can be cleaned with water, including floors and countertops, use TYW pH Neutral Cleaner.

For any type of shower, follow the daily wipe-down regimen, and you'll be way out in front both in furthering the longevity of the shower and in keeping it sparkling clean. If John Bridge, who is a general slob, can do it, everybody can do it.
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Unread 08-12-2003, 08:45 PM   #7
tileguytodd
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Actually Cathy, Johns being Modest.He's a 3 Star General
Looks like youve got the exact answer i would have given had i not been called away. Just remember to always keep an eye on that caulking oK
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Unread 08-12-2003, 08:57 PM   #8
OnAMission
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OK John ... I'm pondering here. I have a budget ya know ... new house ... no blinds ... and I have miles and miles of FLOOR tile to clean and seal as well. Do ya suppose it's all so dirty already that I need the heavy duty stuff ... or could I get by with starting with the regular cleaner and see if it does what it needs to before sealing? Not a good idea at all???

Todd ... I'm watching ... I'm watching. I even practiced caulking today. My DH always regrouted everything before, as we never had any caulk at all in our prior shower/tubs. But ... after all the hassle of getting the old house ready to sell ... and all the garbage that goes on with a new house that you end up fixing and repairing 'cause 'someone' didn't do it right the first time ... he's kinda burned out. So *I* ... who has more patience than he ... get to become the caulking expert around here. Of course, it took me a WHOLE LOT longer to clean those tiles up the way I wanted them before I took just a few minutes making almost as big a mess of smearing the caulk as far beyond the joint as the original person did. Of course, if I had taken the time to FIND the masking tape ... I might have been more successful.

I'm starting over tomorrow!
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Unread 08-13-2003, 05:20 PM   #9
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You asked about the shower, and I responded with heavy-duty cleaner because it's formulated to remove soap scum and other build-up that the neutral cleaner won't handle.

On the floors, ph Neutral Cleaner will make water more efficient. That's what it does. That's how we can get away will calling it "rinse free." It is. There is no soap.

So if your floors only have routine dirt and grime on them, use the pH neutral cleaner. If, on the other hand, you've allowed a considerable build-up of grime to accumulate (I know you wouldn't do that), get yourself a bottle of heavy-duty.

There is one thing I should add here. I realize I've sounded like a soap salesman in this thread, but that is not our thrust on these forums. Our mission truly is to help all you folks as much as we can. If there are better products for your cleaning needs, we will always tell you. It just happens there are no better products than ours.
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Unread 08-13-2003, 05:31 PM   #10
tileguytodd
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Ditto on the best Products.I use them and I am making sure my custumers do also
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Unread 08-13-2003, 05:52 PM   #11
OnAMission
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I understand John ... and I appreciate your recommendations. I have been avoiding buying any kind of 'special' products because I just didn't know what to use. Too many choices on the shelves that I just don't know that much about. Not too concerned about the old fashioned 6x6" white glazed tiles in the showers ... but these 12x12 floor tiles are foreign to me.

I don't even know exactly what kind of floor tile I have. All I know is that the irregular surface and edges HURT MY FEET! I thought it would have been referred to as ceramic ... but I'd swear that I saw some similar samples in the sales office labeled 'porcelain.' I don't know the difference ... but think I need to know what's here ... 'cause I need some spares ... don't ya think?

Anyway ... I'll order some stuff as soon as I recover from my kids' first days back in school. That celebrating wears you out! Then I guess, since according to them ... all I do is sit around all day ... I should have plenty of time to do this stuff ... huh?

Cathy
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Unread 08-14-2003, 05:58 AM   #12
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There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about porcelain tiles. They are, in fact, one type of "ceramic tile." There are several other types. Ceramic tile is a catch-all term that covers everything except burnt clay products (bricks, etc.) and terracotta pavers.
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