New shower tiling job cracking. Advice please?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-22-16, 08:53 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
New shower tiling job cracking. Advice please?

We've had nothing but problems with our new bath remodel contractor... recommended by a friend who just had this guy do their bath. The friend is a lawyer so I keep hoping he'll have issues also and I'll hop on his suit of this guy : )

We wound up throwing the guy out before finishing (it was 99% done / come back to fix things they screwed up).

Anyway, see this picture of the horizontal floor / wall grout. This is about 3 months after install. Can I just silicone caulk over that? should they have done that?

They did silicone cauik the vertical edges where wall touches wall. Should the horizontal lines (where floor touches wall) also be cauked?

We notice the next day after showers that there's a few random places where the grout is dark. We gave the guy bottles of a grout sealer add in? that gets used instead of water. Not sure but would like to think that they actually used it when mixing the grout.

Help me understand this - grout is porous? water will get through it? Then into the 'mud' and down to the rubber pan routinely? from a typical shower woudl you expect a cup? ounce? gallon of water that works through the floor to the rubber pan and hopefully into the weep holes in the drain?

Why not something like a silicone caulk instead of grout?slather it on, let it gel then run a wide scraper / razor blade to take it off the tops of the tiles / that woudl cut the grout lines to the same height as the tiles?

Name:  2016-08-21 16.00.01.jpg
Views: 331
Size:  22.5 KBName:  Crack.jpg
Views: 339
Size:  30.8 KB
 
  #2  
Old 08-22-16, 09:01 AM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,605
Received 97 Votes on 85 Posts
The areas where the plane changes, like floor to wall, should be caulked and not grouted.

Can you supply specific product names which were used?
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-16, 09:20 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
stickshift - thanks. That he only caulked vertical lines - does that say anything about the quality of the work?

We used Mapai Keracolor S sanded and unsanded grout (not sure where the sanded vs. unsanded were used). And the additive is Miracle Sealants grout shield Grout Additive : Miracle Grout Shield New & Improved

I've posted other questions here and I could have sworn someone said caulk vertical only? (although your answer makes more sense).

Can you caulk over grout? or do I have to get the grout out? By hand with small chisel? Motorized tool?

How much would you think a quaility tile guy would charge to do it right?
 
  #4  
Old 08-22-16, 09:25 AM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,605
Received 97 Votes on 85 Posts
What do you mean by caulking the vertical lines? Like the corners between walls?

No, you cannot caulk over grout, the grout needs to be removed. No idea on cost to fix this, sorry.

Hang tight for the pros, I'm hoping they can provide more info knowing what was used as well as how.
 
  #5  
Old 08-22-16, 09:30 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks! Yes my illiteracy! vertical lines = where wall meets wall.

I'll wait for the pros... but curious - is caulk instead of grout for a whole project a crazy idea?
 
  #6  
Old 08-22-16, 12:54 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,605
Received 97 Votes on 85 Posts
In my opinion, yes, it is.
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-16, 03:54 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,965
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
You can purchase a color coordinated sanded grout caulk to do your base lines with and it may blend in better. Granted the close up shot is only one microcosm of what you had done, so if it is all like that, hopefully the grout caulk will help.
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-16, 05:34 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
Would recommend "UNsanded" caulk in a color match to your keracolor grout. Easier to work with IMO than the sanded variety. Get masking tape and protect the areas not to be caulked on the tile both floor and wall. You can go over the grout it just will be a thin layer. If the shower pan was properly installed, that grout crack is cosmetic and in no way a danger to water issues with floor or framing. Pay particular attention to the area around the threshold to the door.

To seal areas where the grout turns dark, wait 72 hours for the grout to dry and then seal with a standard grout sealer. The grout is sealed when it will no longer absorb any sealer and water beads on it.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-16, 07:23 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Czizzi - thank you very much.

Really? Caulk that comes with sand in it?!? hadn't heard of that

'if the shower pan was properly installed' - any way at this point to be able to tell? Here's a couple pictures of the process. Wonder if you can see anything good or bad from these. Someone I spoke to said that part of the 'right' way is to get the slope correct UNDER the pan, rather than get the slope from the top of the mud. Makes sense. But does the pan (rubber sheet in my case) actively carry water that gets through the grout / tiles / mud on a new install? Or is it a failsafe design IF water gets through the grout / tiles / mud.Name:  2016-04-08 15.55.44.jpg
Views: 265
Size:  42.7 KBName:  2016-04-25 12.04.49.jpg
Views: 305
Size:  39.5 KBName:  2016-04-15 11.32.12.jpg
Views: 244
Size:  33.5 KBName:  2016-04-13a.jpg
Views: 218
Size:  41.3 KBName:  2016-04-09.jpg
Views: 284
Size:  42.9 KB
 
  #10  
Old 08-22-16, 07:52 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 14 Votes on 12 Posts
Not seeing any major red flags on the build based on these pictures. I usually take the membrane higher up the walls but that is a minor point. Corners look good, curb looks good other than I take it over the curb and down the outside. Looks like lack of caulk at the floor/wall transition is the only error. Not sure the flood test was performed correctly - balloon should have been sent down the drain to the trap and blown up. then the test would have given the drain body a good water test for leaks. He seems to use a presloped panel instead of a hand shaped pre-slope.

Attention to detail in the tile layout sees high quality, however can't see the final whole product.
 
  #11  
Old 08-22-16, 10:26 PM
J
Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well..... I see several problems.

* A seasoned tile setter would not have used that tapered foam pre-slope in pic #1. You do not have a continuos slope to the drain since he had to add several pieces which means you have a negative slope there.
* The pan should go to at least 3" above the finished height of the curb. Not sure where this is, may be close.
* The pan should continue over the curb to the outside.
* There may not be any fasteners within 6" or so of the bottom of the cbu or of course on top of the curb. When cbu is used for the curb, you must apply a membrane to cover all fasteners. Was a surface membrane used at all? Got any pics of just before the tiles were installed?
* I assume he installed marble slabs on the curb and knee wall?
* What kind of board is that? Anything applied to it before tiles?
* Was plastic or tarpaper applied over the studs before the board?
* What specific adhesive is that bucket we see?
* Is that hardwood on the floor I see in pic #3 or cleaned plywood?What backer on the floor?

Jaz
 
  #12  
Old 08-22-16, 10:57 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Jaz - thanks for your time. let me see what I can answer some things.

but first I have to ask - what's cbu?

membrane to cover fasteners? Here's a couple more pics

actually quartz, on the tops of knee wall and curb (curb is the low wall around the shower?)

what kind of board? on the walls? concrete board... for most of the height. what do you think of the greenboard for the top 1/3? 'oh, water doesn't get up there so you don't need concrete board up there' he said.

plastic or tarpaper? I don't think so. is that another layer to block water?

in the bucket? The pictures show bags of versabond thin set mortar. and customblend also. not sure where he used what.

it's plywood on the floor. They put down thinset? and some sort of wire mesh (outside the shower?)? (not sure of the order - mesh over thinset or vice versa?) I heard a nailgun for a good part of a day around that time.

That picture of the tiles in the shower next to the bags of thinset - my wife and I laid out tile in and out of shower to see how it looked. we had these insets in the corners of some tiles and played with what she liked. took pictures of that, showed the pictures to them.... and they did it differently : (

The picture with the shelves in the shower - there's youtube videos showing that you make notches in the backer board so the shelves are sitting on the backerboard for support. He DIDN'T do that. Cutting the board - that's really not the way to do it, right? but I found some guys that sound competent but were saying to do that. Seems water just gets on the shelf, over time finds a path into the wall and into the studs, right? I didn't think it woudl be strong enough but the shelves are sitting on tiles and the backer board is still intact.



Name:  2016-04-21 20.30.13.jpg
Views: 296
Size:  22.9 KBName:  2016-04-21 20.41.42.jpg
Views: 266
Size:  33.5 KBName:  2016-04-25 08.52.13.jpg
Views: 294
Size:  24.1 KBName:  2016-04-26 17.47.08.jpg
Views: 271
Size:  36.7 KB
 
  #13  
Old 08-23-16, 08:07 PM
J
Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,604
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
CBU = Cementitious Backer Unit. Durock - Wonderboard - Hardie, etc.

Was anything applied over the fasteners on the inside and top of curb at least?

Yes, what kind of board? I know it's concrete backer, but which one?

Plastic or tarpaper on studs as a vapor barrier if no surface membrane is to be used.

Versabond, a decent modified thinset. Customeblend, good for ballast in the winter, one notch above dirt.

OK, you're in NJ and they did a "Jersey Mud Job". Metal lath and thinset over ply. instead of real mud or CBU. We don't like that method at all.

To recap there's several things not done according to industry standards. These guys are not tile setters, they just set tiles sometimes.

Jaz
 
  #14  
Old 08-24-16, 09:56 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: US
Posts: 542
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thank you guys for all your time. So now what would you recommend a friend / family member? Again, we 'fired' the GC (a plumber who has the carpenter / tile setter that did the framing and tiling) We emailed him with pictures of issues we have with the (visible) quality and things that came up during construction - like greenboard on the top 1/3 of the shower, etc. Told him not to come back to fix / finish some issues and we weren't going to pay the last $2,900 on a $23,300 contract. Didn't hear from him after that.

I didn't even get into the new phrase related to tiles that I learned - lippage. we have a fair amount of that on the wall and floor outside the shower that were in the pictures we sent him.

At this point do we tear everything out and get a real tiler to come in and do it right? (and go after him in court for the costs?) See the picture - the glass door is in. That would be a big production to redo everything.

Or just caulk along the bottom floor / wall edges (Over the grout as czizzi said?) and over the years, watch the ceiling downstairs for signs of water?

Things like lippage and poor cutting around the drain - don't look great but for the few people that will be in there for minutes other than wife and I, oh well. But for it to not last (and should I expect this to last longer than me? I'm 54), that's something different.

Name:  2016-08-24 11.48.30.jpg
Views: 373
Size:  31.9 KBName:  2016-06-20 14.37.57.jpg
Views: 226
Size:  18.2 KBName:  2016-06-20 14.38.15.jpg
Views: 238
Size:  17.4 KBName:  2016-06-20 14.41.01.jpg
Views: 242
Size:  11.5 KBName:  2016-06-20 14.41.15.jpg
Views: 240
Size:  9.0 KBName:  2016-06-20 14.41.57.jpg
Views: 233
Size:  16.8 KB
 
  #15  
Old 08-24-16, 10:15 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 75 Votes on 68 Posts
Unless it is leaking I would re grout what needs to be fixed and what ever else has been suggested here. Just a personal opinion.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: