What would you do if your new tiled shower pan has standing water in a dip?


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Old 07-02-09, 03:26 PM
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What would you do if your new tiled shower pan has standing water in a dip?

Say you had an expensive shower pan built ---with the concrete bed, membrane weephole drain system. And it looks absolutely beautiful.

But then you take your first shower and discover that there is this dip in the tiles to the side of the drain that is like a 6 inch circle that has standing water that cannot go down the drain?

Since it is too late to fix, I'd imagine, - what do you say to the tile man? Or do you just blow it off, thinking there will just be hostility that may not get you anywhere? (I.e., the courts figure that such work cannot always be expected to be absolutely flawless, perhaps?)

Here is something else about the same bathroom. While washing the stone-tiled bathroom floor, some of the sand-grout lines revealed 'cracks' that would only appear as cracklines when wet. These hairlines became dark while the rest of the grout did not get dark in the same way. The tile was thinset layed directly over a plywood floor. You can guess what kind of answer you might get if you brought this up to the tile guy who was already paid. Do you think he'd say, "Oh my gosh. That is horrible. We have to start over and do the job again, and it will be on me." ?? (Cough)

Or are such 'invisible' cracks normal in such installations, and won't necessarily lead to anything bad in the future?

Whose bathroom is this? Not mine. My bosses.

BTW, this guy is a tile pro. Not some handyman who tiles.
 
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Old 07-02-09, 04:18 PM
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Regarding the puddling-

If the tile setter like's his work, reputation, and has pride, he would fix this. He/she may just need to pull up that tile and adjust it if he can.

Regarding the cracked grout-

Unacceptable. There should be zero cracking. If the cracking start immediatly after curing, then he probably mixed it wrong. If it was some time after, then there is floor movement. There should have been a backerboard or other acceptable membrane applied to the plywood, then tile. The TCNA only approves of tiling over plywood if certain conditions are met.

This "pro" tile setter should have done floor deflection calculations, did he? What was the subfloor, joists, span, sizes?

The point is, the tile setter needs to correct these problems.
 
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Old 07-03-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
Regarding the puddling-

If the tile setter like's his work, reputation, and has pride, he would fix this. He/she may just need to pull up that tile and adjust it if he can.
It is those 1 inch square tiles on the pan. An area to the side of the drain cover, which is a tad high, is pooling water. The water is maybe 1/8 inch deep. Enough that it is not going to evaporate between showers with the rest of the floor.

Would you feel foolish calling him on that? Or would you feel you're in your right to bring that up? What do you say if he says, "Are you kiddin me? It's a shower! Shower pans get wet. It's not like you are calling me here because it is leaking! You're going to want me to tear up the tiles just for that little bit?!"

Regarding the cracked grout-

Unacceptable. There should be zero cracking. If the cracking start immediatly after curing,....
It did. Just days later I noticed this only when washing up some sheetrock mud/mud powder off the floor tiles. Like I said, you cannot see any cracks when dry. But when wet, you can see them.

...... then he probably mixed it wrong.
Too watery?

The TCNA only approves of tiling over plywood if certain conditions are met.
Like if the plywood floors are 1 1/4 inch thick? They are, if that is the case. And the tile guy screwed the dickens out of the 2 plywood floor layers before tiling. And the plywood had been very light-damp (not wet) ragged, to get off any mud powder after vacuuming, a couple days in advance of tiling, so the floor was very clean and dry.

What was the subfloor, joists, span, sizes?
16 inches - either 2 x 8 or 10. Solid home in ritzier area.

The point is, the tile setter needs to correct these problems.
Again, he'd probably look at the grout and say WHAT cracks?! I don't see any! If you see them only when wet ---you just get that. That happens! You called me all the way over here for something this minor?"

I firmly believe in playing devils advocate in advance before getting possibly confrontational with someone, so that you do not get tongue-tied if someone starts trying to get the upper hand on you verbally. Especially when they are the pro and they figure that you do not know all the ins and outs the way they do.
 
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Old 07-03-09, 04:42 PM
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The puddling would not pass code. All water should drain out without puddling within a minute. He should fix this.......

The grout needs to be redone. Sounds like too much water was involved in either: the mixing, or too much water in the sponge when cleaning the haze off.

The tile setter should be concerned about his work and not be confrontational. Your boss probably paid good money for this, he should get what he wants.

Can you get the unsupported span of those joists?
 
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Old 07-04-09, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
The puddling would not pass code. All water should drain out without puddling within a minute. He should fix this.......
Really? Code? Hmmm. Ammunition. I will definitely tell boss this.

The grout needs to be redone. Sounds like too much water was involved in either: the mixing, or too much water in the sponge when cleaning the haze off.

The tile setter should be concerned about his work and not be confrontational. Your boss probably paid good money for this, he should get what he wants.
He said he paid a lot of money for this. He brought that up to me when we discussed how I planned to go about sanding and getting powder on the new holey/porous in places tile/grout, and if I could get the tile grout clean if I did not tarp the entire floor. I experimented in a corner that was to get covered over by a cabinet.

Can you get the unsupported span of those joists?
I'll see. I have not brought any of this up to him yet. I can't recollect noticing any deflection in that bathromm. It is long and narrow. I mentally know the house and it is going to be between 12 -16 feet from center basement wall to outer edge. So I'd also have to see what thick joists are also used.

Now that you are no longer an automotive mod, have you considered being one for tile? Thanks for staying with me on this thread, BTW.
 
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Old 07-04-09, 06:02 PM
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I was a mod in tile, auto and electrical, but I am no longer a moderator. Some disagreements with certain people I'de rather not discuss here

Also, regarding the deflection. you won't be able to tell until you run all the approriate #'s through this very handy "deflecto" by John Bridge.
 
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Old 07-04-09, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
I was a mod in tile, auto and electrical, but I am no longer a moderator. Some disagreements with certain people I'de rather not discuss here
i am a moderator on a VERY promanent forum. its not all its cut out to be. being a mod doesn't make you knowlegdable.


darn, i can't spell for poop these days
me right now = Beer 4U2
 
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Old 07-06-09, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
I was a mod in tile, auto and electrical, but I am no longer a moderator. Some disagreements with certain people I'de rather not discuss here

Also, regarding the deflection. you won't be able to tell until you run all the approriate #'s through this very handy "deflecto" by John Bridge.
Interestingly the last name is Bridge? - with deflection formulas? Rather odd. Sort of like that Crapper guy and toilets.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 11:47 AM
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I cannot imagine that if your boss brought up these issues to the contractor, that the contractor would not come back and address them.

Fixing the puddling is no more complicated than removing the tiles, repairing the area by filing the dip with thinset, and then replacing the tile and grouting. Thats an easy fix.

As to the cracking grout, we need more info. What size grout joints, what kind of grout (sanded or non sanded)? Was there a gap left between plywood sheets and were the gaps caulked? Were the plywood joints mudded/taped when the tiles were set? What kind of thinset was used? Were the 2 layers of plywood installed correctly? Was the right kind of plywood used? Are the floor joists stiff enough to support a ceramic tile installation? While TCNA does have an acceptable method for setting over plywood, this is a risky installation whereby everything must be done just so. If not, the risk of failure is high.

Now for the big question, the installer didn't necessary do the best job here, as there are obvious issues. What else did he not do right that you cannot see?
 
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Old 07-07-09, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
Fixing the puddling is no more complicated than removing the tiles, repairing the area by filing the dip with thinset, and then replacing the tile and grouting. Thats an easy fix.
Easy? Hmmmm. I do a lot of repair work, and I have never thought of any job as particularly easy once it has been done and cleaned up and looks good, to have to redo it and blend it all back so nothing looks pieced in. I can't imagine that it be that easy. And the fact that you would not be getting paid for that surgical repair? And there is a chance that you might see where it was pieced back together. Maybe the grout color will be a hair off. And to complicate things, there is something about that drain cover that is different. It is not so that the drain cover is flush or a hair lower than the top of the tiles. It is a little higher. I'll have to look at that cover more closely, again.

As to the cracking grout, we need more info. What size grout joints, what kind of grout (sanded or non sanded)? Was there a gap left between plywood sheets and were the gaps caulked? Were the plywood joints mudded/taped when the tiles were set? What kind of thinset was used? Were the 2 layers of plywood installed correctly? Was the right kind of plywood used? Are the floor joists stiff enough to support a ceramic tile installation? While TCNA does have an acceptable method for setting over plywood, this is a risky installation whereby everything must be done just so. If not, the risk of failure is high.
From what I recall the grout joints are about 3/8" and sand. Plywood was not taped, but joints were tight and he screwed down the sheets to each other more than how it was originally laid, and I never recall any bit of deflection on that floor.


Now for the big question, the installer didn't necessary do the best job here, as there are obvious issues. What else did he not do right that you cannot see?
He never taped the vertical corner joints of the durock in the shower. And those corner joints are grouted only. Not overlayed with additional caulk. However, this is an older established and temp/humidity acclamated house where the durock went over existing wall. Not new and possibly 1/2 green materials. So at least that is a plus, if there can be said to have any plus about it.
 
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Old 07-07-09, 06:16 PM
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Easy? Hmmmm. I do a lot of repair work, and I have never thought of any job as particularly easy once it has been done and cleaned up and looks good, to have to redo it and blend it all back so nothing looks pieced in. I can't imagine that it be that easy. And the fact that you would not be getting paid for that surgical repair? And there is a chance that you might see where it was pieced back together. Maybe the grout color will be a hair off. And to complicate things, there is something about that drain cover that is different. It is not so that the drain cover is flush or a hair lower than the top of the tiles. It is a little higher. I'll have to look at that cover more closely, again.
I'm not following you here. The contractor did a bad job on the shower floor, right. The fact that he will not be getting paid for this "surgical repair" is irrelevant. If he cares about his reputation, he'll go back and fix whatever is wrong, it's that simple. If he's not concerned about his reputation, he'll soon run out of work, as he'll get no referrals. And yes this is a simple fix. 1" tile, what's gonna look pieced in, and as for the grout, this is a new install, right, so matching the grout should be easy. Not sure about the drain, its possible that it was set too high.

A general comment here. From your description of his work, this guy is a hack. One by one, problems will pop up. Was this guy a handyman of sorts or a real tile setter? I think I know the answer.
 
 

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