Ceramic tile water absorption

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Old 11-04-10, 08:40 AM
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Ceramic tile water absorption

Hi,

I need tiles to put on the wall for a shower. I have some tiles in stock that would look great, however the water absorption is not specified on the boxes. Do you guys know any trick to be able to define the water absorption of a tile?

Thanks you!
Jeremie
 
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Old 11-04-10, 05:39 PM
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Hi Jeremie,

I don't know of any tile that can not be used on shower walls. Regular cheapo ceramic absorbs around 20% of it's weight in water when tested. No problem, you can use it or any impervious tile in almost any indoor application.

Why do you want to know the rate? Curious? You'll need accurate scales. Weigh a tile and record. Place tile in boiling water for 60 minutes, remove, wipe dry, weigh and record. Divide one into the other to get the percentage of weight gain.

I'd be more interested that I waterproofed the shower area before installing any tile. What's your plan for that?

Jaz
 
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Old 11-04-10, 11:25 PM
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Hi Jaz,

Thanks a lot for your answer!

I heard that it is better to have tiles with low water absorption since water could, in the long term, penetrate behind the tile and affect the bonding between the tile and my substrate. Am I mistaking?

My plan is to put cement board on my 2b4 (wall structure), then I was still not sure if I would put some sealant product or not since I was hoping my tiles would do the job o keeping water out. So after that tile, grout and seal the grout. Any suggestions? I take any advise!

Cheers
Jeremie
 
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Old 11-04-10, 11:54 PM
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Ok Jaz, I read one of the thread you helped on previously and I got the fact that I need to seal my cement board one way or another.
j
 
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Old 11-05-10, 05:09 AM
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Jaz is asleep, so I won't steal his thunder. You should have a vapor barrier behind the concrete board in the first place. Application of Red Gard is another way of sealing the permeability of the cbu. Your tile has little if anything to do with water getting behind it all. Water penetrating the tile won't cause the thinset to release. It is a concrete product and not very susceptible to water damage. Beyond the cbu, is where you want to worry, so vapor barrier and/or red gard will help. Jaz will certainly correct me if I am incorrect, here, so stay tuned.
 
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Old 11-05-10, 10:42 AM
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I might have been asleep at the computer, heck, with about a dozen forums like this...................

I believe a surface membrane is best. Kerdi fabric, Redgard or Hydroban liquid are examples. In a stall shower walls/floor situation I use Kerdi system. (not the foam tray tho). If it's a tub surround either the fabric or liquid will do.

Alternatively you could skip the surface membrane and apply either plastic or tarpaper on the studs under the concrete board draped into the tub flange and then covered with the tiles. I believe this is OK in a surround but I don't like it if it's a stall shower.

You can use the soft bisque ceramic in a shower. Chandler is right that you can not depend on the tiles to waterproof anything. Moisture can go thru grout even if it's sealed and eventually you can get some hairline cracks.

Jaz
 
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Old 11-05-10, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for your reply guys, I think I have enough info to do that part of the job. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the time you dedicate for guys like me!

I have one last question: The tiles I will be using are 1 by 2 feet and weight about 9 pound each... Can I count on my thinset to hold the tile before it dries completely? Or should I plan a system to hold them up against the wall?

Thanks
Jeremie
 
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Old 11-05-10, 12:00 PM
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Your 2 sq. ft. tiles weigh double of a 1 sq. ft. tile. There will be twice as much thin set mortar contacting each tile. Same difference.

We still don't know if this is a stall shower or a tub. I'll assume it's a tub or you have a plastic shower base since you haven't asked about the floor. You should use a wood ledger strip to support the tiles then stack using plastic spacers, wedges or even folded pieces of cardboard the tiles come in.

Jaz
 
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Old 11-05-10, 12:13 PM
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Yes, plastic shower base it is...

double mortar... make sense, I should have known better

I'm ok with the rest of the process I think.

Thanks
Jeremie
 
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