Question on durock underlayment installation - creaking tiles.

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Old 09-09-12, 08:37 AM
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Question on durock underlayment installation - creaking tiles.

We recently had our bathroom floor tiled (Thursday). 12x12 tiles.

It is creaking in many places when we walk on it, but not repeatably in most places.

The contractors laid down 1/4 inch durock concrete underlayment over the existing floor.

They did not lay it in thinset. (I didn't know you were supposed to until today, AFTER I read the info in your forums...)

They did tape and mud the seams and screw it down to the existing floor.

They used quick working thinset for the tiles, so they could grout the same day.

They walked on the floor 1 1/2 hours after it was laid to grout a wall and do other work. Then they grouted the floor.

We stayed off the floor and out of the room until today (Sunday).

We have checked for hollow tiles, they all seem sound.

We think the underlayment is what is creaking. We are concerned that there
will be long term problems (cracked, popped tiles), but have no way to prove
this.

The contractor has not yet been paid. We feel the problem is the lack of thinset when laying the durock and that is causing the creaking. We need as much supporting info as possible for our meeting with the contractor.

Any suggestions, advice or help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan and Anne
 
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Old 09-09-12, 08:51 AM
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More info: We did download and print the installation instructions for durock, which does include setting the rock in thinset. We plan to show this to the contractor. There is also a very good video in the how-to section that shows the durock being set into thinset. The official durock installation guide is not disputable...
 
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Old 09-09-12, 11:18 AM
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Just my opinion, but if the subfloor was perfectly flat and the contractor used the correct fastener pattern, thinset under the cement board is probably not needed. However, floor squeaks under tile indicates some movement somewhere and that isn't good.

Did anyone check the floor for squeaks before the tile went down?
 
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Old 09-09-12, 11:51 AM
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Hi Wayne,

Thank you for the reply. The floor did not creak or groan before the tile was installed. We have been walking on it for 20+ years, and never noticed this sound, or anything like it before. We have now found one place that will creak on demand. It had linoleum on it before, and the durock is installed on top of that.

Thanks again,

Dan
 
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Old 09-09-12, 12:35 PM
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The purpose of the cbu is to give a flat surface to install your tile, not add support. Thus the instructions to embed it in thinset. The "IF" Wayne mentions covers a lot, and unless you are sure the substrate was perfectly flat, then the thinset is necessary.
 
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Old 09-10-12, 08:35 PM
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Dan,

It is imperative to apply thinset under ALL tile backers, period. The installation was done wrong and should be re-done correctly. Next time please hire a tile setter to set tiles.:NO NO NO:

No point in commenting about the other advise you received here.

Jaz
 
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Old 09-13-12, 06:16 AM
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Hi All,

Thank you for your replies - I was able to convince the installer of his error and he (and I) ripped up the newly installed floor, and reinstalled it correctly, thinsetting the durock (Hardyboard this time) to the subfloor, and then thinsetting the tile to the hardyboard.

It came out great, no creaks or groans, feels solid.

Thank you again - gave us the confidence to make this guy do it right. Actually, he was very nice about it and did not seem upset in doing it right.

Dan and Anne
 
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Old 09-13-12, 06:40 AM
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No one is perfect but most good contractors will own up to their mistakes and make things right, regardless of whether they end up making money on the job.
 
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Old 09-13-12, 02:17 PM
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Glad you found an honest contractor. It hurts, but you gotta do things right. Got a call Monday from a client who had a marble fireplace front installed by one of my guys a couple of years ago. I did not get to inspect it like I should have during construction. Final job looked good. She said several of the 12x12 marble tiles was loose. I took a look and he had not moistened his cbu, had put his thinset way too thick (trying to correct a misalignment I guess) and used it too dry. It all had to come back down. Not a single piece of marble left any thinset on the cbu. Cost a lot in labor, but customer is pleased we are taking care of it.
 
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