Tile detaching from Wedi shower pan

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by MGT_M, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Hello-
    In 2008 we put in a shower with Wedi board walls and a Wedi Fundo shower pan. The walls are fine, but the hex tiles keep detaching from one area of the shower pan. I've already retiled the area once. My husband thinks the shower pan is flexing under his 220 lb weight and this is making the tiles pop off. I don't know if that's the problem or not.
    What can I do?

    Thank you.
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Wedi Technical Support - Bastian Lohmann Re: Tiles Detaching from Wedi Shower Pan

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  3. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Hi John,
    The shower is over a 3/4" plywood subfloor. I know the mortar was a modified thinset but I don't know about self-curing. The problem is about halfway between the center of the shower and the wall. It's where my husband stands when he showers. FYI there is no trace of a a leak anywhere. I can go under the house and look at the area and the shower drainpipe and its entirely dry.


    Thanks for Bastian's email. I remember talking with him back when we were getting ready to install the shower, but I'd forgotten. I will email him.

    Also-- would using a flexible urethane grout help?
    Thanks for your advice.
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Fixing a de-bonded Wedi shower pan

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  5. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I wrote to Bastian.

    About the flexture-- what I mean is that since the Wedi is a foam, perhaps it compresses a tiny bit under a large load, causing a localized flexing.
    Anyway, I'll see what Bastian has to say.

    Thainks
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    THe Wedi manual calls for an epoxy grout when tiles are smaller than 2x2. If this is the same shower discussed at Tile Your World, you have small hex tile. Page 12 http://us.wedi.de/_shared/_pdf/us/wedi_TDS_Fundo_Primo.pdf

    Schluter says the compressive strength of their foam pan once covered with suitable tile and grouted is 500psi. Small tile can be an issue if you break the grout joint...standard grout, especially unsanded, isn't the strongest. I've read stories of people that used epoxy grout in the corners of showers, and rather than the grout cracking, it cracked the tile (industry standards call for caulk at changes of plane). Haven't heard what Wedi's compressive strength is. Epoxy grout should make the tile act more like a big one, and may solve your problem. Foam works, but has some limitations.
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    John Bridge Tile Forum Discussion On: Tile Coming Off Wedi Shower Pan

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  9. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The tile size issue could explain some things, but I don't think they were giving warnings about that in 2008. I am pretty good at following instructions and I put a lot of consideration into what kind of tile I used. But, maybe I did miss it.

    But now I think I have discovered a worse problem that could be the origin of all the troubles. My husband cleaned the shower and removed all the loose tiles. In one place there was a small puffed up area that flexed a lot when pressed on. And pressing on it caused tiny air bubbles to come up through a pinhole in the thinset! (The tiles are gone, but the thinset and mesh from the tile piece are still there, adhered to the Wedi.) I finally determined that the black, outer layer of the Wedi is separating from the blue inner layer, at least in that area. Water is getting in between the two Wedi layers. Obviously this is bad.

    Bastian emailed me back right away last night. He says it is still under warranty and he is sending a tech down to look at it! This amazes me, because I am by no means local to them.

    So, we will see what happens!
  10. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Also I can't find my original discussion from years ago! I'll keep looking. I also must dig out the original reciepts, etc.
    Thanks for your help and support. :)
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Air Bubbles Squishing out of a Wedi Shower Pan: Trouble Shooting popping tiles

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  12. John Bridge

    John Bridge Mudmeister

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    The "expert tile witness" is here. :)

    I tend to go along with what Jim said about small tiles on foam floors. I'm afraid I'm not able to add anything. :)
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    John Bridge: Expert Tile Witness on Wedi Shower Pan Tile Debonding Issues

    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
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  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    How strong is typical grout? Especially unsanded? Nowhere near as strong as a typical tile, especially a porcelain tile. How strong is typical epoxy grout? MUCH stronger than regular tile. How well does epoxy bond to porcelain? Very well.

    If you take a piece of foam and put say a piece of plywood over it...you can load it down and probably never with typical loads, ever compress it any. Now, take a small tile, step on it with your heel over the foam...it will likely get indented into the foam. So, it isn't a very big stretch that if you can tie the tile together so they act as a single, large, monolithic slab, compression at a point from a tile that was broken off from the grout shouldn't be too big of a stretch...but, John appears to not be able to see that. FWIW, in some places they are using FOAM as the core of bridge abutments. These are bridges for cars and trucks...if you spread the load properly over the surface, it is plenty strong enough, and doesn't have the variables of on-site fill materials and compaction by operators. Again, I'll repeat what Schluter says about their foam tray: once the membrane and tile are installed and grouted, the compressive strength is 500#/sqin. Wedi may not be as robust, but once you tile the rigid tiled surface to it and to each other, it should be plenty strong. Small tile, apparently from experience, (now?) come with the restriction to use epoxy to overcome that limitation. So, from a repair viewpoint, makes sense to follow their recommendations.

    And, if you read carefully, I did point out exactly where Wedi specifies using epoxy grout on small tile in post #6, but maybe, just because I wrote it, John discounts everything in it. To make it easier, here is that instruction from their installation manual, the emphasis is mine:
    " System must not be installed over uneven or non-load bearing substrates. System must not be exposed to temperatures over 165° F. Tiles smaller than 2 x 2” should be grouted with epoxy grout (with one exception being pebblestones). Do not install system over substrates subject to settlement and extreme movement. Two horizontal backing layers of 2 x 4” are recommended to guard the perimeter of wedi Fundo Primo and wedi building panel transition against separation movement."

    So, since tile tend to break or debond for several reasons, it could be movement of the substrate or tipping problems because the tile need to be tied together when they aren't large enough to spread the load evenly for a point load.
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Kerdi Board and Wedi Board = crap and more crap

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Wedi and the Schluter foam trays are similar but there is one huge difference. WHen using the Kerdi tray, you apply Kerdi over it. This, with the addition of two layers of thinset and the tile allow it to meet the specs of pretty much any tile you may choose to install. So, no, and because the two are not the same, there is no requirement to use an epoxy grout with the Schluter tray.

    If John focused more on helping people do things right and keep the manufacturer's warranty rather than throwing darts, this would be a much more useful thread. John likes to pick and choose methods that suit him.
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    If choosing a premium product and installing it per the manufacturer's recommendations is 'bare ass minimum', then, yes, I recommend that. That you feel it is 'required' to do additional steps is fine if your customer agrees, but if the product as designed is so bad, why are there so many successful installations, and happy customers? If it didn't work, the company couldn't stay in business.

    Workmanship is key to any install...slip in that (maybe John has issues with that), and the extra steps might just be required to get a reliable installation. Funny part of that is, almost nobody else's experience is the same. Maybe John lives in an alternate universe.
  20. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Post(s) deleted by John Whipple
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
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