Mixing Materials from Multiple Manufacturers

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Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
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New England
Many of today's tiling and shower projects start with a 'system' that was carefully designed, tested, and certified to work when done in a particular way. Straying from that may work, and it may not.

The thing is, products are not always a stable, unchanging entity. What works one day, may not work the next, so even advice from someone who has done it before, may or may not continue to work. Why is this, you ask? Well, consider this - unless the product manufacturers are somehow linked, they do not tell all of their competitors that we tweaked their formula, and while it may have worked a specific way before, it no longer does. When you're dealing with some high-tech components, often including some plastics, adhesives, thinsets, caulks, and a myriad of other things can cause problems, sometimes with an immediate failure (like a solvent in a caulk maybe melting a plastic component), or maybe a longer-term issue about not bonding well after sitting - sometimes this can take years.

So, if you stray from the manufacturer's instructions, you're in uncharted territory, even if you know it worked before, since like most things in life, they're always changing. Be especially aware of situations where the product says new or improved...when dealing with a 'system', and it doesn't correspond to the specifications called out when using that system, you could be in trouble. It doesn't matter whether the system you are interested in is from Laticrete, Schluter, Custom Building Products, Wedi, Noble or whatever. They each have their preferred, known materials and specifications...straying from those can lead to unpredictable results, the last thing you want when you're spending a bunch of money on a new or remodel project. And, be aware that it's tough for any manufacturer to know everyone else's products, and be able to tell you if it will work. The bottom line is, you're at risk if you stray. It may work fine, it may not.
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