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

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    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. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    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.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    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
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    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.
     
  6. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    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!
     
  7. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    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. :)
     
  8. John Bridge

    John Bridge Mudmeister

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Occupation:
    Owner, John Bridge Services
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    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. :)
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    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.
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    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.
     
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    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.
     
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Awhile back (a few years at least), somebody who seemed to have good credentials, was given moderator capabilities and one day, he deleted LOTS of stuff. He got banned, and Terry was able to restore some of the old threads, but not all. That may be the reason you can't find your old thread.
     
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    I did a quick search on all of your old posts still on the board, and can't find any of them edited other than by yourself, John. About the only thing I ever deleted were duplicate posts and spamming by people trying to sell something from China.

    If you actually read some of my posts, you'd see that I try to add info, background, and help people. Most of your posts are about bragging rights on how you do things. That I've been trained and have used Kerdi doesn't mean that I haven't suggested and helped people with other methods of shower building. That you disagree with Schluter and their recommendations on how to use their own product, that has hundreds of thousands of successful installations is in itself, kind of sad. Lots of smart people, doing lots of research, and many, many years and examples of well performing showers says something to me...that they know their product and how to use it. That you choose to regale me when I post and quote their handbook on how it should be installed is kind of arrogant, and I think, misinformed. That you choose to expend extra time and money on materials to strengthen an already strong product is up to you, but to blatantly state that is the only way to do it reliably is just plain false and misleading.

    For a DIY'er, a foam shower pan, should it meet the size requirements, will produce a premium result. The slope is perfectly consistent across the entire panel, and is created with four perfectly flat planes so you could lay a large format tile on them without it rocking. That is VERY hard to duplicate with deckmud, should you wish to; it tends to be much more rounded. That crease is not an issue for lippage should the tile bridge the adjacent plane. The compressive strength is more than enough to support any normal usage IF the subfloor and the pan are installed properly. While a deckmud pan isn't all that hard, it is hard work, and for a DIY'er that may only ever make one of them, the uncertainty is often worth the cost of the foam pan that does work. My personal experience with one is that it is much warmer than a mudbed. Yes, those warm up fast when you run the shower, but before and after...one with the foam pan is warmer to stand on. A little thing, but nonetheless, a benefit.

    Companies have a vested interest in staying in business...they can't do that with shoddy products. Schluter has been in business in the USA for over 25-years, and while they have added to the Kerdi line (corners, more drains, preformed pans, etc.), the basic construction method has remained the same because it works. A DIY'er doesn't have to worry about someone else in the trades stomping on their newly Kerdied shower, so extra layers of waterproofing or thicker material don't make a lot of sense, nor does the extra expense. If it does to you, fine, but it is not a requirement for a viable shower.
     
  14. Justadrip

    Justadrip Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    I just about fell out of my chair laughing at that one....
     
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    John seems to forget that most people coming here for help are neither pros, and may never have built a shower before. What works reliably for them and what a pro does in his sleep are VERY different things. The techniques learned from experience open up many more possibilities. When you are doing something for the first time, reliability and often economy are excessively important. WHen you are dealing with a client as a pro on an expensive project, you have other options. But, the DIY'er may only have one shower in the house, so getting it done is important. The multi-layered, numerous separate products, with their individual learning curves, and the inability to use the leftover for the next project really increase the cost and time and chance for failure. The DIY'er often wont' know where to buy the stuff, or want to run all over to seek it out. THen, he has to consider if it is important for him to keep his warranty in effect - he doesn't have a pro he can call back to fix a problem, if he misunderstood the instructions and did something wrong, or messed it up and has to buy it all over again. Things a pro doesn't do often if he wants to stay in business.

    So, something known to work, saves time, IS a premium product to a typical DIY'er. The use of a surface membrane IS a major upgrade to a conventional shower. That John can't see that is his shortcoming.

    We're talking to different people, trying for different results. A simple shower, done right is often what's desired and can be paid for. The average guy here is not in the market for what can be done by a pro and a budget of $10's of thousands of dollars and months in the making - he is trying to figure out how to make a shower that doesn't leak so he can get back to his 'normal' life.

    We're not talking about dumbing down the end result, or setting it up for failure...overcomplicating the thing can. FOr many people, using a wetsaw is a first time endeavor. Picking up a trowel to spread thinset is a challenge. Setting tile without lippage is a problem. Mixing thinset (or being sold a mastic instead) suitable for the job is a challenge when you've not done it before, and may not have a suitable drill motor or mixing paddle.

    John seems to forget that, since he's been doing it for awhile...the tasks are second nature. So, to talk about a slurry bond coat, and screeds and floats is like talking greek, and while it may seem easy once you've done it, if you don't need to do it in the first place, and don't want to go pick up the tools and extra materials to perform the task, and the risk of not getting it right and having to start over, throwing away money and time you had to scrape up in the first place...people just don't want the added complications.

    I'm all for throwing in some special touches, making sure you consider the tile layout to avoid things that just don't look good, and ensuring what you do install is done correctly, but not everyone is really interested in frills.

    Look at the Stata-Mat thread and how many layers of stuff and different products are there in that? All for an install that does not have Laticrete's blessing or warranty when it could have been done much simpler. Schluter isn't going to warrantee a job done with Laticrete's materials, and why should they?

    I'm not advocating talking down to the people here, I'm advocating giving them info they ask for to solve their problem in a manner that they have a good chance of succeeding in, and, where they don't have to go out an buy a bunch of tools they probably will never use again. Offer up the possibility of some enhancements, and alternate techniques when appropriate.

    I don't think we'll ever see eye-to-eye. And, unless asked to stop, I'll try to be here to offer up an alternate solution that actually follows the manufacturer's instructions, and offer up alternatives for enhancements, if it seems appropriate.
     
  16. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Digital Billy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    LV,NV/ Nowhere,UT
    There are some great points you made in that post, Jim.

    The seeming complexity of these membrane systems can be overwhelming to us amateurs. There are nuances to these installations that we(amateurs) don't figure out until after the fact. Gutting and rebuilding the kitchen was nothing compared to the waterproofing of the shower.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  17. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Occupation:
    master tile and stone installer
    Location:
    Montreal
    Reply @ personal comments

    John , I will address it only this one time .

    I've been doing tile and stone installations for 25 years and seen most of commercial and residential world of it . I can go from regular , simple grids of square tiles to very complex patterns and level of installation of mosaics , stones , slabs , tiles of different types , including mapping of floors , mud beds , self leveling , waterproofing , design for production ,etc...

    I am not here to educate or show off or else to anyone ....... I was here -- on this forum -- only to ask about a concern I've had , that's it . Somehow 2 of the threads -- one of them being this one -- cross linked with both forums -- TerryLove & JohnBridge -- and got me curious and browse thru them . While reading this one , I was really disgusted at the way you personally attack Jim . I don't know him , nor is a friend and even if we had some different arguments in the past in a different forum , I would never allow myself to bulldoze my free thinking over someone , on an open forum , especially that most of it can easily be taken out of context . He is well intentioned and he is respectful of others .

    John Bridge tile forum is the best one out there for tiles and it is geared especially for DIY . I like to post there and the interaction with talented and professional members is rewarding . I will stop you there ....don't even think or assume about monetary or financial benefits . Members with lots of years of experience in installations , technical committees , reps from mfgs , etc interact and exchange opinions , which allows me to see different angles of the trade .

    I am considering any tile installer as part of a big family --- tile and stone installers , setters , mechanics --- and assuming that Bill , John or etc. are my buddies is right. They are experienced installers which don't need me or others to tell them what to do or how do it ........on the contrary can tell others what or how do tile installations or waterproofing .......

    I know waterproofing is one of your most argued subjects and not getting into it with you is very simple . I assume you know it . It is more important to believe and deliver the product to clients than over arguing it with everyone . Assuming what others say vs. what they do is another waste of time .

    Shallow end , deep end , no end has some specific guidelines which should be met . Some members have more latitude in theirs comments and moderators or owners could do or impose what they want . You , me are just guests of theirs site , nothing else . Deleting some of my posts changed my thinking of the importance of posting and made me look in a different angle(s) at the subject . No one is asking me to post in forum threads and very often ,as an example , help is voluntary . I think posting should have boundaries and the most important , respect .
     
  18. MGT_M

    MGT_M New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    Anyway-- They're coming to look at it

    I would like to interrupt this firestorm to announce that a Wedi tech is coming next week to look at my shower.

    After more investigation, I determined that the problem was that the black outer layer of the Wedi had separated from the inner blue layer Wedi in a small area, forming a kind of "blister". Evidently this is fixable (though I don't think it ought to have happened). I will see how it goes-- I'm actually impressed that they stand behind their product enough to fly a rep down to Florida to look at one homeowner's shower.
     
  19. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Occupation:
    master tile and stone installer
    Location:
    Montreal
    Good for you MGT M . The rep is also coming to see if the product itself has an issue . It is part of the job and it is good technical info for RD.

    If you are allowed , let us know what the problem is ( was ) .
     
  20. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Occupation:
    master tile and stone installer
    Location:
    Montreal

    Since this is not a thread -- yours nor mine -- to debate personal matters , I did let you know about my intentions .

    Leave us or run away from what ? Like I said , free thinking should be censored by the self ones in public written forum, that's my take on things anyway .

    I did some reading on this site last night and it seems that it is not the only thread where my comments '' disrespectful .........'' could also be easily attached . No comment is probably best .

    Manufactures recommendations are important from a novice or DIY POV and sometimes you need to keep them focused on understanding the rules in the book . If I tell them they can mix this with the other , even if the rep told me to do it , should I tell them ? I don't think it is a good idea , besides you can never be sure of the main reason(s) of others .


    When I do the waterproofing and no plumber is involved , yes flood tests are done .

    Shower flooding tests 018.jpg

    I am not looking nor need to prove myself to you . The picture replace the assumption part .

    No Reno for me -- did the Schluter class in Montreal -- , can't afford the travel expenses plus when I have work , it needs to be done .

    On a last note .....Meeting new people , interactions with them is just a personal gain , like learning a language . Before you say I don't needed , think how much can reward your own self . If you assume what they will tell you and believe in it , then there is no point in doing it .
     
  21. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Occupation:
    master tile and stone installer
    Location:
    Montreal
    I like working with Mapei's liquid membrane . No blisters for me .
     
Similar Threads: Tile detaching
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Tile setter did not flood test? Oct 31, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Please help!!! Is this toxic mold behind a tiled shower? How to fix it? Oct 24, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Tile missing. How do I fix this? Oct 8, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Outside edge of shower recessed shelf tiles are flush or behind of wall tiles? Sep 24, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Need help waterproofing plastic tile ready shower niche Sep 22, 2017

Share This Page