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Old 03-29-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


This weekend the slate tile fell off the tub surround in our brand new bathroom that was completed just this past Fall. As you can see in the image, the contractor installed the tile directly onto plywood. I'm planning to contact him to ask him to repair it, but I want to be well-informed before I get in touch.

Specifically, I'm wondering if he made a mistake in installing the tile on the plywood. Should I ask him to replace it with backer board? (I dread this after living with construction dust for a year, but then again I don't want this same problem to occur again.) Or is there some other likely reason why the tile came loose?

Thanks in advance for any info anyone can provide!

Elaine


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Old 03-29-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


the slate should be installed using thinset over backer board, IMHO.
Mastic won't carry the weight, as you discovered.

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Old 03-29-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


Yikes! I'm not a tile specialist by trade, but I would not install tile without some sort of underlayment... Espcially not big chunks of slate on a vertical surface. No sense in having just those loose pieces reinstalled as you'll likely have more problems.
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


Definitely have him redo everything in a proper way. Also, see if you can find out what he used behind the shower area, you wouldn't want the same thing in that area.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


looks like an uhoh job. did he do all the tile work? nice choices by the way
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:11 PM   #6
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


Had he had used actual plywood and the correct thinset this might have worked out. OSB is not a substrate that should be used with any tile. Looks like mastic to me. Versabond (modified thinset) with plywood would have been the minimum in this case. 1/2" ply with 1/4" backer (thinsetted over the ply) would be better. In a shower would be a different story.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:21 AM   #7
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


Thanks everyone, for the helpful feedback! Having watched the whole thing get constructed, I know that this is the only section that doesn't have greenboard behind it (or drywall in the case of the backsplash around the tub and sinks). Sounds like it would be wise to have him replace the plywood with greenboard? I'm reluctant to have him install backer board over the plywood at this point, as the tile then wouldn't be flush with the surrounding areas.

BTW, thanks, tpolk, for the compliment on the choices! (If you want to see a few more pics of the house, you can go to my blog at www.nestingblog.us and click on the remodel tag. We're continuing to post more photos as we get moved back into the new spaces.) And yes, the contractor installed all the tile himself.

Warmly,
Elaine
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


So, are you saying that everything else that is tiled- shower, bench, half wall only has green board behind it? Did they use a membrane like Schluter over the greenboard and then tile? Or is it just greenboard and thinset and tile? If it is just greenboard, thinset, and tile. You will be ripping out everything in a few years. Tile on OSB with mastic is crazy. I would be very freaked out about the craftsmanship in the rest of the bathroom.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:30 PM   #9
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You know what kiziah,

That entire tub project is doomed. It has already been said that you can not install tile over OSB. That warning appears on every bag and bucket of tile adhesive manufactured, every stinking bucket and bag says it. You can't be in the tile installation business without running into that information everywhere you go.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:59 AM   #10
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Year old post-----I wonder how the rest of the bath is holding up after a year?
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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Slate Tile Fell Off My New Tub Surround


It's almost two years now since the bathroom was completed, and except for that issue with the tub surround we haven't had any problems yet. (The contractor ripped out the plywood and replaced it with backer board before retiling.)

After reading all the comments here, I'm nervous about how long this will hold up -- but please everyone keep your fingers crossed for us!

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