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Old 05-14-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


Hey all, I recently helped a buddy install a new shower. The overall size is 40x40. We used a Schluter kit and the walls are 6x6 porcelain and the floor is a 2x2 tumbled travertine. It is a guest shower and only been used once so far about two weeks ago. The issue is that on the floor, the stone and grout are still wet in some areas two weeks after use. This does not seem normal to me. He sealed the grout on the wall once and the entire floor twice with 511 impregnator. I know travertine is very porous and can really hold water, but two weeks seems strange. I would understand if the pitch was incorrect and water was pooling, but that is not the case. He fears possible mold/mildew issues in the future. Anyone have any ideas about what might be going on? Or could this possibly be normal? Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SoCalLivin
Hey all, I recently helped a buddy install a new shower. The overall size is 40x40. We used a Schluter kit and the walls are 6x6 porcelain and the floor is a 2x2 tumbled travertine. It is a guest shower and only been used once so far about two weeks ago. The issue is that on the floor, the stone and grout are still wet in some areas two weeks after use. This does not seem normal to me. He sealed the grout on the wall once and the entire floor twice with 511 impregnator. I know travertine is very porous and can really hold water, but two weeks seems strange. I would understand if the pitch was incorrect and water was pooling, but that is not the case. He fears possible mold/mildew issues in the future. Anyone have any ideas about what might be going on? Or could this possibly be normal? Thanks in advance.
Your only having this issue with the travertine because porcelain tile doesn't need to be sealed just the grout.

http://www.integrity-tile-and-grout-...ravertine.html

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


i never ever would have picked that as a shower floor tile. It just full of of pores.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


@Jetswet- I understand that, in fact I said in the OP that the grout on the wall was sealed once and entire stone floor was sealed twice. My question was about if it is normal for the travertine and grout to stay wet in spots for weeks after using the shower. If so, what may be causing this.

@joe- I agree, and tried to talk him out of it, but I also know that using natural stone mosaics on shower floors and walls has become pretty popular, and if sealed and maintained should be just fine. I was wondering if anyone has seen this happen.

Heres the floor:

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


Sealing the floor isn't gonna keep water from absorbing into the tile & grout. That's not what sealer does. Sealer will slow it down, but not eliminate it. Bad choice I agree.

Is the grout too low maybe? I will assume you used the Kerdi fabric up the walls too and Kerdi Band in the corners, all was sealed right? Was the kit cut to fit, did you have to fill any of the sides?

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Old 05-15-2012, 07:36 AM   #6
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Either the grout was sealed before totally dried or the wrong agent was used to seal the grout.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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@JetSwet- That is your second reponse that was answered in the OP. It was said that 511 Impregnator was used to seal. Is it your opinion that it was the incorrect product? If so, why? While I appreciate your interest in the problem that's occuring, you are really offering nothing to the discussion.

@Jaz- The shower kit was installed correctly with all the correct membrane materials and the pan was cut to fit with the pitch being correct and checked with a level. I don't feel that the grout is too low. Tell me what you think of this theory: While I'm aware that the sealer does not make the surface "waterproof", it does sheet a good deal of water off, especially when the application is very new. So, while gravity and the sheer volume of water causes it to penetrate, I'm wondering if the sealer is "trapping", so to speak, some of the moisture under the surface and slowing the evaporation process.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Tell me what you think of this theory: While I'm aware that the sealer does not make the surface "waterproof", it does sheet a good deal of water off, especially when the application is very new. So, while gravity and the sheer volume of water causes it to penetrate, I'm wondering if the sealer is "trapping", so to speak, some of the moisture under the surface and slowing the evaporation process.
Interesting. Anything is possible, but the Kerdi system allows so little space for water to be trapped, essentially only the thin set, grout and in this case the tiles can hold moisture. Maybe there's a small hole for water to enter, or maybe the over-laps of the membrane caused a valley? Hard to tell. I do think the tiles are the main cause though.

Any chance they can let it dry out then seal again?

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Old 05-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Your right about there being little space for water. Only a 1/4" sq notch trowel of thinset(net +/- 1/8"), so I do think it is the stone. Tavertine seems to soak up water like a sponge. And, yes, the plan as of now is to let it dry completely and seal everything again. Thanks for all the ideas. It's appreciated.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


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Is that moisture or mold growing? Many sheet membranes have a water based adhesive to attach the sheet. It could be mold growing in that corner.

Perhaps you have a poorly installed Kerdi Pan and it is ground moisture wicking up through it???

Was the shower flood tested?

What happens to the tile sheets if soaked in water? Do they fall apart?

JW
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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It might be possible that a water pipe is hit and dripping water into the wall assembly and the Kerdi is pulling it down behind the wall tile.

Can you here water running or do you have a water meter on the home?

JW
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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It is definitely moisture. It dark area has gotten smaller over the past few weeks. No adhesive was used in the installation. Only unmodified thinset, and the membrane is waterproof, so I don't know how water could wick up through it from the slab and affect the tile. It was also tested before any tile went in. As far as a leaking pipe, where the plumbing is located is an area where this is not occuring, not to mention the plumbing is not only behind the membrane, but also behind wonderboard.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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It is definitely moisture. It dark area has gotten smaller over the past few weeks. No adhesive was used in the installation. Only unmodified thinset, and the membrane is waterproof, so I don't know how water could wick up through it from the slab and affect the tile. It was also tested before any tile went in. As far as a leaking pipe, where the plumbing is located is an area where this is not occuring, not to mention the plumbing is not only behind the membrane, but also behind wonderboard.

Kerdi like all fleece covered sheet membranes will and can wick water. Grab some and place it in a sauce pan with water. Let it sit half in the dish and half out. You will see the kerdi drain the dish.

Noble does this and so does Wedi's membrane. If you have an install on grade the mositure might be coming from below.

If it's getting smaller over time then I'm stumped and suggest you call your Schluter Rep and see if he can help you. It can take weeks to hear back from your local rep if he is anything like mine here in Vancouver.

Good Luck - Sorry I couldn't help any more than that.

JW
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


Of course it can wick water. It has fleece on it. But your test proves nothing about it being waterproof or not. The polyethelene layer is waterproof and moisture will not tranfer from one side to the other. I appreciate your response, but your logic is wrong.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #15
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Stone Shower Floor Not Drying


I would suggest blow drying the area then taking a fine sanding block to take off the sealer, buff it out with a sponge then run the shower on the section and check it see if it drys.

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