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Old 08-31-2014, 10:45 PM   #1
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Hi.

I've got problem a problem with marble mosaic tile that I tried to lay over kerdi shower floor.

So, I've got: 2x2 marble mosaic. I've used unmodified mortar as per kerdi recommendation. I've laid tiles and let it set for about 36 hours.
It all looked reasonably good before I started cleaning grouting joints. I've got quite a lot of thinset in the joints and I've used 'hand grout saw' to try to take it out. The thinset was reasonably hard. So all was going well, but then I've noticed that one of the tiles started to move, then another... Overall I've got about 10 tiles out and I did like 1/4 of the joints.

The one thing that I've noticed is that tiles fall off the mesh. I.e. mesh and thinset are staying on the floor and tile with 'mesh glue' fall off. And I must say that there's quite a bit of that glue on a tile - it covers whole surface. I.e. all thinset actually contacts 'mesh glue' (well, and mesh itself). And then 'mesh glue' contacts tile. When that glue gets wet it becomes soft and I can easily scrape it off the tile with putty knife.

I must admit that this is my first tile job ever, so I could have screwed things up. But to the best of my knowledge I've done things in accordance to manufacturers' recommendations.

So, I would really appreciate if someone more experienced could give me some advice.

Did I start scraping joints too soon?
Is it something wrong with the tile (too much 'mesh glue')?
If that glue comes off when it gets wet - how can it actually stay on, considering that I'm tiling shower floor? Guy in tile store sold me that tile (and he knew what it was for) and I assumed he knows what he is doing. is there some sort of special tile for shower floor that comes on special mesh?
Or maybe something else?

Thanks!

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Old 09-01-2014, 12:12 AM   #2
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by markolya View Post
Hi.

I've got problem a problem with marble mosaic tile that I tried to lay over kerdi shower floor.

So, I've got: 2x2 marble mosaic. I've used unmodified mortar as per kerdi recommendation. I've laid tiles and let it set for about 36 hours.
It all looked reasonably good before I started cleaning grouting joints. I've got quite a lot of thinset in the joints and I've used 'hand grout saw' to try to take it out. The thinset was reasonably hard. So all was going well, but then I've noticed that one of the tiles started to move, then another... Overall I've got about 10 tiles out and I did like 1/4 of the joints.

The one thing that I've noticed is that tiles fall off the mesh. I.e. mesh and thinset are staying on the floor and tile with 'mesh glue' fall off. And I must say that there's quite a bit of that glue on a tile - it covers whole surface. I.e. all thinset actually contacts 'mesh glue' (well, and mesh itself). And then 'mesh glue' contacts tile. When that glue gets wet it becomes soft and I can easily scrape it off the tile with putty knife.

I must admit that this is my first tile job ever, so I could have screwed things up. But to the best of my knowledge I've done things in accordance to manufacturers' recommendations.

So, I would really appreciate if someone more experienced could give me some advice.

Did I start scraping joints too soon?
Is it something wrong with the tile (too much 'mesh glue')?
If that glue comes off when it gets wet - how can it actually stay on, considering that I'm tiling shower floor? Guy in tile store sold me that tile (and he knew what it was for) and I assumed he knows what he is doing. is there some sort of special tile for shower floor that comes on special mesh?
Or maybe something else?

Thanks!
Don't ever assume those guys know anything about the proper installation of tile. So many of them just want to sell the tile having never installed any themselves.

Based on what you are saying I'm thinking the tile you have is not intended for use in a wet area. A lot of mosaics are attached to a mesh with water-soluble-adhesive, have no idea why they do that other than the fact that the adhesive is cheap. When it gets wet the tiles easily come away from the mesh. Usually those type tiles are used for walls (not in wet areas) and the sheets are cut down to use strips of tile for features.

What is under the tiles? How is the shower floor assembled? Let's start there.

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Old 09-01-2014, 12:39 AM   #3
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Hi,

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate this.

I used shcluter shower base and I have kerdi on top of it. below shower base it's a basement's concrete floor.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:44 AM   #4
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


The tiles are made by this company: fabernaturalstone, I think the tile itself would be: Marble Blend Mosaics.

Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:47 AM   #5
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by markolya View Post
Hi,

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate this.

I used shcluter shower base and I have kerdi on top of it. below shower base it's a basement's concrete floor.
I was afraid you were going to say that!!!
Those small tiles can be trouble makers. Schluter says nothing smaller than 2" tiles but the truth is I have had issues with the Schluter Styrofoam shower trays.

I think your crawling around in there is causing the tiles to come loose. I know I know, How are you supposed to grout it?

I will use nothing smaller than 3" tiles in those showers these days.

You might get yourself a small knee board of some kind to kneel on while working in there. Knees produce a smaller "point-load" than feet do. Re-install the individual tiles after you get the purging's cleaned up, get it grouted and hope for the best.

The problems I have experienced have always been with customers that are heavyweights so to speak.

Not really sure those tiles are going to last anyway because of the adhesive and mesh issue.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:51 AM   #6
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Oh, that's sad to hear ...

Ok, so I guess I can get gardening knee pad - this would distribute my weight...

But what about longer term - are these tiles going to pop one one by one when I actually start using the shower?

Is glue a problem or is a styrofoam base a problem?

I'm not that heavy, btw - only about 70kg.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:53 AM   #7
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


I mean if that glue is water soluble - it'll become a problem, will it not?
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #8
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


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I mean if that glue is water soluble - it'll become a problem, will it not?
More than likely it will if the thinset has no contact with the tile. Once grouted, that will help for a while but the ability of the Styrofoam to flex may also be a problem over time if the tile isn't tightly bonded to the base.

I can't imagine what those tile manufacturer's are thinking when they do crap like that. Is that another Chinese thing?
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:30 PM   #9
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


It hard to say where it is coming from. Website (http://www.fabernaturalstone.com) says Canada and Turkey...
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:13 AM   #10
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Not a big fan of unmodified and marble especially if its got a backing.

Sounds like even after the 36 hour wait the tiles weren't quite set. Hopefully you got it all sorted out.
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Old Yesterday, 08:22 AM   #11
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Marble mosaic tile over kerdi in shower floor problem


Use a multimaster type tool to remove the excess thinset. There will be less chance of scraping a tile loose.

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