tile pan is flexing - what to do?
I'm putting in a new shower and my plumber recommended a Tile Redi pan. The shower was framed around the pan, and he hooked up and glued the pvc and supposedly it was ready to go. Just when the other contractor was about to put up the cement board, we noticed the plumber never poured a mortar bed for the pan. I won't go into all the details of what happened to the plumber, but I busted up the concrete, dug down to expose the pvc (which wasn't even glued, I might add), laid a bed, glued the pvc, and filled back in with mortar. I set a bunch of cinderblocks on the pan while it set. That was nearly a month ago.
A few days ago, I started tiling the shower. However, I noticed there is a small spot (between lip and drain) where I'm getting some flexing. I think I made the mortar mix a little too wet and it must have settled.
Digging this thing up is no longer an option. I have 2 ideas on how to fix this:
1. There's a 4" lip on the front of the shower pan. My first idea was to make about a 3" hole and then really pack in some mortar (on the dry side) to ensure a good fill. Then I would just liquid nails some cement board on the front of the lip and tile over it.
2. Same procedure, or drill a hole in the pan over the area, and fill it with low expanding foam. This is just a shower stall, so I won't get any standing water, but I still don't want to compromise the waterproof pan.
Any ideas or does anyone think one of these options would work?
You're almost screwed, but not quite yet!! Do a search here. There is a nice thread (here) on the Tile Ready shower pan and I have offered on means of repairing the flexing little rip offs.
You are also in for a surprise when it comes time to install tile on that pan, so before you go any further check that thread.:)
Here's that thread for you to read then come back and we can probably help.
So the nightmare continues?
How much is this kerdi mat option? I've sunk over $600 into this pan already. I have all the shower walls tiled (see pic) and I actually ran the cement board all the way down to the base of the pan because I didn't trust the seam, and I didn't buy one of those metal flange things they show you in the install video.
I don't know though. If I bust out a little concrete at the lip and then remove a wide enough section of the face of the lip (which will never be exposed to water anyway) and use a flashlight, I don't see why I couldn't either precisely spray some non expanding foam right where it needs to be, or else pack what needs to be packed with good mortar. If that doesn't take, add concrete screws and this kerdi mat?
And to believe I'd save myself a weekend by actually paying close to $1K to have a shower stall "ready for me to tile" and I just inherit more of a mess?
DIY's need to do their due diligence ever so more these days. Manufactures are flooding the market with products that appear to be as easy as 1 - 2 - zip you're done! but in reality they are developing products that are substandard just to capture the DIY market.
Bud, I believe you came up with the best fix shy of ripping it out.
Here's the problem with your theory. I thought of all of that also but if you will notice there are supporting ribs that are built into the bottom of the pan. You can see tell-tale signs of them on the topside if you look closely. Those ribs will stop the expansion of the foam and block the installation of any mortar. I even considered drilling larger holes through the sides of the pan I could get to and going in that way. The placement of the ribs just won't allow a 100% fix after the fact.:)
I can also tell you I have seen that expanding foam lift an entire spa-tub (200#'s) off the floor so I wouldn't want it under that cheap-ass Tile-Redi shower pan for it to lift and bulge in the center.:)
So it looks like I'll go with your fix, Bud. Thanks. I guess it wouldn't do any good to call their tech support at this point either.
Just to make sure I understood you, are these the steps I should follow?
1. Drill holes and anchor pan into the sub floor.
2. Line the entire tray with Kerdi mat and Kerdi bond using Kerdi fix (any idea how much that will cost me?) - Note: As you can see in my pic, I went all the way to the base of the pan with my cement board, so this would be just for the bottom of the pan.
3. Use that epoxy that came with the pan for setting my tiles in the pan. Sounds like you have to work quick with this stuff. Since I only have to worry about the lip and the base of the pan, I can probably cut everything and lay it all in 10 minutes.
Did I leave anything out?
One more thing. If I go with this Kerdi solution, I was planning on removing my guide boards tonight and finishing the last two rows of tile to the bottom of the pan against the cement board. Should I wait and do this Kerdi mat first before finishing the walls to the bottom or won't it matter because I ran the cement board all the way down to the base?
PS - the reason I ran the cement board all the way to the bottom of the pan was because I came home one day and my contractor used green board for the shower walls and tried to tell me that it was OK.
Just so you know...green board in showers was outlawed by the Uniform Building Codes used in this country about seven years ago. Your contractor needs to get with the program.:)
Don't install those bottom rows of tile just yet, you'll see why in a minute.:)
OK, back to the stupid Tile Ready thing.
You can see where the ribs are by locating very slight depressions in the surface of the pan. In the "right-light" they are easy to see. This is where I drilled the holes so as not to suck the screw head through the cheap pan material and so that the ribs could be drawn down tightly to the subfloor.
I also countersunk the holes slightly so as to accept the head of a shark-tooth style deck screw.
You will want the KERDI Mat to rise up the sides of the pan and in this case I would allow it to overlap the wallboard about three inches above the top of the curb. You will also want to cover the curb.
The KERDI Fix is a remarkable product and actually fun to use but you won't get any second chances. That stuff is sticky beyond belief, and that's a good thing.
Cut the KERDI Mat to cover the bottom of the pan and go up opposing sides (left and right) that three inches and three inches up the backside also. KERDI Mat is one meter (39.5") wide so it will take two pieces. You also must have a two-inch lap when you lap the KERDI Mat edges.
Remove the top portion of the floor drain.
Place your first piece in the tray and position it. It's OK to cut the corners so there are no puckers. Later you can pookie those cuts with plenty of KERDI Fix. Then without shifting it fold back one side over the other. You may want to use duct tape to hold the mat in position temporarily. Now you have 1/4 of the try exposed. Squeeze out some KERDI Fix and spread it with a broad-knife/putty knife to cover the tray 100% with KERDI Fix. You can also spread the KERDI Fix up that portion of the wall a little beyond the three inch high mark on the walls.
Now gently fold that half (1/4) over a little at a time and flatten the Mat into the K-Fix, fixing the vertical portions the last thing. I then used a wood cement float to work the Mat into the adhesive. You could use another putty knife but be careful not to gouge a hole in the KERDI Mat.
Now remove the duct tape and fold the second half back over the first half and do it all over again. Then do the same thing with your second piece of KERDI remembering to allow the KERDI to lap a minimum of two inches.
Once you have the KERDI Mat firmly attached to the walls, you can then seal those edges with more KERDI Fix just for good measure.
Now for that damned epoxy thinset. THROW THAT STUFF IN THE TRASH WHERE IT BELONGS. Trust me, you don't want to screw with it or get the fumes in the house. It is no longer required and you can now use thinset (unmodified) to set your floor tile and the tile on the walls.:)
What did I miss?:)
Wow, Bud. You restored my faith in the internet. Thanks for the detailed information! I'm finishing up my cuts on the last wall tonight and I'll leave off that bottom portion until after I attempt to follow your directions tomorrow. I will keep you posted. Thanks again!
PS - Say, did you use Tapcons or those hardi backer screws when you anchored this thing in? How long? I have no idea how big the gap is between the pan and my mortar bed.
Note: Hopefully these posts start to rank with Google for Tile Redi searches. What a complete waste of time and money.
That's a flat head screw with deep threads.:)
Found a place that sells the kerdi stuff, so I'll be trying this tonight. One more question. As you can see in the pic (the camera is tilted to throw it off even more), the tiles above my guide are level, but the pan is out of level because the mortar bed is too high on the right. Any suggestions on how to make this look not so horrible? I'm using 1/8" spacers and after dry testing it last night, two tiles will fit on the left side if they're brought up with 2 spacers, or if I lay them directly on the mosaic on the base. In the left corner, they will have to be cut regardless. Would you go on top of the mosaic or behind the mosaic? Since I'm not going the foam or pack-in-mortar-through-the-lip route, I can't think of any way to fix this. Water still drains fine - this will just be for cosmetic purposes. Thanks.
Good God!!!! This just keeps getting better.:)
I gotta think about this for a minute!:)
OKAY! I don't mind telling you THAT is a major screw up. But you already know that. Why isn't that variance noticeable when looking at the front of the curb as it relates to the floor?:)
Now is when I would be tempted to tear that sucker out, why didn't you say this was the case earlier?:furious:
OK, here's a fix 'cause I know you aren't going to tear anything out!!!:no:
I would probably try a SAVE by first going ahead with the KERDI Mat installation as described. Since nothing but the KERDI Fix will stick to that poorly designed and poorly executed Tile Redi Shower Pan, crap.:) A Tile Redi Shower Pan that is one of the absolute worst products to ever hit the market place. (Here Google here Google) <<spider bait!<<
Continuing: Once the KERDI is in place you now have the ability to fix the floor by filling it with a cement mixture. I would probably use a premixed sandmix but don't mix it with water. Mix it with thinset mortar additive, the white milky stuff.
When you do this the sandmix is going to get sticky and will be difficult to work with but it can be done. The concoction will readily bond itself to the KERDI Mat. You need the additive so that you can taper the repair out to zero and then later be able to get on the thin side to install the tile. Fortunately that floor drain is adjustable so this will work.
Leave the drain out and plug the drain hole. Tape over it with duct tape or something like that. Mix your fix, as dry as you can so that a handful will clump in your hand. Pound that fix-mix into place on the left side and use a straight edge to plane it out. I mean pound on it and pack it tight. Use a small board to torture (pound) the stuff with, maybe a small piece of 2X4. It is going to be sticky and have a tendency to separate and move with the dragging of the straightedge but don't let it do that. It will take some effort but it can be done.
Also keep in mind your floor drain is now going to be crooked. You'll just have to play with that issue and work it out as best you can. Once you have the fix in place, gently open up the drain and screw the drain strainer back into the threaded drain assembly. Be sure that you elevate the drain strainer edge enough to allow for the thickness of the tile.
Once you have all that crap worked out then pack some more mix around the drain so as to lock it into place at the proper elevation.
If you end up with some honeycomb type voids not to worry. Once the fix-mix sets up you can then repair any of your oh-oh's with modified thinset mortar and this will further strengthen the cement floor at the same time.
This will make the inside of the shower look proper again but if that curb is also that crooked you are just going to have to live with that issue. You could use a soldier-course of narrowly cut wall tiles to face the curb. The soldiers will be a distraction and disrupt what the eye comprehends and you will likely get away with it. Just call it a decorative feature and tell everyone you exercised your personal artistic license.:)
That is a mess my friend.:)
Are ya followin' me?:thumbsup:
Bud, I admire your patience with the DIY challenged.
A lot of things aren't really as bad as some think they are and nothing can really happen that can't be fixed for the most part.:)
Those damned Tile Redi Shower Pans are a terrible thing to dump on unsuspecting DIY's. If ever there should be a class-action law suit there should be one against that trash product. Those damned things are expensive. Then to give an inexperienced DIY epoxy thinset to work with is just blatantly outrageous.:yes: That stuff can also be a health hazard in the hands of a novice.
All they want to do is to sell product they don't give a damn how much heartache and needless expense they thrust on people.:) Their Technical department is full of inexperienced non-tradesmen and they are also liars.
I wish they would sue me for my repeated derogatory comments on the web. You would see me on every TV News program in the country.
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