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Old 02-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #16
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


Bud... again, thank you for the help.

This whole thing goes back to my plumber not knowing what the hell he was talking about when he suggested I buy one of these things. It wasn't until it was plumbed and framed around that I took one step on it and immediately went to the Tile Redi website where it mentioned laying a mortar bed. He didn't know about it because he never installed one before and suggested I should have read the directions. Needless to say, he's no longer my plumber. I've poured a concrete shower pan before in an upstairs bathroom, and if I knew all this was going to happen, I would have done the same this time around - I just figured it would save me some time I didn't have a month ago. All I ended up with was a contractor who was going to let me tile over green board and a plumber who thought the Tile Redi pan was ready to go without laying any mortar bed.

Of course, the pan was level when it was "dry laid" (aka, supposedly "ready") originally. From what I recall, it was pretty level after I laid the mortar bed and then set the cinder blocks on it. How much of this latest predicament is attributed to the mortar not adhering to the underside as opposed to me not being a plumber or mason is open to debate. The curb IS actually fine as far as being level with the floor - everything on the wall is thrown out of whack by there being significantly MORE mortar on the underside of the right side of the pan as there is on the left, so the fix is isolated to the inside of the pan. That said, there's always a silver lining, and I look forward to the challenge of carrying out your 2-step fix.

The only tile shop near me that sells KERDI products only sells the bigger quantities and it would cost me near $130 for the minimum amount of mat & fix they offer. I found a guy online that sells the mat by the square foot as well as "tubes" of the fix. I'm going with 16 square feet of the mat and 1 or 2 tubes of the fix. Do you think I could get away with one tube for coverage.

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Old 02-17-2011, 10:33 AM   #17
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


That picture I had up was tough to go by. I adjusted the original photo in photoshop to give a better idea of what's really going on here - and I think it makes it look not QUITE as bad.

The one thing I can say with certainty is that the first row of tiles IS indeed level (I triple checked my guide board after screwing it in), so I rotated the image to be level with that. I copied a row of tiles (green layer) and brought them down to the base so you can see we're talking a small variance (from a DIY perspective, at least) at the base. The orange squares are the same size, so you can see the lip is just about level. I laid a level on the floor and the bubble is basically touching one of the lines, so there is a slight slope in the floor.

Honestly though, at this point, if I can have a functioning shower stall without any leaks, I'll take it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #18
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


UPDATE:

I just called Schluter to check on how much KERDI fix I would need to set the KERDI mat, and they said that since the Tile Redi pan is already waterproof, and that I covered the pan seams with overlapping cement board, the ONLY thing I need to waterproof are the screw holes. He said they need a minimum of 1/2" overhang to ensure a waterproof barrier, so I could get away with cutting 2-4" squares of the MAT and setting them in place over each screw hole with the epoxy that shipped with the pan. So really, it looks like I just need a few square feet of the mat.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:20 PM   #19
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


OK now hold on a minute. As much as I like and have respect for the Schluter company I can tell you that techie you talked to doesn't know what the hell he is talking about, if I understand what you are saying.

1. If you don't flash up the walls water will find its way under the edges of the wallboard. I don't know how far the water may wick upward but that isn't a real issue. The real issue is water working on any caulking you may have done [wallboard to pan] and getting through the buried caulk over time. Then water will sit in that area and eventually stink.

2. You usually have to mix the entire unit of epoxy at one time and your pot life is limited. If you waste all of the epoxy on just the patches then what will you install the tile to the pan with at a later time.

3. I will also tell you none of this matters anyway because the epoxy IS NOT compatible with the KERDI Mat material, it will literally eat it alive, then where are you.

4. I don't understand the 1/2" lap comment. Is that in reference to covering the screw holes?

5. If you do the KERDI Mat thing, it will probably take two tubes of KERDI Fix. (mine did)

6. If you are buying KERDI Fix over the Internet and have to wait for delivery then maybe it would be better to have a real tile store order the Fix for you with the understanding you can return an un-opened tube. That damned stuff is about $25 per tube.

7. With what you have already spent and the repeated bad luck you have had why dive into cheap-ville now? You are less than $100 away from a good fix.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:31 PM   #20
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


OK, next thing, for the benefit of anyone that may be following this and plans on using a Tile Redi piece of crap anyway.

When they tell you to set the base in a pile of mortar that raises a few issues.

1. Mix the mortar and glop it in the pan area.

2. The Tile Redi piece of crap drain is a PVC slip fitting. This means you must apply your primer then apply your PVC cement to the fittings. Then you must lift that awkward sucker and get it into place inside of three walls while at the same time perfectly stabbing the cement laden drain onto the drain pipe. PVC cement only allows a person a few nanoseconds to complete a fit up. Doesn't happen all the easily.

3. THEN...the natural impulse is to climb into the pan and see to it that the drain has slipped down far enough. Stomp on that sucker and do a few heavy-squats while you're in there just to be sure. The problem with all of this is now you are over-compressing the mortar and screwin it up. The mortar has now squeezed well beyond the intended limits of simply nesting the pan. Once the pan is properly set into the mortar you don't want to get into the pan for any reason.

4. Now, does everyone see what a ridiculous product the Tile Redi Shower Pan is. It is a frigging' joke.
J-O-K-E!!!
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #21
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


I ordered this afternoon. I got one tube of fix and 10 sq ft of mat (so I have leftover). According to the tech, it would have taken a lot of tubes of fix if I was going to use that to adhere the mat over the entire bottom of the pan. He said the fix is mainly for seams but that spot patching the holes with fix/mat will do just fine as long as there is that 1/2" coverage (I plan on doing 3-4" squares to be safe). I got the seams where the board/pan meet at the bottom with good waterproof caulk. I figure I could run a seam of the fix over it or something, just to be safe. Aside from that, he said go ahead and lay the tile over the mat patches with the epoxy provided.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:30 PM   #22
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


I give up!

Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:52 PM   #23
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


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I give up!

Good luck.
Bud,
Time for a beer. May I suggest a Sam Adams seasonal brew? Pretty wild thread. The snowball keeps growing. I did one job a couple of years ago with a tile ready pan. It went in ok but I did read the instructions and watch the video quite a few times. If I remember right, we hooked the drain up after I set the pan. I left out a piece of subflooring behind the shower for access. I divvied the epoxy up as I was doing the different parts of the job, including one of their niches. Barely had enough. Stuff stinks like the hair dye my wife uses. I wouldn't use the tile ready pans again. Even before reading about all the problems on the site here, they are way too much money for what they are. Looks like they should cost about $29. I am using the schluter system now, and am happy with their products. Now, time for that Sam adams,
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #24
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


Quote:
...we hooked the drain up after I set the pan.
Mike,
That is a possibility in some cases where access after the pan is in place is available but it would be the exception and not the rule.

Quote:
I divvied the epoxy up as I was doing the different parts of the job,
That procedure is also a possibility but again the exception not the rule. Not everyone has the wherewithal to divide two bags of chemical, one resin and one hardener and how would you know the proper mix ratio? The average DIY has no experience with epoxy adhesives in this form.

Epoxy adhesives have a fairly short pot life window in which to work with. Shower floors can take some time and then you also must use the epoxy adhesive on the wall tiles that attach to the Redi-base, this too takes time. To say nothing of the health hazards associated with using epoxies and having your face right down there in the off-gassing. There have been several occasions over the years where my guys have had to leave a job and go home ill from the epoxy fumes. Epoxy is not all that user friendly.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of these DIY Forums (any DIY Forum) is guys like me have no idea what the experience level of any given DIY may be. Some of these people have a great ability and could probably go to work for me (or anyone else) in a heart beat, while others make you wonder how they get through life day by day. Then some want to argue and want you to write a book designed for their specific project.

I can tell you in my experience I didn't just barge through that Tile Redi fiasco without first talking to the Tile Redi Reps more than once. They weren't at all helpful and when I asked them pointed questions they dodged the issues. Hell, one guy even told me: "You are on your own if you are going to drill holes in that pan", when the day before another Rep agreed drilling holes was the thing to do.

It was Schluter that told me the KERDI Mat material and the epoxy adhesive were in no way compatible when I was looking for a way to adhere the KERDI Mat to the Tile Redi plastic base. I also investigated the chemical makeup of both the pan and the KERDI Fix product and found out they were made of the same basic core products and were in fact compatible. It was Schluter that confirmed my findings and gave me their blessing with using the KERDI Fix for a suitable adhesive. When I did this it took a little under two tubes of KERDI Fix to complete the base floor and the base sides. This is how I know it will take two tubes.

c2g says the Schluter Rep he talked to said it would take a "lot of tubes". The guy doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. I have already done this and have already said so in an above post. The job will take more than one tube but less than two tubes, therefore a guy needs to buy two tubes for Christ's sake. How could I have made it any more clear than that. I don't just pull all of this stuff out of my a$$. Everything I post on these forums is from my first hand knowledge and in the field experience. If I don't know something I don't go ahead and blow smoke just to be a big shot like a lot of characters here do. If I post it, you can take it to the bank. In thirty-five years of doing this surely I must have picked up some knowledge of the trade.

My utmost desire in being here is to help DIY's with little or no knowledge to complete a successful project. They can do what they want however I can't control their ultimate actions and techniques.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:44 PM   #25
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Bud,
Your posts are always very informative and I enjoy reading them. Trim carpentry is my main area of expertise. I used to build houses until 2003. Now I am retired from the fire service and do remodeling projects mostly by myself. I have an electrician and a plumber that are both good friends of mine. Everything else I do myself and enjoy it that way. In the summer my younger boy that is 21 will work with me when he is home from college. I treat every job like 'this old house' and pride myself in keeping a clean worksite. I started doing tile about five years ago to go along with kitchen and bath installs. I have a good tile warehouse that I deal with where the counter people and sales reps are pretty knowledgable. They supply me with good products and the info I need to go along with them. I read through this forum and its sister site every night. It amazes me like you say, how some of these people get through life with some of the questions they ask. Quite amusing and scary at the same time. Well, keep up the good advice,
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #26
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Mike I see you are "near Cleveland".

I'm so sorry!

I spent a year there one month, back in the eighties.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:30 PM   #27
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Mike I see you are "near Cleveland".

I'm so sorry!

I spent a year there one month, back in the eighties.
Hey now. I know you will find it hard to believe, but I just renewed my season tickets for the Cavs for next year. We're gluttons for punishment. I live just under a half hour from downtown Cleveland but actually in a different county. I'm halfway between Cleveland and Akron in a nice suburb. If fresh water gets to the point where it takes over the place of big oil, I'll be working on fencing in Lake Erie.
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:19 PM   #28
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


Mike,

Years ago there was a company in Cleveland (I think maybe closer to Shaker Heights) known as Fairmont Tool Co. They sold-out to Martin Sprocket and Gear in Fort Worth where I happened to live at the time. Back then I was a part time superintendent for a heavy hauler type machine tool moving company a friend owned. I moved and replaced walls and windows when huge machine tools had to be moved, stuff like that.

Well one winter they hired me to go to Cleveland and dismantle Fairmont Tool Company. Forging hammers, ovens, things like that. So I did.

We stayed in Euclid I remember. It was a decent place actually but in the winter it is so damned cold in Cleveland your toe nails freeze. The Fairmont plant had no heat. They had always relied on the furnaces running twenty-four hours a day to heat the workplace. Well there came a time when I had to shut down the furnaces so they could be shipped. It was a cold son-of-a-***** working all day with no heat.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:49 PM   #29
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tile pan is flexing - what to do?


Bud,
Shaker Heights is where I worked on the fire department for 25 years. At one time that city had the highest per capita income in the country. Still a lot of old money there. I don't recognize the tool company, but there was a lot of industry in Clevenand that has gone. The cold doesn't bother me too much. I don't work outdoors in the winter. We seldom get below zero anymore.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #30
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Well son of gun...

I actually found them on the Internet.

Company History

Fairmount Tool and Forging was founded in 1917 in Cleveland, Ohio, and became well known as a contract manufacturer for automobile tool kits. The company also specialized in tools for automobile body work.
Currently we have only very limited information for this company. The company is listed in a 1931 "Corporations and Directors" directory, which indicates that Fairmount Tool and Forging was incorporated in 1917, with J. Wentworth Smith as President. A small brochure from 1928 for their automobile body tools gives the company address as 10611 Quincy Avenue in Cleveland, and offers their new auto body work instruction manual "The Key to Metal Bumping" for $0.25 postpaid. (As an aside, this little book became very popular, and remains in print today!) The brochure shows the use of an inverted diamond logo enclosing the "FTF" company initials.
Based on information printed in the 1953 Third Edition of "The Key To Metal Bumping", by 1953 Fairmount had become a subsidiary of Houdaille Industries, an industrial conglomerate. Fairmount remained as a division of Houdaille until July of 1984, when the company was acquired by the Martin Sprocket and Gear Corporation. The Fairmount operations were renamed as the Martin Tools division, and the line of tools continues in production today under the Martin brand.


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