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Old 09-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
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Tile repair mortar - what am I doing wrong?


While removing a shower/tub door recently, I managed to pull four shower tiles off the wall. The home depot guy sold me a small tub of "tire repair mortar". Following the instructions didn't work...

The tub says to use four ounces of water per 1.5 pounds (i.e. the whole tub) of dry mortar. I only need a small amount, so I measured about 1/4 of the tub and put in one ounce of water. The result was too dry to even clump together entirely. When i added a second ounce of water, it became moist enough to form and spread (about like play-doh), but it certainly didn't stick to anything. I could press it onto the back of the tile and it would barely stick ... and certainly wouldn't stick the tile to the wall. It wasn't until I added a third ounce of water that it started to seem paste-like enough to spread around and adhere to things. But at that point I'm using three times as much water as the instructions say.

I ended up not attaching the tile and just cleaning up to try again another day. Any thoughts or advice?

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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Tile repair mortar - what am I doing wrong?


Never heard of that product---It is probably modified thinset----you need to mix it until it is thinner than you are describing---

Why did the tiles come loose? what were there sticking to? Was it over a drywall material?is the paper still sound?

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Old 09-27-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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Tile repair mortar - what am I doing wrong?


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Never heard of that product---It is probably modified thinset----you need to mix it until it is thinner than you are describing---
Okay, that's what I thought. But the instructions called for a lot *less* water than I was using, hence my confusion.

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Why did the tiles come loose?
The channel for the shower door was stuck to them with a tremendous amount of rubbery caulk, both on the edges and behind it. I was working my way down the edge separating it with a prying tool when I heard a POP - the channel separated from the top 12 tiles but the bottom 4 tiles separated from the wall. Since that's where they get the most moisture I think the wall material was just not very strong anymore.

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what were there sticking to? Was it over a drywall material?is the paper still sound?
It's hard to tell exactly what was there, it did get pretty torn up. It looks like there was a thin (like 1/8") layer of drywall-like material (or drywall compound) over a layer of plaster. Part of the drywall-like layer and another very thin layer of something else brown came off with the tiles.

Because the drywall material was powdery and came off easily I scraped it back to the plaster, which seemed to have better integrity.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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Tile repair mortar - what am I doing wrong?


It's worth noting I only need this repair to last for a few months, if that. The tile is severely ugly and I'm going to replace it sooner rather than later. But I have enough other projects on my plate first that I want to stick these four tiles down so the shower is usable until I can come back to it.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:15 AM   #5
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Tile repair mortar - what am I doing wrong?


100% silicone caulk is a great adhesive for tile repairs---for a temporary fix--consider using it---tiles may slip before the silicone sets up---use painters tape or spacers of some type ----
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