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Pro Grade Flooring LLC
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I've got a question for you tile guys. Its about waterproofing showers, not so much how to, but when to.

I recieved a call from a local builder looking for a new tile guy. I unfortunately had to turn him down because I dont feel capable of handling an entire house. Floor tiles I can confidently do, showers and the like still have me nervous. Im attending a class beginning of the year, hopefully from there and completing a bathroom for my parents, I can begin doing public jobs.

Anyways, I explained to him my reasoning, and he appreciated the honesty, but I took the chance to ask him a few questions. I was asking him about shower prep, and he asked what prep? His old tile guys simply put the tile straight onto the backerboard.

From all the reading I've done so far, the correct way to do a shower is by installing kerdi or redguard. Which is preferred? Cons? Pros? The cheap way is obviously doing nothing, just installing the tile. My question, or concern, is along the lines of warranty. I guaruntee all my carpet and wood floor jobs for a year. So far so good. I worry about guaranting tile jobs without properly waterproofing. I wouldnt mind if it was waterproofed because I feel more confident in the lifespan of the job. And since most builders prefer quantity over quality, and I cant turn away ever job because they dont want to waterproof, how do I handle warranty work?



And while I have you, when you go into a new construction job, is the concrete board already installed, or do you do that along with the tile?
 

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Sean
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5,534 Posts
Kerdi, Redguard, blah, blah, blah..... it doesn't matter as long as you do it right

I personally like Kerdi & I hardly use cement backer board

As for is it already installed - ASK!!! Every GC is diffrent, you can always quote the price without as long as you have a line item right below it for install price

Also, some GC's provide all materials, some just the tile & grout, others nada - ASK

Good luck & you might want to see if you can find a Schluter Show & Tell around you
 

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Registered
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967 Posts
Alright, I've got a question for you tile guys. Its about waterproofing showers, not so much how to, but when to.

I recieved a call from a local builder looking for a new tile guy. I unfortunately had to turn him down because I dont feel capable of handling an entire house. Floor tiles I can confidently do, showers and the like still have me nervous. Im attending a class beginning of the year, hopefully from there and completing a bathroom for my parents, I can begin doing public jobs.

Anyways, I explained to him my reasoning, and he appreciated the honesty, but I took the chance to ask him a few questions. I was asking him about shower prep, and he asked what prep? His old tile guys simply put the tile straight onto the backerboard.

From all the reading I've done so far, the correct way to do a shower is by installing kerdi or redguard. Which is preferred? Cons? Pros? The cheap way is obviously doing nothing, just installing the tile. My question, or concern, is along the lines of warranty. I guaruntee all my carpet and wood floor jobs for a year. So far so good. I worry about guaranting tile jobs without properly waterproofing. I wouldnt mind if it was waterproofed because I feel more confident in the lifespan of the job. And since most builders prefer quantity over quality, and I cant turn away ever job because they dont want to waterproof, how do I handle warranty work?



And while I have you, when you go into a new construction job, is the concrete board already installed, or do you do that along with the tile?
Never say no, you should have got the job then figured out how to do it even if you had to sub part of it out.

Now you may never get work from that builder because he thinks you don't know what your doing.

You can always find someone to help and you have to start somewhere.

And if it truly a builder who wants quantity over quality that is where you should be cutting your teeth (unfortunate but true).

In this economy there has to be another tile guy you could have hooked up with, win win situation; don't pass the next one up.

And no the backer board is not done for you.

It sounds like you do carpet and hardwood already get yourself a tile guy and be able to do all the flooring.

You won't be able to do it all by yourself effectively anyway.
 

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Pro Grade Flooring LLC
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62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SLSTech, thanks for the info.

bconley, I dont regret passing the tile job. I did get the carpet from this builder, so I reckon I can get tile jobs from him later on. Im not willing to risk my reputation for one job. I'll wait until Im ready. I appreciate the advise though.

Do you guys install tile without the kerdi/redguard/whatever often?
 

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Carpe Diem
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20,742 Posts
Do you guys install tile without the kerdi/redguard/whatever often?
Never ever ever ever ever ever.

Not only do we use Kerdi in ALL wet locations, but we also use DensArmor and no paper in the entire bathroom. An appropriately sized exhaust fan is a must also.
 

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The Remodeler
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1,536 Posts
I'll still use a vapor barrier on studs with cement board in a regular tub surround. Kerdi would be a nice upsell, but I feel it's not an absolute requirement. If there's a niche cut into the wall, I'll redgard the entire area around it.
My showers are always built with Kerdi and the Kerdi drain.
 

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Registered
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11 Posts
Kerdi is so messy and time consuming. Find a distributer that sells WEDI board. It's an extruded polystyrene waterproof board that gets screwed to the studs with screws and washers supplied by WEDI. Once the boards are all installed you'll use a waterproofing sealant(also supplied by WEDI) to seal all the joints, corners and screws. So much faster and time efficient. Prices the same as cement board and kerdi membrane.

On a side note, I will still use the Schluter shower tray since my tile store doesn't carry the Wedi trays and they say are more expensive.
 

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Registered
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also, Kudos to you angus for using DensArmor! I love that stuff. I use it for ALL my drywall needs, not just bathrooms. The key is in the primer. just make sure you use a primer that has 40% solids by volume and you're set.
 

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Paul
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4,120 Posts
Kerdi is so messy and time consuming. Find a distributer that sells WEDI board. It's an extruded polystyrene waterproof board that gets screwed to the studs with screws and washers supplied by WEDI. Once the boards are all installed you'll use a waterproofing sealant(also supplied by WEDI) to seal all the joints, corners and screws. So much faster and time efficient. Prices the same as cement board and kerdi membrane.

On a side note, I will still use the Schluter shower tray since my tile store doesn't carry the Wedi trays and they say are more expensive.
For who?
 

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The Remodeler
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1,536 Posts
Kerdi comes in a 1 meter wide roll... I hang it vertically.. It takes me under 5 minutes to hang a 7' tall piece.

Wedi isnt readily available for me...

How are you using a Schluter tray with the Wedi walls? Are you also using a Kerdi drain? Basically, I want to know how you're waterproofing a Kerdi tray, if you dont like using the Kerdi membrane...
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
I worry about guaranting tile jobs without properly waterproofing. I wouldnt mind if it was waterproofed because I feel more confident in the lifespan of the job.
You have to ask yourself. How long do you think the job you will do hold up (doing it half-a****)? When you have the answer, warranty it for that time minus 6 months.:shutup:

Good Luck!
 

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Registered
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11 Posts
Kerdi comes in a 1 meter wide roll... I hang it vertically.. It takes me under 5 minutes to hang a 7' tall piece.

Wedi isnt readily available for me...

How are you using a Schluter tray with the Wedi walls? Are you also using a Kerdi drain? Basically, I want to know how you're waterproofing a Kerdi tray, if you dont like using the Kerdi membrane...
what i'll do is use the schluter tray and drain assembly and waterproof it with kerdi. the corners will get waterproofed with kerdi band onto the WEDI board. since the WEDI board is already waterproof, no more kerdi is required.

What i mean by time consuming is not the time it takes to put the kerdi on, but the fact that it's an extra step. look at the comparisons. Screw your cement board or whatever to the walls. VS. screwing the WEDI board to the walls. next, you have to measure, cut, mix thin-set, let it slake, then trowel it on, then lay the membrane and smooth it out. VS. applying WEDI sealant to the joints. in my opinion, WEDI is much quicker.

It's not that i don't like the kerdi membrane, I just find that the WEDI board system if much more convenient to install with the same results. Just my personal preference. Perhaps when the Kerdi board's come out, I'll switch. who knows
 

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Master Tile Mechanic
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202 Posts
Pffft. Waterproofing is overrated hype. In a standard shower, no seat, no knee wall or niche, tile over Durock, Permabase, Wonderboard, etc. will perform without any problems whatever for the rest of your life. There is no water penetration and very little wickup from the pan mud. Show me a real life problem because I've never seen it in 30 years.

Steam showers, seats, knee walls, niches - That's another story and it needs waterproofer. All this Kerdi, Schluter, Redgard crap that's been hyped for the last decade is not needed for a standard shower or tub surround. Ask yourself how anyone ever got along before it existed.

So explain to me, seriously I would like to know, why is this needed? Because I'm not having issues. Other than steam showers, the only need to waterproof is wet horizontal surfaces (for instance on a bench seat I will run pan, durock the face [nails], mud the top [no nails], then for good measure, even though it's not needed, Redgard the bench area and flash around it, no need to do the entire shower). Sell me on your product, I don't see the point.
 

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Carpe Diem
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20,742 Posts
Pffft. Waterproofing is overrated hype. In a standard shower, no seat, no knee wall or niche, tile over Durock, Permabase, Wonderboard, etc. will perform without any problems whatever for the rest of your life. There is no water penetration and very little wickup from the pan mud. Show me a real life problem because I've never seen it in 30 years.

Steam showers, seats, knee walls, niches - That's another story and it needs waterproofer. All this Kerdi, Schluter, Redgard crap that's been hyped for the last decade is not needed for a standard shower or tub surround. Ask yourself how anyone ever got along before it existed.

So explain to me, seriously I would like to know, why is this needed? Because I'm not having issues. Other than steam showers, the only need to waterproof is wet horizontal surfaces (for instance on a bench seat I will run pan, durock the face [nails], mud the top [no nails], then for good measure, even though it's not needed, Redgard the bench area and flash around it, no need to do the entire shower). Sell me on your product, I don't see the point.

Welcome to the forum. After reading your intro, I see you're a self-proclaimed old school setter. That explains your view on water proofing.

As you can tell, a lot of guys disagree with your view. Here's another way to look at it. Have you ever demo'd a shower without the use of CBU that didn't have mold? I would guess, probably not. That is all the proof I need water moisture penetrates the tiled surface.

Actually, I have never demo'd a shower that wasn't mold-filled, regardless of age. Then again, I never demo'd a fully waterproofed shower either. How did anyone get along without waterproofing before? I don't know but it is sure keeping me in business now!

Here is the curb of a mud bed shower:


I'd say water won this battle.

You can continue hoping water never infiltrates your installations, I'll continue knowing water can't on mine.

Hope you stick around. We can always use another tile guy here! :thumbup:
 

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Registered
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Pffft. Waterproofing is overrated hype. In a standard shower, no seat, no knee wall or niche, tile over Durock, Permabase, Wonderboard, etc. will perform without any problems whatever for the rest of your life. There is no water penetration and very little wickup from the pan mud. Show me a real life problem because I've never seen it in 30 years.

Steam showers, seats, knee walls, niches - That's another story and it needs waterproofer. All this Kerdi, Schluter, Redgard crap that's been hyped for the last decade is not needed for a standard shower or tub surround. Ask yourself how anyone ever got along before it existed.

So explain to me, seriously I would like to know, why is this needed? Because I'm not having issues. Other than steam showers, the only need to waterproof is wet horizontal surfaces (for instance on a bench seat I will run pan, durock the face [nails], mud the top [no nails], then for good measure, even though it's not needed, Redgard the bench area and flash around it, no need to do the entire shower). Sell me on your product, I don't see the point.

Every single shower that I've taken out to renovate or repair that has not been waterproofed has proven to be disastrous. The system you likely use to build a shower stall with that black rubber membrane and mortar bed is severely flawed. Each one I've removed has showed that water gets everywhere. There is water under the tiles, under the thin-set, under the mortar bed, under the membrane and under the concrete slab. The standard 2x6's used to create the curb are completely saturated with water that if you press your finger on them, water squeezes out.

The biggest problem is the grout. Grout is not waterproof. It is extremely porous. Meaning, water(and vapour especially) will penetrate it. Every time I pull tile out, there is massive mold behind them on the "almighty" green board, on the studs behind them, on the 2x6 curb and on the subfloor underneath.

I'm completely serious when I say this has happened on EVERY shower stall or bath surround I've pulled out. Where there is water, there should be a building inspection. Waterproofing and ultimately, mold-proofing should be at least a minimum building code.

Shame on you for not accepting proven methods and new systems. You'll soon fade out with the rest of them. Do yourself a favour and do your homework. People pay for your knowledge. Get with the times old yellar.
 

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Paul
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4,120 Posts
Welcome to the forum. After reading your intro, I see you're a self-proclaimed old school setter. That explains your view on water proofing.

As you can tell, a lot of guys disagree with your view. Here's another way to look at it. Have you ever demo'd a shower without the use of CBU that didn't have mold? I would guess, probably not. That is all the proof I need water moisture penetrates the tiled surface.

Actually, I have never demo'd a shower that wasn't mold-filled, regardless of age. Then again, I never demo'd a fully waterproofed shower either. How did anyone get along without waterproofing before? I don't know but it is sure keeping me in business now!

Here is the curb of a mud bed shower:


I'd say water won this battle.

You can continue hoping water never infiltrates your installations, I'll continue knowing water can't on mine.

Hope you stick around. We can always use another tile guy here! :thumbup:
The only thing I can add to this great post is, we got along for hundreds of years before electricity as well....I mean, hell we don't need it. You keep building breeding grounds for mold, Kyras, and it only helps me sell the need for a better system. Thanks :thumbsup:
 
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Master Tile Mechanic
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202 Posts
First off, I tend to post a bit dramatically to provoke discussion.

Second, pleased to meet you.

Since my diverging opinion seems to make you want to throw rocks, I will give my qualifications, not as a pissing contest, but in order to make my opinion valid.

I made my living installing tile and stone since I was 17, it's all I've ever done. I am 47.
I was trained by an 82 year old master who set tile every day since the age of 12.
He learned from his father who founded the Chicago Tilesetter's Union.
He learned from HIS father who was a lifetime stone mason in the cathedrals of Wales.
I have worked alone, I have had 14 employees and everything in between.
I have worked my whole life in one town under one name.
I am one of the most expensive in my area and rightfully so.
I am easily in the top five installers within 50 miles.
I was brought up on mud walls, but have installed any system you can name.
I warranty my work for a minimum of 5 years, but if it's my fault, I will fix it 20 years later for free.
I have never run from a job or been run off of one.
I have had the same phone number for decades and I don't screen my calls ever.

That said, I stand by my comments about waterproofers being overhyped. It's part of the dumbing down of the trade, from the introduction of mastic in the 50's to styrofoam curbs (which is kinda sad). Why it's being dumbed down is an entirely different rant I won't go into here.

There is nothing wrong with the traditional shower pan waterproofing. If you are seeing problems it's because it's installed badly. The rotted curb picture, well it's a lead pan, and that means it's 25 years old or more. From the orange corrosion, the shower saw heavy use for 25 years. If it was vinyl, and had been properly run to wrap the curb, you would not be tearing it out. There is a huge lack of skill, training and understanding in our trade. This would account for all the leaks you may be seeing. It's not product failure is it. It's poor installation. Of course, you don't tear out the one's that aren't leaking, so you only see the screwups people have made. As for the mold you see in every job all the time, I can't say I've seen that and I've torn out my share. But in 30 years I have never torn out one single shower that I installed with my own two hands. I have torn out 40 year old showers that my master did due to the lead corroding or those horrible 70's colors, but have never seen any mold in the walls or deterioration of wall studs other than from the bad pan.

So, when am I gonna "soon fade out like the rest of them"? Waterproofers are overhyped, like I said in my first post.

ETA I see the wall tile in that picture has old mastic on it. That would imply that the walls were on sheetrock (certainly not mud) I suppose that would generate mold in the walls no doubt.
 
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