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I Floated This Shower and IT FAILED!!-- Find out WHY

I Floated This Shower and IT FAILED!!-- Find out WHY
hello I'm Isaac Ostrow I'm a licensed tile contractor in Northern California I've been licensed since 2003 so I've seen quite a few things in my time

this

shower

we did in March of 2017 so about two and a half years ago we did

this

shower

and we've had a couple problems since then we're really trying to figure out what's going on the first problem that we had was we had some discoloration on the bottom row of tiles the tiles that were getting wet and I'll show you
i floated this shower and it failed    find out why
some pictures of those from the original email and then we also had cracking on the curve and what I'll do is I'll actually read the emails chain so you can kind of get a timeline what happened so again original install march of 2017 first call back was regarding a crack on the curb so I think was about three months after that maybe in the summer of 2017 he we just had two or three tiles cracked on the top of the curve so first thing we did is I just sent my installer out and he just
replaced the top three tiles regrouting it we were hoping that was gonna be it but it wasn't there was an underlying issue and here's here's the following email

this

is from October of 2017 it says hi Isaac I hope you're doing well we are encountering further issues with the

shower

that you that you're pre installed in our master bathroom earlier

this

year the sharp curbing has once again cracked across several titles the crack appears to have started further down the curb
than the area that was previously repaired in

this

summer in addition to the crack which happened

this

past weekend several tiles along the base of all three walls have become discolored the link below is an online discussion I found from others who have experienced the same problem attached to several pictures to show the damaged areas please contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss these issues and figure out how to move forward so so these are not the emails that you like to open up
see

this

but we always always warranty our work I will never dodge a customer we will handle the issue so the first thing I did is I called the manufacturer of the title which was Roca tile makers that make a lot of different ceramics there they have a ceramics factory in Spain it's just a bisque white body glazed ceramic tile so I'll read you my response to that you know so November first hi Joe the tile company is saying they have not heard of

this

issue before and they are only
willing to cover the materials that we purchase from them not the labor but like I said we were repaired at our cost I also have never seen

this

happen on any other jobs we've done we've used

this

particular tile many times in

shower

s it looks like there's moisture getting behind the tile that is causing the discoloration where the wall connects to the floor ceramic the body of the tile not the glaze can have a capillary absorbing action that can wake moisture up from the floor in
the traditional pant system we use so the original was a traditional PVC 40 mil liner and the traditional paint system we used the membrane is under the floor and the mortars allowed to get wet in the repair so

this

is what I'm proposing I suggest to use a different bonded waterproofing system where the membrane is directly under the tile so there's no moisture that can accumulate and wake up the wall to cause discoloration in order to do

this

we'll need to remove the bottom 12
inches of wall tile the entire

shower

floor waterproofing membrane and curb we will go with a mate we we will go with a waterproof kerb as well since I think that what is causing the kerb to crack is the expansion and contraction of the two-by-fours that make up the curve so on the first install the original install we used pressure-treated 2x4 on the bottom we're on the slab foundation and two two by regular two by fours Douglas fir on top of that so the old three two by four curve which
i floated this shower and it failed    find out why
has been done in our area for many years many

shower

s built

this

way and and now I don't do that because of these I have only had

this

issue happened one other time in 15 years of installing tiled

shower

s but we did determine that to be the problem and after we replaced it with the other curve there are no more issues I really apologize for the inconvenience that

this

is causing as it will be a 2 or 3 day repair we will do our best to get in and out quickly and control dust etc please let me
know if there are any days that work better for you in the month of December and I will be sure to plan what is best for your schedule in the meantime you can continue to use your

shower

s normal so that's the email chain of events that led to the second repair so now the curb looks good the pan looks great you can see we have a shooter pan in here so in the original repair we removed the three rows of wall tile all the way around took out the old traditional 40 mil PVC liner these walls are

floated

we went back in replaced the pan and the curb I went with Kirti curb I used built it out of cardboard with cement board on top that's holding up fine everything in the pan now looks great we're not having any discoloration in the tiles that are getting wet now but what we are getting we're getting a crack that goes from right here and it's really hard to see we have a crack that runs from here all the way up to

this

tile and you can't really see it it's barely
coming through but if you look closely you can see the surface of the tile is cracked and

this

crack is all the way through so we got cracking in here we also have cracking in the corner we got one crack tile that's cracking on

this

l-cut we have some crazing that's going up the wall here and you can see that

this

is starting to separate in the wall here so

this

is a

floated

wall

this

is the method that I prefer and it's it's really kind of alarming to me to see failures because

this

is like one of the most bulletproof installs you can do and the only thing I can think that we didn't do that TCA recommends which

this

is what 95% of the installers that I know do they just growl in the changes of plane we've always done it that way never had a problem with our

floated

shower

s but I think we got a lot of expansion and contraction

this

is an exterior wall so I think we have forces that are expanding and contracting the wood framing inside or the walls are moving
separately causing stresses and causing the crack so we're going to dive into

this

and I'm going to see if I can figure out what's going on so with

this

one the crack is right here you can barely see it but as I tackle it see the crack comes through some way you can see is the crack transfers all the way through from the mortar bed through the thinset so we actually have cracking behind here and a cracking on a flow is pretty normal you you see that a lot of times when we float
you'll see little hairline cracks and it's all reinforced with wire so it's usually never an issue it's not pulling my my mortar bed out here and that looks like tar paper huh so

this

is

this

is important

this

is one thing I've changed in the last last year too since I've been floating

shower

s again I don't use tar paper our aqwal our paper behind behind the the wire because I want the flow to stick to the wall what happens when you put paper it provides a separation
i floated this shower and it failed    find out why
you can see the mortar has come off clean from that paper so let me see if I can so

this

is what we call aqua bar paper and everybody in our area installs like

this

and I've been telling them for a while so the old way of doing it before I would say probably the way we

floated

probably before 1995 maybe early 2000s we never used aqua bar paper behind our float we would state book or laugh I mean all the critical areas were waterproofed with top mop or a pan liner but once you get up above
here you never really need to worry about the waterproofing and you can see all

this

and even when we pull that off it'll be bone dry water does not come up past usually pass the height of the curve

this

is all the only area that's why TC na says you have to have water proof three inches above the curve because up here you don't get that you don't you don't get water it sheds off it'll be bone dry like

this

is so here is aqua bar paper we got drywall right behind it and
yeah that's that's our paper so I'm not saying that's what caused it but I'm pretty sure and I've had a feeling for a long time that that

this

this

would be an issue and you can see we have a crack that's transferred all the way through I think once forces start taking their toll on a wall if if the mortar isn't stuck to the wall to the whole system that's the weak point and it's going to give one way or another so from you know all I would say all of my
installs especially since dense shield came out because that's the nice thing about shield is it already has a waterproofing layer over it so when we float our mortar over it we don't need paper because it's already waterproofed and I get that question a lot well where's your waterproofing you put water well debt Shields waterproof we're going over with a mortar bed and it's solid I feel really good about that so essentially start have been using that which again has been
maybe a year year and a half we haven't put paper behind our wire because I've had a sneaking suspicion and to be honest I've heard other stories about

this

happening and it used to never happen when they would never want when they wouldn't put paper on so if you're an installer out there especially in my area in Northern California and you install a lot of ceramic I'm sure you've come across

this

before so we're going to go ahead and get

this

repaired again

this

is something I'm I've been doing for free

this

is my third repair I haven't didn't charge them a dime to come do the repairs

this

is on me

this

isn't anything a manufacturer did or anything we're the ones who put paper behind the wall and so I'm responsible for it we're the ones who put a wood curb in so that's why I replaced it so when you're in business you know I've had my own business since 2002 been licensed since 2003 I'm gonna get the
callbacks I mean once I hear a lot of people make comments like I've never had a call back well you've probably never been in business that long maybe people don't have your phone number anymore maybe people are kind of afraid of you and don't want the confrontation of calling you back there's a lot of reasons why you wouldn't get a call back from something like

this

maybe the homeowner moved and there's no record of who did the install so just because you've
never had a call back doesn't mean you haven't had problems I'm using my experience my trials my my adversities to not only help you guys but I feel it also in a way keeps me humble it it gives my business character we stand up for what we say we stand behind our work so

this

doesn't always need to be looked as a bad thing you know I'm losing money on

this

but in the big picture

this

is actually gonna strengthen my company it's going to strengthen my reputation and
we're gonna take responsibility for it we're gonna fix it so so I have that saying that an old contractor friend of mine used to tell me said Isaac some days you make money some days you make friends and so today or making friends and so I hope you get something out of

this

leave your comments in the section below especially if you have dealt with cracking on ceramics subway tile if you've had cracking on a wood curb if you've had discoloration from the body of tiles getting wet
leave your comments in the section below because my hope is that we build

this

community of knowledge that we share with each other we help each other out so that we can all get better so thank you for watching and I love you I love being your tile coach we'll see you on the next video okay