Tiling comedy of errors. Help needed.

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No two way about it, it needs aqua panel. Though not necesarily everywhere, but certainly behind the shower and possibly behind the sink.

When you lived there, dod you "squeegie" the tiles dry or leave a window open after a shower? You couldn't expect the tennants to do that, but it might go some way to explaining your differing experiences

Nozzle
 
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Cheers for that.

We do have a water softener hardwired to the pipework before the boiler which is checked or replaced every year by the boiler install company which should counteract this issue but it's worth a mention to the Agency I think. Thank you.

Do the tennants put salt in it regularly? Just so you know, it's only the secondary side that should see soft water, the primary side should be hard but dosed.

Nozzle
 
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No two way about it, it needs aqua panel. Though not necesarily everywhere, but certainly behind the show and possibly behind the sink.

When you lived there, dod you "squeegie" the tiles dry or leave a window open after a shower? You couldn't expect the tennants to do that, but it might go some way to explaining your differing experiences

Nozzle
We have live there on an off for 10 years only 4 years renting out over that time.
This is the first time I've ever had issues with the shower area, though this is not the first time I have used marine ply in a shower area with no issues of grout eroding, falling out, cracking or staining.

I used to shower for maybe 10 minutes a morning the vented window was always closed but the powerful extractor fan in the loft and on a 1.8 metre tube to the vent above the shower head was always switched on.
There have been occasions when the extractor fan was not on but the room never really filled up with steam or too much condensation and on those occasions the closed vented window cleared it 10 minutes. Unless the wife came in and opened the window.
 
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Do the tennants put salt in it regularly? Just so you know, it's only the secondary side that should see soft water, the primary side should be hard but dosed.

Nozzle
Now we are getting into territory which is out of my knowledge base. There is a silver thingy which looks like a soda stream pressure tube attached to the pipework before the boiler pipework. I assumed it was a softener of some kind, the boiler company fitted it (Worcester Bosch), it apparently was necessary for the 5 year warranty, along with annual boiler servicing.
 
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I've not read the whole thread but the plywood is going to be the route of you problem. You also sealed it with PVA??? That is also a huge colossal NONO!

To be honest you are very lucky that those tiles haven't come off and injured someone. So a couple of things to note......

1. Plywood in wet areas will swell, go mouldy, rot...... the brown staining is more than likely mould that is growing from behind the tiles.
2. PVA should not be used in any tile situation. It doesn't seal anything in wet areas. It is reactivated when it comes into contact with water. Your tiles are only stuck to a layer of carpenters glue! It can also have a chemical reaction to most adhesives (it create Acetic acid which prevents the adhesive from sufficiently binding and hydrating) thus drastically reducing the bond strength. Use an Acrylic primer or SBR instead.
3. Grout will not waterproof anything unless you use epoxy. Normal grouts are water resistant and will allow water to pass through...... and mould to come back through the other way.

Its got to be a complete rip-out, and sooner rather than later. There is no fixing that.

My next course of action would be;
Take the tiles off,
Take out ply, board it out with a waterproof board like Marmox, Wedi or Schluter Kerdiboard (Aquapanal is also only water resistant so won't go manky like ply, but water can still pass through it so that would also need tanking..... you could even use MR plasterboard and tank it but personally I'd use Marmox for piece of mind),
Tile it with a cement based adhesive (not ready mixed because that can also soften if left wet for too long), you also need to make sure you have a full coverage of adhesive to give you 100% bond strength and to ensure there are no voids for water to freely travel,
Grout it (Epoxy is belts and braces but you can use a good quality flexible cement based grout (Mapei UCP) and apply a coat of sealer).
 
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I've not read the whole thread but the plywood is going to be the route of you problem. You also sealed it with PVA??? That is also a huge colossal NONO!

To be honest you are very lucky that those tiles haven't come off and injured someone. So a couple of things to note......

1. Plywood in wet areas will swell, go mouldy, rot...... the brown staining is more than likely mould that is growing from behind the tiles.
2. PVA should not be used in any tile situation. It doesn't seal anything in wet areas. It is reactivated when it comes into contact with water. Your tiles are only stuck to a layer of carpenters glue! It can also have a chemical reaction to most adhesives (it create Acetic acid which prevents the adhesive from sufficiently binding and hydrating) thus drastically reducing the bond strength. Use an Acrylic primer or SBR instead.
3. Grout will not waterproof anything unless you use epoxy. Normal grouts are water resistant and will allow water to pass through...... and mould to come back through the other way.

Its got to be a complete rip-out, and sooner rather than later. There is no fixing that.

My next course of action would be;
Take the tiles off,
Take out ply, board it out with a waterproof board like Marmox, Wedi or Schluter Kerdiboard (Aquapanal is also only water resistant so won't go manky like ply, but water can still pass through it so that would also need tanking..... you could even use MR plasterboard and tank it but personally I'd use Marmox for piece of mind),
Tile it with a cement based adhesive (not ready mixed because that can also soften if left wet for too long), you also need to make sure you have a full coverage of adhesive to give you 100% bond strength and to ensure there are no voids for water to freely travel,
Grout it (Epoxy is belts and braces but you can use a good quality flexible cement based grout (Mapei UCP) and apply a coat of sealer).

Cheers for your advice. None of that sounds great but if it's required then that's what will have to be done.

There are also many youtube videos where people have suggested marine ply was no problem to use as well including for shower areas. But I got this from other forums members that Marine ply would also be fine as long as what they called coated it with PVA. It came in a couple of tubs a like a primer and waterproofer called Aquaseal or something. Was this not right to use then?

So far that's two people saying marine ply is a disaster to use and this is a complete disaster of a job.
I'll have to hang my head in shame for listening to peoples advice before I started this disaster of a job.
 
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Don't put yourself down to much. We've all had to learn it one way or another, but experience is generally a better teacher than any video posted by someone who thinks they know better.
 
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I've not read the whole thread but the plywood is going to be the route of you problem. You also sealed it with PVA??? That is also a huge colossal NONO!

To be honest you are very lucky that those tiles haven't come off and injured someone. So a couple of things to note......

1. Plywood in wet areas will swell, go mouldy, rot...... the brown staining is more than likely mould that is growing from behind the tiles.
2. PVA should not be used in any tile situation. It doesn't seal anything in wet areas. It is reactivated when it comes into contact with water. Your tiles are only stuck to a layer of carpenters glue! It can also have a chemical reaction to most adhesives (it create Acetic acid which prevents the adhesive from sufficiently binding and hydrating) thus drastically reducing the bond strength. Use an Acrylic primer or SBR instead.
3. Grout will not waterproof anything unless you use epoxy. Normal grouts are water resistant and will allow water to pass through...... and mould to come back through the other way.

Its got to be a complete rip-out, and sooner rather than later. There is no fixing that.

My next course of action would be;
Take the tiles off,
Take out ply, board it out with a waterproof board like Marmox, Wedi or Schluter Kerdiboard (Aquapanal is also only water resistant so won't go manky like ply, but water can still pass through it so that would also need tanking..... you could even use MR plasterboard and tank it but personally I'd use Marmox for piece of mind),
Tile it with a cement based adhesive (not ready mixed because that can also soften if left wet for too long), you also need to make sure you have a full coverage of adhesive to give you 100% bond strength and to ensure there are no voids for water to freely travel,
Grout it (Epoxy is belts and braces but you can use a good quality flexible cement based grout (Mapei UCP) and apply a coat of sealer).

Good grief there must be thousands of people in fear of their very lives in that case judging by the c**p that builders are throwing up these days. Every one in a new build is constantly watching for the tiles falling off the walls every time they shower. Every internal wall is a stud wall made of wood and cardboard covered plaster of paris. I'm so glad I live in an older house even though I don't have a square wall in it.
 

SFK

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DiyNotNumpty,
Sorry for your troubles on this.
May I add a thought in addition to the others above - is the shower curtain a also bit long and staying wet in the bottom of the Shower Tray, increasing the moisture collection and dispersion throughout the day?
Not a problem when your house and you would leave it open to dry, but in a rental might be an issue.
sfk
 
D

Doggit

Stop worrying DNN, PaulC is giving you what is now considered best practice, but keep in mind that showers have been tiled for years before all these fancy backing panels were developed. You've used marine ply, and although you've applied PVA, the tiles aren't coming off, so you don't need to worry until they do; which is very unlikely. He's made a very good suggestion that the dark colour is very likely mould though, as grout isn't waterproof, but we've always hacked off the grout after a few years, and reapplied it, and tenants never bother to treat a rental place with consideration - as you've found.. See what the new contractor says, but I'll stick to my guns over using epoxy grout next time, but make sure they know how to use it, as it can be tricky to apply.
 
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Now we are getting into territory which is out of my knowledge base. There is a silver thingy which looks like a soda stream pressure tube attached to the pipework before the boiler pipework. I assumed it was a softener of some kind, the boiler company fitted it (Worcester Bosch), it apparently was necessary for the 5 year warranty, along with annual boiler servicing.

It's probably not a water softener then, just a glorified filter - perhaps still adequate for the warranty, but a proper water softener uses salt as a consumable and exchanges one chemical for a different one, which just happens to be more easily dissolved in the water so stays in rather than plates out on your cylinder.

Nozzle
 
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Staining is often related to hair and body products which contain colouring which will stain grout, though this is much reduced with regular cleaning, mould will occur if there is insufficient ventilation, does the room have a powerful, efficient extractor fan? and unless it has and the fan runs every time the room is occupied mould will get a hold.Mould growth also likes still air so it starts behind bottles and sponges left at floor level which block air circulation.My bathroom which had good air movement had white sealant around the tub which remained white and unstained for over 20 years, a friend who I do the odd maintenance jobs for has me replacing the sealant around her bath every 6 months despite having a cleaner in 3 times and week , she had poor ventilation and insisted in stacking dozens of products along the bath edge.
As mentioned ply is not ideal and pva should never be used to seal anything before tiling.
 
E

EddieM

Cheers for your advice. None of that sounds great but if it's required then that's what will have to be done.

There are also many youtube videos where people have suggested marine ply was no problem to use as well including for shower areas. But I got this from other forums members that Marine ply would also be fine as long as what they called coated it with PVA. It came in a couple of tubs a like a primer and waterproofer called Aquaseal or something. Was this not right to use then?

So far that's two people saying marine ply is a disaster to use and this is a complete disaster of a job.
I'll have to hang my head in shame for listening to peoples advice before I started this disaster of a job.


Think you're being a tad harsh on yourself there, it's a small area and pretty quick / cheap to remedy and well within a competent DIY'ers remit.
 
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Stop worrying DNN, PaulC is giving you what is now considered best practice, but keep in mind that showers have been tiled for years before all these fancy backing panels were developed. You've used marine ply, and although you've applied PVA, the tiles aren't coming off, so you don't need to worry until they do; which is very unlikely. He's made a very good suggestion that the dark colour is very likely mould though, as grout isn't waterproof, but we've always hacked off the grout after a few years, and reapplied it, and tenants never bother to treat a rental place with consideration - as you've found.. See what the new contractor says, but I'll stick to my guns over using epoxy grout next time, but make sure they know how to use it, as it can be tricky to apply.
Thank you so much. Will do.
 
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Staining is often related to hair and body products which contain colouring which will stain grout, though this is much reduced with regular cleaning, mould will occur if there is insufficient ventilation, does the room have a powerful, efficient extractor fan? and unless it has and the fan runs every time the room is occupied mould will get a hold.Mould growth also likes still air so it starts behind bottles and sponges left at floor level which block air circulation.My bathroom which had good air movement had white sealant around the tub which remained white and unstained for over 20 years, a friend who I do the odd maintenance jobs for has me replacing the sealant around her bath every 6 months despite having a cleaner in 3 times and week , she had poor ventilation and insisted in stacking dozens of products along the bath edge.
As mentioned ply is not ideal and pva should never be used to seal anything before tiling.
The extractor fan (as long as it's not switched off) can easily extract all of the excess moisture in the room. The house is only 14 years old, so everything is to that spec. Cheap though. Most of which has fallen apart and or been replaced with newer higher rated items or products.

It's difficult to know exactly what the tenants have done. In this house, it seems, every single tenant that has lived there have been happy to do their own thing regardless of what the contract says. So basically I should expect the worse because as they always seem happy to do that.

So far these tenants have broken the Security Alarm and had it repaired (alledgely via an alarm company but probably themselves) including changing the security code.
I'm still waiting for a copy of the Engineers report to find out what happened.
They have painted the newly treated wooden shed in the garden a whitey cream colour.
I'm just waiting for the next thing from the Agency "oh they've done this, but doesn't it look pretty?" or "they are really looking after the property but something else has broken" comment.
This is the same Agency which before these guys moved in they sent me the contract to sign with the wrong names for the tenants on it.
I sent back the contract to tell them to correct it and they gave the tenants the keys to the house before the contract was signed. FFS.
Two whole weeks later the tenants are already in and then sign the contract with no inventory list created. 4 weeks later the inventory gets done and lamp shades were already missing. Thankfully I'd done my own inventory and the missing items were in the loft, two were already broken.

Getting back to the tiles. I think that as the tiles seem to be sound (as no one is complaining about the tiles falling off) the grout is at issue here or lack thereof. This was caused by the tenants rubbing off the grout to clean the staining. This then exposed the underlying base which made the situation worse continued with the prolonged repair period and the tenants still using the shower has made this much worse than it should have been. I will not be replacing the tiles unless I really have to. I.e. if they are not falling off.

I will make sure the second contractor is aware of epoxy grout and also make sure the area is left to dry before work commences.
The exposed area will need to be treated for any suspect mold, if it is there. So far I have not seen this happen but never say never.

Unless some other crap happens in between.
 

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