Bond Breakers for Ceramic Tile

Discussion in 'Spotlight on Flooring Professionalism' started by Mike Antonetti, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    What a lovely day, when ceramic is not installed properly I want to kiss the installer! Well maybe a handshake! Today we removed 908 ft of ceramic and thinset. Most of it was installed over sealed concrete, the kitchen over carpet adhesive.

    So we remove flooring, dust free using the Dustram system, the floor was previous owners, it didn't aesthetically fail too bad, just glancing at it some grout joints had hairline cracks, the grout was 1/4" or a little more, kind of obtrusive. Most of it sounded hollow, bathrooms had different tile, nice but 12's with big grout joints which kind of grab your eye, not the tile which should get the attention.

    Since the thinset doesn't bond to slab, due to the bond breaker contaminant, the slab doesn't take water away, meaning it's fresh wanting to soak into back of tile and bond real well to tile. A little expansion and it shears right off slab and stays on tile. So basically it's prying full pieces up.

    The thinset didn't stick to carpet adhesive either.

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  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    This floor is getting Coretec. It's on a canal that is somewhat inland but hurricane Hermine that passed and caused relatively minor area flooding brought in 1-1/2" of water inside home the owner told my brother. I didn't see much damage. The slab was kind of wavy, I try to grind a little extra to reduce the minor humps. Slab was somewhat dense and solid.

    So when I walk in home I notice tile is sounding a little hollow, I see the canal which then tells me nothing but ceramic should go back down due to future waves! Also the bedroom had no carpet and slab was shiny meaning a sealer was down, so how will that affect the coretec? What are the moisture issues?

    A similar home we did the gulf water height was less than ft lower than slab. Bamboo went down and later came back up.

    Can you step in a home and know what type flooring should go in? Not always, and as we know when installers are there the decisions have been made.

    Oh, roof leaks should be fixed before the floor,

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  3. I would hesitate to put in Coretec...especially the cork backed stuff (CoreTec Plus has the cork backing).

    In THEORY this can be pulled out from a flood situation, cleaned, dried, allowed to bake in the sun (UV kills mold/bacteria) and then reinstalled. This works ONLY if this is vinyl/composite core ONLY. The cork backing will be contaminated and will stink after a few days.

    The other thing that people don't realize is the EFFORT to do this. The HOMEOWNER is on the hook for pulling these planks, hosing them down, cleaning them with bleach (mild bleach formula) and then letting them dry on the lawn (preferably on pallets to lift them off the wet grass), flipping them so the other side can be bombarded by UV rays (aka "sunlight") and then they have them re-installed (paid for by homeowner).

    The other trick with these click systems is the loss or waste every time the floor is pulled/removed/reinstalled. No matter how hard you try, you will always lose 10% - 25% of the floor to removal/reinstallation. Now the fun comes in: where to source the IDENTICAL FLOOR several years after the fact???? Nowhere. That's where.

    I've heard from one client who did the "pull it, clean it, reinstall it" for vinyl planks and was SO upset when she found out it SMELLED...of mold and a bit of sewage. Despite all of her bleaching efforts.

    She ripped it up and installed something she liked better (happened to be cork...but I'm not judging). Knowing full well it was a "disposable floor" should it ever flood again.

    Only porcelain will survive submersion (or finished concrete). Everything else is suspect IMHO. Good luck and have fun!
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    We let the retail manager know that floor wasn't flat, he said it's getting coretec, it should be ok. We are not installing. One of the reasons we limit installations, prep that no one wants to pay for.

    Finally some real life info about water damage and Coretec, thanks Stephanie. I'm with Her!

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