Return to the Bathrooms Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Posted by Petra2012 (My Page) on
Thu, May 15, 14 at 11:00

I posted this on the "Building a Home" forum too, but figured there might be more tile advice on the Bathrooms forum, even though it's a fireplace....

We finally moved into our ICF home a few months back. Just 2 weeks ago, we made a decision on the fireplace (finally!) and it was tiled with honed vein cut travertine. As you can see from the pictures, it's very tall (20' ceilings) and at the top there are still a lot of "spots" remaining on the tile.

Initially, the ENTIRE fireplace looked like this upon application. (The tiles did not look like this new in the box). However, after grouting everything, the "spotty" look disappeared and it turned out great, except for about 2 feet at the very top. We keep wondering if it could be moisture at the top and it's just not getting as much air circulation to dry, but as time goes on and there are no changes, that does not appear to be a correct theory. It has been over 2 weeks now.

Any advice on what these marks are, and what the cause could be? Thanks in advance for any and all comments re: this.

p.s. I will post a few more pictures in a reply post since I can only post one at a time


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

close-up pic


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

One more


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

They most likely used mastic instead of thinset. Did you happen to take any pictures of the in progress, or the products that they used?


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Also, yes, you're correct in thinking it's moisture. Tall rooms with inadequate air flow often have "dead spots" where condensation can occur, especially if there happens to be a spot where the insulation isn't thick enough.


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

That is really weird. Is there a rain cap on the top of the chimney? Could water somehow be getting in between the liner and the stack?


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

I found out that they used bersa bond thinset.

No, it's not even a "real" chimney - it's a concrete wall and one of those ethanol-alcohol burning fireplaces so there's nothing above it other than regular roof, just an illusion.


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Alcohol produces a lot of moisture when burned. If you don't have a whole house ventilation system in a very tight house, you can have other issues with moisture rearing it's head. Do you have a fresh air intake on your HVAC?


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Versabond comes in gray and white. For travertine it's my understanding that white thinset should be used since with gray thinset there is the possibility of bleed through. That might be what is happening to your tile.

Do your tile guys have any ideas about what is going on?


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Looks like they didn't shuffle the tile boxes before installation. Rookie mistake.


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Would they have just blobbed the thinset on in spots before installing each tile? Because of the uniform spotting, it almost looks "man-made". The thinset you say was used was probably VersaBond by Custom Building Products.


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Was the tile 'Spot Set' ?


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

Am I imagining things or do I see the same spots (although much fainter) all the way down in your last picture?

At first I was guessing that it's moisture. On an episode of 'The Block', they had the same spots show up on the granite tiles they used in the bathroom. They disappeared as it dried. I am assuming that with little air flow way up there, that it's taking longer to dry out. However, if there ARE still spots (though faint) on all the other tiles, that's not a good thing!


 o
RE: Advice on what went wrong with this tile?

I'd get on a ladder and take a Bernz-O-Matic to those tile (okay a heat gun for you wussies) and see if intense heat could dry the tile.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bathrooms Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here