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Thread: Tile & Shower Failures: A closer look a spot setting tile. Why this is a bad idea.

  1. #1
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Tile & Shower Failures: A closer look a spot setting tile. Why this is a bad idea.

    A great question to ask your tile pro is "Do you spot set your tile installations or use a trowel?"

    Simple question, but one that can shed a lot of light onto the quality of their work. Many pro's use this method of tiling but its a method for speed - not quality.

    I'll dig up some nice images of spot setting tile and try and outline all the reasons why you should ban this practice in your shower renovation.



    "Spot bonding is only appropriate when used either for mechanically anchoring stone slabs or in tile applications using an epoxy adhesive for a ventilated wall system." - Source http://www.tileletter.com

    Imagine looking at this in your new shower renovation. This picture from Australia and shows how a poorly installed tile can show the moisture through the spot setting thin-set. Always ensure this method is not followed in your shower and bathroom builds. Perhaps outside the shower or large feature walls in a living room this might fly and save some time. But in a wet environment it should never be allowed.
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-01-2014 at 10:00 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    DIY Junior Member Natup's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi John. Hope you are well. Not to hijack your thread (which is timely by the way) but I could use your review of my thread: "Master Tiler or MasterCraft tiler, tile adhesion issues?" You might be the only one to get the Mastercraft pun.

    Hal
    Toronto, On

  3. #3
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Coach Better - Tile Better - Inspire - Educate

    Hal I replied to your question.

    Online there is much advice from many people. I'm pretty much a hot head here online and it makes me so angry to see reckless advice given out. When this advice is paired with a sales angle the information makes me want to blow my top.

    Two nights back I went to the Windsor Soccer Academy and had the pleasure of listening to an inspiration speech from our Vancouver White Caps ex coach. He mentioned many things but what stood out was his talks about "Lazy Coaching".

    He urged us coaches to word things better - coach better - inspire better.

    I find much of the online advice I read - partially there. Almost good.

    I can rant and rant about why this guy is a hack - I can be negative - or I can coach better. Show people why they should train better - specify better. As a bathroom builder I have repaired many jobs that look like the photo's in this discussion. Regardless of who says it's OK - spot setting is wrong and has no place in your home's wet environments or floors.

    Don't listen to me? Listen to industry experts. And John Bridge is not one of those men. This fellow actually promotes the Spot Setting method from what I can see and read. Our friend Jim here also recommends this approach because he found a rule that says it's OK somewhere. Forget about my view, John Bridge's view or Jim's - look what other men and women have to say. Read the trade journal magazines and see what professional tile detectives say.

    "Spot-bonding also reduces the bond strength of the tile and its attachment to the substrate, making it more susceptible to stress and causing debonding under certain conditions." - Source http://www.tileletter.com
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-01-2014 at 10:00 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default TechTalk December 2013

    I would recommend anyone not fully aware of this spot setting technique read this. I know many online setters promote it or use this method. These men and women more concerned with speed of install than delivery the best possible product to the client.

    TechTalk – December 2013
    December 7, 2013 by Terryn Rutford
    Spot-bonding to cure an uneven substrate is a no-no that even a customer can recognize
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-01-2014 at 07:47 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Hollow Sounding Tile: Where they Spot Set? Oh No !!!

    If you tap your tile install and in places it sounds hollow you can guess a few things.

    The tile install is crap.

    The tile installer spot set the tile.

    The tile install will collect water.

    The tile install will fail in time.

    Knowing that the goal is 100% coverage on the tile edges and corners and 95% in the middle (wet areas, floors and exteriors) banning spot setting is key to a good tile installation.

    The article above was written for Tile Letter magazine. need more proof?

    Here is another.....

    Hollow-sounding tiles may signal installation problems

    Hollow-sounding tiles may signal installation problems
    July 29, 2013 by Lesley Goddin
    By Donato Pompo, Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Video Showcase: Spot Setting Tile Failure

    Pictures help. Videos even better. Here is a simple video that shows how little thin-set an installer can use when using the five spot method. make sure you understand that this practice is not endorsed by the TCNA or the TTMAC.

    Any tile pro that uses this type of installation approach is a "TILE HACK"



    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Quotes from John Bridge & others on "Spot Setting Tile"

    Here are a few links to some choice quotes from the self proclaimed "Expert Tile Witness" on "Spot Setting Tile" and some post from some others.

    "To make it short, I use the spotting method exclusively when setting large tiles on walls, and all my showers are Kerdi showers." - John Bridge 11/10/2007 Source John Bridge Tile Forum

    Such horrible advice. I wonder if he includes this garbage advice in his E-Books?

    "I was reading through John's book, and he mentioned spot setting stone. Is all the stone or larger tiles set this way, or just the first few to get a true flat plane?" - Scottish Tile and Stone 2/1/2006 Source John Bridge Tile Forum

    Looks like I just answered my own question above. What can happen when you spot set the lower courses first? You can get water collecting at the bottom of your shower and this can read as wet stone. I have a duplicate discussion on Houzz on this subject and there is a photo of Kerdi Shower showing moisture at the bottom. Full Kerdi Shower failing!!! Why - I suspect drywall or spot setting as the reason...

    Now on a forum full of expert tile men this discussion called "Dark Spots Showing Up in Granite Install" - why is it that none suggest that "Spot Setting Tile" might be the reason this tile install has failed? The proof is out there. The TCNA does not allow it. So why not say so. Could it be because the forum is named after a man who spot sets tile? My money is on that reason and no other....

    Here on this discussion called "Nightmare Limestone Spot Set Tile" John Bridge makes a helpful post (NOT) that the problem was not the spot setting but the choice in thin-set colour. Thank God that's clear.... OMG this is what happens when you walk down a road and put it all on the line. John Bridge has recommended spot setting tile - it's in his book! So how can he do a take back now?

    "...First of all, they should have used white thinset. And they probably should have pre-sealed the stone. I don't think there is a cure now." - John Bridge 6-20-2013 - Source John Bridge Tile Forum

    Picture John Bridge is talking about below

    Source: Nightmare Limestone Spot Set Tile

    I wonder if in John Bridge's books he mentions the colour of thin-set for spot setting? Jim do you know?

    This is the good part. The poster of the discussion comes back to say that White thin-set was used not grey and no one else makes a comment. That's not very friendly but what can you do? If you call john Bridge out as a hack - then you get banned!!!

    "Thanks for your answers guys, They did use white thin-set, but you can see from the picture that the limestone is so porous any slight difference in colour sucks right through and the rest dries out . We have used limestone on many other jobs without any problems at all." - Chris 6-20-2013 Source John Bridge Tile Forum

    Pretty safe to say that there are many people screwing up their shower builds following this spot setting tile advice. Our local Kerdi Expert Jim here on Terry's forum seams hesitate to defend his tile ideal John Bridge. I'm sure he is digging deep into his data base of answers for some kind of Cut and Paste reply. While we wait for Jim to come to John's rescue here I'll keep proving my point with trade journal publications and photo's of failed spot set shower installations.

    This method of installation is not part of local building codes. So if the men that use it are not breaking local code - just the recommendations from the TCNA and the TTMAC.
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 02-04-2014 at 08:01 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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