Wall tiles become loose when water seeps through
broken grout lines that usually are installed over
sheetrock. The solution is to replace the tile and backer
board. Contractors either float concrete walls, use a cement
based backer board, Hardiebacker or claim to use
(greenboard) waterproof sheetrock. Waterproof
sheetrock does not exist. The correct term is moisture
resistant sheetrock (M.R.sheetrock). Gypsum is not
waterproof. The green paper on M.R. sheetrock makes it
resistant to moisture. Grout absorbs moisture. Cracks in the
grout absorb water. Water absorbs into the sheetrock like a
wet sponge, eventually making the sheetrock fall apart.
Cement based backer board (Wonderboard, Glasscrete, etc) is composed of a light weight cement material, half inch thick with a fiberglass mesh on each side. If water penetrates cracked or missing grout, the board absorbs the water without falling apart. If tile loosens up and falls off the wall, the adhesive can be scraped off the board; Apply new adhesive to the tile and place it back on the board.
Houses are constantly in motion, continually
expanding and contracting with the forces of nature. Some
houses are more stable than others. An easy way to tell how
stable your house is by looking at your ceramic tile wall
and floor seams. A seam is where a tile wall meets another
wall, tiles meet the tub, tiles meet the floor, or any wall
adjacent to the tiled surface.
Another way to spot movement is to look outside
your house looking for cracks in your concrete driveway if
you have one. Even better, look for cracks or separation
between concrete steps that lead to your front door, side
door etc. If your house has red brick around it look for
cracks and loose mortar. The point is that whatever is
happening outside your home is surely going to be happening
inside your home in areas such as your kitchen where the
back splash meets the counter, cracks in the ceiling or
anywhere that walls join, and of course in your shower where
the tile wall meets the floor.
Expansion and contraction of your walls and floor
place stress on seams causing grout to crack. Grout will
sometimes crack in random areas due to stress created by the
wall studs or backer board seams (where sheetrock joins
other sheetrock etc.). To rectify this problem, I substitute
silicone for grout on all the wall seams and use a flexible
sealant, thus creating expansion joints at all the crucial
Silicone has a rubbery yet firm consistency that resists mildew and sticks well between tiles. Acrylic latex caulking is commonly used by contractors. Acrylic latex doesn't have the elasticity of silicone, tends to mildew faster, and shrinks as it dries. Acrylic is water soluble and easy to work with. Silicone is a petroleum based product that is more effective, yet harder to work with. I have approximately 25+ years working experience applying silicone neatly and efficiently. Neatness counts: the less silicone you apply the neater the job. Potential problems are easier to spot when you don't have globs of silicone smeared all over the tiles.
For more information I offer a personalized phone consultation specific to your shower. All you'll need to do is send me pictures of your shower and pay the $25 consultation fee. Then we'll pick a day and time to discuss your shower.Site Map