Category Archives: tile decks

Blogger Details The Building of Their New Home, Shortly After, Their Tile Decks Leak-See the Pics

I was doing a Google on tile decks…and found this Blog on a homeowners building their house and their tile deck leak issues.

The first set of pics show the house being framed/flashed. Problems are already apparent, such as the floor of the deck being almost the same height as the floor of the house…then tile is going on. The result will be tile higher than the floor, water trapped in thresholds…click here to see the start of the job

Here is an actual statement by the owner on the cause of their deck problems…
“The 3rd wettest January on record helped to underscore the ongoing problems we had with water leaking into the great room. The roof over this area is actually the roof deck. The roof deck is surrounded by a stucco parapet and the theory for the cause of our water problems is that when the tile was grouted, the weep screed in the J-metal at the lower edge of the stucco got plugged. This caused water to back up into the stucco and seep through the wooden parapet structure (natural stucco is not waterproof). Any way, to fix it involved tearing out stucco and tile and re-flashing, re-sealing and putting everything back. 3/1/2005 – ”

“One wouldn’t think that in the desert, leaking water would be a big problem–and most of the time it isn’t. On those infrequent occasions, though, it can really be a mess. Our major leaking problems come from two areas. The first, and most serious, is water leaking from the roof deck. Current theory is that water is not exiting the stucco on the parapet through its normal path out of the bottom of J-metal that defines the lower limits of the stucco. This area has been blocked by tile grout. The other leaking is coming from the door thresholds. These were originally installed below the level of the exterior tile. Not a good idea. They were replaced with a higher version, but the adjoining deck tile was not replaced. This left a gap, and again, more water.”

See the horror show pics of water leaking in everywhere. Click here

 See the horror show pics of the house being torn apart to remove wet insulation, drywall etc. Click here

See the horror show pics of the deck being torn apart to fix the stucco and deck. Click here

Moral of the Story-Do it right once or pay the consequences…


From John Bridge Tile Forums-Schluter System Blamed In Tile Deck Failure, Installer Needs to Blame Himself

John Bridge doesn’t want me on their forums, probably because I say most Tile Installers can’t waterproof properly…this post and the thread following it pretty much proves it. Again.

Read the thread using this link…John Bridge Forums

There’s many an opinion thrown around on the 7 pages of threads from the original posts, but in my opinion, the tile installer just plain F’d up…no edge flashings, no control joints, admits deck has flex in it, the list goes on…

Moral of the Story Get a tile guy to tile, get a waterproofer to waterproof. I would not have touched this deck until it met all standards set by APA, TCNA and Schluter…

Deck Expert Not Welcome at John Bridge Forums-Tile Setters Take Offense That I Said Most Can’t Waterproof Decks For Tile, Then One Proves It With Pics

I like to roam the websites of other companies; searching for and gathering relevant information to point you to. Articles, How To, forums, etc., I find what I think will interest my readers and post it here and at our website.

One forum I thought was interesting is a website/forum on tiling. I signed up, made a few posts and had some lively discussions with some of the members, and then wham, without any notice, I got banned…

seems that JB can’t take criticism or have a discussion on waterproofing without their feelings getting hurt. On one series of discussions on waterproofing decks, several tile setters took issue with my statement that waterproofers should waterproof a deck, then tile setters should set tile on the deck.

Here’s a post of mine at their site
Judging From the Numerous Artilces From Dave Gobis and Michael Byrne, I’d Beg To Diff
Ceramictec says any good tile setter know how to waterproof…I beg to differ.
Dave Gobis in a recent article (Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Tile Magazine, which I’m sure you all get…) predicted that “There’s no end in sight to leaky decks.”

he continues on saying further in the article…”Decks and patios are fraught with obstacles to a successful installation. ..I have yet to see a product failure, however it was alleged that there was a product failure on every job. So far all have been inappropriate product selection, and/or poor workmanship.

Manufacturer’s have done an outstanding job of developing products to address waterproofing in particular. With the blurring of the traditional tile setter into the realm of floor cover-er, waterproofing has seen a disproportionate amount of failures. It is generally accepted and well known that a floor layer can get into big trouble in this specialized area without proper training…”

jeez, we better let Bart Bettigia, Dave Gobis and Michael Byrne know they are gonna be out of a job writing about tile failures and waterproofing issues soon then…

they must be writing articles on bad tile waterproofing and tile application jobs for the 3-4 guys who don’t know how to waterproof and tile and if those 3 or 4 are reading this thread, well then they’ll clue in too
or maybe it’s just in California that the tile guys don’t know how to waterproof???

Then I get a guy on the forum who says he as a tile setter can waterproof and posts pics to prove it…and so I studied his pictures. Here’s one above-from his post I quote
” If I had to choose one specialty trade to install a waterproof tiled deck I would hire a ‘good’ tilesetter.
Like Brian said emphasis on good.
Can qualified tile setters waterproof a exterior deck properly? Flood test of deck over finished garage. The owners Mercedes stayed nice and dry. This was a repair of a an improperly installed deck that was leaking.
This is the secondary membrane on top of the mortar bed.
And I agree exterior decks are some of the most difficult and detailed jobs a tile setter will generally encounter. But shower pans typically get a lot more water on them than any exterior deck or roof. Unless you live out on the Hana side of Maui. (where it rains alot)
There are plenty of so called tile setters that don’t know how to waterproof, they are called carpetlayers.”

So lets go back and study his picture of the deck above…look closely and you’ll notice a membrane run up the wall over the stucco. Notice the lack of a weep screed/materials break.
This tile setter may have “waterproofed” the deck, but he’s screwed the owner over by not allowing the stucco to weep any water in the wall out…he’s effectively trapped it. Not understanding the effect of wrapping a membrane up the wall is POOR WORKMANSHIP!
I say Tile setters set tile, waterproofers waterproof for tile…so keep that guy away from my house!
John Bridge invited me to send visitors to their site for free advice…the only advice I can give is be careful…most tile guys in my opinion don’t know diddly about waterproofing. Click to Check out their website here… and tell them that The Deck Expert should be on their forum and not to be afraid!

Another Tiled Deck Gone to Hell-Tufflex Material Re-Emulsified/Leaks Into Garage

Last week I looked at another failed Slate covered deck in Atascadero, CA… this one has Tufflex underneath. Four years old, the installer went out of business and the owner is stuck with a big (11k) repair bill to remove it all, then will have to put down new plywood and waterproofing.

Tile decks, you can go cheap the first time, but when that bites you in the ass…you’ll spend more second time around to fix it.

Pay Central Coast Waterproofing once to do it right. Call Bill at 805-545-8300 for a free tile waterproofing system estimate. Lic 890269.

Faultily Installed Heated Exterior Tile Deck Causes $67,000 in Damages, Insurance Co Denies Claim, Suit Goes to Court, Here’s The Ruling


After Safeco Insurance Company of America (Safeco) denied Connie Stevens Fisher’s claim for water damage to her Wyoming home, Stevens sued for breach of insurance contract. The trial court granted Safeco’s motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in its favor. We affirm.

In July 2004 Stevens submitted a $67,000 claim to Safeco for damage caused by a leak from the home’s terrace, which serves as the roof for a room with an indoor pool and spa, into the room below it. Stevens contended the leak resulted from a failure of the home’s hydronic system, used to heat the stone on the terrace to melt snow and ice. The claim included the cost to repair the hydronic system, replace the terrace stone and repair the damage to the interior sheetrock and wood. Following inspection by a structural engineer retained by Safeco and a claims adjuster, review of the blueprints for the home and discussion with the tile setter who had installed the terrace stone, in September 2004 Safeco denied the claim, finding coverage was excluded by the water damage, weather and construction defect exclusions based in part on the structural engineer’s report the leak resulted from improper construction methods and inadequate slope for the terrace.
In a December 2004 letter counsel for Stevens objected to Safeco’s denial of coverage, asserting the exclusions Safeco had relied on were not found in Stevens’s policy. Safeco responded it had relied on the correct Quality Crest policy form and sent counsel a certified copy of it. (It appears counsel had mistakenly believed the Quality Plus policy form sent to Stevens in late 2004 for the policy period beginning November 15, 2004 was the operative policy; Stevens canceled that policy on February 16, 2005.) Following more communications from Stevens and additional investigation, Safeco confirmed its denial of coverage in May 2005.

Tiled Deck Failure-Lawsuit Over 300K Worth Of H2O Damage to 4.5 Mil House

Fear Not Law blog has a great case on a tile job on decks that failed…read it here there’s a lesson somewhere in that mess……952.html#_ftn2