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Old 09-04-2017, 10:07 AM   #1
Fbw113
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Cracked solid surface shower pan

Hi folks, I'm new to the site but have referred to it many times. I'm a DIYer with 40 years of construction and tile projects under my belt. Brand new bath remodel from studs out included a custom solid surface shower pan ordered from my local plumbing supplier and built by a small custom shop. There were some concerns in my conversations with the SS shop that indicated perhaps they weren't as versed as I'd prefer in building a large neo-angle. Installed on new level flooring according to instructions. Followed by durarock walls with red guard and tile. Finished with a custom glass install. Within one month the pan cracked from an outside corner toward the center about 15 inches. Supplier offered to repair the crack but no longer warranty the pan or the repair. I rejected the idea and worked out a refund. I sealed the crack and it is now three years later. The crack has not moved nor are there any others. I've seen this question before but nothing lately. Tearing this out will be a big, expensive mess including the integrated curb. Can I prep the pan, mortar down Kerdi and tile it using the Kerdi drain system? I did purchase extra wall tile in case I needed to bring the Kerdi up the side. Basement is under so access to plumbing is easy. Can't find anyone local to repair the pan which was very nice.
Sorry for the long post but want to fully explain the situation.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Frank.

You're not even close to winning the award for longest post. Heck, one of our moderators can type twice that much, without even taking a breath.

Unfortunately, I don't think your idea has much of a chance at working. For one, I don't think the pan would be an approved material on which to bond Kerdi. You don't mention what the pan is made of, but I think it's a moot point, because of the second reason.

The movement that caused the crack in the pan would also translate to movement of the tile, which would result in failure.

If you'd like to post a picture or two of what you have there, someone might have an idea of what you could do to salvage what you have. But typically failures in the floor area of the shower result in a complete tear-out, since there's really no way to effectively replace the pan and tie it into the waterproofing on the walls.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #3
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Hey!

I mean....
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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Welcome, Frank.

Without knowing what you actually have there for a shower receptor it's difficult to speculate about what can be done with it. A "custom solid surface shower pan" doesn't really tell us much.

How would you intend to install a Kerdi shower drain in your planned installation?

You say you "did purchase extra wall tile in case I needed to bring the Kerdi up the side." How would you expect to waterproof your new receptor without wrapping the Kerdi up the walls?

How would you tie your new Kerdied receptor into your RedGard waterproofing on the walls?

Perhaps a photo of your shower would be helpful. Use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer.

[Edit] Looks like everyone is quicker than I this morning.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:22 PM   #5
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The material is corian. I was hoping to set the drain in a thin mortar bed or rout out a recess depending on the thickness of the pan at the drain hole. Since the pan has a 3" vertical edge covered by the durarock wallboard I thought I might remove the bottom course of wall tile and use Kerdi band for the horizontal to vertical transition. Then cover the base with Kerdi and tile. The crack is 3 years old and has not moved. No other tile ot grout in the room has cracked or moved in those three years.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:44 PM   #6
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I think the wallboard you likely have is USG's Durock, yes?

1. The problem with your plan, well, one of them, is that Durock is not waterproof and what you're suggesting is that you waterproof your shower receptor, covering a few inches up the walls, with no way to tie into any wall waterproofing if any exists. Do you know if there is any waterproofing on the walls or moisture barrier behind the Durock wall board?

2. Under your plan, how would you waterproof the curb? Is the curb waterproofed in any way currently?

3. Can you back up and give us a bit more perspective on the shower? The crack we see.

4. What is your plan for connecting the Kerdi drain to your existing drain riser?
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:22 PM   #7
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Sorry, not explaining the situation very well.
Walls are Durock coated with red guard behind tile
I was thinking the Kerdi drain would sit in a thin motor bed on top of the current pan. I might be able to rout a recess so it sits flush with the current pan.

The plumbing is open and easily accessible from the basement so I can make any connection type work.

The Durock wallboard is set 1/4" above the base floor and covers the integral base lip, sort of like counter flashing.

The perimeter of the base is watertight at this point including the bonded seam between the base and the curb. Attached are a few more pics that hopefully make it more clear what I'm describing. One shows my base being assembled.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:20 AM   #8
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Frank, if you think the perimeter of your shower floor is still waterproof, why not just cover the floor with a sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membrane (like Kerdi) and tile it. If, as you say, you can easily change out your drain, that would seem like the easiest fix for your mostly cosmetic problem.

I would recommend something heavier than Kerdi, though, for the anti-fracture properties. You have a crack in your floor, therefore you had movement in your floor and it's not unlikely that you'll have additional cracks in future. Something like NobleSeal would be my first choice, installed with one of their proprietary pookieis.

Removing the bottom row of tiles from your shower walls will - not may, but will - defeat your current waterproofing and likely to an extent that will not permit a useful repair. Fixing the floor without such damage would seem a better choice.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:16 PM   #9
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Thanks CX, your opinion is worth plenty. So Nobleseal adhered with noble bond over the prepped base. What are your thoughts on the drain. Should I just bring the membrane to the current drain and use their sealant for the cutout? Or should I look for a thin bed type drain that I can somehow properly fasten to the current base?
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank
I sealed the crack and it is now three years later.
What did you seal the crack with?

What, if anything, is under the floor with respect to waterproofing? Do you rely on the Corian material on the floor and silicone at the joints to keep water in?

My concern would be water that got through the crack and is trapped.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:29 AM   #11
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You're just winging it here, Frank, but I would want a bonding flange-type drain to attempt what you're planning. You don't want to have any truck with the existing drain, which is likely just a floor drain rather than any proper shower drain.

But first answer Kevin's question about waterproofing under your pre-fab receptor. I'm assuming there was none, which is what I've seen with similar installations.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:05 AM   #12
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The pan was installed per manufacturer instruction on a thin mortar bed over the screwed and glued 3/4" T&G OSB.

I was prepared to seal the crack with silicone but decided to try flex seal and it worked. I have not been able to find a fabricator willing to repair the crack.

The pan seems solid, the crack has not moved/changed and has not leaked in nearly 3 years but it really bugs me. That's why I thought I might be able to use some type of membrane and tile.

CX I appreciate the advice on the membrane. Given that we all agree I'm wingin' it, how would you go about attaching a new flange (kerdi?) drain? Will mortar alone keep it from moving?
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:05 PM   #13
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If you're routing out a recess for the drain, I'd recommend Kerdi Fix or similar to set the drain into. And I'd wanna do that either before attaching the plumbing or at the same time as gluing the drain onto the drain riser.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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