shower remodel woes [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : shower remodel woes

12-23-2016, 05:14 PM
Short back story for context:

In the past, with significant help from this site, I did a shower rebuild in one house and a tub with tile walls in our current house. We are finishing a major remodel/addition. Due to personal time restraints, I had the contractor hire a sub to do the new stand-up tile shower. Still dealing with the time restraints, but seriously regretting not doing the tile myself. The tile guys have had to come back no less than 5 time to fix and re-fix issues. Most issues have now been resolved. However, there is one major item that is still unresolved.

The shower pan. I will try to upload photos later. I forgot my phone at home, which has the photo's on it. One of the "fixes" that needed to be addressed was the fact that the lowest point in the pan was about 4 inches away from the drain. They came back, pulled up some of the tile, added some thinset and reapplied the tile. This mostly resolved the issue, but the pan still drains very slowly from that area. So, I took a closer look at the pan.

Placing a 2 foot level along the side wall on the pan, the pan dips over 1/4 inch in the middle. Although not as extreme, there is a dip in the pan at the other side wall as well. So rather than having 4 triangles sloping to the drain, I really have more of a shallow half-pipe with a slight slope to the drain from side-to-side.

In discussing my dissatisfaction to the general contractor, I expressed concern that there might be flat spots or dips in the pre-slope which would prevent the pan from ever completely draining and drying. My logic, if they could not build a proper top base, they most likely did not build a proper pre-slope. The contractor's response was, it should not be an issue as the top base was covered with a liquid membrane before the tile was installed. His recommendation was to have the tile guys come back, remove the existing tile and use thinset to reshape the top base and reapply tile so that the top surface water will drain properly and rely on the liquid membrane and not worry about the possibility of an improperly built pre-slope.

So my concerns/questions:
1. Is the contractor's proposed solution a reasonable "fix" or should I insist on having the pan ripped out and rebuilt from scratch by a different tile guy?
2. Assuming that the contractor is correct that the pan has both a PVC liner on top of the pre-slope and and a liquid membrane on top of the deck mud, am I facing a moisture sandwich issue? He states that this is the way he sees all showers done these days. I have not researched how to build a pan in about 8 years, so has this process changed? I never liked the idea of having an inch or two of deck mud wet all the time, so I actually like the idea of the top seal, unless it is actually going to create bigger problems down the road.

Part of my concern is that I was out of town when the pan was built, so I did not see what or how it was actually built. I have lost all confidence in the guys that did the tile work. I have been pleased with my GC, but I do not know if he really knows what should be done as far as the best way to build a shower pan.

Anyway, thank you in advance for any feed back. I mostly am looking for a second opinion on what you pros would do/recommend if you found an existing pan with these issues.



Sponsored Links

Houston Remodeler
12-23-2016, 05:19 PM
1- Irrelevant, due to
2- A double layer isn't approved by any manufacturer nor the TCNA guidelines. He owes you a new shower base at least.

3- How were the walls waterproofed?
4- How was the wall waterproofing tied into the floor waterproofing?
5- Got any niches or benches?

Pictures please, as many as possible

12-23-2016, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the prompt reply.

In response to your questions:
3. I do not recall the brand-name, but it was a liquid membrane with a fabric component.
4. The tile guys stated that the PVC liner goes up the wall 6 inches, behind the backer board. If I understood him correctly, the liquid membrane/fabric runs down the wall onto the pan
5. There is one niche. no bench.

12-23-2016, 08:12 PM
There's no way to seal the top membrane to the drain and make it water tight. Moisture will get between the two membranes, no doubt about that. No one knows if it will cause a mold problem, depends on how fast the standing water gets replaced with fresher water. A little water will seep in at the drain but eventually the drain will get clogged with hair, etc and the flow will slow down. That's when the water will back up thru the weep holes right into the mudbed that's between the membranes.

Like Paul said, Tell him to show you where it's approved to install two membranes like they did. Just because it's the way the contractor sees showers done doesn't make it right.

12-29-2016, 04:48 PM
Finally had a chance to take and upload photos.

12-29-2016, 05:35 PM
any way to tell if this is a clamp drain or a bonded flange drain?

Peerless Tile
12-29-2016, 06:49 PM
Looks like an "ebbe" style drain...typically a clamping ring drain, but hard to be 100% from the pics loaded.