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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
UAPearso
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Styrofoam behind shower wall tile?

Thanks for checking out my first post and providing any incite you may have. I just recently removed the tiles from my shower walls to find that there was cement board on the bottom 18 inches and a layer of styrofoam from there up to the top of the tile area. There is a layer of drywall beneath all of this. My shower consists of two fully tiled (external) walls and a two wall glass enclosure. Was this done to provide insulation? I guess up to this point I had not considered insulating the walls beyond the fiberglass insulation that is already there. Should I?
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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Welcome, Elizabeth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth
Thanks for checking out my first post and providing any incite you may have.
Actually, we try our best not to be allowin' nobody to be inciting anything at all, hereabouts. But we got some folks more difficult to control than others.

If you'll post some photos of your shower it might be very helpful. Us the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box.

While there are foam (not styrofoam) backerboards made for shower applications, that doesn't sound like what you have. And using part foam and part CBU doesn't really make any sense to me at all.

And using either backer board over sheetrock makes even less sense, particularly since you don't indicate any sort of waterproofing material either on the backer boards or behind them.

And we'd wanna know what sort of shower pan you have with this installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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It's always something new around here.

Pictures required.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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Ok, I'm back with pictures. Thank you for your replies. I'm at the oh no what have I gotten into stage so I really appreciate it!
Name:  showerwall.jpg
Views: 1606
Size:  22.6 KB Shower wall= studs, drywall, 1/2 inch Styrofoam glued to drywall. The bottom 18 inches was CBU. Drywall stopped about 6 inches above tile.

Name:  shower.jpg
Views: 1318
Size:  22.0 KB And just for fun, the floor. I'm thinking there was no preslope but not certain. I was hoping, or wishing, that I could keep the pan but I'm not so hopeful at this point.

My other concern is that I have been planning to reuse the enclosure but now I'm concerned that it will not fit unless I build the wall back out with the drywall under the cbu.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Can you back up a little and give us some perspective for those close-up shots, Elizabeth? Not sure just what we're looking at there.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
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As a DIYer, it looks to me that someone go creative and used styrofoam as a waterproof layer, with CBU at the bottom to support the walls of the shower pan.

Obviously this is just a guess, but it makes some sense. Haven't you ever used one of those cheap styrofoam coolers you can get at the store for something like $2? Do they leak as your ice melts?

But in any case, it sounds like a tear-down to the studs and do-over on the walls.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 12:10 PM   #7
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Do they leak as your ice melts?
Yes.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Here's a few more pictures for perspective. Unfortunately, the space is now serving as storage for the enclosure I was hoping to reuse.

The two fully tiled walls are external, so I'm wondering if they need a vapor barrier or any extra insulation behind them.

There was a good bit of water penetration on the knee wall from where the tiles on top of the wall met the wall tiles. At this point I'm ready to pull it all out and start over using the kerdi membrane. Just hoping I can pull it off because at this point calling in professional help is not an option. I pulled up a few tiles around the drain this morning and there were water droplets on the back of the tiles and the mortar was damp. This is especially concerning because we have not used this shower in several months.

Name:  shower3.gif
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Size:  331.8 KB

Name:  shower2.gif
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Size:  313.0 KB
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Unread 12-01-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
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Good idea on the re-do, Elizabeth. But it's not just the walls you wanna tear out, you'll wanna tear out the entire pan down to the subfloor as well.

That's where you'll begin your new Kerdi System shower, after you've replaced the drain and whatever other plumbing looks like it might be in need of replacement.

For your Kerdi shower you do not need, nor do you want, any sort of moisture barrier behind the sheetrock walls. The interior walls do not require any insulation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 12-01-2011 at 06:35 PM. Reason: add information
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Unread 12-01-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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We're here for you Elizabeth.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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Thanks for the support, guys! Just what I needed!
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