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Old 08-21-2019, 01:49 PM   #1
superhans
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Shower Questions

Hi all,

Hoping to get some insights on some things Iím seeing in my shower.

For context, house is 4 years old. The shower is on the second story of the house. We use this shower 2-4x per day. There is no visible water damage on the ceiling below the shower, or on the walls next to the shower (I tested the walls with a moisture meter). I do not know for sure what waterproofing was used for the pan, but I believe it was a PVC liner and mud pan (I do not know if there is a preslope). Per my only preconstruction picture and me removing the echelon plate Redgard was applied to the walls.

The shower floor is a pebble shower. There is a TON of grout. The pebbles are not pitched well so some water pools a little (maybe 1/16 in). All the grout on the shower floor is dry after 6-8 hours after using the shower. I presume this means the pan is draining well despite the poor pebble pitch. The door and enclosure is frameless with just silicone on the curb.

There are two areas that concern me. 1. A few months ago a large hairline crack developed in the grout on the floor (pic attached). It is darker than the surrounding grout but does not feel wet. It never goes away. I tried searching online but couldnít find anything that seemed like the same thing. My theory is there is so much water penetrating the pan from the amount of grout that the pan is starting to deteriorate and has cracked. From what Iíve gathered this is likely cosmetic but always in the back of my mind and maybe a sign of deeper issues.

2. I know they built the curb wrong by screwing CBU to the curb (see pic). The grout on the outside of the curb is cracked along two tiles under the door. The tile feels sturdy and doesnít move, but might be a sign of wood expansion. My neighbors (same builder) had a tile fall off the outside of their curb a year ago and reset it and havenít had issues since. My third neighbor with the same builder has had no issues. I only recently noticed the cracked grout. My wife mentioned itís been like that for awhile (at least 1.5 years) and has gotten worse. I see no other cracks in grout on the top or sides of the curb. The grout on the curb outside of the glass (or ďdryĒ side of the curb) has never appeared wet.

My overall impression of this situation is that Iím on the forefront of some problems that only a full redo will completely solve. The main question I have is what is the likelihood of unseen damage being done ? I can live with cosmetic issues. My main concern is doing damage to the rest of the house. Basically trying to figure out if I put off a remodel for 6 months while still using the shower.

Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:09 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Mike.

While we can't guarantee failures any more than we can guarantee success, I can say with confidence that your shower will fail due to the penetration of your receptor liner from the mechanical fasteners used on the CBU in that area. There is no, let me repeat that, no acceptable method of using CBU on the curb of a traditionally built shower receptor.

Cracks in a tile installation generally indicate movement. Not a lot of movement is necessary to cause the problem. If your shower floor is grouted tight against the walls with no movement accommodation joint around the perimeter, that could account for the problem. Or it could be something else.

If you can detect no moisture escaping the shower at this point, I think you could comfortably use it another six months without much danger of serious failure, but I'd certainly recommend you start a savings account now for the new shower.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:01 PM   #3
Elkski
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Looks like you have been screwed. That cap in the tile looks like a fool quarter inch or 5/16 did the grout fall out or did it open up that much
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:20 AM   #4
superhans
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Thanks CX.

Teddy - not sure which photo youíre referring to, but I think itís the first. Thereís no gap between the tiles that form the top and outside of the curb. The edges of the tile are dark brown which may look like a gap in the photo. Cracks in the grout have formed but no grout has fallen out. Iím not able to get a finger nail in the crack in the grout. Hope that clears it up.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:04 AM   #5
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Yes my eyes deceived me. I saw that white as the top of the curb tile curb so I saw a big wide open gap
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:08 PM   #6
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From the photos, it's apparent that your shower is not a well built shower. But, like CX said in post 2, that also doesn't mean that it's leaking.

You can take 4 showers a day for 4 years and the liner won't degrade. Your shower isn't going to "wear out" in that time frame.

Not a lawyer, but it's clear that your shower wasn't built correctly and that is a different issue than a warranty issue. So the builder's time frame on the warranty may not apply. How long is the builder's warranty?
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