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Unread 01-02-2022, 01:59 PM   #1
travisinfla
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Shower Bench Builder

The builder made this shower bench in a new construction home, that's 2 years old. What do you think is wrong with it?
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Unread 01-02-2022, 03:00 PM   #2
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Do you have photos of the construction?
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Unread 01-02-2022, 04:20 PM   #3
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Welcome, Travis.

What are the symptoms indicating something's wrong with it?
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Unread 01-02-2022, 09:16 PM   #4
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Well I see a large joint in front that looks like it's been siliconed. Maybe because water is traveling through that grout joint excessively? Also see some cracking on left side.

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Unread 01-03-2022, 11:20 AM   #5
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Water damaged

The shower bench is water damaged, that's what is wrong with it.
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Unread 01-03-2022, 11:23 AM   #6
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Well, water damage would be a symptom. Probable cause would be failure or lack of waterproofing, especially if it's a wood framed structure.

Do you know how it was constructed and waterproofed?
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Unread 01-13-2022, 10:39 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks for your welcome replies and insight, got the old covid last week sorry for delay. I attached some construction photos unfortunately the builder never took a pic of the bench, maybe for good reason lol. I am pretty sure it's a wood constructed bench with shoddy waterproofing. I want to replace it with a concrete block bench. Watched several videos of that, read many posts on that. But there are not many after the shower is already built and replacing one already there. I guess I am wondering whether I can just tear out that bench, and simple create the concrete block bench on top of whatever is beneath it. I'll see if I can find more answers on here as well without wasting your time.
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Unread 01-14-2022, 09:19 AM   #8
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Terribly unfortunate, Travis.

When we see something like that we immediately start wondering how the rest of the shower was constructed and water proofed. I mean, if they built and "water proofed" the bench in such way that it failed in only two years what other head scratching surprises await.

Nevertheless, a block bench isn't a silver bullet. A wood framed bench is perfectly fine as long as the water proofing is done correctly. In any case, in order to rebuild the bench with any material, not only will the bench need to come out but at least some of the wall and floor tile will have to come out so the new water proofing can be tied into the existing - if even possible. Often it isn't.
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Unread 01-14-2022, 09:54 AM   #9
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thnx

well that sucks, we bought this house new in march 2020, the original purchasers got divorced so there closing fell through and we bought it, one of deal breakers for the wife was she hates subway tile so i agreed we would change that out within a couple years. so the bench started cracking and grout joints separating only about 8 months in, so i should have told the builder within the warranty period to fix it but just figured screw it because were changing all the tile anyway. but now your talking about waterproofing issues and not just a tile replacement so i may harass the builder to fix that first.
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Unread 01-14-2022, 10:31 AM   #10
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It does suck.

Definitely try to get the builder to deal with it, but I'd avoid mentioning anything about the subway tile not being to Mrs. Travis' liking. You'll basically be asking him to part with several thousands of dollars to repair this, which he will be reluctant to part with, so you don't want him thinking your request is even in part motivated by aesthetics.

Despite what the builder may suggest, there likely isn't a quick fix that will be long lasting.
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Unread 01-14-2022, 03:26 PM   #11
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Ok

Assume for the sake of argument that the water proofing issues gets fixed and resolved, then is it possible just to tile over tile the walls? The manufacturer of the new tile we want to put in, states and I quote
PRODUCT DETAILS
Create a whole new look or enhance your existing style with the easy-to-install Polished Porcelain Tile. There’s no need to demolish your old tile with this pick—with this thin tile, you can save time, stress, and mess! Simply install this over your existing tile ( or the existing subfloors, too) for a quick update.

This 48 x 48 tile with a polished or high gloss finish is a durable flooring option that can withstand heavy traffic, resist fading caused by sunlight and won’t stain from spills. It’s easy to clean and perfect in areas like sunrooms, mudrooms, kitchens, or bathrooms! Not only does it eliminate the time, stress, and mess of traditional tile installation, it offers a stylish and durable solution for any space.

•No need for demolition! Install over existing tile as well as other subfloors
•Easy to maintain—just clean it up with a vacuum, broom, and mop
•UV ray fade-resistant and stain-resistant
•Durable in high traffic areas
•100% waterproof
•Made with sustainable elements, free of pollutants, and mold and mildew-resistant making it an eco-friendly option.
This tile is 4' x 4' 7mm thick porcelain tile
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Unread 01-14-2022, 04:29 PM   #12
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A link to your tile would be helpful, Travis.

If it's actually a polished porcelain, as opposed to a glazed porcelain, there is a potential problem with the tile staining during the grouting process, a condition that is not reversible. That information is some years old, but I doubt there has been any change that would eliminate that potential hazard.

And I'm surprised that the manufacturer would advertise a polished porcelain as "stain-resistant," but I ain't seen'em all.

Not saying you will have that problem, just saying that if you do, you'll get to live with it until Mrs. Travis decides she really wants subway tiles.

As far as physically or technically being able to tile over tile, yes, it's certainly doable. There are considerations with drain and control valve positioning that you'd wanna consider. And you might want to consider using one of the proprietary primers made for just such installation.

But first, you wanna know you don't have a much more serious waterproofing problem with that shower.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-14-2022, 06:20 PM   #13
travisinfla
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Hi

See below:
https://www.flooranddecor.com/porcel...100885193.html

I've reached out to the builder, MI Homes, and they hopefully correct whatever is going on under there, and do the right thing. Regardless I won't touch a thing until that is resolved. Thanks for enlightening me on that. I have a layout and took out shower handle and flange and there is plenty of space for tile behind and put it back on. The plan was use eco prime grip, then aqua defense, then the ultra flex LFT thinset. If these tiles stain with this method then forget it, tear down, but maybe new technology? They sure sell it like a DIYer dream, so of course it is right, just kidding. Thanks for your all your help.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 02:15 PM   #14
travisinfla
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Partial Demo - thoughts?

Looks like my builder already did tile over tile in shower bench with some sort of green board under that, stinks to high heaven, also bench tile goes under wall tile on left side, and abuts wall tile on right side. Interesting on what you guys think so far on what you see?

My thought is with a new construction why would you double up on tile on top of green drywall? Is that their idea of waterproofing? Dummies failed 8 months in. I didn't pay for a luxury dream house for shoddy work.
I wonder if that's caused the bench tile to separate and crack
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Unread 01-16-2022, 02:58 PM   #15
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Not even a feeble attempt at waterproofing, best I can tell, unless it's the green stuff, which I don't recognize.

[Edit] As I look again at your photos, it does appear that the green stuff might be applied over OSB? Looks too green to be the paper face of any MR Board with which I'm familiar. I think we need to see more of what's under there, but looking at the end of the bench where it meets the wall, I'm not inclined to change my recommendation.

I think you need to be demanding a new shower, rather than a new bench, Travis. Or enough money to allow you to comfortably have it redone or do it yourself if you're up for that. Probably don't want the same guys who built it doing it again, but contractually you might have to allow that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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