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Unread 11-26-2020, 07:38 AM   #1
gangelo
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Shower with no membrane?

My wife and I are paying for a bathroom renovation that will cost us $12,000. We already paid 1/3 up front. I specifically told the contractor that I wanted the cement board of the tub shower waterproofed using Red-guard, but he instead chose to waterproof the tile walls. He said he did this by adding something to the grout before it was applied. I have no idea what was added to the grout to “waterproof” it, but as it stands right now, all we have between the tile and the wood studs is cement board. Something just doesn’t seem right to me about that.

He also left (in some areas) a 1/2”-1/2”+ gap between the tile walls and the top of the tub. Isn’t that too big????
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Unread 11-26-2020, 08:31 AM   #2
Davy
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Hi Gene, welcome. In most cases, a 1/2 inch joint at the tub is too big. The only time it might be okay is if all the joints in the tubsurround were 1/2 inch and even then I would make that joint smaller. Along with the corner joints, that joint should have been caulked, not grouted. If he grouted it, it'll crack most of the time.

I've never used a product that is supposed to water proof the grout. I wouldn't trust it. He should have done the job like you asked him to. Do you have a contract with him, what does it say?

If you can, find out the name of the product he used.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 09:14 AM   #3
Dave Gobis
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No grout additive will replace waterproofing. To say such a thing makes me suspect of what other better tile installation marvels have been employed.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 01:01 PM   #4
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The great tile Buddha (Gobis) has spoken for me as well. I suspect the installer either doesn't know what he's doing or knows what should be done and is not doing it.
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Unread 11-26-2020, 10:59 PM   #5
jadnashua
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Some people believe grout sealer actually seals the grout from water penetration. Well, that's not true, and if you read the spec sheets, they'll say that. Grout sealer is designed to slow stains from penetrating so you can clean them up first before that happens. But, while when first installed, it can have a little actual waterproofing effect, it does not last and is just a side effect of the sealer, that will last much longer (it still isn't permanent, though).

SOme of the grouts, like say an epoxy, are pretty much waterproof, but tile generally isn't, regardless. A porcelain tile is very very close, though.
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Unread 11-27-2020, 01:54 PM   #6
wetcoaster
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Any chance that he waterproofed behind the cement board with a moisture barrier I.e. plastic sheeting? Any easy way of checking that?

Otherwise, it sounds like you’re out $4K. I wouldn’t let the guy back in my house if he doesn’t understand that shower surrounds need to be waterproofed.

Reminds me of the plumber I recently fired because he didn’t understand that wood no longer functions as structural members if you chop it up like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 04:34 AM   #7
gangelo
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He may have put tar paper behind it all, not sure. The gap around the tub, between the tub and walls vary from 1/4" to a little over 1/2". I don't like the fact that he used adhesive either, I've never heard anyone recommending that for a shower, but when I questioned him, he insisted it will be "water proofed" when grouted and sealed as he said he adds something to the sealer or grout, don't remember now.
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Unread 12-01-2020, 06:13 PM   #8
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The good news is you haven't paid him in full. What did he use on he floor?
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Unread 12-02-2020, 08:17 AM   #9
gangelo
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He used thin set on the floor, the kind that dries in 10 minutes. He first dry-fitted everything, but there is a 7/8" gap between the bathroom door jamb and the tile and a 7/8" gap between the bathroom closet door jamb and the file. I have no idea how he will fix that and make it look good? By the closet, he can't extend the saddle out past the jamb, that will look stupid; and if he puts a piece of tile in there, I suspect it will look like crap. Not sure. Under my vanity there was a tile that was 1/4" raised which looked horrible, but I let that go because it is under the vanity. So stressful.
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Unread 12-02-2020, 10:04 AM   #10
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I believe even less now he is a tile guy or any other type of flooring person. Floor class 101 says tile stops at the center of the door in the jamb.
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Unread 12-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #11
gangelo
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Some other shots. I just want to make sure I'm not being too picky. He's a really nice guy, and I feel really bad, but this job just doesn't seem professional for the price; it looks like an amateur did it
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Unread 12-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #12
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Unread 12-02-2020, 11:27 AM   #13
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Yep, you hired the wrong guy, Gene.

The tile at the tub is clearly a rookie mistake of not starting the layout at the low point of the tub. The lack of waterproofing there is the more grievous error, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-02-2020, 11:27 AM   #14
gangelo
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I don't remember now whether or not he put tar paper over the studs or not I'll try to find out.
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Unread 12-02-2020, 11:30 AM   #15
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Whether he did or not, it's apparent that he did not lap it over the tiling flange.
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