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Unread 09-29-2022, 11:37 AM   #1
mjlee
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Caulking - main source of waterproofing?

I recently hired a professional tiler to fix our shower that was leaking to the floor below. To fix the problem we ended up retiling the whole shower, which cost us $5K. About 4 months later it started leaking again below, about a drop every 2 seconds. So they came in and added a bit more caulking to fill a crack that had formed, which fixed the leak. They now consider the project done. Is this a legitimate fix to the problem? Here's what they said:

"As long as there’s no leaking it sounds like the caulking was the fix. As I mentioned during install, the red waterproofing that we painted on is a courtesy that we prefer to do. Caulking is the main avenue of waterproofing when it comes to re-tiling any wet area."

Any thoughts?
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Unread 09-29-2022, 12:30 PM   #2
john619
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That is a problem. Start saving for another 5K re do, but this time use someone that understands waterproofing.
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Unread 09-29-2022, 12:31 PM   #3
Dan Marvin
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Caulking the cracked grout as a 'fix' relies on the tile and grout to be the primary waterproofing which is not the accepted industry practice. There must be a primary form of waterproofing below/behind the tile layer that is capable of keeping the installation from leaking. Typically the industry recommends conducting a 'flood test' of the waterproofing before tile (and caulk) are installed to make sure there are no leaks.
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Unread 09-29-2022, 07:39 PM   #4
jadnashua
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Put another way, the shower should be waterproof PRIOR to the installation of the tile. The tile is the decorative, wear surface, not waterproofing.
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Unread 09-29-2022, 09:29 PM   #5
Snets
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Yep, tile, grout, silicone - not part of waterproofing. Silicone is prescribed by the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) to be used instead of grout in changes of plane (wall to floor, for example) because grout will tend to crack in those joints. The recommendation has nothing to do with waterproofing. Waterproofing is below the tile surface in a properly constructed shower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlee
As long as there’s no leaking it sounds like the caulking was the fix. As I mentioned during install, the red waterproofing that we painted on is a courtesy that we prefer to do. Caulking is the main avenue of waterproofing when it comes to re-tiling any wet area
He may be a "Professional Tiler" but he is not a professional shower builder. Sorry for the continued bad news. You are not going to find anyone here who is going to say, "wait a minute, caulking can solve this issue." And this forum is loaded with shower pros.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 07:36 AM   #6
John Bridge
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The guy provided you with a leaky shower. At minimum, the floor and bottom rows of wall tile need to come out.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 09:14 AM   #7
Carbidetooth
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Sorry for your problems, Michael.

I did have to chuckle at this spin "As I mentioned during install, the red waterproofing that we painted on is a courtesy that we prefer to do".
Makes it sound like they just did that gratis...nope.

Let me interpret that statement for you, "we don't really know what we're doing, but we're going to apply this red stuff to make up for our lack of understanding and then we're going to present it as a bonus to you".

Sorry for the snark, I just couldn't resist.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 09:32 AM   #8
cx
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Welcome, Michael.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
I recently hired a professional tiler to fix our shower...
I hate to add to Peter's snarky comment (naaaa, I really love it!), but you didn't hire a professional tiler. You hired someone who apparently accepts money for tile work, but you certainly didn't hire a professional.

You didn't include a geographic location in your User Profile, so I can't tell in what state you're located, but I'll wager that your Court of Small Claims financial recovery limit would cover that $5K dollars you spent on a clearly defective product. And if you have reasonable documentation, you should have no trouble prevailing there after you have someone rebuild that shower correctly on your behalf.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 10:13 AM   #9
Dave Gobis
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Your "tile professional" has a lack of knowledge and skills thus misrepresent himself. Or, he is possibly a buffoon, but it is one or the other.
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Unread 09-30-2022, 03:31 PM   #10
Lazarus
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Yeah...Just a "Band Aid" fix,,,,and NOT for ling term......
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