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Unread 11-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #1
Nornee
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Partial tear out and redo shower

Hello, all you wonderful tile people! This forum has helped me out many times!

Here is my story. I wanted to learn how to tile when we were having our cabin built. The contractor built the shower, using cement board, and had me work with his tiler so I could learn. At that time, I assumed (yes, yes-I know the saying!) they had done what they were supposed to do as far as preparing and waterproofing. After all I know now from this forum and other readings, the tiling was done as it should have been done...unfortunately, the waterproofing underneath...not so much!

At first, I thought the water on the floor outside the shower was from the kids being kids, not caring about the mess they were making. But then I found a bit of water in the basement, directly below the bathroom, that was obviously going down the studs. Back up to main floor bathroom, where I discover that when I step on the floor tiles, water is squishing up from the grout! Obviously this was more than just messy children!

I started by pulling up first few floor tiles, which came up way too easily, mortar and all!

The pictures will give a play-by-play of everything I demo-ed, showing clearly all the things that were done wrong! As I tore out the bench, the cement board was literally disintegrating!! Then I finally found my source of water-leakage...under the bench, there was at least 1/4" of standing water!! It was obvious this water was slowly making its way around the walls of the shower until it found a place to work its way out. You can see in some of the pictures that the bladder did not wrap around to include the curb, and the bottom right side of the curb is where the water managed to find an opening!! I realize there are many other issues here.

So, this is what I am hoping I can do, and this is why I am appealing to you all for guidance. I would like to leave the 3rd row of tiles, cutting the cement board a couple of inches below. Add new cement board, and using kerdi, cover all seams and wrap it to include where walls meet floor and cover curb. This should waterproof where previous install failed. I really don't want to rip out the entire shower if I can avoid it.

Thank you all in advance!!
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Unread 11-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome back, Lorelee.

I'd sure recommend against that.

Your shower has apparently no water containment system in the walls at all, so the very difficult problem of tying a new system into the old is even more acute in your case. There is nothing to tie into even if you could find a way to do so.

But it's entirely up to you. I can't tell if three rows of wall tile gets you above your bench area, which is still gonna be one of the most critical areas of waterproofing in your patched shower.

I've done pan replacements for customers in certain circumstances, very reluctantly each time, but I sure wouldn't do one in my own home.

Saving a few dollars worth of wall tile is just not enough incentive for me to wanna work that hard, 'specially knowing I was still gonna end up with a less than really good product.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
Nornee
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Thanks for responding, CX, even if it's not the answer I want to hear!

The bench, which I have taken out, was where the shower spray hit directly. I will build a new bench, but perhaps just a corner one this time.The walls of the shower don't really seem to be a problem. The 2 x 4's that I can see with the cement board off, don't appear to have any indication that water seeped through. I truly believe it was the bench that failed, as well as the membrane that wasn't wrapped completely around the curb.

I just thought that if I used kerdi everywhere the problem seemed to be, including on a new bench, this would do the waterproofing I need, and contain the water in the pan.

More input is welcome, even if it still supports CX's initial response!
Thanks!
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Unread 11-10-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
Bellsfloors
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I second CX's advice. You may patch in the bottom area and get away with it but what if it fails where the old meets the new? Would it be worth it to take that chance? Is the risk and expense worth taking that you won't have to tear out everything later? For a customer I would decline, but for the DYI I would give the same advice as CX but ultimately it comes down to the consumer to what risks are worth taking with what knowledge is available at their disposal.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
Nornee
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Ok, so what would be the best way to get the tiles and cement board off without ruining the 2 x 4's underneath? It sure wasn't fun doing the little bit I already did demo!
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Unread 11-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #6
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Patience, grinder, hammer and a wonder bar.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
cx
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Cutting the walls, tile and all, into manageable sections usually makes things a lot easier, Lorelee. You can do that with an angle grinder and diamond blade if you have a way to control the dust. A lot of dust.

Or you can get a little wet saw like the old Felker FHS-4 and do it with no dust at all. You will have some water mess to contend with, though.

I do not favor using a large pounder on my customers' walls unless there is just no other way to tear things out. And there is nearly always a better way than knocking the structure apart when you're s'posta be fixing it, eh?

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My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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The hammer is for the wonder bar to get under the nails in the cement board not pound the tile off the walls.....I guess I shoulda donna betta job splainin all dat
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Unread 11-11-2012, 11:21 PM   #9
Nornee
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Thanks so much for all of your help! I'll be back if I have more questions.
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