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Unread 09-08-2019, 11:18 AM   #1
FDR
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Durock questions

A frustrated homeowner here looking for advice. Master bathroom shower installed about 8 months ago by a contractor failed and is leaking water into the ceiling below.

I have been going back through the construction pictures (two attached) and trying to understand what may have gone wrong. I understand that Durock is a waterproof material, but I am not following how the seams, edges, and corners are protected from water. Isn't there supposed to be some sort of membrane to seal all these areas?

When I zoom way in on the shower pan prior to floor tile going in, although the curb is wrapped, I see exposed Durock peeking through below the bottom row of the tile- is that right? Same worries for the niche and bench...

Any professional advice from experienced tilers would be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 09-08-2019, 11:38 AM   #2
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Welcome, Franklin.

Not sure just what you might have been sold, there. If it was intended to be a Kerdi shower, you should see nothing but orange behind your tiles from the drain at least up to the shower head supply pipe.
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Originally Posted by Franklin
I understand that Durock is a waterproof material,
Durock is NOT a waterproof material. Durock is impervious to water and will not be damaged by it, but not at all waterproof. Water will penetrate the Durock easily and rather quickly. My only question is why it has taken so long for the leak to manifest in your ceiling below if your shower was constructed as appears to be the case.

Well, one other question would be why your contractor bothered to put kerdi on the shower floor and curb if he didn't intend to waterproof the walls, too.

You have contacted this contractor?

You have a written contract showing how the shower was supposed to be constructed?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #3
Davy
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Is that a Kerdi drain?

How high did he run the Kerdi? We see it was less than 3 ft.
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Unread 09-08-2019, 12:53 PM   #4
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If he can see Durock below the bottom row of wall tiles, Davy, I'm guessing they didn't Kerdi the walls at all. I got no eye-dee what they might have had in mind there.
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Unread 09-08-2019, 01:19 PM   #5
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Hi Franklin,

I can't zoom way in, but I can see there is no waterproofing on top of the bench. I think the Kerdi (orange) is on the floor and curb only. The shower could be leaking anywhere and everywhere.
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Unread 09-08-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
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Looks to me as though he might have waterproofed the floor...but not the walls, relying on the Hardi to do the job. As was mentioned before, you need to Kerdi the walls as well. The pan can be waterproof, but without the walls done in the same way, water will simply seep through and down to the lower floor.

Complete re-do, IMHO.
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Unread 09-08-2019, 07:13 PM   #7
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Seems like many mistakes. No way to seal that curb to wall after tile is on the wall like that pic. And the bench is s leaker
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Unread 09-09-2019, 04:32 AM   #8
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Thank you all for looking at this and providing advice. I think you confirmed my fears that this is a total fail and will require a re-do. This is a very expensive lesson learned on a bunch of dimensions.

This is a complicated situation because it seems clear that the original contractor made up some type of hybrid system using the KERDI floor pan but did not use the waterproofing membrane up the walls at all (or any other membrane on the durock.)

When he was done, the glass installers came in and a large panel of glass shattered because it was not tempered correctly and it damaged the floor tile. I agreed to let their tile guy re-do the floor and once he did the demo, he pointed out that he didn’t see the KERDI wrap up the walls. He poured a new pan and painted on the green rubber stuff up the first couple rows of tile and retiled the floor. Unfortunately this didn’t remedy the joint where the curb meets the wall, water got in, swelled the wood curb, shifted the glass, broke grout and leaked into the floor.

Both contractors are blaming each other and are refusing to pay. I will be very careful in selecting a contractor to come in and do this the proper way. (And now I know what to look for). I doubt I will recover any of my money, but feel like I have an obligation to pursue it to prevent anyone else from going through this.
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Unread 09-09-2019, 05:36 AM   #9
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There's always more to these stories. I wake up this morning and I think about your dilemma and I feel a little sickness in my tummy for you. It is so sad that we have this type of work being done in the USA.
It would be so nice if you said these two companies have agreed to split the cost of a brand new shower installed correctly. America has forgot to do it right the first time takes less time and money then to do it again.
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Unread 09-09-2019, 07:32 AM   #10
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FDR,
It sucks, but you are not alone. In my opinion, MOST remodelers and home builders do not waterproof showers. I have gotten into arguments with my sister's home builder and my own hired contractors about cement board not being waterproof and also about seams and screw penetrations on GO board and others. When it comes to curb construction, forget it. So much shoddy work out there by big name builders.
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