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Unread 05-12-2005, 05:32 PM   #1
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in pan curb

I have recently purchased a new home with cultured marble shower stalls whose pan curbs have weep holes. Is this normal and if so what purpose do the weep holes serve?
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Unread 05-12-2005, 07:04 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Chuck. Thanks for joining us.

You apparently have cultured marble walls over a plastic shower base. I've heard something about weep holes, but I'm not sure what the thinking is on that. Don't use the bases myself. Hopefully, someone will be along who knows more that I do. It happens.
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Unread 05-18-2005, 09:04 AM   #3
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in shower pan

To elaborate on my earlier message, the question I pose is this: are there any circumstances in which a cultured marble shower stall needs weep holes? I realize that ceramic tile showers need them, but I do not believe they are necessary for cultured marble. The builder has argued that the holes are needed to drain moisture which may condense on the back faces of the cultured marble panels because of hot water playing on the front faces. I am considering plugging the weep holes unless some logical reason can be presented for keeping them. The opinions of the experts contributing to this forum will be appreciated.
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Unread 05-19-2005, 06:33 AM   #4
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Chuck, I don't think the IS a lot of knowledge of this subject in the field. I do know that some of the plastic pan manufacturers are building in weep holes. I've also seen production homes where the tile setters have left weep holes in the caulking above the plastic bases.

I know it has nothing to do with the tile installation itself. It must have something to do with the bases.

I'll bump this to the top again to see if we get any response. If not, please post it in the Pro Hangout, and we'll try to get to the bottom of it.
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Unread 05-19-2005, 12:11 PM   #5
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in shower pan

Thanks, John, for your comments. If they haven't provided the exact answer, they at least suggest that I'm not alone in my ignorance. Perhaps some of the respondents to your Board will offer their knowledge or theories.
I would be happy to post my message to the Pro Hangout, but I don't know how to do so.
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Unread 05-19-2005, 12:55 PM   #6
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Chuck --

Moisture condensed on cold surfaces, not hot ones.

So unless you plan on taking cold showers, the builder's explanation sounds like hot air.

However, the designers of the shower enclosure surely had some reason for including the weep holes. Maybe you could give them a call and see if they have an explanation that makes some sense.
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Unread 05-21-2005, 10:55 AM   #7
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in shower pan

Thanks, Jeff, for your thoughts. I am of a similar opinion and, after being advised by the builder that the shower pan was an Aquaglass product, I called the company in Tennessee to ask the intended purpose of these holes. The individual I spoke with denied that they produce pans with weep holes, though another person told me they have discussed weep holes as a possible future method to deal with water dripping from an opened shower door. Like you, I think there must have been a reason in someone's mind, and I'd like the opportunity to evaluate it for myself. I think this forum is an excellent place to solicit thoughts and opinions about the matter and I will appreciate any and all comments.
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Unread 05-21-2005, 02:24 PM   #8
Brian Barbier
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Chuck,
Are these weep holes on the front curb (which supports the shower door), or are they just behind the curb, as indents between the side decks and the curb? And, are they spaces molded into the pan, or did the installer simply leave a small gap in the lower caulking? If any of these, then...
I for one, will never build a manuractured base type shower or tub enclosure without weep holes. This is for the simple reason that even without a vapor barrier behind the wallboard as in most cultured marble installations, there is still a tile flange on the back sides of any manufactured pan or tub (well, maybe not cast iron, but thats another story).
The existence of this tile flange prevents any water that does make it past the finished surface or wallboard from rolling off the back edges of that pan or tub deck. Well, the water that gets there has to go somewhere, and in 90% of the failed installations I tear out, that water rolls off the front edge of the pan/tub where the tile flange ends, and creates an internal leak at the front corners of the enclosure. (Many people think the big wet area at the drywall/under the vinyl at the front corners is from their leaky shower door/curtain, but often it's this internal leak).
In my humble opinion, any water that gets through the finish layer should be prevented from doing this with a big wad of caulking behind the tile or corner of marble that covers the front end of the tile flange, and a hole in the bottom caulking that will allow the water to flow back into the pan/tub and down the drain, where it should be destined. (BTW, with this installation, the bottom caulking becomes an aesthetic/sanitary component, not a waterproofing one).
So DON"T caulk over your weep holes, even cultured marble can have leaks through the finish surface, such as failed corner caulking, leaky faucet escutions, leaky tub spout caulking, etc.....

Brian
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Unread 05-22-2005, 11:55 AM   #9
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in tpan curb

Thanks, Brian, for your extensive comments. I will have to study them more to be sure I understand all the details. Meanwhile, I can tell you that these weep holes are on either side of the pan about four inches back from the front. They are approximately 1/4" deep by 1/2" long cutouts or notches in the top of the curb, formed, I believe, when the pan was manufactured. I don't know how far they extend, i.e. whether they go the whole width of the curb or just part way.
When I speak of having discussed this with the builder, most of these contacts have been with sales people though one was a construction superintendant. To their assertion that these holes are necesssary to drain moisture which condenses on the back face of the marble, I asked why the back wall did not need a weep hole. They then started to equivocate by saying that it's not always necessary to have these holes, but they are there 'just in case.'
Could the answer be something as simple as using pans which are really intended for tile showers?
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Unread 05-23-2005, 12:04 AM   #10
Brian Barbier
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Chuck,
I know that Florestone and Swanstone both incorporate these weep holes into their pans now. These pans are for use under tile or cultured marble, or in Swanstone's case, Swanstone panels. The reason the back wall does not need one is that the channel created between the tile flange on the back of the pan, and the caulking at the bottom of your marble panels is continuous all the way around the 3 sides, and depending on settlement or out of level installation, a weep hole on one end or another will catch any water that builds up in this channel and begins to flow around.
I also don't think there is any condensation on the back side of the marble, but if water gets through a caulking point on the wall, it is likely to flow down between the greenboard and marble and end up in this channel.
My former business partner and I have been putting those weep holes in the bottom caulking for years before they started incorporating them into the pan, and warn all our customers that filling them will 'void our warranty' if any internal leak occurs.

Brian
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Unread 05-23-2005, 09:14 AM   #11
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in the pan curb

Thanks, Brian. That explanation rings true and I will be guided accordingly and not fill the weep holes. I had not known before about the flange or lip which surrounds the pan. In fact, I thought I had looked for that feature when I went to a building supply store just to examine shower pans. I'll take another look.
To all who replied to my problem: thank you very much; your comments have been most helpful.
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Unread 05-23-2005, 08:50 PM   #12
Tool Guy - Kg
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Chuck,
Is there any chance you could post a picture to see?


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Unread 05-24-2005, 08:46 AM   #13
Chuck Nash
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Tool Guy - Sorry that I don't have a picture right now. The new house is in California and I am presently trying to sell our house here in Las Vegas. If you would like, I will send a photo when I next go to CA. Let me know, please.
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Unread 05-24-2005, 11:39 PM   #14
Brian Barbier
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Here's a line drawing from Florestone representing thier weep hole design, until Chuck gets us a real picture to look at.
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Unread 06-01-2005, 04:40 PM   #15
Chuck Nash
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Cultured marble shower stall with weep holes in pan curb

I now have photos of the shower weep holes, attached hereto.
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