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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
tigerstripes
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20-year Abandoned Shower

Hey ya'll. I'm trying to breathe life back into my Mom's shower, unused for over 20 years. I had the plumber out last week; he pronounced the stems still good and refurbished all the hardware.

Mom's house has foundation problems -- the clay soil in Austin, Texas -- and the shower has some seams that have split. The tiles directly under the faucet are all up and what's underneath looks and feels like lumpy sand.

I removed most, but not all of the loose sand, and based on advice here, trowelled down "Commercial Grade Quikcrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher" yesterday. It was the only mix I could find with more sand than portland cement. It's raining here today, and the concrete is still a dark grey. I'm thinking of setting up a small heater in the shower stall to help cure the concrete.

I've bought "Tile Repair Mortar" for the thin-set mortar to affix the tiles, and "GE Premium Waterproof Silicone" to grout between the tiles and fill the many cracks in the shower.

I'm a green newbie at this and would appreciate any advice. My goal is to get the shower up and running for my senior Mom, who's afraid of the tub. It's a quick and ugly fix since I live out of town, I'm afraid. Still, it will be a running shower, and after all, it's been 20 years.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
bulldog tile
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TS a picture would be great. Why has the shower not been used for 20 years? Does the shower pan leak? How wide are the cracks? How many and often? Do the tile repair mortar and vinyl patch specifically state they are to be used in wet areas? Again, a picture would be great.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
Davestone
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At this point i guess that's fine, i don't know what repair mortar is myself, regular thinset is fine, and regular grout is fine for between floor tiles,silicone is fine everywhere that's cracked.
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Unread 01-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
cx
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Welcome, tigerstripes. Please change that permanent signature line to a first name for us to use.

If you're not willing to do a flood test on that shower pan, you'll need to keep a close eye on it for leaks when you start using it again. I'm a little surprised a plumber who was called in to inspect such an installation didn't suggest that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
tigerstripes
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Thanks so much for the helpful advice. I have another question -- when I use the thin-set mortar, do I apply it solely to the backs of the tiles, or solely to the floor, or to both? I've searched and can't find an answer specifically for shower floors.

The shower pan definitely did leak back in the day, which is why it's been unused for so long.

The cracks are only slightly larger than the space for the original grout was.

Yes, the repair mortar and vinyl patch cement do specifically state that they're to be used in wet areas. I spent time reading the labels, especially after I realized that the mortar the Home Depot salesperson handed me read, 'Not for shower floors' in extremely small print.

I don't live here, but I've advised my brother to keep a close eye on the shower floor for leaks once we start running it. It's a quick fix, but since we need to have the house's foundation leveled someday soonish, I'll get another chance to do the entire shower floor properly again.

Thanks again so much.
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Unread 01-29-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Yep, definitely got to double-check behind the advice the big box employees are offering, especially where products for bath areas are concerned.

Some of them can be as unreliable as the hosts of the HGTV and DIY Network "Rush in and Help You Fix Your Home for $7.95" shows!
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Unread 01-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX Post #4
Welcome, tigerstripes. Please change that permanent signature line to a first name for us to use.
Would you please do that?

On repair work you put the mortar wherever and however it works best in the situation at hand.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
tigerstripes
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Well, that went badly. The horrible mortar I picked out -- I knew 30 seconds into mixing it that it was a bust, but I pushed forward anyway which was almost deliberately stupid. I've been under a lot of stress.

Two of the tiles didn't stick at all; I had to chisel the mortar off the back of them. Or, as much of the mortar that I could chisel off. I went to a smaller hardware store and got a different product to stick the two tiles down with. Like night and day. How I wish I'd stopped when I realized that 'Tile Repair Mortar' was going all wrong. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm going forward with the grouting.
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