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Unread 08-23-2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Exclamation Correcting poor construction on tile shower

My contractor built my tile shower using cement backer board method. We have had continuous problems with the grout cracking. It has been re-grouted and caulked but continues to crack.

So, I decided this time I would fix it. So I have started removing all of the old grout and caulk. Then I find in the first corner I "cleaned up" that the builder did not completely cover the corner with cement backer board. In this particular corner there is a space approximately an inch wide between one side of the corner backer board and the adjoining wall's backer board. I can see the wall stud.

Is there anything I can do, short of tearing out the tile and putting up new backer board, to control water leaks?

My plan is to continue clearing away the old material. Then place a dehumidifier in the shower and seal it off to the rest of the room and let it run for a couple of days to try and dry out any water behind the backer board. Then fill in as best as I can with some waterproof caulk or sealant between the pieces of cement backer board. After that dries, use a tile caulk between the surface tiles.

Your opinions would be appreciated.

We plan to remove the lower part of the tile and insert a garden tub in the next few years.

This contractor turned out to be a jerk and it is too late to MAKE him fix it. We have been dealing with this for 5 years.
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Unread 08-23-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
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Location: Nashua, NH
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Is there a vapor barrier behind the cbu? If not, then probably tearing it out, and rebuilding it properly may be the best solution. If he didn't put in a vapor barrier, he probably didn't use the special tape on the seams, and that could be a reason for the grout cracking as well. Note, industry standards say to NOT grout corners or the floor/wall junction; use caulk. So, if those areas are the only ones where it cracks, switching over to a color matched caulk may resolve this for awhile.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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