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Unread 01-16-2022, 03:35 PM   #16
Kman
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In your earlier pictures, I see what looks like cement board on the walls with the seams treated with something, likely Redgard. I mention this because there's absolutely no benefit to treating only the seams of cement board with a waterproofing product, because the board itself isn't waterproof.

But I've seen that done a lot, where installers believe the board to be waterproof, so they just treat the seams and corners and move on. You didn't even get that with your bench. I also wonder if the top of the bench is flat, rather than sloping it toward the drain like it's supposed to be. Typically you would see the wall tile just above the bench gradually getting larger as they approach the front of the bench, and they appear to be straight in your picture.

Nobody likes to hear this, and we often get a lot of resistance to this advice, but you really should get a new shower out of this, rather than trying to put a bandaid fix on it.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-16-2022, 04:07 PM   #17
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More demo reveal

Thanks for your reply, I will heed your advice, just investigating with your help.
Additional photos, wood looks a tad wet, lol.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 06:26 PM   #18
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Demo Finish

that's what you call a recess bench within in a recess shower against concrete block walls outside
why not build out the bench floor to the same height as the shower floor, im guessing costs.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 06:41 PM   #19
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?

So I wonder why the tile cracked or broke?
Could it have been simply because they never sloped the bench?
Very odd to have tile over tile on entire bench new construction, what was purpose of that. Will be interesting discussion with MI homes. If you guys see any other no no's appreciate it in my fight with them.
Check the last photo, if it don't fit place some base boarding behind and the screw to hold up the lowest tile
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Unread 01-16-2022, 07:23 PM   #20
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Please, please, tell us your contractor is not telling you he can rebuild that bench and you'll have a fine, new shower.

Saddest part of that whole thing is that won't nobody do no jail time.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 07:37 PM   #21
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Lol

Well I guess the cost of the home and the quality of the materials (not the shower) does not mean the subs did it right. Sad it's our dream home we paid a lot for. Its not even 2 years old and began cracking 8 months in. Wish I had come here sooner to learn it wasn't just a bad tile issue, and much deeper.
Their still constructing new homes in the community, and I tried to get one of the subs to do the shower BEFORE I had a clue what was wrong, and none of them speak English or bothered to show up, in retrospect thankful for that. I emailed the GC and got crickets. So will go to corporate. The builders are trying to make money so hire cheap labor. But I thought you wouldnt expect with 1/2 - 1 million dollar homes. I'm sure they thought something like this wouldnt show up until much later and by then it's too late. Your right I don't want them to do it, since they'll just send the same people who originally did it. Obviously they just didnt do mine like that, there all like that.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 07:46 PM   #22
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Travis, the price of the home, in my experience, has little to do with the quality you can expect in the construction.

Back in my building days, it was not uncommon for one of my subs to invite me to see a house in which they were also working in the very high-dollar (starting at about a million 20 years ago) subdivision near San Antonio. At least three times I have driven down there to the gated, guarded, community where only the best of the best lived, to see some of the worst work I've ever seen in residential construction. And I've got to believe most of it was still that way at the time of occupancy.

But still, no jail time.
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Unread 01-16-2022, 08:25 PM   #23
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believe it now

well they market it all nice, they provided 140 photos of the home from day 0 to final build, so you can see with your own eyes all stages of construction, so it comes across as nothing to hide. But they did not take any photos of the floor of the shower, I see the dirt and then I see shower floor tile, and never photos of the bench area. I know now that was a red flag. I assume the reason was because they're trying to hide it. They didn't want the future homeowner to get photos of baseboard as a prop to level wood, tile spacers left in, no grout, 2x tile for bench, regular nails through cement board with no waterproofing, nails driven through wall at bottom of shower bench holding up tiles, no pan, a 10 inch drop between the shower floor and bench floor lol.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 06:14 AM   #24
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Travis benches are notorious for leaks in my neck of the woods.... Well showers in general. So much so that alot of potential clients want "solid" slab anything instead of tile because of their history with what they think is a tile problem and leaks.

The reality of what I see is general laborers who can turn out descent floor and backsplash work attempt a shower. Waterproofing is not even a thought and if it looks good at the end most of the times the builder/homeowner is none the wiser.

The sad part is, and I believe the numbers support it, you're more likely to get a improperly built shower then a properly built one.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 08:06 AM   #25
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That looks suspiciously like mastic to me. Hard to tell from pictures I can't enlarge, at least on my monitor. If so, that's reason enough to request a total redo.

I agree with what ss3964spd said earlier. You don't see someone build a quality shower and then all of a sudden do a crap job on the bench. They either know what they're doing or they don't. If the bench is bad, then almost surely the shower is bad.

By the way, "a polished or high gloss finish" is not a good idea on tiles that are going to be anywhere there might be water on the floor, such as mudrooms and bathrooms, especially in a large format like 48".
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Unread 01-17-2022, 08:07 AM   #26
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"I also wonder if the top of the bench is flat, rather than sloping it toward the drain like it's supposed to be. Typically you would see the wall tile just above the bench gradually getting larger as they approach the front of the bench, and they appear to be straight in your picture."

That's what I was going to say too.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 08:23 AM   #27
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You might get pissed at me for saying this, but I'm really not just talking to you, I'm talking to any homeowner. At the end of the day, the homebuyers are the ones responsible for the state of things, not the contractors. There will always be workers willing to remain ignorant and do shoddy work. It's kind of like politics - the reason we have crappy politicians is that we put them in power. Everyone complains about politicians lying. I guess it's OK as long as they lie for "our side"? If you don't educate yourself and keep falling for the same quick-fixes and sound bites, then you'll get crap government.

Well, the problem here is that builders build things that look good on the surface but suck underneath, because that matches the priorities of the buyers. Buyers want pretty tile, period. Not a single one ever thinks about what goes on underneath. Would you buy a car simply because it's a pretty red color? Well, some people do. But at least with a car most people read reviews, look at gas mileage, read reliability reports. Anyone ever do any of this with showers? Or other important elements under the covers in your house? When the home was inspected, are you aware of which things could actually be inspected? (hint: anything hidden, such as underneath tile etc., cannot be.)

If your priority (or should we say the Queen's priority?) is the color of the tile, then that's what is going to get the focus. Did anyone bother asking if the shower would be waterproof as well as pretty?

So homeowners need to educate themselves as to what a quality product is if they want to buy a quality product.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 08:54 AM   #28
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Travis,

Even if it had not already been tiled over once, in order to make the bench waterproof at the very least some of the wall tiles would have to come off. If some of the wall tiles are removed they would then have to be replaced before one could tile over the whole thing with the polished tiles you previously linked to.

Given what we now see IMO, like others, is the whole shower needs to be redone. Correctly.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 10:01 AM   #29
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Jeff, I don't disagree with you. I believe in self sufficiency. I suppose we took some risk buying a home already built. It came with 1 year bumper to bumper warranty but what good is that to things you can't see or won't reveal themself within the 1 year. In our prior home we were involved in the entire process for the same reasons you mention. We did walk thru's weekly from start to finish, and had them replace several studs since they were in poor condition and we took 100's of photos I suppose for the same reason. With this home that was not possible, it was already built. We liked the house and area a lot, with the exception of a few aesthetics, so we accepted that we would eventually replace all the subway shower tile on the walls, bench and tub surround. I did hire a home inspector before closing who caught several other issues which the builder fixed. I went in the attic myself and saw the ducts were kinked because the hanging straps broke and fixed that. I switched out all the builder grade toilets to avoid future clogs. At the 1 year mark I had the home inspected again, and they found stuff again which the builder fixed, inspector noted the cracks in the bench tiles and recommended repair. We decided not to have the builder fix the shower bench at the time because we were going to replace all tile in master bath except the shower floor. I think the builder has to take responsibility for their work too, it's not like were buying a used car here, it was constructed wrong from the get go, so there is recourse against the builder, who may not even put a fight. I'm not sure I'll waste too much time on that. Ultimately, I will either educate myself and do it right or vet out a pro to do it.
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Unread 01-17-2022, 10:18 AM   #30
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What about building out the bench so that 8 inches of it is over the existing shower floor, then waterproofing the bench. Then for walls use Mapei Eco Prim on existing tile and then Aqua Defense on the entire shower walls on top of that. Would that not ensure the water would not seep into the bench and go towards the current shower floor and drain which appears to be sloped properly.
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