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Unread 12-08-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Greenboard in Shower

I recently renovated by master bath (last month). The carpenter put Green Board in my shower. When the tile installer came, he tiled on top of the green board. He spoke little English, and did not mention any type of cement backer or hardi backer. I did not know any better, but now have been informed that installing on green board is NOT the correct way to install tile. It is finished, and looks great I might add, but I know it was not done properly and I fear my shower may cave in. i REALLY do not want to rip the new, expensive tile out, but I need to fully understand the risks. What is likely to be the outcome 1, 2, 5 and 10 years from now? Is there any sealer that can help? He used about 1/2 of thinset so said it should be fine when I called and questioned him on it. I have sealed it twice with Bullet Proof. HELP!
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Unread 12-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Hi Kelly,

Well, it isn't ideal and what's done is done unless you want it ripped out. Greenboard showers have a long history of failure and do not meet current code for shower installations. With that said, people still do it that way as is apparently the case with your shower.

Short of ripping it all out you can prolong the life of the shower by faithfully using a squeegee to dry the shower walls and floor after every use.

A lot depends on how the shower pan was constructed, if that wasn't done correctly then you will have issues sooner than later.

Thinset, mixed from a bag with water, is meant to be applied with a notched trowel and typically shouldn't exceed 1/4" of thickness. If your installer really laid it on 1/2" thick that will be a problem as well.

Wait for one of the pros to come along to give their advice.
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Unread 12-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #3
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Welcome, Kelly.

Unfortunately, your shower meets neither building code nor tile industry guidelines as constructed.

Read This thread from the Shower Construction section of our whirl-famous Liberry for some information on what you may be looking at.
Originally Posted by Kelly
He used about 1/2 of thinset so said it should be fine when I called and questioned him on it.
'Fraid I don't unnerstan that comment.

We'd need to know how the rest of the shower, primarily the pan, was constructed to give you much more indication of how long the installation might last.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 12-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, Kelly.

Your shower was definitely not built to industry standards.

Thousands of showers have been built like that though, and some have lasted. It's hard to tell how long yours will last. There's really not much you can do at this point to improve it without tearing it out and rebuilding it.

Rebuilding a shower will be expensive. Depending on where your shower is located, a leak can be very expensive as well.

I wish you had found us sooner.

In the mean time, keep the walls as dry as you can after using the shower. You can use a squeegee and towels to accomplish this. It won't solve your problem, but it may prolong the life of your shower.
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
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Unread 12-09-2008, 12:31 AM   #5
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