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Unread 11-20-2022, 04:26 PM   #1
bellabella
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Shower damaged in remodel: repair or replace

I have a client who is having a major remodel of their house. The window people replaced a shower window with a larger size and hacked into the shower tile to make it fit. The shower was redone a couple of years ago (not by me) Now they are asking me to fix the tile. My first thought is I have no idea if the waterproofing was done properly. In the photos I have seen it looks like hardi on top of sheetrock with no apparent membrane. I would have to go there and peel the tile back to see what was done. Then I am thinking it is not appropriate to try and patch a shower wall. Maybe better to tear the whole thing out and do it right.
What do you all think?
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Last edited by bellabella; 11-20-2022 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Removing personal info
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Unread 11-20-2022, 05:12 PM   #2
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That would usually be the best plan. I think it's going to be hard to know until you start tearing it out. It wouldn't surprise me if there's no moisture membrane.

Does she have tiles to patch it back in?
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Unread 11-20-2022, 05:13 PM   #3
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Certainly not enough information for any of us out here to offer any opinion on what might be required for a proper repair, Jim. Maybe once you've seen the damage and can post some photos we'd do better?

But in general, I wouldn't be too optimistic that a suitable repair of the waterproofing, if any, could be made.

Maybe your SIL should have called you before she allowed these "window people" to hack up her shower wall?
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Unread 11-20-2022, 05:16 PM   #4
bellabella
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That is an issue, they do not have any matching tile and it has been discontinued.
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Unread 11-20-2022, 05:32 PM   #5
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I've had customers that would never go for a patch job even if we had matching tiles. Also had some that would patch it with a contrasting color and have no problem doing that. It depends how much damage the window guy did.

Looks like they could have cut the tiles ahead of time so the window could be installed without doing too much damage. I wouldn't be very happy if they did a lot of damage without going over it with me first.
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Unread 11-22-2022, 08:47 PM   #6
bellabella
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Updated info:
For waterproofing the installer applied 15# roofing felt over sheetrock, behind the backer board. I had never heard of this before but I guess it is a thing. What could possibly go wrong…
But I guess at least is is something.
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Unread 11-22-2022, 09:54 PM   #7
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Jim, it was quite common in the days of traditional shower construction for the installer to cover gypsum drywall with roofing felt, shingled down over a waterproof pan liner, staple expanded metal lath over that, then cover the walls with a Portland cement mortar. These have been known to last many decades. It's referred to as a "one-coat" mud job, as opposed to the more traditional "scratch and brown" mud job.

Could a fella do the same with CBU and have that work? I dunno. I do know that you can install the roofing felt directly over the open stud wall and install CBU over that and have a useful shower. I've never had the opportunity to tear one of them out (never even heard of one), so I can't say just how long they might last.

The weak link in the one you're working on would be the gypsum drywall and I can think of no reason anyone would bother with that if he were intending to use a CBU for the wallboard. And no manufacturer of CBUs would condone such an installation with his product.

The problem you'll have is trying to find a way to tie any new water containment method into what you've got. Might have been working fine before somebody cut a window into that wall, but now? Without some photos of what you're working with, I couldn't even guess.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-22-2022, 10:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for the detailed description.
Here is a photo of the window in the shower. The shower heads are off on each end.
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Unread 11-23-2022, 10:17 AM   #9
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Interesting. Wonder how the window installer expected to repair that damage. Well, actually I don't. Window installers are much like plumbers in that regard; don't care how much damage they might do installing their products because they never fix any of it.

Pretty safe bet that the sill framing is not sloped to drain. I suppose a fella could install a piece of CBU there, shimmed for slope, and another piece on the face of the sill, covering that gap we see below. Not gonna meet anybody's textbook requirements, but, aside from building a new shower, I'm not sure what else you might do there.

Then apply some sort of sheet-type direct bonded waterproofing membrane that could somehow be draped over the remnants of the roofing felt below. Somehow?

Properly waterproofing the bottom corners of the window opening will certainly be a challenge. Can't see enough of that area to even guess what might work, but, again, you're not likely to get a proper job of it in any case. Sometimes you just gotta do what you can if you can't do what you should. And hope for the best.

Were I asked to do that repair on a professional basis, I'd be inclined to say "No, thank you." That area is gonna see a lot of water and needs a lotta waterproofing. Whether you can find an effective way to accomplish that, I just don't know.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-23-2022, 10:52 AM   #10
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You could do any number of waterproofing hacks to try to keep water out. Some may last a while, some won't. Eventually water will get into the wall.

The shower heads are up high enough to splash water on the window ledge, which will eventually run into the wall. Whether it's in small or large amounts depends on the waterproofing efforts.

I wouldn't put my stamp of approval on anything there. People just expect that when you "fix" something, that it's fixed the right way and will last forever. I'd have to decline.
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Unread 11-23-2022, 01:45 PM   #11
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Yep, what the others said. Plus, has there been a decision on what tile to patch it in with?
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