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Unread 07-25-2015, 09:05 PM   #1
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Foam backer board

Hi all,
I spent the day chasing a shower leak at my sons home. This is not my first rodeo I am no pro but have build several tile showers and this one is so poorly constructed i am surprised it ever was waterproof. We ended pulling out the base. What we found was to say the least interesting. The entire shower including the base uses a foam backer board I have never seen. It is blue foam with what looks like a fiberglass mesh on both sides. It appears the person who installed it put some sort of waterproofing on it before thin set and tile. However corners were not well sealed and the base wall joint was only sealed with a bead of some waterproofing caulk. Needless to say this is where the leak was.
My questions are what is this backer material?(sorry i did not gat a picture) If properly installed and it was not is it an acceptable substrate for a shower?
Our plan is to pull the whole shower and rebuild with mud base CBU walls and Schluter waterproofing.
Thanks for input
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Unread 07-25-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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Hi Jim, welcome. My guess would be Wedi board but I'm not certain. Can your son send you a picture for you to post?

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Unread 07-25-2015, 09:53 PM   #3
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Welcome, Jim.

I agree with Davy, sounds like Wedi to me, as well. That product can make a successful shower if properly done. I've seen it, but never actually built one of their showers. Pricy, too.

I'll wait for the photos.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 07-26-2015, 06:46 AM   #4
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Davey, CX
Thanks for the quick replies. I looked up Wedi and watched the install video this is the stuff. My kids shower was clearly not installed properly thus the leak into their brand new kitchen. Well my free time will be accounted for next several days!!!
I will be back if I run into any other issues but I expect from here on it will be a pretty standard job.
Thanks again guys this forum is a great source of help and information.
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Unread 07-27-2015, 01:17 PM   #5
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Location: Northern CA
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I have never done a Wedi shower, but I have seen a couple of them fail. I think they are a good system if done properly.
Wedi pans are pre-constructed and waterproofed out of the box. They have a channel on the perimeter for the 1/2" wall board to sit into. Their caulking goes both in the channel and the perimeter joint to form a good seal.
For custom sizes, the installer needs to cut the pan down. Then, they are supposed to notch the pan (very carefully) with a skill saw for the wall board to slip into. I think this step is skipped a lot and one reason for the failures.
Kerdi started out saying that you could use kerdi-fix (caulk) to seam their Kerdi Board together. About a year later they changed their stance (probably because of similar failures) and went to the 5" band to seam everything.
Isaac Ostrom
Northern California
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