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Old 06-06-2018, 05:35 PM   #1
wkearney99
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Temporary fix for boat shower tile?

I've got a boat that a previous owner had tile work done in the shower. It appears the way tile was laid is allowing water to get in along the underside of it and run out to the adjacent space.

I know, the correct fix is rip-and-replace.

I get the impression there's several defects here. One being the raw edge of what looks like cheap and rather porous tile is exposed. Second, that tile is laid on something and it doesn't have a good bond. Third, the top tiles are cut a bit short of the upright tiles below them. As opposed to the lower upright tiles being slightly recessed. This doesn't leave anything close to a drip-edge. I wouldn't expect a LOT of overhang, but it's at least 1.25mm short of the upright portion. Fourth, there's not a lot of slope, keeping the water from getting down to the sump faster.

The leak only happens when water is flowing over the floor tiles and down into the sump. Once the water is into the sump area under the teak platform it drains fine. The sump box under the platform isn't the problem. Well, to be perfectly clear there TWO sumps here. One being the area under the teak platform and then another under the stainless drain cover. Both of those are holding water fine. I covered the exiting drain line and let them fill.. no leaks until the water rose to where it met the underside of the floor tile.

There's a bunch of steps and angles to the way the bottom of this shower pan is laid out. Making it a non-trivial job to just re-do it outright. Otherwise I'd already be fixing it properly.

I'd like to know if there's some sort of temporary channel or something I could adhere to the lip of the tile where the sides drop down into the teak sump. That'll buy me some time until Fall when I can really tear it all apart. Perhaps some sort of L-shaped gasketing material or something?

I don't need it to be beautiful, just something to help the water find a path down into the sump instead of following an easier path under the tile. Enough to get me through until October when I'll have time to tear it out for further inspection and re-doing it properly. Which will undoubtedly present other problems like rot, etc.

Any suggestions on covering that edge up temporarily?
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:14 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, Bill.

Maybe I'm not seeing the pictures clear enough....with that said...anything wrong with just using 100% silicone at that corner?


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Old 06-06-2018, 09:29 PM   #3
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I suppose I could goop up enough silicone to mitigate some of it. To not have it look hideous would be nice. There's stuff like Life-Calk Liquid that might also work. But if I could find something that offered a more consistent barrier that'd be ideal. Hell, goop it up and then slap something over that to cover the edge. The trick is finding some sort of edging that'd be suitable here. Low profile enough to avoid being in the way. I'm just not finding anything obvious from web searches.

Again, this is a stop-gap until a proper job can be done at the end of the season. To tackle it now would pose too great an interruption to the already limited number of boating days we'd have available. We have a second shower but this one is in the 'day head' where kids/guests could use it. The other one is in the forward stateroom and we'd prefer to avoid having everyone traipsing through there.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:35 PM   #4
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My opinion is that any decent quality 100% silicone will cost less than half that and performs far more than adequately. The fact that your stuff bonds to damp surfaces might be a bonus.

The caulking could most certainly be done neat. It doesn't have to be glooped on and look sloppy.

Is that an actual gap? Or am I seeing dark/discolored grout on the left side of that very first picture?

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Old 06-07-2018, 07:08 AM   #5
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As for clearer pictures, yeah, sorry about that. Those were among the less-worse ones I took. I'd already spent a bunch of time cleaning up the escaped water. I'll try and take some better pix, but it'll be at least a week.

This picture shows the problem corner a bit better. I think the forum software limits the upload resolution. The dark brown/black section along the right is thicker than the grout area to the left. It's under the bottom seam of the brown section that the water is leaking. It seems to be failed grout that's been infested with growth. I have not poked at it yet, for fear of immediately turning this into a tear out job.

The boat is going to sit idle all next week. That'll give the shower pan area a chance to dry out. I'll try using the liquid caulk. Possible with some tape or something laid up to provide a dam of sorts to help encourage/contain it's flow/stick to the leak area. Potentially I might be able to goop up enough to coat the area in some fashion to act as a stop-gap until I can do a proper repair.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:12 PM   #6
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I see how the area you’re talking about is discolored grout.

Ok, while tile and grout are not considered waterproof, if you don’t have a physical gap, water isn’t going to flow in at a high rate.

But I see the inside corner where the tile meets the wall has an obvious crack. And while the shower *should* be waterproof before the first tile is installed, it seems unlikely in this job. Meaning that the inside corner that’s cracked might be a more likely candidate for where the water is getting under the tile. If that’s the case, the discolored grout might be an exit point for the moisture that’s getting under the tile rather than an entry point.

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Old 06-08-2018, 10:04 AM   #7
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You may be correct. It'll be about a week before I'll have a chance to investigate this further.
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