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Unread 07-19-2019, 11:52 PM   #1
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It’s not what I expected...

I’m in town this weekend to finish up painting wrought iron fencing, and dropped by my brother’s house in McKinney, TX to take a look at what I assumed would be a simple repair...the grout cracked on a shower seat, and a few tiles have tented/buckled.

I thought this would be a simple repair....remove grout and replace on shower seat. Remove 5 tiles on face of seat, shave slightly for a better fit, and re-install. However, whilst gingerly using the grout saw, one of the tiles simply popped off.

I am told the tile on the walls is over concrete backer board. The step? Not so much. I haven’t dug into the Oatey PVC liner, but the substrate between the liner and the tile was simply drywall. No wonder the seat flexed and the grout cracked.

Thought about removing the seat altogether, adding concrete backer board and re-tiling (bathing even one of their two dogs at a time is a tight squeeze with the seat), but I’m concerned about a few things, which ultimately lead me to condemning the entire enclosure:

1. The floor tile ends before the step starts, so I’d have to find more floor tile;

2. I don’t really know if a proper pan exists under the floor of the shower;

3. I’m guessing the crap I pulled out that was covered in black sooty material was actually mold...all the drywall was damp;

4. With the little knowledge I have tiling as a hobby, plus the Schluter course 14 years ago, I think this isn’t something that can be fixed with a band-aid, and would likely need to be torn down to the studs...

Assuming a worst case scenario, I’ve already told my brother and sister-in-law that it would save them a little money to do as much of the demolition as they can.

Shower is lass than 4’ x 4’. Walls are tiled to 7’. Can anyone spare a rough estimate for a simple shower redo (yes, I realize there are lots of variables). They’re hoping less than $5K. I’d already thought of giving Davy a call since he’s just down the road from them.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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Unread 07-20-2019, 01:29 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Scott.

yes, I realize there are lots of variables
Yep, so many that the range would be quite broad, depending on what they want done, how quickly, what kind/size of tile, and other things that might be hidden behind the current shower that nobody can see until the demolition is finished.

I've had a few people ask for off-the-cuff estimate and I shoot them pretty high, because if I give them a number they like, they expect it to be that amount and no more, regardless of any other problems that crop up. I've even had a few ask for estimates over the phone, and I just politely tell them I can't give estimates over the phone. Even my estimates allow for the unknown, such as termite or water damage. We just have no control over those things.

Try to give them a worst-case scenario, so that when it comes in it'll be a pleasant surprise, or at least not be such a shock to them.

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Unread 07-20-2019, 06:51 AM   #3
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Thanks. I’ve prepared them for a $5K estimate, assuming we do a majority of the demo.
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Unread 07-20-2019, 07:56 AM   #4
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Welcome back, Scott.

Only way you'll get meaningful estimates is to have reputable contractors look at the work.

Send Davy a PM. Won't be the low bidder, but you can assure your brother he'll never need to have the shower re-done until he just wants a different look.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 07-20-2019, 11:36 AM   #5
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Many variables but I think 5k is a safe #. You can easily calculate the area of the tile and I assume 3 or $5 per square foot on the budget end. Hopefully they have a temp control valve and are happy with all the current plumbing and don't want to change things up. Reusing the glass would save big bucks.
Why doesn't everyone in the world just take time to do things right the first time?
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Unread 07-20-2019, 11:42 AM   #6
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Thanks Kelly & Teddy. My goal here is not for them to spend in excess. Instead, I want them to have a relative guarantee that the work is done well and the job is done right.
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