Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma
#11
  
New to us house as of about 10 months ago.

Tiled walk in shower, had a built in bench on a 45 in one of the corners.

Developed a noticeable stain in hardwoods on other side of the wall.  Ruled out plumbing leak.

Leak appears to be a result of the bench, which I have since removed.

I didn't build this, but the shower is lined with cement board.  Has a raised base, I am assuming concrete, and there is evidence of a rubber membrane that extends about 8 inches up the sides.  The bench that I pulled out was about 16 inches up.  My guess is the bench caused a leak that was higher than the membrane, and water managed to come down the outside of the cement board and leak into the adjoining hardwoods.

We have not used the shower now for about 5 days since we discovered all this, but there is still water seeping through the grout lines in the base of the shower.  I believe this indicates there is water between the tiles and the rubber membrane, which to me indicates the membrane is working, at least at the base of the shower.

Have had a fan blowing now for a couple of days, and the seeping has stopped.

Question is, can I replace the tiles on the wall where the bench was attached and move on, or does the fact that there appears to be water or was water between the membrane and the tiles on the floor, do I have to gut the whole thing and start over?

Might be a moot point if I cannot match the tile, but i also kind of hate to take it that far. I need to replace 4 tiles all in the same line, so I could do a row of contrasting tile and make it a design element.
"Oh. Um, l-- look, i-- i-- if we built this large wooden badger" ~ Sir Bedevere
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#12
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
You could also ask your question at the JohnBridge.com tile forum. There are a ton of tile pros there who can diagnose all kinds of tile questions/issues every day - and they are very responsive. They've been a good resource for me many times.

Before covering it up, I'd be concerned about whether or not there are mold issues inside the wall. Got one of those $20 endoscope cell phone cameras?
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#13
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
I think I'd replace the 4 tiles and take a "wait and see approach".

If tiles start coming loose, you can deal with the whole shower at that time.
Mark

I'm no expert, unlike everybody else here - Busdrver


Nah...I like you, young feller...You remind me of my son... Timberwolf 03/27/12

Here's a fact: Benghazi is a Pub Legend... CharlieD 04/19/15

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#14
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
Thanks all - I'll bounce it off the gurus at the other site.
"Oh. Um, l-- look, i-- i-- if we built this large wooden badger" ~ Sir Bedevere
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#15
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
I have spent my career observing the mechanics of preventing what stays dry from getting wet. It all boils down to minimum seals, appropriate movement, and proper air gaps when horizontal and vertical planes converge.

Our walk-in had 2 major leaks before the spray-head broke and dumped water onto the bath floor flooding the finished basement. Repair exposed a mess of problems, including a couple that we could do nothing about in the short time needed (and allowed by insurance) to return to functional. The second "fix" done 10 to 15 years previously to our move-in was slow destruction on the move. It was awful and the repair worse. 

Most of our problems with wet environments can be directed to poorly protected or no seals and bad joints. The DIY improvements and repairs rarely spend the extra pennies needed to correctly protect a home from a constant source of water. It's a swimming pool you are dealing with; treat the puddle like one. 

I do not like unnecessary gaps (joints) in bathrooms and kitchens. That includes grouted tile. I installed the shower myself.

My criteria for shower replacement was strictly functional, nevermind the system costing more than custom Italian tile. It was a commercial (hospital) pan and wrap with only three joints; the pan-to-walls and two wall seams, with the top enclosure termination. It was installed exactly according to the manufacturer's specifications. 

I had to persuade the drywaller to leave two weeps open at the edge of the pan. Indoor plumbing survives on the physics of air gaps--placed only where needed. Every other joint is potential trouble.
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#16
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
The johnbridge guys will tell you to rip it all out and replace it with a schluter system.... Good system but they drank too much of their Koolaid... It isn't perfect as the proper mud for the system is not available in the US. You have to import it from europe and it is a two part mixture which is impervious to water when dry. Basically like putting a layer of redgard over it but a masonry based mix...


        That liner and bench were not done properly (obviously). The tile and grout are NOT the water proofing layer. It is just the cosmetic layer. The rubber pan or kerdi or redgard etc are your waterproofing layer. If you have water coming up through the grout in the floor then the drain wasn't installed correctly in the rubber liner. Most likely the weep holes are blocked. The weep holes allow the water in the mud pan to drain out. 

        If it were me I would let it dry retile where the bench was then use it and keep an eye on it as the problem was most likely the bench. Coat the area with redgard before tiling as well.


      I like the schluter products but without their sealant available here in the US I still prefer a Redgard or Hydroban as it is more leakproof in long term flood testing than schluter. In commercial buildings redgard is the product of choice and I have yet to see an install in a commercial kitchen or bathroom leak that was properly applied and those are applications where no one cares how it's maintained. 
      That said anytime I can afford it I will always go with a cultured marble shower. Every flat plane is one custom made piece to your room including the floor made in one piece with a lip up the sides. It's 1/2" thick at the thinnest and it's all extremely heavy but just a few joints sealed with industrial silicone. I would not put that in a bathroom that isn't on concrete unless you really overbuild the floor structure.
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#17
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
Thanks - I had reached the decision to replace the 4 tiles where the bench was and see what happens.

Unfortunately, I have discovered the prior owner did not keep any extra tiles, and it appears they are obsolete.

They used what I thought were 12x12 tiles for the walls and 6x6 for the floor.  I do have a handful of the 6x6 and the box they came in.  But the 12x12 are actually more like 13.  I can't find the brand (Demetra) anywhere or anything of that size.  Googling the number and color number doesn't bring up any results.

So I can either remove that row and the ones beneath it and do something contrasting for a design element, but I don't think the grout lines will line up.


Might have no choice but to start over.
"Oh. Um, l-- look, i-- i-- if we built this large wooden badger" ~ Sir Bedevere
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#18
  Re: RE: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (Thanks - I had reach...)
(07-17-2019, 02:30 PM)Large Wooden Badger Wrote: Thanks - I had reached the decision to replace the 4 tiles where the bench was and see what happens.

Unfortunately, I have discovered the prior owner did not keep any extra tiles, and it appears they are obsolete.

They used what I thought were 12x12 tiles for the walls and 6x6 for the floor.  I do have a handful of the 6x6 and the box they came in.  But the 12x12 are actually more like 13.  I can't find the brand (Demetra) anywhere or anything of that size.  Googling the number and color number doesn't bring up any results.

So I can either remove that row and the ones beneath it and do something contrasting for a design element, but I don't think the grout lines will line up.


Might have no choice but to start over.


         I had to find Tile to look decent when I replaced my parents tub with a shower pan. It isn't the best but it turned out OK. The first thing they said was that they regret not doing it back in 89 when they bought the house... It's almost impossible to find tile now since everything is short runs of product then a new style comes out. Whenever I do tile in the house I always have one full box and scraps for repairs down the road. Probably will never need it but if you do it's really nice to have.
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#19
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
If I were fixing a leak, I'd probably open up the wall behind it and find out exactly where the problem is. Not a fan of dong jobs twice.
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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#20
  Re: Tiled Walk In Shower Dilemma by Large Wooden Badger (New to us house as o...)
If there's a Floor and Décor store anywhere at all close to you, it's probably worth a drive to see if you can find the tile(s) you need.  That place is amazing.  The one in San Antonio is like a Costco full of tile... all types, all sizes, clearances, discontinued, etc. etc.  Wood also.
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