grouting shower

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Old 08-14-07, 05:05 PM
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grouting shower

I am starting to grout a custom shower and wondering if there is a certain type of grout and sealer that I should use. I'm concerned about leaks. The shower is in a loft 8 stories high and I don't want it to leak in the unit below. It is tiled from floor to ceiling and has 1/8 in. gaps. Does anybody recommend a grout and sealer or have any suggestions on how i can make this shower water tight?
 
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Old 08-14-07, 06:53 PM
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Water tight doesn't happen with the grout, it happens with all the preliminaries during construction of the shower. If it isn't water tight without the grout, It won't be after grouting. I suppose you could use an epoxy grout if you're worried, but I'd just grout, seal, and pray.
 
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Old 08-14-07, 07:19 PM
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Do you know how it was constructed? I am like Smokey, in that unless a proper pan was installed with EPDM membrane, and a proper pour made for the floor, all the grouting you can do won't stop a leak.
 
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Old 08-14-07, 09:14 PM
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Thumbs up grouting shower re:

Yes there is a lining that was installed by a plumber, on top of the lining a portland/sand mixture that slopes toward the drain. Then the tile was glued down with thinset. This was how the floor was done. I took a golf ball and ran it from each corner to test the slope and they ran to the drain. Is the apoxy grout easy to work? Is there an additive that you can mix with grout? I was going to use sanded grout and try to use a good sealer but if I could use something that could strengthen the grout it would make me feel more comfortable than relying on prayer! Thanks for the info, I do appreciate it!
 
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Old 08-14-07, 09:44 PM
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OK, so we know from your description, the pan is not to code, the liner needs to be installed over a sloped bed, sloped 1/4" per foot to the drain, then the liner, then the setting bed. That won't make it leak, it will just make it start to smell bad. Plumbers don't like to do mud work and inspectors usually only care that the pan can hold water. Yeah, you could ask your plumber about it, but he'll just say he's always done it that way and the inspector signed off on it. If you'd like, I can post the shower pan code for you.


How about your walls...is there 6 mil poly sheeting or 15 lb roofing felt behind it? What are your walls made from and how low is it nailed or screwed? How is your shower curb constructed? Is there a window and if so, what was done to waterproof it? Shower bench, if so, how was it constructed? Those things will result in leaks real fast if not done 100% right. Properly constructed showers wouldn't even need tile or grout. That was mentioned before. Epoxy grout won't necessarily fix any errors either so post back with the answers to the above questions.
 
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Old 08-14-07, 11:01 PM
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grout shower

The walls are constructed of steal framing, then there are two half walls that have wood framing. The lining is laid down flat on concrete, it runs up the 4 walls about 1' 1/2 and wraps up and on top to the outside corner of the curb. There is a new water resistant drywall that is sold at Lowes that is screwed over top the lining. The screws on the walls are about 3 to 4 in above the floor under the lining, but around the curb it is about 1 in. There is a 11x6" box recessed into one wall for shampoo. That's it, there's no window/bench, or any thing else, just vertical walls. On the curb are two layers of resistant drywall that are screwed down and the tile is glued down by liquid nail. The floor tile was layed first before the last row of tile on the walls. There was a bead of 100% silicone put around the edge of tile where it meets the wall. Then the last row of wall tile was glued and is sitting on top of the floor tile. I was going to put a bead of caulk around all corners. On top of the half walls there will be a marble cap, glass walls and door to finish.

About the plumber, he had told me exactly what you described. He said this is how he does his jobs and told me to just slope on top. The inspector had already come and said everything looked good. Can I leave this like this? What would you recommend?
Thanx
 
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Old 08-16-07, 07:54 AM
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Im getting in late on this but wow, where to start. For starters, the pan liner needs to be over a preslope pitched 1/4" per foot. If not, the water in the mud bed never makes it to the weep holes and the shower starts to smell like a swamp. The liner should extend up the wall at least 3" (I like at least 6") above the finished height of the curb. No nails or fasteners in the liner lower than 3" above the finished height of the curb. Drywall, water resistant or whatever is not acceptable in wet areas. You need to use cement board and you need a vapor barrier behind the cement board. Drywall is a guaranteed failure in a relatively short period of time for too many reasons to discuss here. No nails through the curb except to hold the liner in place on the outside of the curb. And no drywall on the curb. The curb needs to be mudded or use one of the curbs from noble. The niche like everything else needs to be cement board. It also needs a surface applied waterproofing like redgard. Liquid nails is not gonna cut it for bonding the tile to the curb. You need to use thinset for all the tile work, no mastic no premixed stuff and no liquid nails. I may have missed some things here so anybody else wants to chime in well go ahead.

Joe - not trying to rain on your parade but this shower is likely to fail in relatively short amount of time. Just too many things done wrong here for it to have a chance. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
 
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Old 08-16-07, 06:51 PM
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Wondering where you were. We were trying to wing it, knowing it was wrong, but needed your advice on the pan. Thanks HJ
 
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Old 08-18-07, 05:07 AM
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OK, I'm late returning to this game but yeah, this shower is a redo. Epoxy grout won't fix that mess.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 11:53 AM
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My neighbor had a shower stall that used water resistant drywall in behind the wall tiles and fell apart in a few short years. The water got at the drywall which soaked up the water like a sponge. He had it redone by the same guy and I have no idea how it did it the second time around!

If you're redoing yours, you should use concrete wall board with a vapor barrier behind it, then you can use Blue Seal waterproof rubber on top of that to ensure water tightness of the walls. That is a product that goes on wet and then dries to form a membrane; it is expensive but it'll give you peace of mind. Then you can install the tiles.

The pan work has already been well addressed above.
 
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Old 08-21-07, 08:18 AM
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grouting shower

Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to redo the shower pan. Heres what I'm planing to do, tear out the walls about 2 to 3 ft above the floor, put the new pan/liner on top of the tile, secure it to the wall and put cement board over the walls. I will put another bed of portland on top of the liner for the tile. This is what I hope to do.
My questions:
Will this work? I was planing on cutting the tile around the drain so I can put the new liner on top of the old one and secure it to the drain. Will this bother anything because the top of the tile to the drain is about 1 in. I'm going to redo the curb buy putting another 2x4 On top off the other on, wrap that with the liner and put cement board on. How high can the curb be or does that matter? I'm hoping all tile on the walls doesn't have to come off, but if I have to tear the floor and liner up thats fine.
Thanks again for your time. Any info will help. I hope this is not confusing.
Joe
 
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Old 08-21-07, 09:28 AM
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Joe, you won't get a good drain seal at the clamping ring the way you propose and you never use cement board on the curb. Then there's the issue with an uncompromised drainage plane behind the wall as the Denshield or greenboard used behind the wall tile would not have (should not have) been installed over a moisture barrier. I think an 80% fix with marginal results will take even more time and effort than going 100% all out.

Here's some info for you to research...

For your entire shower, you could use a complete Kerdi System
(links are not active on this site so you will need to copy and paste into your browser)
http://www.schluter.com/143.aspx

Or you could use Nobleseal TS
http://www.noblecompany.com/Products/ShowerProducts/tabid/59/Default.aspx

Or you could use a combination of products, such as using Noble's preformed curb and sloped pan as your preslope with a pan liner and mud bed.

Both the above companies offer complete 100% topically waterproofed shower systems complete with preformed pans, tile ready membranes and preformed curbs. The only mud you's be using would be to level and bed the preformed base.

On your walls I would really suggest you give consideration to a topical waterproofing membrane given you have a knee wall. You could accomplish this by using a traditional mud preslope or preformed pan followed by liner, poly sheeting on the full walls with cement board and then a topical waterproofing membrane over the knee wall including over the pitched top plate, such as Redgard or Laticrete 9235. You could also use the same liquid waterproofing membrane over you recess soap dish. I hope I haven't confused you too much with your options, but if I have, we're here for your questions.
 
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