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Cracked plastic shower base/pad, repair or replace?

Cracked plastic shower base/pad, repair or replace?

Old 05-25-02, 07:41 AM
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Cracked plastic shower base/pad, repair or replace?

I have a second floor shower with tiled walls and a plastic base/ pad (not sure what the proper term is) that has developed a crack around the drain. Unfortunately this wasn't noticed until after water started raining from the first floor ceiling underneath. It looks like stepping on the drain causes it to flex down a little. That motion looks to be the cause of my failed shower base.

I've caulked the crack as a temporary stop gap measure, but was wondering if there is a more permanent repair that can be done. I've seen fiberglass tub repair kits, but I'm fairly certain this base is regular plastic and not fiberglass. I checked for fibers at the crack and only saw clean plastic all the way through. Am I right in assuming such repair kits won't work in my situation?

Barring a permanent repair option, I guess I'll have to look into replacing the base. Can someone give me tips on how to go about doing this? What precautions should I take to keep the next base from cracking?

Some extra, potentially helpful info... The shower is walled in on 3 sides, with sliding shower doors on the entrance side. There is 12"x12" tile on the walls down to the base. I think (hope!) the base is a standard size of 48"x34". The measurements I took were slightly smaller than that in both dimensions, but I presume some of the base is hidden underneath the tiles. The shower is only several years old, as it was remodeled by the previous owners. The shower stall was enlarged and a second shower head installed, so I think pretty much everything is only several years old, including the drain piping underneath.

Thanks in advance!
Old 05-25-02, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Replacing a shower pan

Many manufacturers of shower pans require that the pan be placed in mortar. Mortar provides support and stability of the shower pan so that there is no movement or flex and prevents the shower pan from cracking and splitting. Even if it were possible to repair the cracked shower pan, the integrity of the shower pan has been compromised, and without proper support it would more than likely crack again.

Replacing the shower pan will require removal of a row or two of wall tile. The subfloor will need to be inspected for water damage. It may have to be removed so you can inspect the joists for damage. A new shower pan will have to be installed.

Most manufacturers tend to have their own specific installation instructions. The new shower pan will have to be secured to the new drain line and to the floor. You may have to use shims to adjust the base and weigh down the shower pan with bricks while mortar or adhesive dries.
Old 05-26-02, 04:24 PM
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Not the answer I was hoping for, but it's the answer I expected. Thanks for your input. Any suggestions on how to do remove the old wall tiles? I've thought about purchasing a rotozip or some similar tool to cut the grout out. These are 12"x12" tiles with beefy grout lines between them so I'll have plenty of room for a rotozip. Is there any hope of salvaging the tiles or should I not even bother trying? I'm not hopeful that I'll be able to find a perfect match for the remaining tiles so it'd be nice if I could keep the ones I've got.

When I get to removing the old pan, is there a convention for how pans are connected to drains? I took a peek under the drain grate and it's not at all obvious to me how to separate the pan from the drain.

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