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Shower leak through wall tiles, sub floor is rot


Tman AndSon's Avatar
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09-05-13, 08:19 PM   #1  
Shower leak through wall tiles, sub floor is rot

Shower leak through wall tiles

I found that a leak was coming through my sub-floor into my basement. After inspecting the shower, I realized that the tiles, the first 4 rows from the bottom felt loose. I then removed these tiles throughout the perimeter of the shower to realize that they all kind of just came off with ease and then noticed that the wall behind was wet and had some mold. I treated the mold, now need a tile guy I guess. The behind the tiles was just sheet-rock with glue that held the tiles on. After looking at the sub-floor, beneath the shower, from the basement, the sub-floor is wood-rot, it feels like I can peel layers or push my hand through. I was suspecting that water got behind the tiles in the shower, and leaked to pool underneath the shower which lead to the floor rot.

Any suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated.
Thank you for your time.

 
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09-05-13, 08:31 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums.

That's a common mistake when tile is installed in showers..... regular sheetrock.

The only reliable way to install tile in a shower is to use cement backer board or a product like that.

I too had that same exact problem happen. In my case I lucked out because the shower was on a cement floor. I removed all the loose tiles and then went up several more rows and installed cement backer board. It was a real treat to remove the grout and mastic from the tiles on the higher rows that weren't loose.

In your case it sounds like you're going to need to pick up the floor pan and repair the sub floor.
What is the pan construction ?

 
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09-05-13, 08:33 PM   #3  
Appreciate the info. The pan seems like some sort of plastic. Does the sub-floor really need to be replaced? Could I live without doing the subfloor?

 
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09-05-13, 08:57 PM   #4  
If the pan looks like plastic then it's most likely fiberglass.

If the floor isn't solid enough to hold the pan stable..... then when you fix the tiles, the joint at the pan will crack.

When you step into the pan.... is it spongy....or any movement ?

 
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09-05-13, 09:05 PM   #5  
Only replace the pan if it shows obvious signs of water getting through it. And if the subfloor is rotten underneath it, it will have to go to enable subfloor replacement. Replacement with a new pan would be in your best interests, instead of trying to re-use the existing. You may also find some rotten (lower) wall studs, which will also have to be replaced. Just cut off the rotten stuff, and sister in some replacement stock to the solid portions of the studs. I've done it a few times, and it's quite a simple task, except for the fact that you'll be removing sound (tight) tiles to expose the upper portions of the studs.

 
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09-05-13, 09:31 PM   #6  
The pan isn't spongy, but the tiles were, that's why I removed them to view underneath. The sub-floor, from the basement up is spongy.

 
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09-05-13, 09:41 PM   #7  
The sub-floor, from the basement up is spongy.
That would mean that the pan is not sitting on a very solid base.

 
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09-06-13, 03:46 AM   #8  
Unfortunately, I don't think this is a candidate for patch and repair. The correct procedure is to remove everything and build from scratch. You have already noted that there is water damage to the sub-floor. This means there is damage to the framing as well. Most likely, if water got through to the bottom courses of tile, the corners are also damaged going up the wall as that is were the majority of water usually enters. The scenario also tells me that there was not a vapor barrier installed behind the rock that would have sheeted the water back into the base if properly installed. Too many things are wrong here - the remodel needs to be done right this time.

 
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09-06-13, 04:33 PM   #9  
Thank you. Would you know, besides paying for the material, how much would it cost to have this labor, the removal and installation?

 
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09-06-13, 04:37 PM   #10  
It depends on your location.....which you haven't listed.
It also depends on how you want to rebuild it.......complete do-over or the minimum repair.

I can see 4-5 days of labor..... with the re-tiling and grouting taking time.

Check with friends and neighbors for handyman recommendations.

 
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09-06-13, 04:48 PM   #11  
I live in the Jersey Shore. I guess I would have the whole thing ripped out and replaced? I don't want to have to worry about this again, figured a complete do-over should be what I need to do?
So I would need a general contractor to do the rip out and replace sub-floor, sheet-rock, and shower. The I need to pay a tile person or a plumber to install a shower? I'm so uneducated about the steps here or what I need to do next. Thank you.

 
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09-06-13, 06:00 PM   #12  
Get a few quotes for a turn-key job from reputable contractors, on their letterhead. Then call your home owners insurance agent, bring or mail him the quotes, and wait for them to cut you a check. Your cost should be just the deductible.

Most plumbing leak damage is covered by (reputable) homeowners policies.

 
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