leaking shower stall

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  #1  
Old 05-13-12, 03:12 PM
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leaking shower stall

We had a contractor install a glass block shower kit from Lowes several years ago in the basement. The outside front corner of the shower is leaking and causing the drywall at the bottom corner of the shower to mildew. I also noticed today that the grout around the bottom row of glass blocks is also wet and flaking off. I've attempted to regrout and caulk the inside bottom several times - apparently without success.

I believe the leak might be due to the shower base flexing. The slab had been knocked out from the whirlpool tub that was installed previously. Consequently the base isn't supported in the front middle of the base in an area approx. 24 sq. in. The contractor didn't bother to fill in the broken out slab prior to installation of the shower base even thou I pointed this out to him prior to installation. Is there any remedy other than trying to recaulk, grout, and reseal the bottom row of tile / blocks in the shower, or having the entire shower reinstalled?

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-13-12, 03:23 PM
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Would it be possible for you to post a few pictures of your situation? It may help us help you. Is there a berm around the base of the glass block, or are they sitting on the concrete? was there a pvc liner and proper base installed? Or is it a pre fab base (since you mention flexing)?http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 05-13-12, 08:03 PM
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It's a owens corning glass block shower kit with a prefab base. I'll post pictures probably tomorrow night or Tues. Thanks for the help
 
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Old 05-14-12, 05:54 AM
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Here are pics of the outside and inside of the shower. Suggestions are appreciated. Name:  photo.jpg
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Old 05-14-12, 02:07 PM
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With the contractor using WM366 case molding for base molding, it tells me there may have been shortcuts. Do you know what backer there is behind your shower tiles? I am so afraid it is sheetrock and the water is finding its way around, behind it and coming out in the corner. Remove the base and cut out the sheetrock in that area, as you will need to replace it with real base anyway, see if there is any active water that low on the floor. It looks to be wicking rather than falling, so your failure may be behind the shower pan.
Point #2, grout should not have been used at the intersection of the glass block and the tile. Two different materials meeting at opposite planes will expand and contract at different rates. Silicone should have been used so it could give and take.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 03:08 PM
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Water resistant drywall (green board, cement board..) was used behind the tile.
The shower tile & case molding was my doing. The contractor installed the shower pan and the glass blocks. By "a real pan" do you mean a hand made one i.e. built up one?
Thanks
 
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Old 05-14-12, 04:46 PM
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Yeah, before the pix, I wasn't sure what type pan you had. Pix helped a lot. Didn't mean to step on you with the case molding question My daughter's house in Denver, both floors, were trimmed that way by the contractor. Pull that drywall and let's see what's back there. It won't get better on it's own.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 07:06 PM
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No problem. I wasn't sure if you were saying that was the wrong molding for a bathroom or not. I think I probably reused extra that was in the attic. The backside of the wall is unfinished in the machine room. There's no sign of wetness on the other side. That tells me that the seepage/leak might be between the glass block and the wall or the shower tile and the wall. Maybe? That's why I regrouted the corners previously. Maybe I'll try caulking (over the grout) this time maybe all along the length of the glass and the wall? Thanks for your ideas.
 
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Old 05-15-12, 03:14 AM
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No it is just door molding, not base molding. No problem if you like it With your investigation on the other side, then I concur it must be at the block wall/tile and is seeping past. Let us know how the silicone goes. If you can find a color match sanded grout caulk in the tile section (in tubes like caulk) it would match what you have plus give the protection you need.
 
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Old 12-29-12, 06:57 AM
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I'm baaaaaaaaaaack
Based on Chandler's suggestion I got some MAPEI Keracaulk Sanded Siliconized Acrylic Caulk in a tube and applied it over the grout where I thought the leak(s) were coming from. This seemed to work for awhile however now with all the boys home and the shower in use I noticed that the leaks are back. The grout rubs off when I run my finger over it like it was just applied and wasn't dried yet.

Originally I simply resealed the grout without much success. I doubt that that would work again.
Should I try more of the 'grout in a tube'? are there other solutions short of tearing the wall down and redoing it?

I'm really annoyed with the problem.
Moral of the story: "Friends don't hire friends to do remodeling".
 
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Old 12-29-12, 07:16 AM
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Sanded Caulk, I stopped using it years ago, only use unsanded now. If the bead is applied correctly, you would never notice that it is unsanded. Sometimes if the caulk is a bit on the old side and sat on the shelve for a while, it may have dried out a bit and doesn't adhere as well as it should. For this exact reason, I stopped using the sanded variety. Not to say that unsanded can't be old, but have not had a problem for the last 5 years.

That said, I think that you need to remove as much grout as possible from these areas: Where base meets tile, and Vertical inside corners all the way up to the top of the shower. Make sure these areas are completely dry before attempting to caulk as it will have a bearing on adhesion. As you have a leak, you will obviously have some areas that are wet under the visible grout/caulking currently there. Use a hair dryer or compressed air to blow out and dry before caulking. Test your caulk before attempting. A small smear on the base and/or tile should be somewhat of a pain to clean off - That means it is sticking well. Should take care of your problem.

Cut your friend some slack, I don't think it has anything to do with his glass block install.
 
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Old 01-02-13, 02:50 PM
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Chandler pointed out in May that the base/block joint should never have been grouted in the first place. The basic rule of tiling is that whenever you change planes, it must be caulked. I repaired one of these that had been installed correctly several years ago. The caulk bead was old and leaking. I cleaned it and recaulked with GE Silicone II. They called back after a couple weeks and said it was leaking again. The silicone had not bonded well. I recleaned it using denatured alcohol this time and all the problems went away.
 
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