View Full Version : What type of shower unit?

10-18-2005, 08:24 AM
Hi all,

My house is 7 years old now and my stand-up shower unit has had numerous leaks. The first leak was from the center drain and the rest have all come from the tile/caulk joints. I have sealed the grout and re-caulked countless times. My neighbor said he's 99% sure that the builders did not use any type of rubber membrane under the shower.

The shower floor is a one-piece plastic unit with ceramic tile over green board on 2 sides. I need to redo that shower and I'm looking for a bulletproof system to prevent future leaks, that is where I need your opinion. I am not a plumber, but have done numerous ceramic tile and marble projects. I feel comfortable with most(not all) construction projects.

So it seems my 3 choices are: one-piece fiberglass unit, the Schluter system (http://www.schluter.com/), or traditional rubber membrane/mortar bed/concrete board/tile. What system would you recommend? If you do recommend the fiberglass unit, which manufacturers in particular?

Thanks in advance,

Gary Swart
10-18-2005, 09:27 AM
If you are looking for something that will last forever without leaking and that is a DIY project, a one piece fiberglass is the answer. They come in several sizes and shapes and are fairly easy to install. They need no maintance other than normal cleaning. Of course, you should have access to the back if possible as someday you may have to repair/replace the valve, buth that's true with any type of installation. As far as brands are concerned, I don't know how many choices there are, but I doubt if it makes much difference, they all will be made essentially the same way so find one you like and that is the right size and configuration.

10-18-2005, 09:46 AM
Thanks Gary, on the other side of the wall where an access panel should be is another bathroom. So to gain access to the valves, I would have to cut a hole through the ceramic tile in another bath.

I know, not the ideal design, but that is one of the few complaints I have with the house design. I don't know of any easy remedy to correct that. Maybe when the other bath tub tile job needs to be redone, address that issue then with some type of removable panel that seals well in that tub.

10-18-2005, 10:02 AM
since you are changing the shower can you move the valve to another wall to have an access?

10-18-2005, 11:18 AM
since you are changing the shower can you move the valve to another wall to have an access?
That's an excellent idea, I have not thought of that. Currently the shower is two full walls of tile and a knee wall that connects the garden tub. I could frame a wall between the tub and shower units and relocate the valves to that wall (the other wall is on the outside wall of the house).

I would guess making the shower have 3 walls, it will be easier to find a one piece unit vs. having 2 full walls and one knee wall. Not sure about that though.

10-18-2005, 02:18 PM
glad i had an idea that worked! lol. if you did 3 walls instead of 2 with a knee wall youd save money from not having a custom door with a stepped return. even though the step is a nicer look.

10-19-2005, 03:43 AM
I have the same problem with my shower. What a piece of crap it is. Ive caulked 3 times in the past year and now my drain is leaking. Do you have any ideas to stop the drain from leaking into my basement?

10-19-2005, 11:10 AM
I'm not a pro, but I've found thatif the drain line is not exactly lined up with the drain itself (if it has any sideways pressure), it will often leak. These things often use just a sleeve to seal them. If it has a compression nut, then it might also be loose. If you didn't set the base in deck mud (loose sand/concrete mix), then the flex each time you step in the thing may have loosened things up over time. The instructions may say setting the base on the concrete may be optional, but it is not if you want a satisfying, long-lasting system. The flex causes microfractures eventually which discolor andotherassociated problems.