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Thread: Leaky shower

  1. #1

    Default Leaky shower

    I just purchased a 30 yr old condo and I seem to have a leak under the second floor master shower. A plumber went out and said the leak was caused by NOT having a shower pan. What would be the best and cheapest method to fix this leak problem? I've thought about getting a company (like bathfitter's) to install over the old, but how would i know whether there has been any damage to the floor? I've also heard that places like Bathfitter's are very expensive.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is this a tiled shower? A partial tear-out is one way, but once you've gone that far (the pan is the hardest and most complicated), you may just end up tearing the whole thing out. To install a liner, you must tear out the floor and curb and up the walls at least 6" or so, probably a little more. Anything else you do is a patch that has no guarantee of operating properly.

    The floor and wall could have some major rot issues if it has been leaking internally for awhile. You won't know until your tear it up.

    You probably should read the condo by-laws very carefully, some of this may be covered by the association, and they will probably have some say in what's done, especially if it affects the structure.

    For good help on showers, repairs, and replacement, suggest you check out www.johnbridge.com.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    Thanks. It's sounding to me like the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to go is to install a complete shower liner. However, is the only way to tell if there's floor rot to start tearing things up?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Unless yo ucan look at the area from underneath, you'll have a hard time telling from above unless you remove a good portion of the shower whether there is structural damage.

    My personal opinion, there's no good way to seal a surface liner to the drain, and then you'll end up with moisture beneath the liner...think stepping on a waterbed...not good.

    A traditional shower with a liner, starting from the wood subfloor is made up of the following layers: decoupling (often just some roofing felt to keep the deck mud from drying out too fast), a sloped bed of deck mud, a waterproof liner attached to a clamping drain, a second layer of deck mud, then thinset and tile. The clamping portion of the drain is beneath 3 layers...not something you can attach to from above.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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