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Thread: Crack in new Vikrell shower wall flange

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bob57's Avatar
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    Default Crack in new Vikrell shower wall flange

    I just installed a new Sterling Vikrell walk in shower. I predrilled holes in the mounting flanges and there is a crack from the top of flange down and thru one of the holes and one of the ribs under the pan had the edge cracked off when I took it out of the box but that should not hurt it. I need a second unit for another shower and now I am very concerned with how brittle this seems to be. I am wanting a pan and walls for a remodel but I want one 34-36" deep by 60" long so is there still fiberglass units out there? I thought fiberglass was good but I am not sure and would like some ideas on which material would be better. I could use a one piece unit but it would be more work. Thanks

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    For a remodel, a one-piece would be a tough install. We install them in new construction when we can get in before the walls are all up and the electrical hasn't been strung yet.

    You could also consider poured marble products if you want to go wider. It can be made to fit, and is very durable.
    Or picking up a fiberglass pan and tiling the walls is an option too.

    The Sterling kits are pretty nice if you don't want to spend much and don't mind drywalling over the flange.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Bob57's Avatar
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    Has Vikrell proved to be a brittle material compared to fiberglass? I have seen stress cracks in fiberglass but they were more on the surface, on this Vikrell it cracked and went all the way thru.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    To last, both a fiberglass and any other material needs good support, and to start with a FLAT floor (preferably level, too so the shower drains right and the walls fit). If the flange was not tight up to the wall, and you tried to tighten it to the wall, that can crack it. If things aren't square, or the floor isn't flat, then you may need to shim the walls and may need to use some mortar on the floor to set the pan into so that it is fully supported, flat, and level. If the one you dealt with already had a crack in it, it may have been weakened in other places you could not see, and that may have made things worse. But, starting out on a flat floor with it sitting perfectly without rocking is the first task. Personally, I prefer a tiled pan, but that's me. If one of those is done right, it can last generations without problems. There are lots of ways to mess up, but the concept is really pretty easy, and the materials costs fairly low.
    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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