Home & Garden

Shower Repair and Tiling Cost

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  • Sep 11th, 2019 4:49 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 1, 2015
53 posts
20 upvotes
Toronto
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 9:47 am
Have you exhausted all possible leak points?
Here are some things that I've come across over the years.

1)Tile grout lines that run through the shower control escutcheon, (or other penetrations) which negates the foam seal.
2) A leak at the shower arm/drop ear connection in the wall (this often doesn't show on testing without the pressure resistance of a shower head attached).
3) Improper caulking at the glass to wall location, especially on those Maxx assemblies. The silicone must be applied to the exterior only, otherwise the metal tracks fill with water. This is often accompanied by peeling paint on baseboards and sometimes spongy drywall at the corners of the shower base.

The grout cracking is odd, and while it could be a result of a poor water to grout ratio when installed, it usually means there is movement going on. That could be caused by bad tile to wall adhesion, bad substrate (wall board to studs), or the wall assembly itself moving.

The price does seem a bit high, but there are so many variables. Perhaps the contractor has built in the cost overrun somewhat, rather then come back to you half way through to ask for more money. Most clients are reasonable and understand that there may be other things going on that will affect the price. Sometimes they don't, or lack they funds to cover the overruns.
Thanks for your response. I don't think it's a leak with the fixtures - we had a friend come in with an inspection camera and he took a look at the fixtures and they didn't seem to be leaking but I realize it's hard to 100% say with certain it's not them. Based on the state of the tiles I do think it's them; the contractor that came over also thought the same. I've attached a couple of photos and would really appreciate if you had an chance to take a quick look and offer your expertise (for size they are 3x6 subway tiles).

Image

Image
Member
Sep 5, 2011
282 posts
209 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
ethanpurdy wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 10:02 am
Thanks a lot for your response. A bunch of people hare recommended a Kerdi Kit so I think we will try to go with something like that instead. It looks like the Kits some with a pre-fab base, waterproofing membranes, and corners. If we already have a good base we could just buy the other parts separately right?
If you already have a nice sloped base then you don't have to buy their base but I would still recommend kerdi membrane over top of your base to have that nice water tight seal. The base is the most important. it must be 100% water tight--can't cheap out on the base waterproofing.

Edit: never-mind. You have one of those acrylic base. If your base is still in good condition, I guess you could reuse that. I would not but it's your shower. Do what you want.
Newbie
Jun 26, 2019
41 posts
22 upvotes
I would strongly recommend the whole Kerdi kit, also it should be noted that I've seen a lot of contractors mess up the way they install the membrane and other items. So that's another thing to watch out for.

Additionally, just as an FYI, a lot of the Kerdi stuff carries a higher markup, so if you can get your tiler/tradesperson to buy it for you, even after their markup you are usually saving a decent bit. (As I saw someone mentioned earlier to buy your own materials, which will rarely save you money - in most cases after contractor mark ups you'll be saving a decent amount on Kerdi and man made tiles)
Member
Sep 5, 2011
282 posts
209 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
SubjectivelyObjective wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 11:04 am
I would strongly recommend the whole Kerdi kit, also it should be noted that I've seen a lot of contractors mess up the way they install the membrane and other items. So that's another thing to watch out for.

Additionally, just as an FYI, a lot of the Kerdi stuff carries a higher markup, so if you can get your tiler/tradesperson to buy it for you, even after their markup you are usually saving a decent bit. (As I saw someone mentioned earlier to buy your own materials, which will rarely save you money - in most cases after contractor mark ups you'll be saving a decent amount on Kerdi and man made tiles)
I found that most tile places I go to sell Kerdi stuff at about 40% less than Schulter's MSRP. I doubt the plumber can do better than that. They might get more than 40% off but they will not give you all of their saving.
Newbie
Jun 26, 2019
41 posts
22 upvotes
PCShutters wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 11:08 am
I found that most tile places I go to sell Kerdi stuff at about 40% less than Schulter's MSRP. I doubt the plumber can do better than that. They might get more than 40% off but they will not give you all of their saving.
When Kerdi/Schulter stuff first came out, the contractor/wholesale pricing at most distributors was about an additional 30-40% off their prices that they would sell to a customer who walks in the door. Now with it being more popular, I'm going to say the 40% discount on wholesale/contractor has dropped to maybe 20%. I'm sure at some places you could ask for contractor pricing and get them to give it to you, but for the most part your contractor should be charging you less than what you can buy it for at a store.
Sr. Member
May 9, 2006
726 posts
104 upvotes
Mississauga
do we have any contractors here that do this kind of things? I need to get my bathtub removed and install Standish shower, anyone want to recommend someone?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
2729 posts
1532 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
ethanpurdy wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 10:16 am
Thanks for your response. I don't think it's a leak with the fixtures - we had a friend come in with an inspection camera and he took a look at the fixtures and they didn't seem to be leaking but I realize it's hard to 100% say with certain it's not them. Based on the state of the tiles I do think it's them; the contractor that came over also thought the same. I've attached a couple of photos and would really appreciate if you had an chance to take a quick look and offer your expertise (for size they are 3x6 subway tiles).

Image

Image
That's a substantial amount of grout cracking in the second photo. It could be that movement in the shower base has caused this. That would not account for the leakage though.
My guess as to what's going on is this: Your shower was built up by placing 6 mil poly on the studs, then cement board, then tiled. The cracking in the grout is letting water to seep in, hit the cement board, and run down behind the shower base.
There is also the possibility that green drywall was used instead, but the tiles would most likely be falling off by now.
Even if the grout was intact, that system is bad since the cement board gets wet and stays wet.
The best approach is a membrane that is applied to the wall board.
I prefer to use Shluter Kerdi rather than a liquid membrane when tiling into an acrylic shower pan. It's much easier to lap the membrane over the base flange, IMHO.

Please let us know how things go.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
6150 posts
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Whitby
ethanpurdy wrote:
Sep 11th, 2019 9:14 am
Thanks for your response. It's a Utile Maxx Base (not tile). Yeah we recognize the price could go up steeply if there's any significant hidden issues like mold, extensive rot, or anything else.
There is a strong possibility its the drain leaking. Those Maax drains use a rubber wedge that must be seated properly-seen more than 1 leak.
Before throwing any money at this elkminate the drain itself. Don't use the shower, don't use faucet for shower......fill buckets and pour them onto shower base.
That will rule out tile walls and water supply to the shower...if there's a leak its the drain at the base (or drain pipe itself). You should eliminate the drain as issue before proceeding.
Jr. Member
Aug 25, 2006
198 posts
159 upvotes
Toronto
just cut open the ceiling where the leak is and have a look. Drywall is like $10 a sheet and easy to replace. Just time consuming and messy to finish but totally within the realm of do it yourself

If it is a once piece molded acrylic shower pan I doubt that is your leak as it could only ever really leak through a crack that would by pretty obvious. Probably the drain assembly and maybe some drain pipe under the drain are not set/sealed properly or they failed over time (rubber gasket dried out). Could be a very cheap fix as it's just a case of remove the old drain flange and install the new drain flange assembly in that case (assuming you can source a compatible flange). Maybe even cheaper if you just need new gaskets. Either way your cutting the ceiling under the shower pan to get access. So might as well do that and get a better idea of where the failure really is.

If you need to replace the shower pan then things get pricey and very involved real quick as it's likely mortared to your subfloor. This means cut bottom row tiles around perimeter of shower (at which point it;s probably better to just got the whole shower tbh. Destroy the old shower pan to get out. Replace plywood subfloor and then everything new back in. I can see $5K for this as reasonable as it's WAY more work then it may seam. Careful demo where you are not destroying adjacent tile on floor and surrounding walls and fixtures (ie, no power-chisels) is WAY more time consuming that doing a brute gut job where you hulk smash everything out with no regard towards collateral damage. Time is money.

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