Water pooling in swanstone shower base

AVmanJanuary 23, 2014

We are in the process of renovating our atatched bathroom and choose to go with swanstone showerbase, which actually costs us more over a simple tiled floor and wall. During installation, contractor choose not use any cements like material as base but rather choose some sort of mastic glue to fix it atop dual layers of 3/4 inch plywood base. The base, going by the borders, are perfectly level as he showed it to me today. However, after using the shower, there is always a pool of water standing the base. And the water stays on overnight with no sight of draining.
So question is, who's fault it is? manufacturer's or contractor's?
Importantly, how we can now mitigate the problem?

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pool of water from different angle.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:29PM
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While you might take the manufacturer to task...ultimately it is the job of the installer to make it drain properly. Perhaps he didn't support it properly.

Mastic has NO place in any shower installation.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Maybe this is something you've already eliminated as a possibility, but is there a plug left in the drain from the plumbing installation? We had that problem with our new shower (new house), the plumber told us to remove the drain cover and use a long, pointed stick the break the plug. Once we did that and we watched the water go down the drain (!), then dh took a straightened coat hanger and removed the plastic plug.

It was an easy fix, although I don't know why there would be a plug in the plumbing/drain pipe to begin with. Oh well.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:04PM
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Might not be what you want to hear, but I squeegee my floor after I've done all the walls. (We have been using basement BR while renoing and I don't want to leave any standing water in basement). It takes a second, and voila, problem solved! :>)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I have a swanstone base that looks like yours except its white. It drains just fine. I do squeegee the walls but no need for the floor. Sounds like it was not installed properly and the installer is responsible.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 3:22PM
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I'm questioning whether or not it's really Swanstone or some local garage brew base. Swanstone bases pitch 3/8" per foot so unless the laws of physics have been suspended in your area, that thing should drain like a champ.

Swanstone also specifies a mortar base, not mastic. I'm inclined to believe your installer's inability to follow manufacturer's instructions is behind this problem. The bad news is, it's a do-over to fix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swanstone

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 2:21PM
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My contractor showed up with Swanstone rep when I was not at home. Luckily, they said there is a problem (voila!, admission of guilt). the rep then called me back yesterday that he is getting in touch with Swanstone to get me some kind of compensation for the manufacturing defect. Under the great details of Swanstone "limited Lifetime warranty" BS there lies a line that excludes any labor costs. So a do-over of the base equals to 5 grand from my thin wallet.
Any suggestions how do I deal with it? Should I just consider it as bad luck and have a good night sleep or deal with the contractor for his failure to check for manufacturing defects. The contract I had signed with him does not include any clause like this.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Sorry, but assuming your contractor bought a new product, and installed it properly (seems like that's the case), he isn't responsible for inherent defects in the product - how would he have even known?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I would push swanstone to pay for the labor regardless of what the warranty says. Your contractor should help push this issue.

Your contractor wants to charge you $5000 to replace the pan???

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:11PM
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The standard warranty on any manufactured product NEVER includes labor. However, the warranty from your contractor should cover this. Especially if he sourced and bought the product. And, installed it incorrectly in the first place. It's part of his overhead to stand behind the products that he sells to you, and most of the time, he gets a little extra margin. But, when it bites, it bites. That's what a business reserve is for, and it's why they charge that little bit extra to go into that business reserve.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:18PM
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@Debrak2008- I will try. $5k is an estimate from my side considering how much work is involved. It will be almost re-do the whole thing ground-up minus the plumbing/electrical part.
@live_wire_oak- thanks for your encouraging word. the shower pane was supplied by the contractor himself. Once I hear final words from Swanstone, I will talk to him.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Live wire, what if he sourced it and bought it and installed it correctly?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:34PM
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He provides a labor warranty on any product that he purchases and installs, regardless if he installs them correctly or not. (In this case, I think the lack of correct support is the major reason it's got an issue.). The warranty of parts is why products that you buy from contractors are marked up, as well as any project has a contractor "contingency fee" built into his pricing as well. It's part of his overall overhead and operating expenses. If a toilet that he installed has a flaw in the porcelain trapway that traps dirt, he gets to replace it with one that isn't flawed. And then deal with the supplier to get a credit from the manufacturer.

That's SOP for any legit contractor. For those unlicensed and insured type of fellas, nothing is standard or expected, and none of that may apply at all. All bets are off when using someone unlicensed.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I am still not convinced this is Swanstone. They didn't just change their molds one day to decrease pitch.

You need to verify that the "Swanstone rep" really works for Swanstone.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:38PM
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Sorry for bumping up an old thread since I need immediate help.
My contractor showed up to my house a week ago after a few email/complaints. Aside from other small finish related work, I discussed the shower stall issue with him and he agreed to redo the work. He will provide both labor and material cost. As part of the overhaul, he will need to install new side panels as well. However he thinks that drywalls will be in decent shape after removing the existing side panel (stuck to the wall by Swanstone supplied caulk). I believe he won't be able to reuse the drywall without completely ripping it. Any thoughts?
As for Trebuchet's conern, I am not really worried. The panel came with installation manual from Swanstone and the contractor is working in the area for a very long time.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer's installation instructions and make sure they are followed to the letter.

Depending on the caulk, the panels may pop right out, but the manufacturer may want cement board, not drywall, as a substrate anyway.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 7:30AM
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