repairing slope of shower floor

wildeyesFebruary 11, 2011

I bought a totally-rehabbed home a few months ago with a huge walk-in shower. There is a single drain, at the south end, but the floor peaks in the middle, so half the floor slopes to the drain in the south end, but the floor to the north of the middle slopes to the end where there's no drain, and water thus pools. The builder/seller is going to fix it. His current suggestion is, since the current floor is functioning correctly in terms of water tightness (the assumption is that there's a properly-installed shower pan under the tile and no leakage), to install a new properly-sloped floor on top of the existing tile floor. The existing floor is a pretty mixture of 2 x 2 and some larger tiles, but I don't care if we go with all larger tiles for the new floor. I just want to know, first, if there is any problem with installing a new tile shower floor on top of an existing one. Here's exactly what the builder/seller proposed: "We would use a brush on water proofing membrane just for added sealant. We would slope the tile the appropriate way and bring up the floor drain as needed. We could lay the tile in a variety of designs. The logic is to not disturb an already functioning tile pan." Thoughts???

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I hope not! I just remodeled my master bath and my contractor messed up my tile shower floor and it pooled in one place. He layer another floor over the first one and told me it wasn't a problem. I hope we did the right thing!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 2:42PM
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It's not something I really recommend, except as a last resort and temporary fix until it can be done properly. That said, I'm about to do exactly that for a prep school up here by where I live because they can't afford to do it properly until the new biannual budget comes out next year. So we're going to do this as a temporary fix.

I would not count on this long term, though.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:20PM
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if you have a correctly installed shower drain I do not see how you can incorporate that with an overlay. I would think that anything you would do would be jury- rigged. If the drain can be turned counterclockwise and raised up you may do OK. I never recommend shower floor tiles larger than 2 1/2". Large tile will not conform to the slope of the floor.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 9:07AM
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It would be. You need to remove the existing tile to about a foot from the drain, and then install a float coat of some kind (I'll be using SilPro's Fastcrete with a bonding agent). Then you need to roll on a waterproofing. It's not perfect, because water can still get under the waterproofing at the edges (you obviously can't seal it to the waterproofing behind the bottom of the wall tile), as well as even if you lap the waterproofing to the side of the drain, good chance that'll still leak some, even though water there will go right down the weepholes.

Like I said, this is to be considered a temporary fix, and never should be used as a permanent cure.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 12:22PM
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you are relying on the opinion of the builder who screwed it up in the first place, that the "new fix" is going to work ?????

rip it out and start over with someone who knows what they are doing and can control a trowel !

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Getting the grading to work perfectly in a standard shower is tricky for even us pros. I have been finding that the one way slope a linear drain offers makes this process so much more forgiving.

If you indeed rip it out consider a linear drain instead of a point drain. I'm sure you will have better luck with this type of shower floor.

Good Luck.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:47AM
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