Sealing leaking tile shower base.

caincando1December 24, 2009

Okay this may seem odd. IÂm helping some friends with a leaking tile stand up shower. The floor in the shower is in bad shape and missing a tile and leaking. ItÂs a basement bath and they really donÂt care what it looks like. Instead of tearing it out is there any way to just seal over the tile? Maybe an epoxy coating that can be applied right over the top of the tile and even up the sides to just seal it up. Again they donÂt care what it looks like.

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Anything you put over would have to be sealed directly to the top of the drain, and at best would only be a temporary measure. The missing tile has nothing to do with the leak. The shower floor's waterproofing membrane is about 2" underneath the tile, and most likely, that's what's leaking. Let me ask you-- are the backsides of the shower walls unfinished (being that it's in a basement) or not? The reason I ask is it may not be a leak, per se, at all, even though the shower pan's losing water. But you need to be able to see the backs of the shower walls to know for sure.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 2:26PM
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It's built into the corner of the basement so two side facing the block basement walls. The entrance side is towards the bathroom and 1 side is accessable. We've pulled the outer wall off so we can see the back side of the shower. This is also the wall with the plumbing. It appears like the water is leaking out the bottom somewhere.

It's an odd shape and I' worried that if we tear it out we won't find a premade that will fit. Building and tiling a new shower is out of the budget. Hence the reason why I want to just seal it for them with something.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 4:01PM
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If it appears to be coming out of the bottom, chances are good you're right-- it's a leak. If it was what I thought it might be, you'd see the water coming from the top of the liner a few inches up the wall.

As for it being an odd shape, it sounds like you have what's called a "neo-angle" shower-- two straight sides against two walls in a corner, with two short walls, or a curb coming in at right angles to the back walls for a short distance, and then connecting diagonally to each other. If that's the case, you might look into something called "The Kerdi System". they have foam bases premade that you can use and waterproof yourself rather easily and then DIY the tile, as well. I've included a link to the product page. On it, you'll find a couple of streaming videos, and believe me when I tell you, it IS as easy as it looks to use it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter Kerdi

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 8:16PM
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