Shower Remodel--Mold? Poor Ventilation?

gideonsmomDecember 2, 2012

I know that no one will definitively know this answer, but I am kind of stuck. We have a tiled shower that is very prone to mold and mildew. The floor itself was tiled with 6x6 wall tiles, which we were told was not standard (the shower was like that when we bought the house). It's a long, narrow shower and sort of recessed into the wall. My husband has recaulked the edges of the tile the floor numerous times, but it always gets moldy very quickly. I am a pretty clean person, but I just can't keep up with in anymore.

We definitely need to do something, but I'm worried that just retiling will allow the same problems to occur. Could this happen because of poor ventilation?

I am wondering if we get a smooth shower pan rather than tile floor if that will help the problem or if we need to get something like venetian marble so the entire wall is smooth.

Has anyone had problems like this? If so, how did you solve it?


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Several things ... poor ventilation is one.

Also, if the floor doesn't have the right slope, water stands there and promotes mold growth. It should slope from the walls toward the drain, not be flat.

We solved it by having a new showe4r installed, with the correct slope, the correct underlayment, and will install a better vent fan soon.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:42AM
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I would try resealing the grout, but to do that you should let the shower dry out completely first - at least ones week unused. Afterwards, have a squeegee and old towels handy - squeegee down the walls and floor after each shower, towel dry the walls and run your exhaust fan for 15-20 minutes after each shower. Make sure your exhaust fan is working and the exhaust flow isn't blocked on the roof.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:29PM
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I have that same problem with my shower. The floor is 4x4 white tiles, though. I even had it re-grouted, let it dry out, and the mildew/mold came right back, even though I dried the shower after every use with a towel. While doing that, I noticed that water was seeping back up through the grout after I dried everything off. My plumber told me something similar to what lazygardens said, the slope is not right, and it needs to be torn out and re-done. You might want to have a plumber look at it.

I'm planning to go ahead and re-tile the whole bathroom in addition to putting in a new shower, and do a little more updating, so I'm in the process of trying to find a contractor and figure out what I want. Torn between a new tile shower or some kind of solid surface so I won't have to deal with moldy grout ever again.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Grout is porous if the drainage is not right and the waterproofing is not correct you will more than likely never stop the problem.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:52PM
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