Trying to salvage the catastrophic bathroom

hosenemesisAugust 8, 2012

Hello all,

Years ago, five, maybe seven, I turned a closet into a bathroom. I hired a plumber to do the rough plumbing, then another pro to do the tar shower pan. There is a sloping floor, then tar, then a mortar bed, then thinset and finally tile. Since I did not know how to tile around rough drains and shower fixtures, I tiled all of the walls except for the floor and the fixture wall. I hired tilers to finish it for me. When I got home from work, it was a catastrophe.

Stone tiles were laid scored-side up, spacers were not used so grout lines are over a 1/4 inch on one side and butted together on the other, the openings for the fixtures and drains were not right and the fixtures would not go on- you get the picture. Furthermore, the wrong tile was used in one area and it is not rated for use with water. That night I cried and stayed up all night chipping off the worst mistakes. Tile guy is gone.

It has been sitting, ungrouted, for at least five years. I finally got the energy to survey the damage and to attempt to put it together. I drilled out the tiles that covered the shower fixture holes and got that wall in shape. Now I have come to the drain and the floor.

(I work two jobs part-time to support my family, so no cash or time for a full demo.)

Two problems:

1) the drain is not high enough and it is in crooked (top of rim is not level, and it is between 1/2" and 1/4" lower than top of tile). I just chiseled out all of the thinset that was poured over the edges of the drain and exposed the metal rim, and I looked inside, and the rubber inside is pulled away from the blue sleeve (see photo). Can I buy something that will extend the drain (that does not require screws, since this is a pop-in drain cover)? Is it okay that the rubber is pulled out like that? Do I have to fix it?

Inside of drain, rubber peeled away.

Where the screwdriver is:

Close up of rubber peeled back:

Ugly cutting job around drain:

Drain is not level and is too low:

2) There is a floor tile that sounds hollow. Should I chisel it out and put in a new tile? I do not have any of the original tile, so a new one will not match. It was on sale, it's green slate, I'm sunk. Is it better to have a mismatched slate tile that doesn't sound hollow?

Another view of ugly cutting job around drain:

Thank you for your help. I looked at drain extenders, but they require a place for screw holes, and my drain does not have screw holes. Should I just chisel out a round area and slope the grout to the drain? It will look a bit goofy.


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I took out the hollow sounding tile.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:50AM
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Renee, I would call in a plumber and have the drain professionally repaired. It will be worth every cent to do it right vs. repair and replacement of who knows what if it's done wrong and it leaks throughout your home. I don't think it will cost all that much. This is a common problem when retro fitting fixtures. A plumber will be able to fix it in minutes most likely.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:37PM
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you need to go to a good tile forum. John Bridge has a great website and forum. Do a google search.
Lots of pros there and lots of good help. (I'm not affiliated in anyway except as someone who will be remodeling my bath and who likes to read how serious contractors work.)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Thank you to both of you for your responses. I will do both.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:50PM
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