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Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!

 
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


I have been contacted about a shower floor. both an up stairs and downstairs shower have the slate floors. I am the third contractor to look at this. Previous people have used products like 511 sealer etc...."home depot" products as the H/O has stated.

The problem is that the original installer used 12x12 black slate cut down into 4x4s and installed them on the shower floors back in 03'. with different types of soaps and cleaners she uses, the wear and tear on the floor has broken down the sealers. With that she finds that she is having particles of slate sticking to her feet after she exits the shower. I have informed the H/O that to truly fix the problem we would have to R&R both shower floors and install a ceramic / porcelain tile. She wants me to look into all other options first.

my Question is: Is there a products out their that I can use to "TRULY" seal the floor. maybe a clear epoxy, heavy duty commercial sealer???



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Old 06-21-2011, 06:51 PM   #2
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


Paging DR Angus. Doctor Angus.

I can't understand selecting slate for anything. But that's just my opinion.

Dr. Angus, paging Dr Angus!

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Old 06-21-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


I was getting Miracle 511 sealer at a tile shop in the past and didn't have any problems with the product. I'm not sure of anything commercial but either way, that puppy was installed in '03 and looks about time for a full redo. At least tear out the floor and use the Dal tile Continental Slate series in the 3"x3" mat tile and you can cover up a little better on how the drain is off center on the one shower...
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


If there is such a product, still don't think I'd be interested in doing it. That floor is shot! If you find some miracle sealer, it will most likely peel and you'll be known as "the last contractor that didn't know what he was doing" . I would just give them a quote to redo and maybe get a call in a year or so after they get someone to make it worse.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


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If there is such a product, still don't think I'd be interested in doing it. That floor is shot! If you find some miracle sealer, it will most likely peel and you'll be known as "the last contractor that didn't know what he was doing" . I would just give them a quote to redo and maybe get a call in a year or so after they get someone to make it worse.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


I agree with the posts above.

Tell the customer that the floor really needs to be replaced.

If you cannot convince her of that, Stonetech lacquer MIGHT be able to work.

Is that some kind of latex leaching or effloresence (and not residue from soaps and cleaners)? It seems to be radiating from the grout joints and spreading.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


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Originally Posted by Dutchman Tile View Post

my Question is: Is there a products out their that I can use to "TRULY" seal the floor. maybe a clear epoxy, heavy duty commercial sealer???
No.

However, it looks to me like multiple issues are the cause.

First of all, slate is an absolutely fine material to use in a shower. It's actually very dense. My guess is just that is was a low-grade slate used in the first place.

Second, it wasn't sealed well initially and certainly wasn't maintained well either. Home owners, if not properly taught how to maintain stone, may be under the impression that the initial seal was good enough.

Third, aside from sealing, the owners need to know how to clean the shower on a regular basis. It's more than have tile sealed every year. The soap scum, body oils and whatever else gets deposited in a shower needs to be cleaned at least monthly.

The only fix IMO is R&R.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


I was in my local Slate Supplier yesterday here in Vancouver and heard an interesting point.

Seems many of the good suppliers are drying up across the seas and smaller cheaper suppliers are filling the demand for slate. Much of this slate comes from China or India.

A good tile shop will have a long lasting relationship and knows when to pull the plug on a line or two. Just that is happening here in Vancouver. A couple of problems and the line gets removed from the shelves.

Watch out. Slate sticking to her feet is a terrible sign. Cheap slate flakes when soaked. A soak test should always be performed when working with a natural product.

The problem looks like excessive standing water in the shower pan. Fighting it's way up and adding to the effloresence problem.

Rip out the floor and like you suggested go with a better slate or other product. No sealer is going to fix this problem for you.


I heard some commercial boys are playing around with back painting their slate installs with Aqua Defense before tiling. An interesting therory in my opinion. As of right now Mapei is not endorsing this technique but they are not saying it's crazy talk either. I'm going to watch these install and pretty sure jump right in on the testing. We will be installing a "Glazier White" Slate from India on my home's deck this summer. You can bet that I will take this extra step to improve the chances of a good installation.

At the Mapei training a few weeks back we where advised to use a water based sealer over slate for exteriors. I would imagine this would apply to showers as well.

The effloresence could be coming from the thinset as well. Or the grout. On the rebuild consider using GraniRapid from Mapei and an epoxy or Urethane based grout.

SpectraLock Pro or QuartzLock 2 would be my recommendations. I have not worked with Mapei's epoxy grout but hear good things from a few different setters.

Good Luck.

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Old 06-22-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


Could that build up on the shower floor be from calcium from hard water?
I've never seen a residue from cleaners look like that. If it is from hard water, a product called "LemiShine" works wonders!

As far as the slate coming up and what not, I agree with JohnFRWhipple, wherein slate is acceptable to use, cheap slate can be disastrous.

Last edited by EcoBuilder; 06-22-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


Slate splinters is the reason I would not use it in a bath/shower. As previously stated above, the weep holes might be clogged in the drain, allowing the water to build up in the pan.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


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Slate splinters is the reason I would not use it in a bath/shower. As previously stated above, the weep holes might be clogged in the drain, allowing the water to build up in the pan.
I also wouldn't be surprised is there isn't a pre-slope.

As for slate in showers, has anyone seen any of the bathroom projects from Chris Wright? Quality slate in a shower is absolutely no problem.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Shower Floor Failure, Advice Needed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
I also wouldn't be surprised is there isn't a pre-slope.

As for slate in showers, has anyone seen any of the bathroom projects from Chris Wright? Quality slate in a shower is absolutely no problem.
They probably went with the most expensive material and the cheapest contractor.

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