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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't ever repair other people's work, I usually just tear it out, or stay away, so this is confusing me a bit.

Good new clients, found me last year at the tail end of having their 6,000sq custom built by another. They have already recommended me for some nice jobs, so I'm doing my best for them.

Two pretty intricate tiled showers, execution seems decent but sloppy. Poor miters on trims, a few very skewed tiles in mosaics, very sloppy grout w/ voids, discoloration, etc. (cementitious).

The shower floor grout was discoloring already, so I cleaned and sealed it for them.

As I returned to cut out the sloppy caulk at the wall to floor transitions to redo it correctly, water started seeping from the joint. After repeated passes with an absorbent cloth, it kept coming.

I pulled the fixture escutcheons and found 1/2" CBU as substrate.

Why so much water? Grout permeability????? Clogged weeps???

Seems to be "stacking" up along lower portion of wall. (???)

I figured seal the bejeezus out of the wall grout and re-caulk? I hate to tell these people that they have a failing system, and frankly I am just not experienced at diagnosing these things.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Could you tell/see if there was waterproffing (6 mil plastic) behind the CBU.

Is the pan a two pour/rubber membrane "Otey" type drain system.
 

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Any indication of water migration into framing/adjoining walls/flooring outside shower enclosure.? Do ya have a moisture meter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No membrane apparent at all. Pretty sure just CBU.

No idea how the pan was built. Now that you mention it. I think it is a Kerdi-Drain, which is what made me assume the whole shower was Kerdi'ed.

3 walls incl. wet on Lower shower...3x5 +/-
2 walls opposite wet on Master 5x6.... +/-

Sizing diff between the two makes me think it's coming through the grout....fast.
Lower is 3x8 with 3/16" joints
Upper is 6x12 witn 3/32" and a larger space...less wall wetting.

I was in a rush and just thought I'd be doing a pop in, should've done more investigation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think he may have actually Kerdi'ed just the pan....also sloppily sloped.....sloped well enough...but sloppy.
 

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Interested in your responses above..... but I did run into a shower leakage that the previous party/handyman had advised a leaking pan/$5K tearout-replace.

It was noting more than a cracked shower spout. (Although the leakage was not located as you explain.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any indication of water migration into framing/adjoining walls/flooring outside shower enclosure.? Do ya have a moisture meter.
No indication whatsoever. Lower is on slab. Upper shows nothing below.

Again, I ran through it quick this evening. I will go back Sun and give it a hard look.

So this is f-ing odd, right?

And no, no moisture meter, but I can borrow one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Grout is permeable. Floor tile goes under wall tile. And caulk is impermeable. Sounds fairly normal.
That is exactly what I was thinking.

Just wasn't sure it was "normal".

SO......go back and seal and re-caulk....thank you ma'am?

I mean we aren't talking cups of water, but persistent weepage....almost full perimeter in the tighter shower. I would bet it is going to be dry by tomorrow afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interested in your responses above..... but I did run into a shower leakage that the previous party/handyman had advised a leaking pan/$5K tearout-replace.

It was noting more than a cracked shower spout. (Although the leakage was not located as you explain.)

Nice save.:thumbsup:

99% sure plumbing is not the issue.

I'm just trying to get out of there and back to a full gut I have going, no tear-out here if I can reasonably assure them that their shower isn't failing.
 

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That is exactly what I was thinking.

Just wasn't sure it was "normal".

SO......go back and seal and re-caulk....thank you ma'am?

I mean we aren't talking cups of water, but persistent weepage....almost full perimeter in the tighter shower. I would bet it is going to be dry by tomorrow afternoon.
Got any pics? How big are the joints? I might catch heck for saying this, bit if it's all nice and solid, forget the caulk on the wall-floor transition and grout it. Then it will dry out. If it cracks a little bit later, deal with it then (more grout, or caulk). The tile pros go back and forth on what to do with that joint. Sure, they say "caulk", but then they grout it and get going. Bottom line: no guarantees from you, but try it. Nothing to lose, as long as they are assured it's not going leak below from anything you do/did...which it shouldn't if the work behind the wall was done properly. (and I don't think it will, because the water was getting trapped there..)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got any pics? How big are the joints? I might catch heck for saying this, bit if it's all nice and solid, forget the caulk on the wall-floor transition and grout it. Then it will dry out. If it cracks a little bit later, deal with it then (more grout, or caulk). The tile pros go back and forth on what to do with that joint. Sure, they say "caulk", but then they grout it and get going. Bottom line: no guarantees from you, but try it. Nothing to lose, as long as they are assured it's not going leak below from anything you do/did...which it shouldn't if the work behind the wall was done properly.

Again, right on, exactly what I was thinking.

If it is getting in there, let me help it get out instead of trapping it..............right?

But.....if the wall grout is well sealed, and maintained (these are solid maintenance type folk), I should be able to caulk and walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry.

No pics.

Inconsistent....1/8" - 3/16" and sometimes a little more....a little less.

Say average 1/8"
 

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Could you tell/see if there was waterproffing (6 mil plastic) behind the CBU.

Is the pan a two pour/rubber membrane "Otey" type drain system.
Plastic behind the CBU is not waterproofing, but VB. Any screw holes to secure the cbu would create holes in the plastic.

Grout is permeable. Floor tile goes under wall tile. And caulk is impermeable. Sounds fairly normal.
Tile also has a perm rating. And it doesn't matter if the floor tile goes in before or after the wall. And all caulk is not equal.

To the OP. If there is water behind the tile, you must find the source. "Sealing" the grout doesn't do much but keep it looking okay for a brief period of time. To me, cementious grout is for DIY'ers and those that don't know any better. Epoxy and Urethane grouts offer much more waterproofing, stain proofing and are highly resistant to cracking.

If the pan was properly created, any water that seeped behind the tile would have drained out the weep system. Without looking at it, I would suggest tearing it out and starting over. Remember the last guy to touch it owns it.

I just had one that we are going to start at the beginning of the year. It was so bad that it started leaking through the dining room ceiling.

It was funny, there were contractors out their willing to tear out the pan and 18" up the walls. This only creates a seam that can never be 100% waterproof and would eventually fail, creating a larger problem as it would take longer to discover and allow for much rot and mold.
 

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Again, right on, exactly what I was thinking.

If it is getting in there, let me help it get out instead of trapping it..............right?

But.....if the wall grout is well sealed, and maintained (these are solid maintenance type folk), I should be able to caulk and walk.
A definite "maybe"! You might check out the john bridge tile forum. Those guys know their stuff. Might try the search function, because I'm sure it's been covered already.

Edit: One more thing...make sure to manage their expectations. "Can't guarantee, but might improve the situation, etc...."
 

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That is exactly what I was thinking.

Just wasn't sure it was "normal".

SO......go back and seal and re-caulk....thank you ma'am?

I mean we aren't talking cups of water, but persistent weepage....almost full perimeter in the tighter shower. I would bet it is going to be dry by tomorrow afternoon.
DO NOT CAULK IT...CAULK IS NOT A SOLUTION. FIX IT!

Got any pics? How big are the joints? I might catch heck for saying this, bit if it's all nice and solid, forget the caulk on the wall-floor transition and grout it.

Never, never, never use grout between plane changes. This is the WORST advice possible. Planes move at different rates and times. A flexible material is needed to bridge these areas.

Then it will dry out. If it cracks a little bit later, deal with it then (more grout, or caulk). The tile pros go back and forth on what to do with that joint.

Not true pros. No true tiler will tell you to grout a plane change.

Sure, they say "caulk", but then they grout it and get going. Bottom line: no guarantees from you, but try it. Nothing to lose, as long as they are assured it's not going leak below from anything you do/did...which it shouldn't if the work behind the wall was done properly. (and I don't think it will, because the water was getting trapped there..)
Blue do not listen to this guy. This is the wrong advice and is clearly coming from someone who doesn't have a clue as to what they are talking about. No true tilers disagree on where caulk should and should not go.

You need to locate the source of the leak. There is sitting water in the wall that is dirty water and if it hasn't already, will eventually mold.I can understand that need to get back to another job, but don't do it at the expense of this customer. Tell them the truth and have them stop using that shower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Plastic behind the CBU is not waterproofing, but VB. Any screw holes to secure the cbu would create holes in the plastic.



Tile also has a perm rating. And it doesn't matter if the floor tile goes in before or after the wall. And all caulk is not equal.

To the OP. If there is water behind the tile, you must find the source. "Sealing" the grout doesn't do much but keep it looking okay for a brief period of time. To me, cementious grout is for DIY'ers and those that don't know any better. Epoxy and Urethane grouts offer much more waterproofing, stain proofing and are highly resistant to cracking.

If the pan was properly created, any water that seeped behind the tile would have drained out the weep system. Without looking at it, I would suggest tearing it out and starting over. Remember the last guy to touch it owns it.

I just had one that we are going to start at the beginning of the year. It was so bad that it started leaking through the dining room ceiling.

It was funny, there were contractors out their willing to tear out the pan and 18" up the walls. This only creates a seam that can never be 100% waterproof and would eventually fail, creating a larger problem as it would take longer to discover and allow for much rot and mold.
I hear you, and agree on every single point........except me tearing it out right now.

I am deep. Way deep....for a good long while and I have no intention of any expansion.

I question the weeps for the same reason you mentioned. Doesn't make sense.

First time I've ever been in the position of telling someone they had to tear out a one year old spendy shower.

I should mention that after my critique, they told me how much they paid the builder for the tile work in the house. My answer, "Unfortunately, you got what you paid for." At least half to 40% of my price.

I have been running into this guys work for a few years now. He is almost the tile setter of record for builders around here.....:eek::eek:!!!!!! Normally I just walk briskly past and avert my eyes.
 

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I hear you, and agree on every single point........except me tearing it out right now.

I am deep. Way deep....for a good long while and I have no intention of any expansion.

I question the weeps for the same reason you mentioned. Doesn't make sense.

First time I've ever been in the position of telling someone they had to tear out a one year old spendy shower.

I should mention that after my critique, they told me how much they paid the builder for the tile work in the house. My answer, "Unfortunately, you got what you paid for." At least half to 40% of my price.

I have been running into this guys work for a few years now. He is almost the tile setter of record for builders around here.....:eek::eek:!!!!!! Normally I just walk briskly past and avert my eyes.
If you can't do it, find someone reputable that can. It's not fair to caulk and walk on this one. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I knew they had this kind of issue that really needed to be fixed.
 
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