Thursday, January 10, 2008

What to do when your shower pan leaks

First, when you see the water on the floor of your closet which is directly under the upstairs bathroom, you call the plumber.
Then, when he tells you he thinks it's the shower pan, you laugh and say, "No way! That shower was put in only 18 months ago! It must be the toilet, or something else."

You change the o-ring on the toilet, but still see water dripping from your closet ceiling.

You tell the children to stop using the upstairs shower. For six months everyone (including any house-guest) uses the shower in the master bathroom. You don't see water on the closet ceiling or floor anymore. You and your husband read all kinds of information on the internet, in plumbing and tiling books, and you gather lots of information from the employees at Home Depot and your husband's brother, who is a builder.

That's what we did.

Then Steve, Tom, and David tore out the tile half-way up the walls on the shower stall, and the tiles on shower floor. They removed the underlying cement board on the walls and the mortared pan. (The plumber was right. The board and pan under the tiles were soaking wet, even after six months of no shower-use.)

Steve installed Wonderboard on the shower walls to fit as closely as possible in the corners, then he mortared the corners and cracks. He allowed about a week for it to dry.

Steve put in a CPE liner, and coated the walls and floor with five coats of Red-Guard, allowing three days of drying between each coat. Then he used mortar to create a sloping floor so the water would drain properly in the shower.

When that was done, he applied thin-set and tiled the shower walls from the floor up, then did the same to the shower floor and curb. He waited four days for it to dry, then grouted it all. Finally he applied silicone caulk to cover the grout in the corners and joints.

Now the shower is done and ready to be used. And just in time, because Glenn, Amy, and the girls arrive tonight!



Blogger Julie said...

Congratulations on a job well done, and also for sharing a shower for so long! That's got to be one for the memory books!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Well, it does make me smile when I hear someone say they need a house with 3, 4 or more bathrooms. We managed to share 1 full bath and a half bath between 8 people (more when we had weekend guests) for six months - and everyone in our family showers or bathes daily!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

There should be no leaks now!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Penny said...

Hey Laura, go ahead and smile because I need 3 or more bathrooms! Also, tell Steven I'm very proud of him. All that waiting between steps is horrible, and he "done good" to do the waiting.

love, Pen

9:28 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Actually, I think you manage to use one tiny bathroom for 12 to 16 or however many when you spend a week or long weekend in your camper - right?

And I'll pass the praises to Steve - he deserves them!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Dy said...

Oh. "Cry" was my first reaction. You handled it beautifully!

Zorak really wanted to get the master bath done before the baby arrived. I don't know what I'll do with two working toilets in the house! Oh, the indecision! The decadence! LOL!

Enjoy having everybody there!

7:54 AM  

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