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blitzndyna 05-16-2008 11:43 AM

leaking 7 yr old shower
We moved into a 7 year old house last month and discovered our master shower has water issues that the previous owners put a band-aid on by recaulking some areas. It is a glass door stall shower. The wall opposite the showerhead is tiled on the bottom two feet to create a shelf inbetween the shower and tub and glass the rest of the way up.
We pulled out the tile and greenboard on that half wall and the one adjacent to it. That seems to be the entire damaged area. The wood behind the shelf is completely rotten and the greenboard just crumbled. This problem has been going on for a while.
The shower hasnt been used in weeks so I encountered no water during the demo until I pulled away the tile on the shelf wall where the tile meets the glass. Underneath the silicone seal was a small amount of water. The wood right under there has the most damage so this must be where the problem originated.
My question is what exactly might have started the initial problem there? I dont want to make any mistakes and have the same thing happen again. Is there a possibility the glass is faulty or was it just not sealed properly? What can i do to properly seal that area as I retile?
This is the area where the showerhead water hits directly so it sees the most water.
I hope this isnt too confusing. I plan on taking pictures today.

Termite 05-16-2008 03:09 PM

Fact is that tile and grout are permeable...No matter what. So your substrate has to be able to take it. Whoever put the shower in using greenboard didn't do you any favors. It is never a good idea to use that stuff behind tile in wet areas. As a matter of fact, it is now against the code because of exactly what you're experiencing.

You need to tear out the tile shower, replace the rotten wood, install cement backerboard (wonderboard), and re-tile.

I know that is bad news but it is what it is!

blitzndyna 05-17-2008 10:55 PM

Thanks, as far as I know its the original job and the builder used the greenboard. Ive started to replace it with wonderboard. Seems fine so far but Im now having a problem with where the board meets the fiberglass bottom. The sides of the fiberglass base go up about one inch and if I lay the board on top of that in order to be completely flush with the studs, then that one inch of space is empty at the bottom.
I should have paid more attention when I was ripping the old stuff out as to where the greennboard was placed, not that it was done right in the first place.
Any advice?

Ron6519 05-18-2008 08:15 PM

When I use a fiberglass base, I rip wood the thickness of the lip and attach it to the studs. Then I run the cement board down over the lip so it's 1/4"-3/8" above the bottom of the base. It covers the area so no water can get into the seam.

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