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Texasguy 03-30-2007 11:47 PM

Water pooling on tile shelf
I recently moved into a house that has a completely tiled bathroom. Everything look in good shape except for one thing. There is a tile shelf (I guess it's a soap dish but it's about a foot long) built into the wall and water collects in a back corner. It can hold about a half inch of water.

What if anything can I do about this problem?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

joewho 03-31-2007 01:33 AM

I guess this would be better posted in the flooring forum for the tile guys.

If it's a soap dish, drill a hole in it for the water to drain.

Texasguy 03-31-2007 02:41 AM

It's not on the floor, it's recessed into the wall that runs the length of the bathtub. If I drilled a hole in it the water would drain into the wall! :eek:

My wife has suggested installing a tiny little shower curtain across the front of the shelf, but somehow I think she is joking, lol.

A.W. Davis 03-31-2007 07:21 AM

sounds like my wifes kind of semse of humor :laughing:

My only logical sollution would be to remove the bottom tiles without destroying the tiles around them and reslope the new tiles with thinset so the water drains away.

Zero Punch 03-31-2007 09:02 AM

I'm with AW on this one. You will have problems with wall rot if the pooling isn't corrected. If the installer didn't ensure the slope I wonder what else was done improperly?

joewho 03-31-2007 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by Texasguy (Post 39118)
It's not on the floor, it's recessed into the wall that runs the length of the bathtub. If I drilled a hole in it the water would drain into the wall! :eek:

My wife has suggested installing a tiny little shower curtain across the front of the shelf, but somehow I think she is joking, lol.

Told ya the tile guys would know better. :laughing: I didn't know it was recessed, sounded like a protruding shelf.

I'm with the retile idea or seal it off.

Texasguy 04-04-2007 03:42 PM

Thank you all for your help.

Joe, sorry I didn't make it clear that the shelf was recessed. If only you could have seen me. In between typing I was trying to show you with my hands what I was talking about. lol

This bathroom was only tiled a year ago and it didn't get much use during the six months before I moved in. I am HOPING that the shelf slope is the only problem. Is there any way to know NOW if anything else is wrong so that I could get back to the contractor while the job is still fairly new?

Everything LOOKS ok but how is one to know if it's going to STAY ok?

Zero Punch 04-04-2007 08:03 PM

If the shelf slope is off that much there's a very good chance that the install was done by less than a professional and other problems are where you can't see them. :eek:

WilbUild 04-06-2007 03:47 PM

Check for rot.
Remove the grout arount the ledge tiles with a utility knife. Use a wooden shish kebeb skewer and poke the sharpened end into the board behind. If you CAN, or if there is any mold or moisture on the skewer when you have a BIG problem. If not, I would pull the horizontal tiles up, and use underlay and quickset to form a slope. Even 1% over 90% is better than nothing. After that, I'll say what I say to all DIYers. Cross your fingers and call me when it falls apart! :wink:

Texasguy 04-08-2007 09:49 PM

:( Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I'm going to call a professional for this. It's way beyond anything I want to fool with.

WilBuild do you work in TX? :wink:

WilbUild 04-09-2007 12:22 PM

Canuks only!
Sorry brother, my services are in the Great Wide North!

Good luck, let me know if you have any questions...and if you're getting quotes let us know and we can help you. Don't get ripped off!

billinak 04-09-2007 12:39 PM

Not to play devils advocate here or anything, but I think some of the posters might be overreacting a bit. I don't see this as a "tear the wall down" kind of issue.

1. The tile job was completed only a year ago. Assuming (I know, I know) that the tile was sealed following installation, the sealant should still be at least partially effective in this area.

2. The time that has elapsed since the install makes it unlikely that any water damage has progressed to the 'rotting out the wall' stage. If anything, you might have just have a water-stained 2 x 4 under there and nothing worse.

If there is evidence that the grout has already failed in this area i.e. cracked or missing grout, extensive mold or discoloration, then yeah, a more permanent fix might be in order.

Absent this evidence, I would get a good grout sealer and seal the heck out of that area, then take steps to keep water out. Squeegee the shelf after showering, angle the showerhead away from the shelf, install a rack to store items like soap and shampoo to keep them off the shelf and do other things to keep water from pooling.

I'm not sure what a tile pro would charge for something like this, but with a little maintenance, the tile could be fine for years until you decide to remodel, then you can just take the shelf out altogether.

Texasguy 04-27-2007 06:35 PM

Thanks to all who helped!

I got the contact info for the tile guy from the previous owners. He came out and removed three bullnose that faced the bottom of the shelf and had been creating a little bit of a dam effect.

He reinstalled the bullnose about a quarter inch lower than they had been before and now the water mostly drains right off.

The shelf still remains pretty wet after the shower is used. The amount of water that puddles is just enough that if you slapped an open hand on it, it would splatter. After about two hours, if there are no bottles sitting there, the water disappears.

The tile guy said it is normal for a certain amount of water to cling to the tile. He pointed out how the drips of water "hang" on the tiles of the wall after it is wet.

I'm inclined to believe the problem is completely resolved then. OR, should I expect all of the water to run completely off the shelf right away?

Thanks again!

AtlanticWBConst. 04-27-2007 07:14 PM

Texasguy....thanks for letting us know that you got this resolved and how it was resolved.

Glad it all worked out....

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