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Old 05-24-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


Yikes! I went to see about reaffixing a tile in my kids' shower (son said one is loose) and what I found is not only did the tile come loose but when I removed it the drywalling behind crumbled away. Now what do I do?

*as soon as the loose tile was noticed they no longer used that shower.

Do I need to pull everything down: the tile and the rest of the wall board? What about replacing with a one piece shower/tub unit... what then?

As you can probably tell, this is new to me. Unfortunately, can't afford to have handyman come take care of it. So bring it on and give it to me straight!


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Old 05-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #2
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but....yeah it should all come out. The tile should never have been installed over sheetrock (especially in a shower).

I'll let the tile experts chime in, but I think it will all have to be torn out (tile and sheetrock) and a cement backerboard (waterproof) installed first to attach the tile to....sorry.

Wouldn't you like to get ahold of the #!@#$$@! that installed it?

J

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Old 05-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


Alas, we can't see the extent of the damage to see if you can do a partial repair until you can afford to do it right. While it is a DIY project, it is only if you have the time, skill and practice to do it.

Doing it wrong will only make it fail faster and possible do much more damage to the structure of your home.

You probably should tear out everything and start over for the best, most aesthetically pleasing job. There are other choices than cement board.

You CAN use drywall in a shower, but it must be covered with a surface applied water barrier. Examples would be a mortar bed with lath and felt which is a floated mortar wall. This is a very demanding installation.

Schluter Kerdi waterproofing membrane, a very high quality and not too expensive as these are just shower walls.

Custom's Red Guard, but I would doubt the ability to install it perfectly, so question its long term performance.

You could use the Red Guard in conjunction with a Georgia Pacific Denshield backer board. There I think you could get a good job.

After that, all it is, is setting tile in a pleasing and level and plumb job.

So you see, it probably is better to get someone else to do it.

One trick to buy yourself some time is to tape 6 ml polyethylene plastic all around the inside like shower curtain and run the bottom six inches into the tub area. You can then continue to use the shower and minimize the damage. Of course, you must find out why the drywall is damaged and make sure it is not a leaky plumbing problem.

Last edited by kgphoto; 05-24-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


yeah....what he said.

J
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


kgphoto is correct. What most people aren't aware of is that tile and grout are NOT impermeable. Water can and WILL get behind them. This is why wet locations like a shower or tub surround need to be waterproofed. If it's not, problems like yours can occur and even worse.....MOLD. Yes, mold will soon follow.
If you decide to attempt a DIY, I'd recommend the easiest route being Denshield for the walls covering your screw holes and seams with RedGard. You need to caulk in the appropriate places too. At that point, you could safely tile with the appropriate thinset. NOT a premix or absolutely NOT mastic.
As a contractor, I would use Kerdi, then tile over it. There are a TON of threads on how to DIY a Kerdi shower install over at John Bridge's site:
http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...isplay.php?f=1
Do a search on "Kerdi shower". Prepare for an hour or two of reading. WAY more info there on that specific subject than you're gonna get here.
Just make sure you don't try to cheat on materials just to save money. That will only get you back to the situation you're in right now.

Good luck
Angus
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


Like they all said, the only REAL fix is to tear it all out, replace the drywall with an approved tile backer for wet area, like Hardibacker or Durock, and retile. Unfortunately, there are still way to many morons/scum bag contractors/scum bag tile guys, will will install tile over drywall in wet areas just to keep the costs cheap, either to underbid someone planning a correct installation, or to put more money in their own pocket. What is the floor made of? If it is tile you may have more problems there, as they may have just stuck the tiles directly to the sub floor of the house without any waterproof membrane. If you are lucky there, they used a precast cultured marble type pan, or other fiberglass/acrylic unit. I think either the RedGard or Kerdi product is within the realm of a DIY with a reasonable skill level. They are both pretty straight forward, just pay attention to the details in the corners. I hate hearing these kind of horror stories, as the reflect on all the honest guys in the business.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


Unfortunately, the builder of this house (the entire subdivision) did plenty off the straight and narrow during construction. We've all had to replace the siding that was recalled, windows all rotted, shotty plumming.

Well, enough ranting. This truly is more than what I have confidence to do myself. My husband and I actually noticed that the floor between the shower/tub and toilet is also "springy". I have a feeling this won't be an inexpensive repair job. But at least with all the information you've shared I will be an informed home owner when we get into having repair people come out to assess the job. I secretly hope there is something I'll be able to do myself to help lower the cost even a little bit.

Thanks all!
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:06 PM   #8
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help- it's more than just a tile fallen off the shower wall!


Sorry this happened to you.
I'm going on the record again to stress the fact the surround NEEDS to be waterproofed. I'm not talking about putting a cement backer board like Hardi on the walls and then tiling over. I'm saying the walls need to be waterproofed as previously described. It may cost you more than you want to spend now, but if you don't have it done properly, you will end up spending money on this again later.
How old is the house? Are you even close to being in the warranty period? If it's close, you may be able to argue that even though the tile just fell off now, the problem obviously started long ago.
Maybe write a letter to the builder stating the problem and that you feel the original workmanship was not to par. While there may be nothing you can do about it now, you're going to put your story out all over the internet to make sure any potential future customers of this builder are aware of his (lack of) quality work....or unwillingness to stand behind his work.

Good luck
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