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Old 01-30-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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Crack in old shower tile


I'm planning on putting a teak shower mat in our bathroom shower stall with a tile floor. The house is over 50 years old and this is the original tile. A few of the tiles have cracks going through them. We haven't been using this shower so it's all dry right now.

I'd like to do something with those cracks so moisture doesn't get through them. Once the teak floor mat in in we won't be able to see the tile anymore so it's not that critical if there is a simple fix that isn't that pretty as long as it will keep the water out. I don't think I'd be able to find replacement tile that would match these tiles that are 50 years old and I'm not really interested in re-tiling the entire shower stall floor.

So is there any material that I can put on/in the cracks that will seal them? or is the only way to fix this is to remove the cracked tiles and put in new ones and re-grout? The cracks don't really have much space between the sides. I might be able to slide a piece of paper in them but it is basically just a cracked tile that has not spread at all at this point.

Here's a picture showing the cracks in the tiles. The tiles appear to be smaller tiles in a 6"x6" main grid.



Thanks for any help!

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Old 01-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #2
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Crack in old shower tile


That looks like an old lead pan installation----If there is no sign of leaking just caulk that joint with silicone--

A raised crack like that usually means water has buckled the wood under the lead pan--or if you are on a slab--the slab has shifted and lifted the pan.

Tile and grout are not water proof--a shower floor relies on the pan liner to keep the house dry----Mike---

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:01 AM   #3
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Crack in old shower tile


If the shower is original you need to duct tape the drain and put about an inch of water over the whole floor. Let the water stand for about 15 minutes and watch to make sure their are no leaks in the lead pan. If not, let the area dry for 4 days, get some urothane caulk (your covering the floor anyway). Fill the seem. The urothane is flexible and waterproof.
The old mortar is very strong, and the house is breathing. That's probably what has caused your crack. Make sure that uoy fill any cracks in the shower with a good silicone caulk. If water keeps getting to the lead liner, it will eventually rot.
Good luck.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:11 AM   #4
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Crack in old shower tile


@ oh'mike and jimg3958: Thanks so much for your quick responses. I'll give what you both said a try! Much appreciated!
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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Crack in old shower tile


I was a tileman for 25 yrs. If youu have any problems, email in.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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Crack in old shower tile


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Originally Posted by jimg3958 View Post
I was a tileman for 25 yrs. If youu have any problems, email in.
Hey, thank you. That's very cool. This is going to be my first bathroom (semi) renovation so I just might have a question along the way. I was hoping to avoid having to do any grout or tile work but if I have to it's nice to know that there are people with experience that are willing to lend a hand with good advice. I'd rather do the right thing than run into leaks a month down the road.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:47 PM   #7
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Crack in old shower tile


That pan is nearing the end of its life---When the time comes to re-do the shower stall come back---there are several tile pros here along with some very talented DIYers ---

Usually,If someone offers poor advice- someone here will offer a better solution-----Mike---
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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That pan is nearing the end of its life---When the time comes to re-do the shower stall come back---there are several tile pros here along with some very talented DIYers ---

Usually,If someone offers poor advice- someone here will offer a better solution-----Mike---
Thanks, Mike.

I think we were hoping to get about 5 more years out of it before having to redo the entire shower system. I'm not sure I'll ever be up for a job that big but if I am I'll be sure to come back here for advice! I was hoping we could save up over the next few years for the rebuild on it. Thanks again!
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:58 PM   #9
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Crack in old shower tile


Jeff,

You said;

Quote:
I'm not sure I'll ever be up for a job that big but if I am I'll be sure to come back here for advice!
You don't have to be the one doing the work for it to be important to know how things should be sone. You're writing the check...no?

I stress that tile and grout is not what makes a shower waterproof. Fixing those cracks will not change anything. The concrete under those tiles is now wet and will get saturated with normal use. The pan is what keeps the ceiling below dry. If that shower is 50 years old, and it's a lead pan, it won't last much longer. As Mike said.

If you wanna test the pan, I suggest something better than duct tape.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:17 AM   #10
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Crack in old shower tile


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Jeff,

You said;



You don't have to be the one doing the work for it to be important to know how things should be sone. You're writing the check...no?

I stress that tile and grout is not what makes a shower waterproof. Fixing those cracks will not change anything. The concrete under those tiles is now wet and will get saturated with normal use. The pan is what keeps the ceiling below dry. If that shower is 50 years old, and it's a lead pan, it won't last much longer. As Mike said.

If you wanna test the pan, I suggest something better than duct tape.

Jaz
Thanks Jaz.

You're right. It never hurts to know how the job should be done even if I'm not planning on doing it myself.

Can you suggest something else to use besides duct tape for me to test the pan?
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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Crack in old shower tile


I'm not giving poor advice on how to check your shower for a leak. If the shower is leaking, it needs to come out. You can't do this. A shower basin has a lot of work and expertise involved that the novice won't be able to do. Their is a lot that corners can't be cut on. And a pan takes a lot of experience to get right. The duct tape is a good way to plug a drain for half an hour to hold the water in and allow the water to get to the base of the pan and show if it is leaking or not. Saves you from wasting time and money looking for a drain plug you've never seen before. If the shower doesn't show a leak, its not leaking at the basin. Lead pans rot away from the drain and the base of the corners first. That's whe area that puddles first. If its not leaking, you have a well built shower. But the one fellow is right, the pan is pushing the limit if its still good. If no leak, save your pennies until you can redew the bathroom and hire someone with a very good reputation to do it for you. It is very frustrating work to take on a shower. Do a floor or a backsplash, but don't try a shower. You will end up calling someone eventually and they will take advantage of the situation.(Not all but some will).
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:37 AM   #12
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Crack in old shower tile


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I'm not giving poor advice on how to check your shower for a leak. If the shower is leaking, it needs to come out. You can't do this. A shower basin has a lot of work and expertise involved that the novice won't be able to do. Their is a lot that corners can't be cut on. And a pan takes a lot of experience to get right. The duct tape is a good way to plug a drain for half an hour to hold the water in and allow the water to get to the base of the pan and show if it is leaking or not. Saves you from wasting time and money looking for a drain plug you've never seen before. If the shower doesn't show a leak, its not leaking at the basin. Lead pans rot away from the drain and the base of the corners first. That's whe area that puddles first. If its not leaking, you have a well built shower. But the one fellow is right, the pan is pushing the limit if its still good. If no leak, save your pennies until you can redew the bathroom and hire someone with a very good reputation to do it for you. It is very frustrating work to take on a shower. Do a floor or a backsplash, but don't try a shower. You will end up calling someone eventually and they will take advantage of the situation.(Not all but some will).
I totally understand what everyone is saying. I understand that the pan is at the end of it's life. And we're planning on redoing it in the next few years. Just not in the budget right now. Thanks again.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:57 AM   #13
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Crack in old shower tile


Ya man. GO to a plumbing supply. Ask for a shower. Drain plug. It will b e a plastic bolt witha rubber gasket. That's the easiest one tO use and you'll use it again some day. I promise.
Put that in the drain, then fill buckets from a separate source. This way you can also check to see if your pipes are leaking. Fill the pan up about an inch from overflow and wait an hour or more just to be sure. If it hasnt leaked,then pull the plug. Then if something gets wet you know you need a drain. If everything is good then, let the shwer run for a half hour.. You and momma have a joust in the shower. Now if you see water its the plumbing. If not wait to spend money on something that's not broken. I've been doing this for a long time. Irts all I did. I'm pretty good at this so idf you have any more questions I don't mind helping. Good luck
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #14
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Crack in old shower tile


Good advise there Jim (?) I assume it's Jim. Welcome.

How about you introduce yourself and a brief history of your work experience and if you want any contact info such as a website etc. Or anything else you feel like saying.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #15
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Ya man. GO to a plumbing supply. Ask for a shower. Drain plug. It will b e a plastic bolt witha rubber gasket. That's the easiest one tO use and you'll use it again some day. I promise.
Put that in the drain, then fill buckets from a separate source. This way you can also check to see if your pipes are leaking. Fill the pan up about an inch from overflow and wait an hour or more just to be sure. If it hasnt leaked,then pull the plug. Then if something gets wet you know you need a drain. If everything is good then, let the shwer run for a half hour.. You and momma have a joust in the shower. Now if you see water its the plumbing. If not wait to spend money on something that's not broken. I've been doing this for a long time. Irts all I did. I'm pretty good at this so idf you have any more questions I don't mind helping. Good luck
You rock! Now I get to test the pipes, test the pan, and have a joust with the misses!

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