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Old 02-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Redguard shower pan


I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place but here I go:

To make a long story short, we had a lot of bad luck with contractors on our house, lots of problems and dishonesty, and we got screwed left and right.

The latest fiasco is our custom built shower. It leaked through to our dining room. The guy who built the shower pan is denying responsibility and I am not knowledgeable enough to know if he's telling the truth or not.

So, this was how the shower pan was built (bear with me here please):
On top of the plumbing went plywood, then hardybacker, then a lot of mud, then he waterproofed it with 3 coats of Redguard, then it was tiled. No liner of any kind. The walls under the tile is also hardybacker and was not coated in Redguard. Guy #2 who is trying to correct all these problems says that it should have had a liner.

We didn't use it for several weeks because we didn't have the shower fixtures on, so it just sat there with plenty of time to harden and dry out.

When we finally did try it out, it leaked really badly. Another contractor came in and said that the whole shower floor was done wrong and he ripped it all out. After he ripped out the tile and got down to the mud, the mud crumbled out. I could pick up chunks of it and crumble it into sand with my bare hands. Actually it crumbled out so completely that we were able to sweep the base hardybacker totally clean and it looked like new. It's like it wasn't even affixed to the hardybacker. Is this normal & acceptable?

Then we discovered that the base hardybacker wasn't caulked to the wall hardybacker and there were open gaps going all the way around the entire perimeter of the shower. In some places the gaps were 1/2 inch wide. Is there supposed to be caulk in there? One guy says yes and the other guy says no.

Also, there was a marble base molding affixed to the wall tile going around the perimeter. We discovered that after several weeks the glue (I think he used Omni Grip - not sure) that was used was still wet - I could scoop it up in my fingers like glop. Guy #1 says this is normal and it could take up to 6 months or more for it to dry, Guy #2 says he used the wrong stuff and that it's ridiculous.

The only other thing I want to mention is that we did find out that our body sprays are definitely leaking, so they could very well be the source of the original leak.

My question to you guys is this: Does it sound like this shower pan was built properly? We might end up in court. Thanks and sorry about the long post.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:39 PM   #2
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Needs a liner or pan to me.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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I have never seen a shower build without a linner or pan either ...wait some good tile guys should be along ...sorry to hear of your problems...ben
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Our code even requires a leak test for all tiled shower bases.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber101 View Post
Our code even requires a leak test for all tiled shower bases.
same here have an inspection thursday...
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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The guy who built the shower pan is denying responsibility and I am not knowledgeable enough to know if he's telling the truth or not.

Sounds like this guy is trying to cover his azz. Hold his nuts to wall. It's guys like this that give some Pro's a bad name. Hopefully you are pulling permits or at least asking contractors if permits are needed. To be sure check with your local code/city office.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:06 PM   #7
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if red guarded "membrane sealer" correctly it will work i have been on commercial jobs where the hole bathroom has been painted with a membrane paint"sealer" with a 4x4 across door way then they balloon "plug" the floor drain and fill the whole floor up to a 2 inch water mark and set timer for 2 hours to make sure there is no leaks

dry set mortar bed
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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Do you take pictures? I hope you did
Anyways when you do a shower like that you must put a waterproof membrane just incase for some reason the tile fails which it did in this case
If there was a membrane water would never traveled pass that point the fact that there was such a gap with the cement board is awful!


Long story short you don't use both. for a walk in shower you use membrane in a bed of thinset cement board for walls and floors outside the tube shower placed in thinset.

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Old 02-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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Permits and inspectors in reality they protect the homeowner and the contractors, from the sound of this no permits were pulled, water test 24 hours before inspection, under our code
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:18 AM   #10
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Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb.

This link will give you the proper accepted method for a pan with a liner--

There two other (3?) accepted methods to waterproof a shower---

Schluters Kerdi shower system uses a special drain and a waterproof surface membrane--

Latacrete has Hydroban---a paint on waterproofing (heavier and stretchier than RedGuard. this also takes a special drain.

In some areas hot mopped tar is used as a liner (California and Arizona)

All should be tested before tiling (flood test)

Buckets of mastic are never to be used in a wet area--they will dissolve when subjected to water.

Cement backer board is not waterproof---so caulking the seams of the boards is not useful at all--

Sorry--that was done wrong in so many ways--failure was inevitable-- hire an experienced pro for the next one--those installers were clueless---Mike---

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