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joemontana16 02-19-2012 09:22 AM

Unexpected shower project
I have a one piece fiberglass shower stall - assuming it's 12 years old (same as house). The bottom of the unit has developed many hairline cracks, you can't even see them unless you get close and put weight on the floor. It is leaking to the downstairs ceiling. I'm assuming this can't be repaired - it has been getting worse.

So...what are my options? I don't have a lot to spend, but I would like it to last.

The current unit is one piece 39.5" wide, 33" deep and 6ft. tall. My bathroom door is only 27.5" wide!!! Will a 2 piece unit fit in here? Are they any good? I know I have some research to do, but any advice at this point is welcomed.

ddawg16 02-19-2012 09:36 AM

Definition of Catch 22 - "I don't have a lot to spend, but I would like it to last"

I suspect the fiberglass insert cracked because the base was not prepared correctly. If the floor flexes at all when you stand on it...then you know it was not.

I don't see a whole lot of cheap choices.....I must have spent 6 months figuring out how I was going to build the 2 new showers that I'm about to install in my new 2-story addition.....I considered drop in mop......

I'm doing hot mop....or rather, I'm paying someone to do it. It really came down to cost vs performance....I can pay someone to hot mop for about the same cost as just the materials for Kerdi....fiberglass and drop in pans lost out do to all the negative comments on the web....

One of your big problems is that you have to find out how bad the damage is first before you really do anything else. The shower has to come out (all of it) and you need to inspect the underlayment/floor might require repair.

Personally....I would go hot mop....but then again, my wife is actually pretty good at tileing and she enjoys doing all that....all I have to do is get it ready for her.... this is not going to be.....not if you want something to last.

joemontana16 02-19-2012 09:42 AM

Yup...floor is very bouncy. Fiberglass units aren't dependable if supported/installed properly?

ddawg16 02-19-2012 11:40 AM


Originally Posted by joemontana16 (Post 857232)
Yup...floor is very bouncy. Fiberglass units aren't dependable if supported/installed properly?

Correct.....I have never installed a fiberglass enclosure....but I would assume it would be the same as the method for the fiberglass jacuzi tub we put put a motar base under the bottom.....

Think about it....200 lb + person standing on a 1/8" thick sheet of fiberglass that is not fully supported?'s going to crack.

Now you have an idea why I'm going with a traditional motor bed with hot mop....

jaydevries 02-19-2012 02:11 PM

some reglazers can reinforce bottom by drilling hole and fill with stiffener and then patch floor and reglaze "paint" tub not my number 1 choice but it might be most economical fix if you do go this way get references of this type of repair that are a few years old and call them to see how it held up they will hold up if prepped correctly

another option maybe to have it stiffened and install a liner if it is not a one piece fiberglass companys that do this are bci,liners direct,luxury bath,rebath,bathfitters, these are whole-sellers but they can locate dealer in your area but be careful some franchises are high pressure and over priced

ddawg what is hot mop never heard of this term

joemontana16 02-19-2012 02:19 PM

I checked out the 4 piece shower stalls at Lowe's. They have 36" and 48"...but no 40". I like the idea of sealing the floor, but might replace the unit to get rid of the bounciness as well. What is supposed to go under a fiberglass stall? Styrofoam? Spray foam?

jaydevries 02-19-2012 02:43 PM

usually the bottoms are webbed and if they are i set them in mortar

if they are rigid foam i use self leveler if floor is not level then set it in silicone to prevent squeaking

joemontana16 02-19-2012 04:59 PM

Most of the reviews for the Big Box brands are poor. 1. What brands are good for these multi-piece renovation style shower stalls? I think I might try this myself...but don't have a few weeks to study like I usually do for a project...we need a shower.

2. Why can't a find a 39.5" wide x 33" deep stall? I measured this thing four times!

jaydevries 02-19-2012 05:13 PM

what are the walls around shower pan made of inside shower and outside shower

joemontana16 02-19-2012 05:31 PM

Looks like the original one-piece fiberglass stall is just nailed to the studs through the outside flanges. Sturdi-board subfloor traditional "shower pan".

jaydevries 02-19-2012 05:34 PM

ok when you measure you have to measure stud to stud that is why i asked what walls are made of outside of shower to see how you measured the size you are looking for

joemontana16 02-19-2012 05:38 PM

I cut some drywall to get a more accurate width...looks like 41.75". That makes more sense...but I still haven't seen any 42" stalls...they're all 36" and 48". Guess I'll keep lookin'.

jaydevries 02-19-2012 05:38 PM

since a 42 inch wide is a size that is used

jaydevries 02-19-2012 05:39 PM

check link

joemontana16 02-19-2012 07:59 PM

OK. I'm starting figure this least on paper.

1. Do you guys use thinset under the base piece? Apply with a notched trowel or just a smooth bed?

Thanks for the help...I will have many other questions as I try to get this done this week. I'm looking at Sterling/ says they make 42", I just didn't see it at the 2 big box stores today.

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