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Old 10-10-2013, 07:27 AM   #1
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Last night, my toddler pulled the ceramic soap dish off the wall. It also resulted in the paper being ripped off the green-board.

So, three questions:
  1. Do I need to do anything to the wall board before putting the soap dish back on the wall? Or, can I just clean the paper/adhesive off the back of the dish and wall and remount it?
  2. Instead of the dish, would it be preferable to put up plain tile? I'm assuming that without the paper, the attachment is going to be much weaker and prone to being pulled out again.
  3. What kind of adhesive should I use to reattach the dish/tile? Since this is a small, simple job, preferably something that comes in a small tube.


Last edited by clayman; 10-10-2013 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Add question
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Got a pic?

Green board is no longer acceptable in a shower unless it is covered in Kerdi, so this could very easily turn into a problem.

I'm not an expert, so I'm not going to give suggestions here, but I do have a couple of relevant questions that come to mind.

How old is this tile? Ceramic soap dishes aren't real popular anymore so I'm picturing an older tub with a shower added, or is this a shower only, or ???

Does the water from the shower hit this section of wall directly? If the area doesn't get directly hit with water your chances of a patch lasting are much better.

Are there any other problems, soft spots, etc. with the tile?

Replacing it with a flat tile would probably be better. Do you have a matching tile?


Last edited by Blondesense; 10-10-2013 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


I'll post a picture this evening.

The tile is relatively new. I bought the house from a flipper four years ago. They installed a whirlpool tub and tiled the wall to turn it into a shower.

The location does not get hit directly with water, but it is definitely in the splash zone.

I checked the exposed board pretty closely and found no evidence of moisture or softness. The grout line is pretty small and they used a silicone-based sealant.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Clayman, this is exactly why tile should be installed onto cement board or equivalent. A tile would make more sense that putting the soap dish back in, but be aware that the installed system will fail completely eventually.

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Sorry about the bad cell-phone pictures. I got lazy and didn't want to break out the DSLR and Photoshop.

Overview of the problem area


Close-up of the detail


Edge Detail
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Ouch!

I'll tell you what I'd do.

First step is to find some matching tile. Don't assume all little white tile are the same. I would not put the soap dish back, that would be asking for more trouble.

Then remove the two slivers on each side of the hole. Dig out the grout around them, carefully tap them up with a hammer and chisel or something similar to break them up, and dig them out. Clean up the area around it.

Next is protecting that area with something waterproof and setting the tile. I'm not sure what the best product would be. Ideally you want something that would waterproof and work as an adhesive. Possibly a silicone caulk? Hopefully someone more experience will weigh in with a better product (or a better solution).

Cover the entire area with the product making sure it is covered 110%. You need to protect that entire area from water or moisture. Set the tile. Grout when dry.

Keep in mind this is a temporary patch job at best. Odds are eventually water is going to get to that drywall paper. At that point it is gonna swell up an turn into a mess.

Last edited by Blondesense; 10-11-2013 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Yikes!

You have a problem there my friend. The soap dish is probably the least of your worries. I'm guessing that there is already mold and disintegrating drywall behind the bottom tiles near the tub line. That shower was built incorrectly.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
Green board is no longer acceptable in a shower unless it is covered in Kerdi
In which case greenboard is superfluous anyway. Drywall behind Kerdi won't be getting wet so there's no need for greenboard. The only reason to use it would be because you're doing the whole bathroom in it anyway, and why bother getting 2 kinds of drywall? But in a well constructed bathroom, there's not much need for greenboard anyway.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
In which case greenboard is superfluous anyway. Drywall behind Kerdi won't be getting wet so there's no need for greenboard. The only reason to use it would be because you're doing the whole bathroom in it anyway, and why bother getting 2 kinds of drywall? But in a well constructed bathroom, there's not much need for greenboard anyway.
No argument. To be more precise I should have wrote greenboard, or any type of drywall/gypsum product, is no longer acceptable in a shower...

The question here is not the correct way to build a shower, I think it is fairly evident the flipper took some unapproved shortcuts. The question is what is the best way to buy Clayman some time and patch this problem.

I may be reading between the lines here, but I suspect Clayman is not quite ready yet to tear it down to the studs and start over.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
I may be reading between the lines here, but I suspect Clayman is not quite ready yet to tear it down to the studs and start over.
I know. I wasn't disagreeing with you - just adding on. I think you're right about Clayman, but still he should know what's going on
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #11
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


I'm going to go against the tide on this one----I suggest you reattach the old soap dish using 100% silicone caulk--tape it in place until the silicone is set 24 to 48 hours--then silicone the edge after the tape is removed---


I agree with everyone----that tile job is failing and to fragile to touch----plan on a replacement soon, in the mean time--this will do---
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


I'm curious as to what's leading people to the conclusion that I have water penetration It doesn't feel soft like I would expect after four years. I can't disagree that it will eventually need to be replaced since it was done over drywall. What are you seeing that I am not.

Oh, and here's a better image. It's amazing the difference between a quick cell-phone image and one taken with an actual camera and some post processing to tweak the contrast and improve sharpness.

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Old 10-12-2013, 12:19 AM   #13
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Quote:
Originally Posted by clayman View Post
I'm curious as to what's leading people to the conclusion that I have water penetration It doesn't feel soft like I would expect after four years. I can't disagree that it will eventually need to be replaced since it was done over drywall. What are you seeing that I am not.
I don't see evidence of water penetration either.

There are posts on this board from people who have torn out 30 or 40 year old tiled showers done on greenboard that were perfectly dry underneath.
OTOH, when I replaced ours (built in the 70's) it was a soggy moldy mess. A lot of variables come into play, including luck of the draw, perhaps.

With that protective green paper torn off this area will be at a much greater risk.

One thing you can do after your repair is to adjust your shower head to avoid this area as much as possible.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:23 AM   #14
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


Here is why I jumped to that conclusion----greenboard has not been accepted as a backer in a wet area for many years---so I assumed the installation was 20 years old ---

that picture shows no sign of water damage----however,pealing off additional tiles will damage the backer in the area that you would expose---so I will stick by my commendation---
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #15
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Repairing Tile in Shower Stall


The rusty nail is obvious evidence of water penetration of some sort. Nails (or screws) on drywall or roofing should never shows signs of rust, or else something is wrong. But you obviously don't have serious penetration - at least not at this particular spot. There could easily be more serious penetration down lower at the top of the tub edge, which is where most of these faulty installations fail. (Also at the wall leading down to the floor on the outside of the tub edge, where water usually trickles down when you take a shower.)

Greenboard has nothing to do with it. Greenboard is to discourage mold growth when the bathroom gets humid. Greenboard is absolutely not supposed to get wet and is not allowed in wet areas. Greenboard is drywall and you should treat it as such. It is not "protection" against water penetration and losing the green paper facing is not losing "protection".

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