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Old 07-12-2014, 08:38 AM  
Fox
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Default Shower floor leak in custom bathroom

Water leaked from the upstairs shower through a light fixture in the kitchen below.

The shower floor is 2” x 2” tile and drains into a foot bath. The leak was between the tile and a marble border between the foot bath and the shower floor tiles. I was going to reseal, but decided to remove the marble to get a better look at the floor beneath. The floor appears to be 2” x 2” tiles about 3/16” thick, then cement board (or mud job since it is 1” thick?) then ¾” plywood, then ½” (rubber or foam or insulation?). The plywood is rotted.

I have left it open and the rotted drywood appears dry, but I can only see the edge. I had a local flooring company visit to give an estimate, and he suggested that I just replace the marble since the flooring is solid and replacing the plywood could turn into a big job. He thinks that allowing the plywood to dry out and sealing correctly would be safe. The house is 12 years old.

Does this sound like a valid solution? Thanks!



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Old 07-12-2014, 10:30 AM  
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If the idea is to keep it going for another ten or twelve years, maybe. I would think about inpecting from below, drywall is much easier to repair. You would find that the water has been in ths area for a long time and the bacteria and or rot needs to be stopped if not replaced. If you can stop the rot from below and dry it out and beef up framing if required you can save a bathroom from total distruction..
The problem you have where the marble met the tile is the plywood bends a little and the wait of water in the tub and everthing moves breaking that joint.
When they replace the mortor that should be sealed with red gaard or sim. product And then I would consider after the repair add another strip of marble on top of the tile and marble joint.
And welcome to the site.

Without opening the ceiling below it could take months to dry out if ever and the framing will continue to decayl.



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Old 07-12-2014, 12:45 PM  
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Well, looks like that probably wouldn't have passed the leak test... Aren't they supposed to have some sort of moisture barrier all along the floor and then going to the lip of the tub so that the water would go in to the tub instead of behind it?

I'm no expert on this, but I would think they would want to route some kerdi or schluter or whatever the hell those membranes are and have it go under the floor and then wrap down to the shower, making the tile or whatever overhang it a tad-- but it would also need a moisture barrier underneath the shower pan as well. I think...

It just looks to me like it was never sealed properly to begin with.

It still is a very cool looking shower and tub area though.

Also, I think that area might be classified as a wet room so I think it probably should have a floor drain in there somewhere-- just in case...

I don't know if Redgard would be able to fix that mess unless something more substantial goes down to the lip of the shower pan.

Where the tile meets that gray stuff (is it marble?) is where the water is probably getting in. Water can seep through grout and it looks like there is a grout line there. With no backup moisture barrier going to the lip of the shower pan the water is just going all around next to the shower pan and rotting stuff.

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Old 07-13-2014, 12:53 PM  
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It's possible that the tub settled and increased the gap that was there.

One part of me says a twelve-year bandaid is a good enough fix, and the other part of me is saying the water may have spread once it got under there. if there was enough to actually leak downstairs, there was a significant amount of water. Is there other water damage to the ceiling below (peeling paint, slight sag, etc.)?

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Old 07-13-2014, 01:56 PM  
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Thanks for the responses and for the welcome to the forum! I’m thinking of taking this one small step at a time since I’m not sure what to do yet, I’m not familiar with this type of project, and I don’t need it fixed in a hurry.

I figured the next step would be to remove the last of the 3 pieces of marble to see what it looks like behind there too.

Would it make any sense to pull out pieces of the rotted plywood to see if I can see underneath? I did push a screwdriver into the rotted plywood so the plywood is rotted at least 6 – 12 inches in from where the marble was.

The ceiling below is the kitchen ceiling and there is no evidence of water damage, and there is no evidence of the tub or anything else settling. It all appears very solid other than where the marble was, as far as I can tell so far. How difficult would it be to fix by removing a section of the kitchen ceiling, repair from underneath, and return the ceiling to near original condition?

It did seem to me that there should have been something like flashing for roofing between the shower floor and the foot bath. Hopefully that can be worked in when I get to the point of reconstruction.

Thanks again!

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Old 07-13-2014, 08:50 PM  
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If you can stick a screw driver in that far, the deck should be replaced but that will require the glass be removed and much care on the rebuild to make sure the same glass fits back in.

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Old 07-13-2014, 09:09 PM  
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I'm with neal on this one. I'd be worried that there could be some significant support damage and that it could collapse and ruin your kitchen ceiling.

What type of ceiling do you have in the kitchen? Drywall? Plaster? It doesn't sound like its a drop ceiling..

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Old 07-13-2014, 09:19 PM  
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My biggest concern is this is a walk on surface without support.

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Old 07-14-2014, 06:37 AM  
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You may be able to pull down the lighting fixture where the water was coming out and see something thru that hole from below. You may be able to stick a camera up there and get a better look. If not cut an access hole below 16x24 and cut it carefully on the centerline of 2 joists. No matter what you need to know what damage is above? Follow Neal’s advice on the inspection.

If the water was finding a path down I wouldn’t think it went all over under that deck area. The damage might be contained in just the few inches behind the marble. You said it feels solid still.

If it were mine I would inspect from below first and then I would start at the edge removing all three sides of the marble. I would then take a drill and drill into the edge of the plywood trying to determine how far back the wood is bad. You should be able to tell by the chips coming out, stopping every quarter inch of so. If it’s not too far back you could carefully remove the bad material and fill the void back in “somehow” without removing tiles if its more than an inch or two I would then start taking the tiles back and removing the cement board trying to find where good material starts.

That’s the conservative plan the more aggressive plan would be to take it all back fix the deck and replace it all.

You will learn much from looking from below but you might just see the sub floor for the bathroom and have to poke a hole in that to see up into the closed in deck area.

On a side note the design looks a little dangerous with all the levels drop-offs and hard sharp edges. I don’t quite understand the concept.

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Old 07-14-2014, 02:07 PM  
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I wonder if all of those level changes are to code. I know in some states they don't allow a step down for showers or tubs.



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