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JustinEllard 09-22-2010 07:48 PM

Piece of junk, leaking shower. How can I improve it?
Before I begin describing all my problems, I'd like to give you an idea of the resources I have available to me. We're a family of 5, 3 on disability, 2 (including me) currently job hunting to no avail. Needless to say, I have a lot more time than money. I have tools: orbital sander, drill, jigsaw, lathe, mill, handtools, and a dremel. Not a lot, but that's what I've got. I'm very thrifty and can probably obtain simple items, like paint, for free.

So, on to the problems. The shower we have is one of those walk-in shower cubicles that you screw into place. I have pictures here to show you the monstrosity that I'm up against. Now, I've just recently moved here, so the state of this shower isn't my fault :P


First of all, the paint is obviously deteriorating. I can obtain free paint at the waste facility, but what kind of paint should I be looking for?

Secondly, from what I've been told the floor in the shower used to be fiberglass. However, it began to fall apart and leak, so the owner had filled over it with cement. The cement is uneven. After I shower, if I move my feet from one side of the floor to the other, I can hear water squishing around the cement. This lead me to believe that water was seeping between the cement and shower wall, so I caulked all around the floor. I've also attempted to put down vinyl tiles using "Hard as Nails" and caulking in between them. They rotted out in no time and I had to remove them. Anyone have any idea how I can improve the appearance of the floor? And preferably improve its durability and ability to prevent water leaks?

Next up, the glass door. It's one of those glass doors that you can sorta see through, but it bends a lot of the light. It somehow manages to build up some sort of layer of fog. I can't seem to remove it with anything. I've tried soapscum remover, windex, soap, etc. It'll clear up for a few hours, but then it will just fog over again. Any suggestions?

Last, but definitely not least, the shower leaks. I mentioned this before, but I thought I'd go into more detail. At first, I believed it to be the result of water seeping around the cement in the shower. However, after caulking the leaks continued. I then came to the conclusion that it was leaking out under the shower door. After all, there was a large gap between the door and the "step". I attempted to rectify this by laying a layer of foam under the door, attached to a piece of plastic. I then placed a thick layer of caulk on the "step" and closed the door. After everything dried, I opened the door and closed it to see if it felt sealed. It seemed to seal a lot better, and the amount of water on the floor definitely lowered. However, it continued to leak. I think my method simply wasn't good enough. I also sprayed a layer of foam underneath the shower floor, as there is a large gap (1") between the shower floor and the bathroom floor. Still didn't help. Any ideas?

Sorry for the insanely long post, but as you can see, I have problems. I did my best to come up with solutions, but I just can't seem to fix them. I want to install vinyl tiles on the floor, but I would need to lay down a subfloor, and the leaks will just rot it away. Until I fix the leak, I can't improve the bathroom's appearance.

Thank you for reading and I hope someone can help me out.


handyguys 09-23-2010 09:07 AM

ummm - There is no way to repair that shower and make it water tight.

Your best bet would be to go to some place like a Habitat Re-store or a building supply auction and get a new, one piece, shower enclosure.

The surplus building supply auction near me in PA has them all the time. They often sell for one dollar. The only down side is they have a scratch or something.

If you don't have a surplus auction, scratch and dent place or a Habitat Re-store then go to the home center. Speak to the manager. Ask him/her to call you if they have any one piece enclosures that are damaged. Tell them your size. I have seen stuff at home depot and lowes sell really cheap if damaged or a special order return.

Don't waste money trying to "put lipstick on a pig", its still a pig.

As for the door - a cleaner caller CLR may get it cleaner. You may want to remove the door and just use a shower curtain.

Good luck

handyguys 09-23-2010 09:12 AM

also, i have to add this....

If you DO find a shower for cheap or nothing you will have some expenses for the bits and pieces to install it.

Also - You say "Needless to say, I have a lot more time than money". Consider something a career counselor told me when I was between jobs. They told me that looking for a job should be your full time job. If you are not spending 40 hours per week networking, talking to people, interviewing, polishing your resume, etc then you will fall behind the guy that is doing those things. Its helpful to interview for jobs you are over qualified for, dont want, etc. Every interview you do will prepare you for the next one.

Good luck

Redwood 09-23-2010 09:58 AM

I agree fully with HandyGuys...:clap:

handyguys 09-23-2010 10:32 AM

:D Thanks Redwood!

cheapsk87 10-06-2010 05:44 PM

OMG that shower is shot!!! there is nothing you can do with that unfortunatly man...sorry! BTW concrete/tile/grout is NOT water proof! so yeah the water just soaked through to the bottom. here is what i see in my head...

1-rip all of that out! its doing nothing but making matters worse by keeping it wet and molded.

2-clean everything with bleach. and i mean CLEAN! scrub everything you can reach.

3-check the damage and make sure it is SAFE!

4-replace any supporting wood as needed and the flooring

5-like what was suggested, get a new one piece shower (or if space allows bath tubs are usually easier and cheaper to buy and less work involved into install with less plumbing problems...basically cheaper probably now and later!)

6-finish up and enjoy

TBH done right (and cheap) you could easily do this! i have done residential plumbing and currently do commercial. i see wood, nails/screws, flooring and other good stuff thrown away everyday!!! dont be afriad of hitting up the local construction sites dumpsters (GET PERMISSION FIRST PLEASE!). and search for local plumbing supply places. they might have something that will work sitting out back for basically nothing or free! you or anyone can do this very easy with a little thought, tools and minor skills. you seem to have the tools and have put some thought. got the skills? lol

hope this helps out. and....good luck!

DrHicks 10-14-2010 04:43 PM

All I can say is, WOW! Sorry to see that you inherited that kind of mess.

What HandyGuys said is good. Spot on.

I would also suggest you consider just ripping that entire thing out of there, hanging a hoop and just using a shower curtain all the way around. I've done that in a basement a time or two.

Jimbo56 10-20-2010 06:43 AM

wow what a mess, i can only agree with the other posts. rip it out! it would be nice to see the end result when you have done it.

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