From the main blog page; In the Fall of 2009, I received a phone call from a local homeowner in Easley, South Carolina, requesting a bathroom tile repair estimate. A water leak had resulted in considerable damage to her bathroom sub floor and foundation. At the time I received her call, a carpenter was finishing the job of replacing the water damaged wood sub-floor and associated floor joists. Before the carpenters work began, the source of the water damage had been identified as a leaking shower enclosure. I don't know who made that determination but unfortunately for everyone involved, that diagnosis was inaccurate. The leak source was in fact, a cracked, acrylic shower pan base.
The preceding photographs show the project, the first day I saw the job:
- The cracked acrylic shower base- missed during the original leak diagnosis, was still in place.
- The rotten sub-floor and floor joists had been removed and replaced by a local carpenter.
- Most of the tile wainscot had simply fallen of the wall due to the original installation application technique.
It's unacceptable that the leak source was misdiagnosed before the demolition on this project began. A pan test wasn't even required as the photos clearly show, visual determination should have been easy. I'm sure glad I wasn't the guy that missed it, though I doubt I would have- it's quite obvious that this acrylic pan is cracked. The shower base would still need to be replaced irregardless, and that should go without saying. What's at issue however, is the lost strength and structural integrity, that a continuous sub floor between the bathroom and shower base would afford. It's impossible to recoup that benefit without tearing out all of this work, and restarting the entire bathroom makeover from scratch. Few home owners enjoy the life upheaval this process imposes the first time. But twice? Not likely and again, I'm glad it wasn't my mistake..
How do I know?
The first visual clue for this installation failure is the rather pristine condition of the mastic bed and sheet rock substrate that's left behind. Typically, removing this amount of tile from a properly installed field of tile, would result in a wall that looked like someone had shot it up for an hour with a 12 gauge shotgun. In short, if this tile wainscot were properly installed and the demolition damage so extreme that this much tile was damaged or removed, I'd expect to see little, if any of this sheet rock left.
The last visual clue and final litmus test for accurately establishing the cause of this failure, is an examination of the back of the affected tile. As this photo shows, there's so little contact, between the tile and the adhesive, it's practically clean. (Note the unmistakable "FT" mold mark? This identifies this tile as a product of none other than Florida Tile.)
In this photo we see one of the considerations that will need to remain in focus throughout this remodeling process. The tile wainscot wraps this corner and continues through the vanity back-splash. The tile vertical tile edge overhangs the horizontal, perpendicular field. Since the new finish for this wainscot will be paint, I'll be removing what's left of this tile wainscot and will trim this tile corner to accommodate the new thinner finish. If I made that too complicated, just follow along with the pretty pictures and it should become clear.
In this photo, the existing tile edge and wainscot mentioned in the preceding section have been removed. The sheet rock has been taped and a new drywall corner bead installed. Once the sheet is completely finished, the adjacent field tile will be cut and the finished tile mud-cap will be reinstalled short, to the corner bead edge you see here.
The preceding 9 photos show the various stages of the process of removing replacing and finishing the tile work for a cracked fiberglass or acrylic shower pan in a mud walled tile shower.
R1C1, R1C2 and R1C3 show the Acrylic pan being cut into 4 pieces. The adjacent wall mud substrate and tile is removed.
R2C1, R2C2 and R2C3 show the rotten sub-floor being removed, new sister joists, plywood and 3/4 inch level concrete base installed.
R3C1, R3C2 and R3C3 show the new base, wall mud and tile installed.
If you're interested, all the photos on this page and many more that are part of this project, are available via one of my Picasa Web Album's, titled "Cracked Acrylic Pan Post Photos".
The following nine photographs are a few of the more interesting of this set. I won't provide a description as I think most of these are self explanatory. If you have questions, ask. That's what the comment option is for.
In this photo, the Hardibacker cement board substrate has been installed the sheet rock is finished and almost everything that could be considered "prep" it's done. It's time to install the bathroom floor tile, paint and let this nice home owner lady have her bathroom, home and life back.
Here, the bathroom tile floor is installed and awaiting grout. I still have to install the tile in the mud shower that I repaired, install wood base, the toilet and paint.
Here's the tiled corner edge I mentioned above. Notice how the mud cap tile finish ends at exactly the edge of the corner bead? This is as it should be.
The bathroom still needs paint, base, toilet, glass shower enclosure and the floor tile needs to be grouted. You can't see it here, but I believe at the time these two photos were taken, the shower tile work was finished.
The nice homeowner lady picked this bypass offset swing glass shower enclosure. We were relieved when one was finally found that fit this opening. This was a nice touch.
Here, the bathroom floor tile has been grouted, the original ceramic paper holder and towel bar have been cleaned and reinstalled. All that's left to finish is the toilet and wood base installation and paint.
It didn't seem right to have a dull faded vanity in a shiny new bathroom, so the last task of this project was refinishing the custom wood vanity in pretty bright white paint as seen here.
If you're still reading, thanks for making it this far.