Crack in new Vikrell shower wall flange

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Bob57, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Bob57

    Bob57 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    TN
    I just installed a new Sterling Vikrell walk in shower. I predrilled holes in the mounting flanges and there is a crack from the top of flange down and thru one of the holes and one of the ribs under the pan had the edge cracked off when I took it out of the box but that should not hurt it. I need a second unit for another shower and now I am very concerned with how brittle this seems to be. I am wanting a pan and walls for a remodel but I want one 34-36" deep by 60" long so is there still fiberglass units out there? I thought fiberglass was good but I am not sure and would like some ideas on which material would be better. I could use a one piece unit but it would be more work. Thanks
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    For a remodel, a one-piece would be a tough install. We install them in new construction when we can get in before the walls are all up and the electrical hasn't been strung yet.

    You could also consider poured marble products if you want to go wider. It can be made to fit, and is very durable.
    Or picking up a fiberglass pan and tiling the walls is an option too.

    The Sterling kits are pretty nice if you don't want to spend much and don't mind drywalling over the flange.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. Bob57

    Bob57 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    TN
    Has Vikrell proved to be a brittle material compared to fiberglass? I have seen stress cracks in fiberglass but they were more on the surface, on this Vikrell it cracked and went all the way thru.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    To last, both a fiberglass and any other material needs good support, and to start with a FLAT floor (preferably level, too so the shower drains right and the walls fit). If the flange was not tight up to the wall, and you tried to tighten it to the wall, that can crack it. If things aren't square, or the floor isn't flat, then you may need to shim the walls and may need to use some mortar on the floor to set the pan into so that it is fully supported, flat, and level. If the one you dealt with already had a crack in it, it may have been weakened in other places you could not see, and that may have made things worse. But, starting out on a flat floor with it sitting perfectly without rocking is the first task. Personally, I prefer a tiled pan, but that's me. If one of those is done right, it can last generations without problems. There are lots of ways to mess up, but the concept is really pretty easy, and the materials costs fairly low.
     
  6. Matt72

    Matt72 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lehighton, Pennsylvania
    Just purchased a Sterling Ensemble Vikrell shower and am having cracking issues. The base and both side walls are fine and upon inspection of the back wall, we noticed a crack as well as a chipped off piece. Lowes was kind to replace the back shower wall the next day however the replacement also had crack. Because water exploits cracks without fail and the cracks had a spidering effect, we sent the replacement back as well. To Lowes credit, they sent 2 Sterliing Vikrell back walls the next day hoping at least one would be ok. Unbelievably - both back walls were cracked! Lowes said that they will contact the Sterling Rep directly to discuss but I am having serious reservations about Vikrell. I already have the base installed and plumbing adjusted for the Sterling tub. So far, I can not recomend the Sterling Vikrell product.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Take a straight-edge and see if the studs are all in plane. IOW, if the wall is curved or things are out of alignment or if there's a vertical bow, or, if you tighten any fasteners too tight, you can stress things. Also, make sure that the hole is big enough for the shaft and threads, if it's a screw, to pass freely through the hole. If you're using a nail, consider a screw and don't get it too tight.
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Take a straight-edge and see if the studs are all in plane. IOW, if the wall is curved or things are out of alignment or if there's a vertical bow, or, if you tighten any fasteners too tight, you can stress things. Also, make sure that the hole is big enough for the shaft and threads, if it's a screw, to pass freely through the hole. If you're using a nail, consider a screw and don't get it too tight.
     
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The Vickrell is fine IMO, the problem is the packing and shipping is not done in a manner that adequately protects it. The Vickrell base, as with most composites, should be set in a mortar bed, and I would not do it any other way.
    As Jim has stated, it is also important that the framing is plumb and the corners are square, and that the studs are straight and parallel across the plane of the walls. Any gaps must be shimmed along the screw flange, and taper-head screws must not be used to secure the flange to the framing.
     
Similar Threads: Crack Vikrell
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Vikrell tub cracked today after 8 months Mar 3, 2012
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower modification without cracking open the tiles Nov 4, 2015
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Is it possible to repair the crack at the top of the shower door? May 29, 2015
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower chair rail cracks after install Sep 29, 2014
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Crack in cast iron bath tub Aug 4, 2014

Share This Page