Removing a Rusting Wall Anchor from a Travertine Shower Wall

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    [​IMG]
    Photo Source


    I found this rusting wall anchor when I removed a clients Kohler Hotel Shower Arm. I learned a lot about this shower arm from Kohler that day.

    1). I love my IPhone and access to Kohler's PDF files.
    2). These are not Kohler factory parts (Kohler provides 3 stainless screws for each shower arm bracket)
    3). The shower arm is a crappy design and holds water inside it
    4). The #$%&ing plumber or tile man screwed up this shower with the use of non-stainless steel screws


    [​IMG]
    Photo Source

    You can see the lower shower arm bracket in the photo above. Notice the rust line forming below it.

    I have not had to remove a stain like this before this job and was a little chicken going forward. I got some wonderful advice from an online pro (one of Terry Love's members) THANKS ROBERTO but since I do not share Roberto's skill set in this area me and my client decided to try a safer route and use a product called NanoScrub.

    If I remember correctly Roberto told me it would not work very well - and he was right. It did improve the stain somewhat and with the rusting screw gone should not continue to get worse.

    I free handed the drilling and did not use a scrap tile. It would be safer to cut a hole in a scrap tile and then place this over the area to be drilled as a guide. Here is how to drill a perfect circle in a tile to use it as a jig.



    What lessons can you learn from this repair?

    Always use stainless steel fasteners for these shower arm brackets or anything surface mounted in your shower....
  2. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

    Messages:
    841
    Location:
    Montreal
    It really sucks when the wrong screws are used . :mad:

    I wish I could've do more for you and your client . :)
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Roberto - the client is my number one in Vancouver. I have worked on and off for this man for over a decade. He is like family to me.

    I told him we should try your idea but get a crew that speacliazies in that sort of thing. The sanding approach you mentioned over the phone with me.

    The NanoScrub rep (my supplier called him) recommend the NanoScrub. It helped but did not fix the problem.

    We will wait and see. If the stain does not grow and come back we might use and Enrich and Seal sealer to deepen the colour and help mask the stain a little more.

    The shower has no pre-slope. It took almost two weeks to fully dry out once my client took possession. I know him. I feel a looming tear out in the making.

    Such a shame that a huge wonderful shower was built by a team of hacks.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  4. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    On a side note I tried the Pumice Stain Lifter. Did a small sample and it stained the tile. Been a couple weeks and there is still a stain.

    Lucky I tested a tiny area behind the bathroom door on the lower shower curb. If I went all in the wall would look like crap right now. It's like the pumice leached some colour to the edges of my test area. I'll post a few pictures os you can see.

    Maybe I screwed up the test?
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,817
    Location:
    IL
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Thanks Reach.

    I'll track some down. Have you used it yourself? What did you use to scrub the stain? I used a white scrubbing pad and a stiff nylon scrub brush with the NanoScrub....
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,817
    Location:
    IL
    I have used it. My toilets had accumulated a fair amount of rust stains before I put my filter in. It has some distinctive odor, but not bad, and not lingering. Additionally, some add it, as I previously did, to the water softener brine tank.

    http://www.superironout.com/where-to-buy.php lists 4 stores for Canada including Canadian Tire.

    I imagine that pulling stain out of marble is harder than for toilets and sinks.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    New England
    FWIW, the instructions say this:
    Non-Compatible Surfaces/Materials:

    Super Iron Out is not recommended to be use on:
    • Wood
    • Cars (including parts like the radiator)
    • Painted Materials
    • Exposed and Corroded Rusting Metal
    • Water Treatment Equipment (like Water Softeners)
    • Natural Marble
    • Terrazo
    • Brick and Stone with Iron Oxide Pigments
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,817
    Location:
    IL
    http://www.superironout.com/multi-surface-sprays.php on the "Info" tab would appear to be where you copied from. At first glance, that appeared to be a relevant catch.

    I have no experience with the spray. Usually people are talking about the powder, and now I know that I should have been more specific. See http://www.superironout.com/powders.php The info tab of that page does say
    Non-Compatible Surfaces/Materials:
    • Wood
    • Cars (including parts like the radiator)
    • Painted Materials
    • Exposed and Corroded Rusting Metal
    ALWAYS TEST IN AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA BEFORE USING SUPER IRON OUT..

    The FAQ tab specifically mentions the use in water softeners.
  10. koa

    koa Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I'm curious as to why you drilled out the tile around the anchor rather than just drilling out the anchor.

    Also, what material is the existing anchors? Won't they eventually rust?

    Toggler (you might already be aware of them) makes a great anchor that has plastic exposed on the surface. Also you can get the piece that goes behind the wall in stainless if desired.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    New England
    Some of the best fasteners I've dealt with for use in tile are made by www.wingits.com. I've used both their commercial all SS ones and their residential plastic ones, and both provided a very robust anchor (meets ADA standards for holding up safety bars). Course, it's better if you have blocking there, and can just use a SS screw into it, but these can be a life saver if you decide to put something where there isn't any blocking.
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I was afraid of adding any stress to the anchor. If you look at the pictures on my blog page you will see the footprint of the base arm is quite large and easily covered the hole I drilled. Travertine is very soft. The diamond coring bit cuts through it like butter.

    Had there been a tiny stress fracture caused by the anchor when it was installed that could have opened up. So I used my judgement and tools on hand to drill the bitch out.

    The other anchors have not rusted in 15 years. I decided to leave well enough alone. If they change I will know and we will re and re the shower arm again and repeat.

    I wanted to drill a hole in the bottom side of the Kohler Hotel Shower arm support but my client did not like that idea. I think it's a mistake not to but we can wait and see how it goes. My client takes very good care of his homes and I am always around doing something here in Vancouver and my counter part looks after the UK pad.

    If anything changes - I'll know. And it will be fixed.

    I got a great private tip by our local Tile Ninja Roberto. I have some more testing to do.
  13. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Thanks again Reach. Canada Tire is not far from my place. I'll check and see if they have some. I got another tip from Roberto as well.

    Thanks Men.
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    It's pretty easy to replace the regular machine screws for stainless ones. There is a massive screw store just over the bridge that sells everything in every size and shape. Typically it's on the way in to work.

    Lots of time there is a better way. A better technique. yata yata yata. But at what cost. Cost of time. Delay of ordering.

    I'm trained in the school of hard knocks. I try systems. Tweak them. Then Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

    Guys like Jim read internet hype and marking mumble jumble. They don't work on their knees and get their hands dirty. I bet our boy Jim here goes for manicures and has his toes done.

    Thanks for the tip either way Koa - I'll keep my eyes peeled. I have learned over the dozens opt years building bathrooms that the fasteners that come with many hardware bits and pieces are total crap. Soft cheap Asian steel. I like to swap out these for Canadian or American made screws. Sometimes with tight fittings I reach for the soap.

    SIDE NOTE

    Taylor why does the font seam to change all the time in these posts.....


  15. koa

    koa Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Thanks, I suspected that was the reason.
  16. koa

    koa Member

    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I hadn't seen those before. Bookmarked that site for future reference.
  17. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    Messages:
    4,843
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I drilled that one out in less than five minutes. Not much time time wasted. And I got rid of the source of rust in this shower....
Similar Threads: Removing Rusting
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog help removing 2 Grohe shower tub handles with no screws! Nov 2, 2014
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog removing overflow on cast iron tub obstructed by tabs Sep 11, 2014
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Removing Stuck Shower Arm and Drain Dec 18, 2013
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog removing brown stains on grout without acidic product (don't want to etch it) Nov 5, 2013
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Removing a shower pfister valve Aug 3, 2013

Share This Page