Weird - What to do about wall tiling

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by chayale, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. chayale

    chayale New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    israel
    We live on the first floor of an apartment building, over the parking lot. Apparently there is a leak in the parking lot, and it seems to be coming from our bathroom.
    Four years ago, someone did some work for us and told us that the tiles in the bathroom were not done well, they were slapped onto the cement while it was drying and there is no adhesive, and we'd need to fix it at some point. We think this is causing the leak, as the water is getting into the walls. I decided to see if I could do it myself, and I literally picked a tile off of the wall - just came off. (They're not all like that.) I thought I would just lay the adhesive on a flat surface, but this is what it looks like! Lots of holes! Where I live, buildings are made with concrete and stone. Anyone have any clue what this is and what to do about it? thx!

    Attached Files:

  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,932
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I doubt that the tile was set onto drying mortar (not cement). It looks like the mortar was placed onto the back of the tile (back buttered) and then the tile was pressed to the wall. Back buttering usually mitigates poor adhesion issues but in this case there was some other reason it didn't stick. Most likely bad mortar or a factory film on the back of the tile.

    That said, the tile and grout in and of itself should not be the waterproof barrier. There should have been a waterproof backing applied first.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Shower Leak Detection

    Like mentioned above the tile was set with the Dot method. And more specifically the "One Huge Dot" method.

    Without proper back buttering and burning or tooling the thinset onto the concrete wall you can get a poor bond. Tiles need cleaning on the back side before setting. Most tiles have dust or some sort of bond breaker on them. If the walls where installed poorly (they are as shown) then it's safe to assume you have a poor waterproofing system in place.

    Before you break up everything check the basics first for any problems.

    In this order check the following things.

    1). Hook up the shower head to a hose and run it down the tub. You might need an adapter to hook the hose up and once done and run it for an hour. Check the garage for leaks. If it is leaking you know you have a leak in the plumbing line between the shower control valve and the shower head or a leak from the tubs waste line. Rule out the tub's line by doing a second test with no hose and the tub running for an hour.

    2). Check just the shower drain. Run the hose into the drain and re run the water test. Is the leak showing up now? If so it's a fault in the drain and plumbing line, not the water proofing.

    3). If you have not found the leak start hosing down the shower. If you find it now it might be time for a "Do Over". Chaulking will not fix the problem, just slow it down.


    [video=youtube_share;JYcJ1Ldg05s]http://youtu.be/JYcJ1Ldg05s[/video]

    This is my buddies shower. The leak turned out to be a poor connection from the shower arm to the Wing Back fitting inside the wall.

    The camera shown is my inspection camera. Nice to have for such investigations.

    Good Luck.

    I hope that breakdown makes sense.

    JW
  4. chayale

    chayale New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    israel
    Thank you for the responses!

    I will try those tests this week and see what happensa.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,947
    Location:
    New England
    Lots of people (some inspectors, too, it seems) think that the tile is the waterproof layer of a shower - NOT TRUE (as someone mentioned). Now, a concrete wall won't generally be harmed by water getting to it, but still, you need to waterproof things UNDER the tile and especially the shower pan as water WILL get under there, and it must be properly directed to the drain, and not find a crack in the floor or wall (onto the parking lot below, in this case).

    Unfortuneately, it can be really tough to verify proper shower pan construction without destruction. You could remove the drain cover and try to see anything, but that is a tough call.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    4,049
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    A leaking shower arm is a very common problem. Cross your fingers it's just that.

    You will be able to re-install those wall tiles later if you got them all down in one piece. That's a separate topic.

    JW
Similar Threads: Weird wall
Forum Title Date
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Weird problem with shower May 11, 2014
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog new tub, weird flange Mar 24, 2012
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Weird Pressure Issue Oct 21, 2006
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog We have a weird situation w/ a tub... Jul 31, 2006
Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog Weird Shower Drain Problem Jul 26, 2006

Share This Page