Mustee shower pan (floor) hairline cracks
Posted by Vince on August 25, 2001 at 12:43:34:

Three months ago, I purchased a new condominium unit from the builder of a new 130-unit building. The shower of my unit includes tiled walls and a Mustee shower floor. The Mustee shower floor appears to be Model No. 3636BN having the following characteristics: Square 36" x 36" Durabase (TM) shower floor, single threshold, ribbed underbody "for extra strength", bone color, and Field Installation Kit PN 36.101.

The Mustee web site indicates that this shower floor is a one piece, molded fiberglass reinforced Sheet Molded Compound (SMC) and that the shower floor surface is a slip-resistant design that does not interfere with the flow of water, is resistant to mold and mildew, and is easy to clean. I believe that there is no separate finished surface; the structural base is the finished surface.

The shower floor is new, being installed less than three months ago. However, hundreds of hairline cracks have developed in the surface of the pan along what appears to be predetermined patterns. These hairline cracks are visible from at least 5 feet away and extend at an approximately constant width. Some crack patterns are along the entrance threshold. Moreover, some extend diagonally from within the corners adjacent to the threshold towards the drain opening. The remaining cracks are located about half way between the drain and the threshold edge in a 3/4" width line that is parallel to the threshold for a distance of about 12 inches. More cracks are being added to the crack pattern over time.

The subcontractor who installed the shower pan looked at the pan yesterday. He took a scouring pad and scrubbed on the cracks. He said that the cracks are only in the surface of the floor and recommended that nothing be done to the pan. He said that the warranty only covered structural damages such as leaks. The shower floor does not leak.

In a phone call to the builder later that day, the builder said that the representative agreed to apply a coated surface finish to shower floor.

Some questions:

1. Is the shower floor defective?

2. If the shower floor isn't defective, did the cracks result from improper installation?

3. The pan does not have a coating on it now. Is apply a coated surface finish to shower floor an industry standard fix to the above problem? If so, what is the coating that they he is referring to? If not,

3a. Is the subcontractor who installed the shower pan required to replace the pan? The pan already looks 10 years old.
3b. Since the item is noted on my punch list, is the builder required to replace the pan? The builder said it will cost $3,000 to replace the shower floor. (The showe floor is about $100).

If possible, please explain what is going on with my shower floor and what I may be entitled to under the above circumstances.

Thanks. Vince

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