Help! leaking Shower on concrete slab

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by patchen777, May 30, 2006.

  1. patchen777

    patchen777 New Member

    May 30, 2006
    Any advice or opinion would be appreciated. I have a downstairs shower on a concrete slab that has been leaking. It is about 40 years old and completely tiled. With no access door we have cut the drywall to check the plumbing which appears to be dry and not the source of the leaks which are all around the base and have rotted out the bottom quarter round and some of the bottom studs. This all has led me to believe that there is a problem with the drain and base itself. Upon grabbing a hammer and attempting to break away the tile, it will not give easily at all and all the wall tiles appear to be on a metal type structure but I figure I can get the sledge hammer out for that :) . My husband had a cow at my attempt (he was not home nor part of my destruction) and just wants to reseal and paint the existing tile (I did get a few of the bottom tiles torn away). I want to replace the entire shower which I now think may be a little more extensive than my original thoughts. So, if this has not been to muddled, does any one have any advice? I have googled to no avail and really don't know which way to go now. Will a reseal and a paint job actually solve my leaks? Is replacing it actually as difficult as it appears it may be? I originally thought how nice a corner shower would go in but have found that the measurements will not work for the drain. :( I found a one piece with the proper measurements but no way to get it in to the bathroom.
    Thanks, Jan
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Lots of firsttimers build/replace showers to be proud of with good guidance. Check out If you look in their "Liberry" (blue bar on the user forum) and do a search, you will learn how a shower is supposed to be built so it won't leak. THen, ask questions.

    Basically, a shower that old probably should have the drain and trap replaced anyways, so breaking some concrete to get it where you want it is not a big deal - really! Lots of women and men on that website have completed their own showers...just takes time and (newly gained) knowledge. Go for it...
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  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Nov 8, 2005
    Hansville, Washington
    Go for it, indeed. If you've already got rot, you'll soon have mold, and it can't be fixed by patching. Rip out the whole thing and start fresh. Use the Kerdi system, which you can read about in the John Bridge forum.

    I came home one day about 30 years ago and found my wife standing in the middle of a huge pile of rubble, having just torn down a ceiling she was tired of. We're still married.
  5. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    I'm a diyer like you and am doing the same thing - but from scratch.

    I'm using Kerdi. Ask your questions on John Bridge. People are just as helpful as they are here.

    My only advice is do all your research first before whipping out the hammer again. Showers are intimidating and it's a big project. B4 you get yrself in deeper than you WANT, find out what yr in for. It's not hard - just time consuming.

    Also, for future reference, IMHO An SDS rotary hammer is the best thing for tile demo. It's like a mini, light jackhammer. Held on a shallow angle, it'll make short work of the tile and grout removal. Remember too that it's on a backer board that's likely screwed to the studs. You don't have to get every bit of tile off - just enough to expose all the screws so the backer can be replaced.
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005

    Can't eyeball it from here. Forty year old shower probably stand to be replaced.

    Don't know if there is a shower door or just a curtain "BUT" please note that most showers, be it in a tub or just a stall, are susceptible to water getting on the floor. Believe me when I say that 90 percent of home owners first answer is, we're very careful and we don't get water on the floor.

    You're on a slab, but if your shower were on the second floor the sealing would have shown a leak a long time ago.
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