recessed tile shelf in shower

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by melt, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. melt

    melt New Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    We recently had a bathroom put in our basement. We had the "contractor" (not on speaking terms now as he just kind of disappeared) put in a recessed tiled shelf in the shower. We now have noticed the grout separating from the tile around the edge of the shelf. And it looks like the water is seeping down to the drywall. My question is where do we start? Since the original guy is Mia, do I call a plumber? So distraught over the whole basement anyway as we had water damage awhile ago. Looking for some advice please!
  2. Hammerlane

    Hammerlane Member

    Oct 22, 2011
    If drywall was used as the backer then that is not a proper install.

    Call a tile setter.
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  4. John28

    John28 Member

    Mar 17, 2013
    Was the niche constructed or of the tilable type? Just curious as I just recently installed my first traditional shower and niche, and had no issues, and I'm a rookie. The only seem on a tileable type is where it meets the wall, if anchored and properly sealed, it shouldn't leak. Where a construced one takes more care as all seems need sealed. Again coming from a rookie, sounds as if it was not properly anchored/supported, allowing movement in the niche where the joint is, causing seperation? And this joint should have some type of antifracture membrane, with a waterproofing applied to it? Hard to say, not knowing the the underneath construction? I used a tilable niche, which has a seem at the backerboard, properly anchored niche, filled gap with Hydroban, applied anti-fracture tape with skim of Hydroban, then applied Hydroban to all backerboard, so far no problems.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If the guy used drywall in that shower and there's only one technique that has an approved method that allows it (Schluter's Kerdi membrane shower system), your shower was not constructed properly. It's hard to predict how long it will last. People tend to think that tile is waterproof in a reality, a properly built shower is water tight before the tile is installed. The tile is a decorative and wear layer, not the waterproofing layer! Cracking grout is an indication of movement. Whatever is behind the tile has absorbed moisture and is swelling, or it was just not built strong enough, and there's movement from that (much more likely from what you've indicated that it's the former rather than the later, but it could be both).
  6. SJ-JT

    SJ-JT New Member

    Jul 3, 2013
    There is a site run by John Bridge - his name followed by .com - that may be extremely useful for you. From what I've read there jadnashua's comment above is exactly correct. (I see he's been to a Schluter workshop, too.) You can get advice on the john bridge site. How the heck one find's skillful, honest tradespeople/companies I still don't know. I've paid a lot and I've paid not so much. Have had some very satisfactory work done for decent prices and some awful work done for quite high prices.
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