Shower Curb Issue on Concrete Slab

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Vandalay1125, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. Vandalay1125

    Vandalay1125 New Member

    Sep 7, 2020
    Tampa, FL
    Home is in FL on a concrete slab. Removed existing ceramic tile including a marble curb cover going into the shower. The concrete slab drops down into the shower pan - in other words the shower pan is below the level of the rest of the concrete slab in the house. The concrete along the edge of the curb just crumbled in spots as I was removing the tile and marble curb. I'm pretty handy, but never done a shower before. So, two questions...

    1) Can I repair this with self-leveling concrete since its next to a low spot anyway? Will it hold the edge?
    2) In all the videos I've watched, there's always waterproofing, either paint-on or shower pan liner. I see neither on the inside face of the curb dropping down into the pan. Just tile on the concrete slab. This normal? Should I be worried about the rest of the shower?

    IMG_0220.jpg IMG_0219.JPG
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    FL builds some very non compliant showers! Plumbing code requires waterproofing and that waterproofing should be sloped to the drain. FL seems to get away with recessed concrete slabs without any waterproofing, but it does not meet the national standards set by the plumbing code (FL exceptions) or the TCNA (the industry bible on how to tile things.

    Neither tile, grout, cement are waterproof, and they will tend to absorb moisture, wick it up into the wood, and, the moisture lures termites and carpenter ants along with roots.

    I cannot say how well the rest of the shower is functioning or how intact any of the wooden studwalls are fairing. They could be fine, but are more likely rotting.

    IF you can take a wire brush and clean off any loose concrete AND what's left isn't contaminated with soap, oil, conditioners, etc., that could create a bond breaker, then yes, there are products you can use to clean that up.

    Suggest you check out where they specialize in tiling things including showers. Lots of pros there.

    It looks like the grout is deteriorating in the shower, and that may just be dust from taking the floor out in the rest of the room, but it might be better to consider gutting the shower and rebuilding it to current industry standards. That way, you can check out the structure to make sure it's not damaging your home. Are there any adjacent walls you can look at carefully to check to see if there's any evidence of moisture? Maybe pull the baseboard in the next room and poke an awl into the wood to see how solid it is while looking for potential damage. Peeling paint, or discoloration may be the first symptom.
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