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Water collecting under shower base tiles

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  1. #1
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    Default Water collecting under shower base tiles

    Hi All,
    I originally posted this in Waterproofing but didnít get a reply. I need an answer on this fairly urgently, so Iím reposting it here. I hope thatís not against Forum rules.

    Background
    12 year old shower built as follows:
    ∑ 15mm Hardipanel compressed concrete sheet floor, then
    ∑ Puddle flange, then
    ∑ Cement screed, then
    ∑ Latex waterproofing compound to whole enclosure, then
    ∑ Tiles

    I did all of the work except the tiling and grouting.

    I recently found water damage to the MDF architrave at the bathroom door (approx 1.5m from shower). I checked under the floor and found no evidence of water a leak except immediately below damaged architrave. So I assume the waterproofing membrane is good and water is getting under the shower hob tiles and running under the floor tiles to the doorway.

    Rectification
    I have removed the 10mm frameless shower screen and removed all silicone from shower.
    I have removed the grout from the shower walls and base.

    Problem
    The shower hasnít been used for a week. However, the inner section of the base grout is damp, with water coming through in places (marked in red in picture).

    I think the tiler has glued the PVC puddle flange adaptor into the shower floor without leaving any gaps for the water to drain through. I think this is causing water to backup against the sides of the adaptor and causing the area under the tiles to remain permanently wet.

    Questions
    *Is the water under the tiles a problem?

    *Should I remove the puddle flange adaptor and re-glue it, leaving gaps in the glue for the water to drain through? Can I do this without damaging the waterproofing?

    Appreciate any help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hebel-hob.jpg   waterproofing-shower.jpg  

  2. #2
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    More pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails water-damage.jpg   shower-base-wet-spots.jpg  

  3. #3
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    The forum won't allow me to post more than two pictures at a time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails waste-1.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Questions
    *Is the water under the tiles a problem? - sounds like either there's not much glue under the tiles or the tiles are drummy/loose ? after a week I expect it would have dried out.


    *Should I remove the puddle flange adaptor and re-glue it, leaving gaps in the glue for the water to drain through? Can I do this without damaging the waterproofing? -
    I'm quite sure that the adapter is not meant to be glued, as in PVC glue, it gets adjusted to the correct height when the screed is done, the adaptor is meant to slide up and down inside the puddle flange, the only thing holding it in place is the screed mortar, glue & grout and none of those materials stick well to plastic so with a bit of effort it should work loose and I can't see how that would affect the waterproof membrane. After saying all that it sounds like the membrane has failed or if you're lucky the water is working its way under the tiles on the hob through a hole in the grout or silicone which would be a easy fix.

  5. #5
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    if you're lucky the water is working its way under the tiles on the hob through a hole in the grout or silicone[Q

    Most likely, considering the screen has been fixed in the middle of the hob as opposed to where it should be at the inner edge closest to the shower.
    Cover the waste and test the shower tray with approx 20mm of water.
    You should then know if the waterproofing is leaking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Most likely, considering the screen has been fixed in the middle of the hob as opposed to where it should be at the inner edge closest to the shower.
    Cover the waste and test the shower tray with approx 20mm of water.
    You should then know if the waterproofing is leaking.
    Missed that, good pickup cyclic, screen should definitely have been installed on the inside of the hob.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petervm View Post
    sounds like either there's not much glue under the tiles or the tiles are drummy/loose ?
    I was thinking the same thing. The tiles aren't drummy, but maybe the water is collecting in the notches left by the trowel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petervm View Post
    I'm quite sure that the adapter is not meant to be glued, as in PVC glue, it gets adjusted to the correct height when the screed is done, the adaptor is meant to slide up and down inside the puddle flange, the only thing holding it in place is the screed mortar, glue & grout and none of those materials stick well to plastic so with a bit of effort it should work loose and I can't see how that would affect the waterproof membrane.
    Thanks, that makes me feel more confident about the repair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petervm View Post
    After saying all that it sounds like the membrane has failed or if you're lucky the water is working its way under the tiles on the hob through a hole in the grout or silicone which would be a easy fix.
    I'm pretty confident the membrane is good. There's no sign of any moisture on the underside of the floor under the shower base. I reckon it's working its way under the hob tiles and across the floor. The silicone job was a bit dodgy between the horizontal and vertical hob tiles on the 'wet side' of the hob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post

    Most likely, considering the screen has been fixed in the middle of the hob as opposed to where it should be at the inner edge closest to the shower.
    Thanks cyclic. I dunno why the screen is in the middle of the hob. The glass panel on the left of the shower sits on the edge of the bath hob as it should. In any case, I'm stuck with it now. As I mentioned in my reply to Peter, the silicone job on the hob tiles is poor. I think the water would work its way under the hob tiles even if the screen was mounted on the inside edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Thanks cyclic. I dunno why the screen is in the middle of the hob. The glass panel on the left of the shower sits on the edge of the bath hob as it should. In any case, I'm stuck with it now. As I mentioned in my reply to Peter, the silicone job on the hob tiles is poor. I think the water would work its way under the hob tiles even if the screen was mounted on the inside edge.
    Silicone is not a waterproofing product for tiles, in fact the use of silicone causes more leaks than it stops.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Silicone is not a waterproofing product for tiles, in fact the use of silicone causes more leaks than it stops.
    Can you elaborate on this please? To clarify, I'm not talking about sealing the surface of the tiles, rather the joints at tile intersections. Silicone is specified for wall-wall and wall-floor tile joints. How would you seal this joint on the hob tiles?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hob.jpg  

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Can you elaborate on this please? To clarify, I'm not talking about sealing the surface of the tiles, rather the joints at tile intersections. Silicone is specified for wall-wall and wall-floor tile joints. How would you seal this joint on the hob tiles?
    Silicone was originally used because grout usually cracked away in shower corners/where bath meets wall, etc etc, due to movement, then everyone starting thinking it was a sealer, which is part correct but only when used behind wall board/tiles etc etc.
    Water gets through the grout above the silicone then goes behind the silicone and you get leaks where you would not have got leaks had you not used silicone at all.
    Silicone is a cosmetic covering, and should never be substituted for good waterproofing, as well as common sense building of wet areas.
    I repeat what I said above, the screen needs to be fixed over the inner edge, not on the inner edge, over the inner edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    I repeat what I said above, the screen needs to be fixed over the inner edge, not on the inner edge, over the inner edge.
    Thanks again. Do you mean resting on the hob tiles, but protruding slightly beyond the edge? It may be possible for me to move the brackets and relocate the 300 wide glass panel to the edge of the tiles. However, the 10mm door is hinged off this panel and I fear this would be putting a lot of load right on the edge of the hob tile. Do you think this would be OK?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Thanks again. Do you mean resting on the hob tiles, but protruding slightly beyond the edge? It may be possible for me to move the brackets and relocate the 300 wide glass panel to the edge of the tiles. However, the 10mm door is hinged off this panel and I fear this would be putting a lot of load right on the edge of the hob tile. Do you think this would be OK?
    Resting on the edge will do, so any water runs down inside the hob not on top of the hob.
    Looking at your pic, I would guess the water penetration to the hob may very likely be the opposite end on the hob to your red arrow, because that is where the shower head would concentrate most water.
    Have you tested the shower base for leaks as I suggested above ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Resting on the edge will do, so any water runs down inside the hob not on top of the hob.
    That makes sense, although having a look on the web at shower screens I came across quite a few mounted in the same place as mine. That doesn't mean they are doing it right, but it does ease my mind a little:

    Bathroom Shower Ideas with Glass Doors, european shower doors - valiet.org
    European Laundry Doors, european shower doors - valiet.org
    http://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/9ed14dc906...s-and-kits.jpg
    http://www.britone.com.au/our-work/g...screens-perth/

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Looking at your pic, I would guess the water penetration to the hob may very likely be the opposite end on the hob to your red arrow, because that is where the shower head would concentrate most water.
    Could be. The red arrow was just a guess. Either way, the whole length of the hob need to be sealed properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Have you tested the shower base for leaks as I suggested above ?
    No I haven't, for a couple of reasons:
    *I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Am I looking for the water level to drop, or am I looking for evidence of leakage (i.e. a wet/damp spot under the floor or at the doorway)?
    *It will flood the area under the tiles and it'll take another week to dry it out again.
    *You said to cover the waste, but how do I get a watertight seal?

    Cheers

  15. #15
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    Links to other screen installs
    (A)You are correct, 2 wrongs don't make a right.

    *I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Am I looking for the water level to drop, or am I looking for evidence of leakage
    (A) (i.e. a wet/damp spot under the floor or at the doorway)?

    *It will flood the area under the tiles and it'll take another week to dry it out again.
    (A) Do you want to fix it or have the same problem again ? Water seeps through the grout so there will always be water under the tiles.

    *You said to cover the waste, but how do I get a watertight seal?
    (A) Gladwrap/clingwrap approx 300mm x 300 mm and let the weight of water hold it down. Yes, it will run under the wrap but it holds long enough for the test.



  16. #16
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    We've got exactly this same problem for exactly the same reasons. Our tilers tried a few cheap (and nasty?) ways to fix it including sealing the grout and ripping the grout out and replacing it with a silicon/gap-filler. Nothing worked and now I'm going through an insurance claim with the QBCC. Through a number of discussions with various tradespeople, I'm of the opinion that the screen will need to come off, the top tiles taken off. A piece of aluminium angle will need to be glued down on the outer edge and then additional waterproofing laid down over it essentially creating an impenetrable dam wall. Then the top tiles go back down, this time with a deflection angle for run-off then finally an epoxy grout should be used to fill the tile gaps.

    The shower screen still has to go on the outside of the hob as patching holes in tiles is not acceptable and the shower screen of course would need to be smaller to fit the inside edge of the hob.

    Of course all that is just my speculation and I'll probably be at the mercy of the QBCC assessor when they come out to inspect.

    Cheers,

    Gavin

  17. #17
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    Default Water collecting under shower base tiles

    Hi Gavin,
    It might be worth starting a new thread with a few pics. That way you can get advice before the assessor comes out tries to pull the wool over your eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Can you elaborate on this please? To clarify, I'm not talking about sealing the surface of the tiles, rather the joints at tile intersections. Silicone is specified for wall-wall and wall-floor tile joints. How would you seal this joint on the hob tiles?
    Looking at your pic, that's a dodgy bit of grouting your tiler did, IF you're sure the waterproofing membrane is fine, I would clean any silicone residue off with a chemical to dissolve silicone such as - Selleys Silicone Sealant Remover | Selleys Australia - then fully regrout including the grout joints between the wall and floor tile & hob, then after thats dried, at least 24 hours, silicone between the wall & floor tiles over the top of the new grout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petervm View Post
    Looking at your pic, that's a dodgy bit of grouting your tiler did, ...
    Peter,
    I'm generally happy with the tiler's job, but the tiling on the inside of the hob is poor. I will go with your suggestion of grouting the joints then a bead of silicone over the top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Peter,
    I'm generally happy with the tiler's job, but the tiling on the inside of the hob is poor. I will go with your suggestion of grouting the joints then a bead of silicone over the top.
    I'm no expert but our tiler did that and the silicon hardened and cracked quite quickly. Only a hairline crack but it was more than enough to let water through again.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiRAEdd View Post
    I'm no expert but our tiler did that and the silicon hardened and cracked quite quickly. Only a hairline crack but it was more than enough to let water through again.
    May not have been silicone as silicone doesn't harden nor crack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    May not have been silicone as silicone doesn't harden nor crack.
    I probably didn't describe it very well. There's a hairline crack or rather a separation from the edge of the tile in one spot. It's only a few mm long and only just wide enough to even see but it's enough to let the water through.
    Epoxy grout seems to be the go if you're regrouting. More difficult to use apparently but totally impermeable. That's what I've been told anyway.

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