How to repare hole in 1920s shower

Hi there,
I have a late 1920s shower that sprung a leak in the wall from the shower controls. I'd like to redo the bathroom completely in the future, but not just now. So my goal is to repair that hole that the plumber made to fix the pipes and install a new shower control, diverter, head, and tub filler.
The problem is, because it's so old, the wall is made of concrete and wire mesh, and I'm not sure exactly what approach to take in fixing it. The goal isn't to make it perfect (that would be impossible because I can't find tile to exactly match the originals), but to have it be useable until we rebuild completely. I'm fairly handy, so I think I should be able to handle this, once I have an approach and a plan.
I find pictures to be the most descriptive, so, <a href="http://holeinmyshower.blogspot.com /" target="blogspot">take a look</a> and let me know what you think. (If the link doesn't work,you can just go to http://holeinmyshower.blogspot.com
I appreciate your thoughts.
Regards, Philip
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snipped-for-privacy@wachtel.us wrote:

I've got a 1930 vintage bath that needs similar work but I'm going to be redoing the entire shower stall.
I cannot see in the photo but I'm assuming there was tar paper over the studs just beneath the tile base.
Depending on how "temporary" the repair will dictate the method.
The bottom line is you want to protect the framing from water intrusion to prevent dry rot. My shower stall had a cracked shower pan & the leaking water (before I bought the house) set up the conditions for dry rot that consume most of the shower stall framing.
That said I would try to slide a water proofing membrane behind the existing tile, install wire & reapply concrete substrate for the tile. (or use cement backer board over membrane) Then set tile over it all.
OR
It might be easier & cleaner to break back ALL of the tile / concrete on that wall so you just have to deal with the "corners". Install water proofing membrane over the studs & then cement backer board. Set the tile over it.
I'm not sure how to deal with the wall / pan joint but the fact that the shower output is on this wall means that the wall, corners & pan joint will only be subject to splash not a huge heavy stream that an opposite wall would see.
cheers Bob
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You have a mess, I worked on mine but from the rear wall so tile would remain intact. If you can find the exact color repair it.
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snipped-for-privacy@wachtel.us wrote:

Took a second look at the photos...........the fact that its a tub, IMO the tub / wall joint is somehwat less critical than in shower stall situation.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

bathroom properly. I'd drive around the local big-boxes, and look in their discount aisles for a scratch'n'dent or obsolete-store-display shower enclosure kit, and after adding suitable blocking to the gaping hole, glue it up. That will give a usable, albeit ugly, shower, that should last a couple years till he can afford to do it right.
aem sends...
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ameijers wrote:

I assumed there is a SO in the picture & the repair had to pass the "not ugly" test. :)
but maybe I'm wrong.
cheers Bob
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Hi all, and thanks for your responses.
Bob, right you are about the SO! I think I'm going to try to patch it up with tiles we got that are pretty close the the existing ones. The only issue I have that I'm not sure what to do about is that there is no existing membrane. Would you recommend I put in my own? If yes, then what am I attaching it to to make sure it's sealed sufficiently?
Again, thanks! Philip
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snipped-for-privacy@wachtel.us wrote:

Philip-
Now that a por has weighed in, I would defer to his judgement
Looks like he suggests the entire wall be removed & replaced.
cheers Bob
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Ameijers makes a good point, if you are sure you want to tear out and re-do the whole tiled area in the future.
Another similar suggestion would be to get "tileboard" they sell at the box store. This is a hard, thin board that has a waterproof surface which has a color and texture print of "tile" embossed on it. You could glue this to the remaining portion of the tile butcher job and it would look somewhat OK for a couple of years.
I would support the "tileboard" with something, as it isn't very strong and you don't have much support behind there as it stands. Maybe you could fasten a board to that center stud so the surface of the stud equals the surface plane of the surrounding tile, so the tileboard is supported down the middle.
This isn't what I'd do myself, but may do for a temporary repair by a homeowner.
thetiler
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This is why I insist my customers call me FIRST so I can professionally cut out a clean hole with a diamond saw, so a reasonable repair can be made. In my experience of hundreds of similar tile repairs done after plumbers, I no longer will mess with working after them. They are hackers and are generally good at beating the crap out of the tilework. In your picture it's clear they removed at least _twice_ as much wall, maybe three times as much wall needed to do a simple pipe job.
You need to use a grinder with a diamond blade and cleanly remove the rest of that wall. Replacing the whole single wall, in my opinion, will be much easier than trying to fix that butcher job.
Cut out the remaining tile on that wall- cleanly, then you can install cementboard. You can fasten the correct thickness of wood strips over the studs to bring out the cementboard to the original thickness of the old mud-wall, to make it even with the surrounding walls. Since you want to do a temp job, you can find a similar wall tile.
Another argument to re-doing the whole valve wall is that it will look like a reasonably decent shower if you have the two existing walls finished in the original tile, and the new complete wall finished in a reasonable matching tile. It never looks right to try to match a portion of a wall.
Good luck......the plumber really screwed you there. He should trade in his sledge hammer for a more modern tool......a diamond saw......
thetiler
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Ok, so, after reading everyone's suggestions and then talking to the SO, I've decided to cover it up as cheaply (with tileboard, mabey) as possible until the summer, when we'll just redo the whole bathroom, which we were going to do anyway.
I've learned a couple of things from all of this: 1. Make sure the plumber isn't a butcher. 2. What the inside of my wall looks like. 3. That I'm not as handy as I thought I was!
Thanks everyone. I do appreciate all of your input.
Regards, Philip
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