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.
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.
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.
OP wanted a quick fix to tide him over until he can gut and redo the
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.
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?
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.
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
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......
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.
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