Shower wall fell down


My daughter was taking a shower and part of the tile wall fell down. Underneath there is drywall and it is wet and rotted. The studs are also rotted. I plan to rip it all out replace the rotted studs, cover with moisture barrier, cement board and retile. Is there a good description / tutorial on replacing studs? I wonder why builders are allowed to construct bathrooms like this, you would think it should be against the building code.
Thanks
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You are missing a step in your situation.
1) You had tile, drywall, studs wet and rotted. 2) ???? 3) Replace the rotted studs, cover with moisture barrier, cement board and retile.
How about:
2) It was caused by.....
If you don't know #2 as to why, your number 3 will become number 1.
Hey, there's a pun there...#2...shit...you don't know shit as to why
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It was caused by improper construction techniques on the part of the home builder. Using the proper techniques that I described is the solution.
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The techniques you described is not the solution to the original problem. It is the solution to repairing the existing damage.
The original problem is:
    How did the water get behind and do damage?
The water should not get behind the tiles. What is behind the tiles is just a matter of how long it takes to do damage.
It's like a basement that is getting water in it. Patching from the undesired water side (inside) is not a solution. It's a band-aid.
Right now I am working on an tiled ceiling to floor shower that has damaged drywall, backing, etc. The water getting behind the tiles is a result of grout that was never resealed (or resealed) and got wet. It then started to fall out. It was ignored. More water got behind. More damaged occured. It was ignored more. It then failed beyond use. It takes a bit of time and a lot of ignoring to do severe damage.
Why was your shower being used if it was that close to failure? From the extent of the damage you described, there was no indication of a problem?
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re: Why was your shower being used if it was that close to failure? From the extent of the damage you described, there was no indication of a problem?
I had the exact grout problem you described when we moved into our first home. I didn't noticed anything wrong with the shower walls.
It was when I was in the backyard and saw water running down inside a basement window while my wife was showering - on the second floor! - that I knew we had a problem. It was an exterior wall and the wall opposite the shower head. The grout looked OK, and the wall seemed solid, but once I started really pushing on it, you could feel how mushy it really was behind the tile.
And no, my wife wasn't very happy when I burst into the bathroom and turned the water off!
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My builder was crooked too. Unfortunately it took years for problem to develop but replacing dry wall with cement board solved the problem. You may try going after builder as he probably violated local code. If your county, like mine, is full of crooks, you will have a tough time. Also home owners insurance may or may not cover damage - probably not.
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wrote:

My builder was crooked too. Unfortunately it took years for problem to develop but replacing dry wall with cement board solved the problem. You may try going after builder as he probably violated local code. If your county, like mine, is full of crooks, you will have a tough time. Also home owners insurance may or may not cover damage - probably not.
Sold Real Estate in Arizona and then kitchen and bath remodels. The cheaper developers used green board and then mastic to stick the tiles on. Usually lasted 7 years. Better builders used a cement board and then a cement base on top of that and then tiles. You could tell which was done by looking at the bullnose tile at edges. 1/4 inch was cheap, 3/4 inch was better. I think all grout will leak a little in time and the green board wouldn't hold up. As to insurance...water damage to be covered has to be sudden like a burst pipe. Something that goes on for some time before finding is considered a maintenance problem and not covered, usually.
Tom G.
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Frank wrote:

Current code and best practice is cement board, but there were several years after mud-bed died out where greenboard behind tile was pretty common. They had excessive faith in the then-new miracle mastics and caulks. In 1950s cookie cutters, the era of plastic bathroom tile, a skim coat of mastic was often the only real waterproofing the wall had. (Does anyone even make plastic 4x4 tile any more?)
Realistically, there is no point in going after builder. Time and lawyer money will more than eat up any award. Cuss a little, rebuild it correctly, and move on. I'd try the icepick test on the studs- unless they were real mushy, I'd just stabilize them with epoxy or something and call it good. Changing them will mean patching the wall on the other side.
-- aem sends...
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Boy what a rip. Essentially the same thing happened to me -- owners before us took out the old claw foot tub and put in a modern tub & shower - and just slapped tile right on the plaster wall. No hint of trouble until it just started crumbling. You are on the right track for how to fix it. A good reference on how to do the tile right is "Setting Tile" from Taunton Press -- very specific instructions on how to get the waterproofing right. As for a reference on replacing the studs, I don't know, I doubt you will find something on that specific issue but you never know. It is not rocket science though. What is on the other side of the wall - is it interior or exterior? Basically the studs (a) hold up the ceiling, etc. above them (which may or not be important depending on whether this is a load-bearing or non-load- bearing wall) and (b) provide something to attach the walls to. The new studs don't necessarily have to be exactly where the old ones were, except there may be a drywall seam on the other side where both ends must be supported. You could cut out the rotten parts and just replace them with new wood, attaching old to new with strips of plywood or 1X lumber on each side. It's kind of situation specific and the best course may depend on access, etc. The less banging you have to do the less chance of cracking the drywall elsewhere.
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Anybody using these 'fiberglass' tub enclosures. Wish they had been available when we originally built the house in 1970!
We replaced our 36 year old bath tub with shower head several years ago. After ongoing problems with those 'bath surround' kits, and that in the original build we had not used cement board to fasten the surrounds to! (Ok; just a word to the group's 'Word Police'; excuse the preposition at end of that sentence!).
Because ours is an interior bathroom with 24 inch door (and even at that had to remove door and door box), we had to use a 3 piece unit and assemble it within our very small bathroom. Very pleased with the result over the last three/four years. If was building new would put a one piece f.glass tube with shower near an exterior wall so that it could more easily be replaced after say 30 to 40 years.
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