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tutusue
March 21st, 2007, 11:15 PM
My 20 year old, small, ceramic tiled shower is showing it's age. I've caulked the grout one too many times and now the shower is leaking again. The bathroom will be completely remodeled this year so I don't want to demo the shower now which is what one plumber suggested. Is there an industrial strength water proofing solution that can be "painted" on the floor of the shower and part way up the walls? I'm not thinking of a grout sealer. I don't care what it looks like.

Or do any of you know someone who provides this service and, most important, will update their passport, visa and shots and drive to Makaha? :D I cannot use the shower until I correct the problem. I called several plumbers last week. Only one returned my call. Some didn't know what I was talking about and others are afraid of shots!

All suggestions are welcome! Beeeeg mahalos!

Glen Miyashiro
March 21st, 2007, 11:20 PM
Sue, if you truly don't care how it looks, then you might try an emergency roof patching cement like Henry 208. The stuff works great at sealing roof leaks -- but I don't know if it would dry well enough that you could stand on it without your feet getting stained.

Or what about a silicone sealant, the kind they use to seal the edges of glass aquariums? That might work better.

DiverDown808
March 21st, 2007, 11:52 PM
I'd try some Marine Grade 5200 Fast Cure caulk. You can buy the little tubes, or the industrial sized standard caulking tubes. Home Depot carries it, along with West Marine and such.

If you posted a pic of the trouble spot, I could help you more. If it's just a matter of squirting the 5200 in the leak area, smoothing out with a finger, and letting it dry, then it should be ok.

DD

Pomai
March 22nd, 2007, 12:27 AM
There's two paint products that come to mind...

First there's Latex Base DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofer (http://www.ugl.com/drylokMasonry/masonryWaterproofer/latex.php)
is a low odor, water clean-up formula for waterproofing all interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, cinder and concrete blocks, stucco, brick, retaining walls, basements, concrete swimming pools and foundation. No pre-mixing or pre-wetting necessary.

As you can see, this product is intended for masonry surfaces, which are mostly porous, unlike non-porous glazed ceramic tile surfaces in a bath enclosure. You may be able to make it adhere by "etching" the surface with muriatic acid, available at any hardware store, just as you should be able to find this UGL waterproofing product. What's good is that it has an appealing satin sheen, white painted finish to it. I've seen samples of it in the hardware store. Price is about $20/gallon. Not sure if you can get it in quarts, which is actually all you'd need. For the price and ease of application, I'd really look into this product.

Then there's those 2-part epoxy Tub & Tile refinishing kits (http://www.homaxproducts.com/products/kitchenbath/08/index.html). This product is intended more to cosmetically refinish your ceramic tile tub enclosure than to water seal it, but it does have some of those properties due to its nature as a glossy epoxy-based paint coating. The drawback is that it has strong fumes (you need to wear a respirator mask) and take several days to fully cure. There are companies who spray this stuff on professionally, which look great, but that's not what you're after. You need a cheap-yet-effective temporary fix.

Glen's recommendation of Henry's 208 would certainly seal the leak, but it would also leave black tar stains on your feet and would look quite unsightly, plus it would have that horrid tar smell.

I'll do more research tomorrow when I go into work. ;)

Glen Miyashiro
March 22nd, 2007, 12:36 AM
Ha! My strategy to help Sue out is working. Throw out an unacceptable suggestion, and wait for everyone else to chime in with clearly better ideas. Thanks guys. :D

craigwatanabe
March 22nd, 2007, 02:04 AM
At Home Depot we sell pool paint. It's a paint used to seal cement pools. Easy to go on and it works.

Pomai
March 22nd, 2007, 07:11 AM
At Home Depot we sell pool paint. It's a paint used to seal cement pools. Easy to go on and it works.The UGL Drylok Water Sealer I suggested can also be used as a pool paint, which is why I originally bolded that point; to highlight its below-waterline application.

Tutu, whichever product you choose to "paint over" the ceramic tile, you'll need to etch the surface (make it porous) first in order to provide "grab" for the topcoat. Muriatic acid is one, but that product is quite dangerous (very corrosive) to use. There's other etching products out on the market now that are safer. Still, always use gloves and follow safety precautions on the label when handling these type of chemicals.

Where exactly do you think the leak is happening? The most likely area would be around the drain assembly. Where is the water going? Is it seeping through a crack or structural seam to floors below you?

tutusue
March 22nd, 2007, 09:28 PM
Wow! Thanks, everyone! It really appears it's something I can't do myself but I'm going to print out all of your suggestions, hele on over to Home Depot or Lowe's and see how best I can resolve this problem. You guys are da bestest! :)

tutusue
March 22nd, 2007, 09:36 PM
[...]Where exactly do you think the leak is happening? The most likely area would be around the drain assembly. Where is the water going? Is it seeping through a crack or structural seam to floors below you?
I think it's a grout issue. The water is seeping out and under the concrete tile flooring. Fortunately the sub-floor is concrete AND there's no unit below me. The concrete tiles are absorbing the water like a blotter so I can see the water marks. It's done that a couple of times before and I've caulked the grout on the shower floor and up the sides, a coupla tiles high (4" square tiles). That temporarily solves the problem but now the leak is more intense so I think I need to upgrade to something more "industrial strength". I wish I was ready to remodel but I'm not.

blueyecicle
March 22nd, 2007, 09:49 PM
LIQUID NAILS! Sealed our shower walls water tight. Looked like crap but worked like magic until we remodeled last week.

tutusue
March 22nd, 2007, 09:57 PM
Liquid Nails? Really? Woulda never thought of that! Does ceramic tile need to be etched first?

Pomai
March 23rd, 2007, 06:02 AM
Why is the system double posting? I know, it's my fault. lol

Pomai
March 23rd, 2007, 06:02 AM
I think it's a grout issue. The water is seeping out and under the concrete tile flooring. Fortunately the sub-floor is concrete AND there's no unit below me. The concrete tiles are absorbing the water like a blotter so I can see the water marks. It's done that a couple of times before and I've caulked the grout on the shower floor and up the sides, a coupla tiles high (4" square tiles). That temporarily solves the problem but now the leak is more intense so I think I need to upgrade to something more "industrial strength". I wish I was ready to remodel but I'm not.Instead of caulking, which should be working to seal it, you can also, with a grout scraper and lots of elbow grease, dig out the old grout and regrout it. Home Depot sells a ready-mixed grout (http://www.trafficmasterstainproofgrout.com/index.php?customernumber=978885809489296&pr=Home_Page) in a tub. All you need is that, a quality grout removal hand tool (http://www.groutgetter.com/groutguide/tile-001.shtml), a bucket of water, grout float and a sponge to wipe the excess off the surface of the tile.

The ready-mixed grout already comes premixed with a 3M Scotchgard sealer, so no need do nothing after. I've used the sanded version for the ceramic tile on my bathroom floors. Good stuff. As advertised, it's easy to apply and float off, water repellent and stain resistant.

Good to hear the subfloor is concrete, with nobody beneath you. It would be a nightmare if it were wood and rotting.

blueyecicle
March 23rd, 2007, 06:21 AM
Liquid Nails? Really? Woulda never thought of that! Does ceramic tile need to be etched first?

I did not etch mine. It worked fine.
I feel like it is a hillbilly fix LOL But it was efficent

tutusue
March 23rd, 2007, 08:38 AM
Instead of caulking, which should be working to seal it, you can also, with a grout scraper and lots of elbow grease, dig out the old grout and regrout it.[...]
Thanks, Pomai. I wish it was a DIY project for me but I'm physically not able to invest any elbow grease so I'm looking for the simplest (and, hopefully, least expensive) solution. Not to mention I'm hyper-sensitive to chemical odors! Whatever method I use will more than likely have to be done by someone else. It's a tiny shower...32"x32"!!! That, alone, prevents me from over indulging in ice cream, tiramisu, chocolate cake...and all the other foods I love!!! :D

Pomai
March 23rd, 2007, 10:45 AM
Thanks, Pomai. I wish it was a DIY project for me but I'm physically not able to invest any elbow grease so I'm looking for the simplest (and, hopefully, least expensive) solution. Not to mention I'm hyper-sensitive to chemical odors! Whatever method I use will more than likely have to be done by someone else. It's a tiny shower...32"x32"!!! That, alone, prevents me from over indulging in ice cream, tiramisu, chocolate cake...and all the other foods I love!!! :DI guess you'll be staying out of the sausage thread than. lol

Sue, I'm having a busy Friday, so I'll arrange with you sometime early next week to pick up the "wooden guests".

In the mean time, why don't you take out that digicam of yours and snap some shots of them sunbathing on Makaha beach!

:)

tutusue
March 23rd, 2007, 01:41 PM
I guess you'll be staying out of the sausage thread than. lol
Uh huh!

Sue, I'm having a busy Friday, so I'll arrange with you sometime early next week to pick up the "wooden guests".
Ok!

In the mean time, why don't you take out that digicam of yours and snap some shots of them sunbathing on Makaha beach!
I'm in town working so I don't know if our "friends" will make it back out to Makaha. Probably not!

cezanne
March 23rd, 2007, 08:53 PM
I think it would be easier to regrout than to caulk... also you will get better results.

tutusue
March 23rd, 2007, 09:41 PM
I think it would be easier to regrout than to caulk... also you will get better results.
Regrouting is probably the best, not to mention the most aesthetically pleasing, way to go. However, I'm looking for a wham-bam-thank-you-maam quickie that'll tie me over for the next 8-12 months! I don't even care what he...I mean it...looks like. Well, you know what I mean...
:D

Composite 2992
March 23rd, 2007, 10:36 PM
Using 3M 5200 caulk/adhesive is a good idea. Real easy to apply and it will definitely stick. It's a bit tougher than silicone and is the preferred sealant for marine applications. Use a plastic squeegee to apply it. Don't worry about it getting smeared onto the floor as it would probably create a non-slip surface.

It cures very slowly. Allow two days for it to cure completely.

Another option is a low-viscocity epoxy resin.

There's something called "West Systems Epoxy". A quart will be more than enough.

Make sure the shower stall is really dry. Leave a fan in there or similar to thoroughly air it out overnight before starting this.

And wear nitrile gloves while working with this stuff. Or at least put on a pair of latex gloves. You don't want to touch epoxy if you can avoid it.

Mix it in a plastic cup with a tounge depressor or similar stirring stick. It cures very slowly so take your time mixing it thoroughly.

With a cheap paintbrush, work it into the gaps between the tiles. It should soak into any cracks or gaps. It's the consistency of paint so it won't go in as thick layers.

It'll take a few hours to set so you'll have to wait a bit if you want to mix up a second batch and put in a second coat. It should be pretty hard the next morning.

It's not going to look all that great but it'll hold up well enough as a temporary patch. This epoxy can be pretty tough, too. I did some fiberglass repairs on my boat with it and some people who build their own airplanes also use this for certain components.

You can get it at Kilgo's and West Marine. Both are on Sand Island Road.

Epoxy resin has a good shelf life, too. So if you have a bunch of it leftover it'll probably come in handy somewhere down the line. Don't feel like you'll get stuck with it...