After 40 years as a tile installer who specializes in shower pan repair, replacement and installation, I sometimes think to myself that I pretty much have seen it all. But, every now and again I do come across a behemoth of a shower pan project where I say to myself "What in the world were they thinking"?
However in this particular example I do applaud their creative effort despite the failure of the most basic aspect of a shower install. "To hold and drain water" I broke through 8 inches of solid concrete to finally get to the point of inspecting the p-trap of the shower drain so that I would be able to install the new Schluter-Kerdi shower drain.
It did impress me that the design of the shower pan hid the view of the shower drain. But the fact of the matter is, they would have been better served by purchasing a shower line drain that could be tiled over and hence be invisible in the same fashion.
Perhaps this was a cost cutting effort by a creative DIYer to achieve a custom shower install at a minimum price.
Just by looking at the tile that was installed it dates the installation time frame.
Do you remember when travertine tile was all the rage? At one time the hottest selling tile in the U.S. if not the world.
Of course now that position has been taken over by porcelain and ceramic tile for world dominance in sales.
There was 4 inches of concrete that I had to break out to expose the drain pipe you see in the picture above. I had to break through another 4 inches of concrete to finally reveal the shower drain p-trap so that I would be able to attach the new Schluter shower drain.
Despite 8 inches of solid concrete that took me 2 days to break out this shower pan leaked water like Niagara Falls.
Not a good thing for the unsuspecting home buyers who wanted to take a shower for the first time in their newly purchased home. Too bad that the home inspection did not pick up on that.
It was very evident that this shower had not been used in years. Judging on how dry the concrete and dirt was when I opened the shower pan up.
To Bad all of the creative effort and expense that went into this shower installation the installer FAILED at the most basic function of a shower, to contain water and drain it!
Once I was down to the trap I was able to dry fit the new shower drain on.
So begins the process of putting this shower pan of pain together again. Often I find that when I come across a shower pan project like this one, most homeowners opt to just update the entire shower with the knowledge that the new shower stall will not leak and at the same time have an updated shower they can enjoy.
I install cement tile backer board on the walls and cement pour a new shower pan along with a concrete poured shower curb. Once the cement has had a chance to fully cure the next step in getting the shower pan functioning again can proceed. Stick with me for the final chapter of "A SHOWER PAN OF PAIN".