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Repair Cracked Floor Tile Near a Shower Stall

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Debbie in New Jersey listens to The Money Pit on WABC. And what can team Money Pit do for you today?

    DEBBIE: Hi. Yes, we had a corner shower installed. The installer installed the shower and we started to use the shower and the stall shower started to separate from the tile floor and started cracking (inaudible) the tile floor. And it also started to drip behind – underneath; I guess it was underneath the tile out of the shower area. But the question was mostly about the floor cracking away from the bottom of the stall shower.

    LESLIE: Have you stopped the leaking or no?

    DEBBIE: No, it was – no, it’s still leaking. We don’t use it.

    TOM: What kind of stall shower did you put in, Debbie? Did you start with a shower pan then assemble the walls on top of it?

    DEBBIE: No, it was a free – it was a …

    TOM: Like a one piece?

    DEBBIE: They tore everything out and I guess they didn’t know what they were doing and installed a free – I guess one of those plastic fiberglass things.

    TOM: And so the cracking is between the shower and whatever surrounds it?

    DEBBIE: Correct.

    TOM: Well, that’s actually not unusual. And what you need to do is you need to caulk that area. And we would recommend a kitchen and bath caulk because it has a mildicide in it. You want to clean out all of the space. Sometimes they try to grout these in and grout does not expand and contract; it cracks. And you’re always going to have some movement in something that’s as flexible as that. So you’re going to want to caulk it with a kitchen and bath caulk …

    LESLIE: First, before you caulk it, you want to spray some bleach and water solution in there in case any mold or mildew has started to grow. And it might because if you’ve got some leaking back there it could be really like latching onto things. So spray some bleach and water in there and then let it dry really well and that’ll kill any mold spores that are growing.

    TOM: And then use a kitchen and bath caulk or a silicone caulk and caulk the area. Don’t regrout it because it’s not going to last.

    DEBBIE: OK, yeah. The grout – you’re right. The grout did crack and pull away.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s unfortunate but it’s so easy when they’re doing all of this work just to continue with the grouting.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: But it never works well in the corners because you’re always going to have differential expansion and contraction in there. So those cracks are not the least bit unusual. They’re just not designed to be filled with grout. You have to fill them with caulk.

    DEBBIE: We’ll give it a try. Thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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