Shower – repair a shower without pulling everything out


We had a new shower put in (by a contractor who was in over his head) during a remodel a few years ago. About a year ago the built-in-bench starting to collapse. When we pulled out the bench we noticed that there was no shower pan under it- eek! We need to add one.

Here's my question? Can we simply fill it in instead of starting over. Every contractor that has looked at it says that they have to pull out the existing floor (which includes the tile that I'll have a hard time replacing). I don't mind having to replace wall tile… i just want to avoid pulling out the floor.

I'm convinced that there has to be a way even if it's unconventional.

current shower situation

Best Answer

Since I can see holes in the pan that look like they were used for installation purposes - nail holes. - An absolute certainty of failure - Tear the whole shower out. Save yourself money in the long run. I have replaced showers that are only 4 or 5 years old with small penetrations in the pan which caused major water damage to structural members. If those wholes had been covered by a sealant compatible with the pan - that would be different.

There is no way you will achieve a water tite system with the wall opened up. - Remember - thinset and grout are porous materials. It is not the tile that makes a shower or tub water proof. If a surface membrane had been used you might have been able to break off a couple rows of tiles and bonded another surface membrane like Kerdi and worked your way down - doing the same to the floor. But that still is a chancy bit of work. Bite the bullet and start from scratch.