If you’ve recently moved, renovated, built a house, or are dealing with new problems in an old one, you may have the issue of standing water in your shower. It’s a common but frustrating problem, and in some cases, it can turn into a serious issue if not dealt with in a timely manner.
Here are a few steps you can take to solve the problem of a low spot on your shower floor:
- Fill in the shower base with cement.
- Chisel out the surrounding tile.
- Replace the shower base.
- Add another layer of flooring.
- Squeegee and live with it.
Not all floor dents will be created equal; it’s important to assess whether the issue is more of an annoyance or something that, if left untreated, will eventually require you to refloor the whole bathroom.
In this article, we’ll go through the steps listed in detail.
1. Fill In the Shower Base With Cement
If you’ve determined the shower base is the issue, you can try to fill the spot with a cement floor leveler, then seal it with something waterproof.
If you can, correct the slope by grinding down the surrounding surface.
2. Chisel out the Surrounding Tile
Carefully remove the tiles in and around the low spot. If you have thinset bedding compound in the region, remove as much as you can from the area as well.
Use a small chisel such as the GREBSTK Chisel Tool Set (available on Amazon.com) which is sturdy and rust-resistant or a grinder to avoid damage to the surrounding tiles.
Thinset is an adhesive made of fine sand, cement, and a water-retaining agent. It’s commonly used to tile showers.
Mastic (also known as general ceramic tile adhesive) is a tiling adhesive that many people will be tempted to pick due to its sticky nature and the subsequent ease of placing tiles.
However, mastic isn’t meant for high-moisture areas as it can retain mold. It can also reliquefy if wet enough.
Reapply the bedding compound and reset the tiles. Be sure they’re sloped downwards toward your drain.
3. Replace the Shower Base
If your shower floor is tiled, replacing the entire shower base is the best option. If you have the means, a professional would be ideal in this situation.
If hiring a professional isn’t an option, you can follow the steps below:
- Remove all tiles and the wet bed underneath. Wet beds are used to re-level uneven ground. A wet bed is made of a material similar to concrete but not as strong as it doesn’t contain gravel.
- Determine if a waterproof membrane was used. If so, remove this as well.
- Retile the entire area. It’s imperative that a level such as the easy-to-read Amazon Basics Level (available on Amazon.com) is used. Different leveling methods (such as using a straight-edged device) in a small area can be misleading up close. A level will show any slight discordance.
- Retile the entire shower floor.
- Seal the new tiles with grout and a quality waterproof sealant.
- Do a water test
A water test (also known as a flood test) is when you fill your shower with water and plug the drain.
If the water remains for up to 72 hours, you’re free from leaks and can safely add tile.
4. Add Another Layer of Flooring
To angle the slope in your shower floor without ripping out the entire base, add another layer of material.
However, this is only an option in specific cases. It’s dependent on the type of constituents used on the original floor.
If deemed safe, angle the new layer of flooring towards the drain.
5. Squeegee and Live With It
If the amount of water pooling is small and you have good ventilation in the bathroom, use a squeegee, a mop, or even your foot, to sweep away excess water toward the drain.
If you choose this method, your shower floor must be sealed with a proper ready-mix sealant such as the USG DUROCK Liquid Waterproofing Membrane (available on Amazon.com). Choose a silicone-based sealant over caulk.
Caulk and sealant are often referred to interchangeably, but in most cases, caulk is made from latex and acrylic materials, making it prone to shrinkage under heavy water exposure.
Read Also: Do You Use Caulk After Or Before Painting?
Be diligent about checking for grout build-up or mold.
If you notice any squelching sounds or the floor seems springy or damp to the touch, you’ll probably need to rip out the entire base.
To Sum It Up
If you notice that a low spot in your shower floor is collecting water and creating drainage issues, assessing the situation is critical.
If there’s excess grout build-up or mould, the fix may be having to replace the whole shower floor.
In many cases, adding cement, retiling the shower pan, or fixing the specific ceramic tiles using a chisel will be a solid solution.
If you’re unsure of whether you can complete the job and the situation seems dire, hiring a professional will almost certainly save you money in the long run.
Cheers, tools owners!
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