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Thread: Showers

  1. #1
    Robin Alexander's Avatar
    Robin Alexander Guest

    Default Showers

    I was made very ill (and still am) from a badly built shower. I have mycotoxin illness from probably a decade of exposure to stachy and other mold toxins producers that grew in the kneewall of my shower. I have several genetic impairments that lead to inabilty to normally detox mold toxins or any biotoxin.

    The kneewall was partially constructed of drywall and the tile laid directly on that. This was the ledge part of the kneewall. I am still sick and it could take years to clear my body of the mycotoxins, so I have to be very careful. This from a kneewall in a shower.

    Our house was remediated but I cannot tolerate the woods where it is located in (over 100 acres) due to damage to my sinuses as well. So we have to relocate. Thus I am here asking questions and appreciate your time and responses. I have been gleaning information on several tile boards but want to ask you all as well.

    I am getting from the tile folks that concrete backer board if not standard or required in many places, is the way to go. Densheild is an option but that scares me a bit (and I am paranoid at this point) because water could potentially leak through seams and screw holes if not properly sealed and thats gysum between the fiberglass.

    I am understanding that some of the tile experts prefer redguard moisture barrier painted on the concrete board as opposed to plastic or tar paper behind the board. A local builder (national company) is using backer board with no moisture barrier, and I have heard others say this is the way to go. I dont get that because you have wood studs back there and drywall not too far from the backer board which will get damp if not wet?

    Do you have any thoughts on those three options, 4 including the denshield?

    I also have questions regarding the exterior wall. If using redguard on the surface of the backer board (and those folks say do not add a barrier behind the backer board because this will create a sandwich effect, which I dont understand if the redguard is doing what it is supposed to do.. there will be no moisture to lock in) then how to address the exterior wall with insulation or should you? If the insulation is needed, and I am not sure why it is, then it would need to have its own vapor barrier in case the redguard fails??

    Honestly, if we are able to have a house built, I am very much considering a shower enclosure so I don't have to worry about any water-moisture damage. (if this is truly the case with enclosures) Before my illness I was able to work out 3-5 times a week, and now (and for years now) my muscles cannot respirate and recover well enough to clean my own house, walk down the road, not live half my life on the sofa laying down, without feeling like lead weights that don't recover for days. More exposure will only make recovery longer or impossible.

    I am obviously new at this and appreciate your patience. I will be posting a few more questions.

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    Last edited by Robin Alexander; 12-19-2011 at 01:33 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    West Chester PA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Showers

    Forget the tile and go with a fiberglass enclosure....

    KOHLER: Bathroom: Shower Modules and Receptors: Why KOHLER: Planning

    Ventilation is also important to control humidity.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Showers

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hagarty View Post
    Forget the tile and go with a fiberglass enclosure....

    KOHLER: Bathroom: Shower Modules and Receptors: Why KOHLER: Planning

    Ventilation is also important to control humidity.
    I agree with Joe....

    With tile you will always have the possibility of water seepage so why even go down that path with your prior history and your current condition. Heck, it is just a shower and not your living room.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Showers

    There are several options that eliminate the tile in a shower, and thereby reducing the chance of moisture migrating into the wall cavities..

    Also, look into solid surface (like Corian, Swanstone, etc.) You may have seen those products in some hotels.

    Transolid® : Solid Surface Shower Walls, Shower Pans, Custom Shower Pans

    Swanstone Products


  5. #5
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Showers

    Either build the shower with non porous surround walls as suggested by the other folks here or build a bath tub with no shower head and take baths instead of showers. In your situation, the bath tub is the most certain approach.


  6. #6
    Robin Alexander's Avatar
    Robin Alexander Guest

    Default Re: Showers

    Thank you all for responding. How do I find a good home inspector in my area? I'm sorry to say the home inspector missed the tile over drywall (realizing inspectors cannot be at a home during 100% of the construction). I feel pretty certain with no moisture barrier over it in our current house and my parent's house is a nightmare. The home inspector in their town missed lack of t-traps, drywall placed on still wet cellulose insulation, improper use of glue at plumbing joints, cellulose insulation in a damp-wet crawlspace.

    Needless to say, it has been an unbelieveable shocking year for my family with my diagnosis after finally fleeing my house to come to my parents for refuge to find their house was worse than mine and only 3 years old. And one reason I am researching for myself.

    Are there any potential issues to look for with the corian-solid surface (most look as if they glue onto drywall, which makes me a little nervous) or the mail in inserts fiberglass or acrylic? I see fiberglass was mentioned and not acrylic in one response.

    In my parents house, there were two enclosures and one had a wall of badly molded insulation behind it. I am assuming that was a plumbing leak from very bad plumbing practices but want to make sure there are no other issues to make sure would be handled correctly.

    Any thoughts on densarmour to replace green board for walls in bathroom and thoughts on how to protect the OSB (most likely) under tile flooring? Would a moisture barrier between tile and floor create a moisture lock or would any moisture that goes behind tile absorb back through tile and or grout? Realizing it may be better to go with linoleum but for resale, I'm starting to be concerned since most houses in the area have tiled floors.

    Thank you all for your time and expertise.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Showers

    - Densshield, Densarmour both very good products, big fan, work well when properly installed
    - Used to install Corian shower panel systems, generally work great, corner seams and seams to shower base need to be maintained, type of shower base is important
    - Other types of panel systems also work well
    - For your situation a 1 or 2 piece fiberglass enclosure sounds like the best option; affordable and almost waterproof, seams tend to have sufficient overlap to stop any problems; most water will come from spray out onto the floor from use
    - 3+ piece fiberglass surrounds, typically garbage and leak like crazy unless very well installed
    - If you really want tile consider using a Schluter membrane system installed on top of densshield for the walls, Schluter makes membrane for both walls and floors; great product when properly installed; also make a nice shower base system
    There is no shortage of good options for your situation. The key is going to be PROPER installation. Going with panels or larger tiles reduces the amount of potential water penetration lines. Nonetheless whatever seams there are need to be periodically maintained. If you go with a shower base rather than a tub, go with a manufactured unit rather than a site poured cement unit. Wall to base seams are critical.
    It sounds like you've done more than enough product research. I would suggest concentrating on finding a good contractor. Make sure all steps of the assembly are detailed out in the proposal.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

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