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Install & Replace

Help..basement shower drain leaking?

I am kind of new to the do-it-yourself repairs, so I am quite inexperienced to the functions of a shower drain in cement. Please don't hold it against me if any of my questions seem naive.


I have a stand up corner shower in my basement bathroom and the drain appears to be leaking. I have resealed all the seams in hopes that may have been the issue..but I was wrong. Every time the shower is used (which is not often because of the leak), a large puddle flows into the adjoining hall and furnace room (seeps under walls). I am thankful that there is a large enough gap between the sheetrock and cement flooring to prevent moisture on the sheetrock but I am still worried if this water is damaging other parts of the adjoining bathroom walls. I have only been in my home for two years and it was leaking the first day I used it. It also appears that the previous owners knew of this leak because the drain in the shower has been recaulked (several times by the looks) yet it is still kind of crooked too. Another note: when standing in the shower, the base does not seem solid (plastic sinks a little under weight of foot). Is this normal?


I need help on deciding what to do about this problem. I would eventually like a tub/shower combo put in its place but how do I determine if the issue is the current shower base or if it is the drain (which goes directly into the cement) itself? If it sounds like I must replace the shower, what steps must I do to make sure I find a tub/shower that would work properly with the current drain that goes into the cement? Any advice or comments are welcomed, I would love to fix this problem before it gets worse. Thank you in advance.

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Posted 2011-02-07T18:40:06+0000  by Deven01 Deven01

Being that i work as a  Pro Desk associate i shouldn’t probably say this but NO I did not know that you can order collated cement board screws from Senco.:smileyindifferent:

I have to look in to it, that would make my job way easier when working on large floor surfaces ,especial with that extension that they have available for Senco guns.

I've used my 14.4 Senco for drywall installation and i prefer Hilti over it.

Now my Senco it's sitting in the garage barely used.


I know some guys use roofing nails for CBU, what are your thoughts on that?

Posted 2011-02-22T21:34:30+0000  by George_HD_CHI

Roofing nails?  Each piece of cement board I hang on a wall starts with 2 of them to hold it up, then I screw it in with cement board screws.


I've never seen a squeeky floor that was screwed down, nails work loose.  :smileyhappy: 


Nobody wants cracked tile and grout and when you read the instructions and it says put it down with 1-1/2" roofing nails conforming to FF-N105B/Type 2 Style 20  why shouldn't you think a bok or tub of electroplated roffers is A-O-K?  Really, though, smooth shanked electroplated are no good, and they call for in the standard cited is the hot dipped ones with course coating that won't pull back out as easy and will resist the thinset alkalinity better.  I have seen rust stains in grout from the electroplated nails since the coating isn't that thick and tends to be incosnsistant.


Those screws might be under the Tyrex brand name now.  I think the companies merged.  I'll look for some old paperwork for the sku info.

Posted 2011-02-22T22:48:34+0000  by brianstile

Hey brianstile, I've got to agree with you on this one!

I don't even use nails to hang drywall, even though the ring shank ones hold pretty well without popping.


At my store, we sell Rock-on and Backer-on screws to secure tile underlayment.  I have never had anyone ask me about roofing nails for this application.

Thanks for the info.



Posted 2011-02-22T23:00:09+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Thank you Brian and George for the detailed help with this! I greatly appreciate and will take all the advice and guidance I can get. I am now in the process of putting your advice to work. I just took down all the drywall and have obtained the wood needed for the threshold and the small wall extension I must do. I would love advice on a built-in shampoo caddy, Brian, if you are still willing to guide me on how to do this? Thank you again George and Brian, I know when it is all said and done, my custom shower (and bath remodel) will look amazing!

Posted 2011-02-24T22:25:04+0000  by Deven01

"I would love advice on a built-in shampoo caddy, Brian, if you are still willing to guide me on how to do this?"


I'd be happy to Deven.  Basicly, you frame out a box between two studs by installing top and bottom blocking.  When you install the moisture barrier on the walls, you cut it out where it goes over the box.  Put up your cement board on the walls, cuttting out for the niche.  Cut and set a piece of cement board in the back of the niche.  Usually it's just backing against the sheetrock from the wall on the oppostite side.  You don't need to attach it to anything, but if you want, you can use double sided tape, adhesive caulk or construction adhesive.  Using nothing works just fine, too.  Cut cement board strips to attatch to the sides of the niche.  They'll hold the cement board agains the back so that's why you don't really need anything behind that piece.


Tape and thinset your corners.  Once that sets up overnight, you are ready to waterproof it.  Since there's no way to get an unbroken and unpenetrated moisture barrier behind a niche, you need to use surface waterproofing.  Ask the flooring associate in your local Home Depot for a 1 gallon bucket of Redgard waterproofing membrane.  Paint the inside of the niche and the wall surface for 6-8" surrounding the niche with the Redgard.  Use 2 coats and pay attention to the corners as you do it. 


The Redgard goes on bright pink and dries a deep red when it's ready for the second coat or to be tiled using modifed thinset.


That's all there is to it. :smileyhappy:

Posted 2011-02-25T22:52:03+0000  by brianstile
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