Today, our contractor and the plumber who installed the plumbing in our addition spent 45 minutes running water in our shower with no luck getting it to drip in the kitchen. Frustrating for me as I sat there staring at the ceiling and trying to will water to come out. No such luck. The assessment was that if water was dripping it was a very tiny leak it and it might take several showers to get the water to come out as far as the kitchen ceiling - the plywood would absorb quite a bit before it starts puddling.
Before ripping out the floor of the shower, I suggested ripping out some drywall on the walls outside the shower just to be sure there was no other source. The next step was to rip out the floor of the shower and replace the pan and hope that was the cause. Thank goodness I suggested this.
Tonight, while I escaped the house to head to a yoga class (I am a newbie yogi - love it though!), Handy Hubby ripped out some drywall in our upstairs hall which lines up with the back of our shower.
Once Handy Hubby opened up the hole and ran the shower for a few minutes, he started seeing puddling at the bottom but couldn't figure it out until he cut a little higher to see around the seat. Bingo.
To give you an idea of what you're looking at, I labeled the picture.
Cutting the Durarock is a BIG no no. The shower seat is supposed to rest on the tiles below with the tiles above also holding it in place. Basically, a tile sandwich supported on two of the three sides. If you want to see how it should be done, check out this You Tube video. Love the music.
Anyway, if you need more proof that this is a problem, then check out the photo below which I took in the dark hallway but left the lights on in the shower. Yes, that's light coming through the wall. Where light can get through, so can water. ARGH!!
So, it looks like the area around the seat needs to be ripped out and the tile needs to be replaced and the seat correctly reinstalled after the durarock is properly patched and likely some sort of membrane is attached to be sure water never gets through again.
We even have a picture of the original Durarock in place thanks to my obsessive picture taking throughout the renovation. This photo was taken as the Durarock was being installed.
Let's see how quickly we can get it fixed. At least it doesn't look like we need to rip out the floor and the walls!