If a shower is leaking due to a tear in the pan liner, can it be fixed by just patching it or should the whole liner be replaced? If it does need to be replaced does that involve removing the glass doors as well as the floor tiles and the some of the wall tiles?
The attached picture shows and attempt at fixing the problem with a patch.
The proper repair would be to install a new shower pan. This would mean you would need to remove the existing floor tile, drypack, shower pan, and probably 2 courses of wall tile. Then you will have to install a shower pan, drypack base, floor & wall tile, grout, & silicon.
I hope this helps.
The whole liner needs to be replaced for 100% waterproof sealing. And yes that means tile must come off. But that doesn't mean all of the tile needs to be pulled. If a match for the tile can be found the all is good, but if the tile is old and out dated it might have to all come down.
Personally myself I would not repair the liner. The method of building a shower with a lead, copper, or PVC liner using dry pack mortar base is got to be about 200 years old they do not work very well and allow any moisture that seeps through the grout lines to collect in the dry pack base and it just stays there and grows mold over the years.
There are currently some really neat new methods out there for building shower bases. You could replace your shower base with one of these new modern methods successfully and still use your glass shower doors. As long as your contractor can get the curb in exactly the same spot.
They have free standing shower bases available. Meaning that the base made of acrylic would have a sub framing of plastic attached to it for support. The base would require that about 8" of waqll must be exposed, 1-2 rows of tile. The new base is screwed to the studs, and sealed with a new ABS drain ensuring a leak free seal.
I wouldn't recommend patching, chances are you have mold and rot which compromises the sub-floor if it's wooden.
All the responses are correct but ultimately it's up to you and your decision if to renovate or not.
Another solution would be to get a piece of the shower pan liner and the appropriate adhesive (Oatey X-19 Shower Pan Adhesive) and go from there. Not recommended, just a bandaid solution, but it's ultimately up to you.
An alternative would be taking out the existing floor and replacing with a Schluter System shower pan. Usually it's a foam that can be cut to meet any size and it's pre-sloped to the drain.
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