Repairing tile membrane
We are having a custom shower built. During installation of the granite walls, the tile membrane was sliced twice. We’ve debated whether the granite needs to come down and the pan re-covered with membrane, or if the membrane can be repaired. In times like these, I find myself wondering, “What would Tommy Meehan do?”
David Najman, via email, None
Tom Meehan, owner of Cape Cod Tileworks, replies: Yes, you can repair a shower pan made of membrane. To get a really good patch, the repair should be in an open area of the membrane that is flat and easy to work on. Corner patches are more difficult.
To patch the tear or hole, I cut a piece of membrane 2 in. larger than the damaged spot. I then use elastomeric caulk (Noble Sealant 150; www.noblecompany.com) to put on the patch. I fill the tear with caulk; then I apply it to the patch and the damaged area in the pan. I use enough caulk to make sure that the patch is sealed and bonded well, then press it with a block of wood to work it in well. The next day, I plug the drain, add a couple of inches of water to the shower pan, and let the water stand overnight. If the water doesn’t leak out, then the patch has done its job, and the repair is fine.