water leaking behind tile at the tub!!
I found water in my basement every time we took a shower. After a moderate amount of demo, I found that the tub that is currently in place is a whirlpool type tub. This particular tub was designed for installation on a platform, not in a stall. After pulling all the caulk from between the tub and tile, I found there is no tile flange. Can I buy an aftermarket flange that sticks on the tub, and just retile the bottom course (they did leave enough extra)?
Lots of older tubs had no tile flange, and they didn't (necessarily) leak as you describe. It's a matter of having sound tile and a good job of caulking at the tile-tub junction, plus a hair of discretion with regard to how the shower head is aimed.
Of course, if it's a lightweight tub that flexes a lot then it's hard to get a good caulk seal.
The aftermarket flange thingie might or might not help -- not sure I've ever seen one to know what you're talking about.
Justin Fink - FHB Editorial
Your Friendly Neighborhood Moderator
I believe there is such a thing as a flange that can be attached to a tub like yours. I'm pretty sure I saw such a thing when I was researching tubs a few years ago, but I avoided that type of tub thinking it would likely lead to problems later.
I would try to contact the manufacturer to see if they can supply one.
What is the tile mounted on? If it's a quality substrate like cement backerboard and you caulk both at the bottom of the backer board before tiling and under the tile after tiling, the seal at the tile/tub joint should be reasonable. Pay special attention to any joints in the substrate. Grout very carefully.
As suggested above, if the tub is flexing, all bets are off. Tubs should be set in plaster or similar material.
If you're going to all this trouble, maybe it would be possible to install a new tub while you're at it.
Al Mollitor, Sharon MA