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We noticed recently that the corner bench in our shower had a sizable crack in the sealant along one edge of the support wall. Our first thought was to simply reseal the crack, but as I examined it a couple concerns crossed my mind. And I wanted to get better opinions.

Side of a marble shower seat, showing crack between support member and shower wall.

  1. Is this structural, and does it need to be rebuilt to keep the seat stable? I don't know what typically goes behind these kinds of seats to hold them up, but it seems that corner is pulling forward. This makes me think it might continue to slide forward, which means both that this problem will return (soon), and the seat will eventually fall.

  2. Do I need to chase moisture out of there, before sealing? Because of the way water typically runs off the seat, it is VERY possible for water to run straight into that crack. And being very limited in airflow it's never going to dry. Sealing in moisture for years seems BAD.

In theory, I'm okay with the idea of taking this apart and rebuilding it (again, I've no idea what's likely to be back there, and am assuming it's just several sheets of marble held together with sealant). I also accept that could be over my head, or not needed. Is this safe to just seal over, or reasonably straightforward to take apart and rebuild? What's the best method of repair?

EDIT

Some additional pictures in case they help.

Top-down view of the shower corner seat

View from under the front of the shower seat, at the top of the support wall

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It does not appear structural, as the seat itself is still flush to the wall. If the seat were failing the seat top would be pulling away as well.

My guess is that the panel in question was installed with a slight angle there - poor cut or something - and that the caulk used has just given up, as caulk does. However, more camera angles showing the seat would help confirm that suspicion.

As for do you need to dry it - as long as there is only marble back there, no, water won't hurt marble. The problem is, you can't actually tell without pulling it apart. If there is any wood there, however, I'll be very surprised.

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I have a couple more pictures; the one looking down on the seat seemed more "this is a corner seat" than useful, but I can post if you'd like. No, the seat is not disconnecting from the wall, and it feels solid. I also have a picture of the underside of the seat front, but being unpolished marble it didn't look terribly informative. I was hoping I could see if there was a companion separation along the top of that support wall, but it wasn't clear. My concern with trapping moisture forever is finding massive mold growth with the next crack, like putting a plague in a time capsule. –  Scivitri Jun 6 at 17:51
    
More pics > less pics. Mold requires something it can eat in order to grow. that said, its obviously BETTER to dry it out as much as possible, but short of either disassembling it, or not using it for a week, not much you can do. No air flow in there, hard to get moisture out. –  The Evil Greebo Jun 6 at 17:54
    
So you'd say it's not worth the effort to disassemble, then? –  Scivitri Jun 6 at 18:36
    
Looking at the other pics its pretty obvious they installed the marble then built the seat from remnants. So that's all marble. Mold doesn't like marble afaik, so no, I would just recaulk. –  The Evil Greebo Jun 6 at 18:38
1  
Thanks! That will be much easier, but I'm still glad I checked. –  Scivitri Jun 6 at 18:40

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