Maybe Mustee Should be Spelled Musty

Because I find it difficult to read poetry when I’m pissed off, I decided to get this rant off my mind before turning to the next chapter in Stevens’ Collected Poems. It also explains how I’ve spent some of my time the last week.

A little over two years ago I spent $5,000 to have my bathroom remodeled (read, have a new, slightly larger shower installed). Well, a little over a month ago I noticed that the ceiling below the shower showed signs of a leak. After a little sleuthing, I was shocked to discover that there was a crack in Mustee’s Durabase fiberglass shower floor.

Naturally I called the contractor who was sympathetic and in turn called the plumber, who, while sympathetic, said that it wasn’t his fault but, rather was a defective shower floor. He said there was a one-year contract on the part, but that he would call the manufacturing representative to see what could be done.

The manufacturing representative called and said that he didn’t need to look because there was a one year guarantee and NOTHING could be done.

Well, it turns out that this must not be an uncommon problem because Washington State just recently passed a law requiring a two year waranty on all such installations.

I wonder if homeowners realized that there was only a one year warranty on these products whether they would opt for a piece of shit like this instead of looking for a better alternative. I know I hadn’t planned on spending another $5,000 on a new shower this year. Even a $400 to $500 price increase for a better product would have been a wise investment.

I realize this is a disposable society, but replacing your shower, or, worse yet, the ceiling and walls around the shower, every year is simply ridiculous.

Of course, when you go to Mustee’s web site, you’ll notice that the prefix “DURA” is prominently displayed, suggesting that they want any professional dumb enough to buy their product to believe that their products are going to last a long, long time, not a year or so. After all, “dura” does suggest durable doesn’t it? I guess that’s why they avoided ever actually using the word durable in their copy, though.

Of course, when you go to their warranty page there’s nary a mention of “durable.” Instead you get phrases like, “Our liability under this Warranty shall be to either repair or replace the product with an identical or reasonably equivalent product. In the alternative, we may refund, in full, the actual purchase price if the repair is not commercially reasonable or possible within a reasonable time and we are unable to supply a replacement product. We shall not be responsible for any labor, damages or installation costs.
” That’s hardly worth the bother, since most of the costs are in the costs of installation.

Musty, indeed, if I were going to remodel my bathroom I’d make sure that I avoided any products from Mustee, professional or not, and ensure that my contractor was using a better product than this if I were planning on living in the house more than another year.

8 thoughts on “Maybe Mustee Should be Spelled Musty”

  1. I’m actually surprised that Wa State didn’t pass a law requiring these things to be guaranteed at least ten years. Replacing one of those showers is not trivial — heck, I expect my microwave to last at least two years.

    Sorry this happened Loren. What will this do regarding the sale?

  2. Well, I don’t think it will affect that too much because I’m getting it fixed now. If it costs me a thousand or two to replace the pan with something better, than that’s what I’ll do.

    I’m certainly not leaving the problem for someone else to face.

  3. What kind of pan did you replace it with? I’m putting in a shower now. I had bought a Maax but it looked so flimsy I decided to find another shower floor and Mustee looked to be twice the sturdiness of the other one. Was the subfloor okay?

  4. Loren,

    I am having a similar problem here. I have a Mustee 32×48 shower pan that leaks thru to my kitchen ceiling below. I first suspected the drain pipe or gasket where it enters the pan. I replaced the gasket with no luck. If I plug the drain and fill the pan with 2″ or so of water and mark the line with a pencil, the water holds. When I release the plug, no leak. If the shower runs 20min with no one in it, no leak. It seems that the leak is much less or not occurring when my petite wife uses the shower, but if I use it (much heavier), I come down to my kitchen to see the leak.

    Were your experiences similar? Can you tell me the symptoms of how it leaked? Could you see any crack easily? I can’t see anything other than what look like scratches from 2 yrs of usage.


  5. This happened a long time ago so my memory is now rather inexact, to say the least.

    The crack was actually near the drain and may partially have been caused because the installer cut too large of a hole for the drain pipe (or didn’t reinforce the original hole that had been cut).

    The crack wasn’t easily seen, but you could hear a flex when I stood in the shower, or in a particular area in the shower. When I got down on my hands and knees I could see a faint crack.

    I can’t remember if there was a leak when my wife used the shower, but she didn’t notice the flexing when she took a shower.

    I do know that if I were doing this again I would have had a tile floor put in with wonderboard, despite the extra cost.

  6. Nearly any fiberglass-type pan will eventually crack if there is no support under it. Nearly every professional plumber and contractor will put lightweight concrete or even regular wall spackle under any fiberglass shower or tub to properly support it when a person is in it. If you’ve developed cracks, you should look to the person(s) responsible for installing it more so than the manufacturer.

  7. Actually, it was the plumber who installed the shower pan who wanted Mustee to come out and examine the pan and the installation. Because it was no longer under warantee, they wouldn’t even look at it. Eventually my house insurance covered it, but the premiums took a huge increase the next year.

  8. Mustee must have changed things, I had a older shower pan at my grandmothers house built in 1978 that pan looked awesome and perfect after 20 years of everyday use. I have a customer with a 5 year old house and a cracked pan, I would recommend staying away from this product until they stand behind it. I was really let down when I went to the website, and read the warrenty. I am a licensed builder and will no longer recommend this product!

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