Shower leaking through wall tile

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Banikk, May 2, 2014.

  1. Banikk

    Banikk New Member

    May 2, 2014
    Hey all.
    A few days ago i found out that my shower room has a leak and its started to discolor the neighbours ceiling below. I've noticed a small crack in a tile in the shower thats about a inch long and very thin but a bit thicker then a hair line. This is most likely be the cause to the leak but i want to find out more if other ppl think it is incase its not and theres an actual leak with the pipe work.
    I have a plumber coming out in a few days so hopefully whatever it is it can be fixed. thanks

    Heres the crack in the tiles
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    You may be able to fix that with caulking.

    Normally a plumbers first step is to fill the tub and see if the lower drain holds.

    Next checking the overflow for leaks.

    Then higher up to look at caulking around the tub spout and handles.
    I have had leaks behind the tub spout when the diverter has been pulled. Sometimes a spout replacement is needed.
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  4. Banikk

    Banikk New Member

    May 2, 2014
    Thanks for the reply.
    Do you think that crack is the main cause of it?
    Also I forgot to say that a couple of months ago the drain was blocking and it was taking a while to empty
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC

    There is your photo.

    I'd check the shower arm first. Then remove the trim plate around the plumbing fixtures and see if the water is leaking there. What tanking measures did you use for the walls?
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  6. RCraig

    RCraig Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    New Hampshire
    From someone who has been there, it could be a lot of things. My saga, which hopefully will finally be solved now that everything has been torn out and is going to be replaced, started with what appeared to be cracks in the tile wall. Water goes all different places, and one cannot always see the cause-effect relationship. Good luck! Ruth
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A big confusion in a shower is that the tile is the waterproofing is not. Tile is a wear surface and the cosmetic part. Certainly, it does shed water for the most part, but the whole assembly should not leak even if the tile is not installed.

    Why it's leaking could be many things. If it's a supply or drain thing, you need to fix those things. If the tub is not level, that can be a problem, as water will flow where it is not supposed to. A tub designed for a tiled surround will have a tiling flange that helps prevent water from wicking or flowing over the edge, but will do nothing about it leaking out around a shower curtain or sliding glass doors if not installed well. The backer board that the tile is installed on needs to be installed properly which includes seaming the joints with reinforcing tape and thinset, and there should be a vapor barrier behind the backer board, lapped over the tiling flange. There are other ways to do this successfully, but that is the more common one.
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