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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    3

    Default Water leaking through tile?

    The walls in my shower are tiled with 6" tiles and have a decorative border consisting of small 1" tiles arranged in a dimond pattern. For quite a while water has somehow been seeping through the tiles/grout and have caused the sheetrock to start to mildew/mold. How can I repair this? I've tried sealing the grout but that didn't work. Should I remove part of the tiles and re-install them. If so, can they be re-used?

    Thanks for your help.
    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    Bill... depending on the extent of the drywall damage you may end up redoing the shower area.
    Drywall is not a good wall board in a shower area even the green colored board is not water proof. Grout is porous so it's not waterproof without sealing it and depending if the tiles were ever sealed and maintained then you may have other areas in the shower that might require fixing.
    To try and keep the tiles on the already rotten wall won't work. To try and do a small patch will be a larger area than you imagine and there is a likely hood you won't be able to save many tiles to reuse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    Thanks for your advise Canuk. I do know that they used cement backer board behind the tiles. I think the leak is coming through the border tiles and bleeding out onto the sheetrock. I guess I'll start tearing it out and see what I find. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    bill,

    Is this occurring on the water wall? (the wall that contains the plumbing to the shower)

    If so, it may be that the leak is actually behind the tiles.

    Pics might be helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    Hi and thanks ****hiller. It is on the water wall but its not coming from the plumbing. It is a jetted tub so I have removed the acess panel and felt behind the wall and it is not wet. I will post a picture soon.

    Thanks again,
    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    Check to be sure the shower spout (bent pipe) is not leaking at the threads behind the wall when is use. The backside of the wall would only be wet for a while after use, but even small amounts of water have an amazing ability to travel.

    An astonishing number of people in the trades who should know better do not understand (or care) that 1) cementitious backerboard (CBB) should always be used in wet areas such as shower stalls, tub surrounds, and bathroom floors (kitchens too); 2) so-called 'greenboard' is NOT waterproof but is moisture resistant only and should be used for all bathroom walls but NOT wet areas as listed for CBB; and 3) regular drywall has no place in any bathroom except 'powder rooms' [also called 'half baths'] that have no steam or humidity sources per se.

    Whatever water source damaged the drywall behind the tile adjacent to your shower CBB probably would not have damaged greenboard as it did the drywall.

    It is possible to reclaim the tile to reuse it after the wallboard is replaced, but that is a LOT of fussy work that few people are willing to undertake. Most wall tile is cheap and not worth the effort or time, unless it is irreplaceable.

    BTW, water cannot leak through tile; and grout actually is waterproof. But cracked grout, and obviously, missing grout, is not. If a close inspection reveals pinholes or small gaps you can fill them with dabs of matching 100% silicone; you don't have to regrout. Any that gets on the glaze can be buffed away with a paper towel right away but not after several minutes, depending.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Water leaking through tile?

    grout actually is waterproof
    Is this true if it's unsealed and non modified?

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