Shower Tile Leaks

Common Problems:

  • Tile installed over water-resistant gypsum board (green board) instead of a mortar setting bed or cementitious backer board.
  • Note: The Ceramic Tile Institute has questioned using green board as a tile substrate in wet areas such as tub/shower enclosures.
  • Edge of green board above tub or shower pan lip is cut edge instead of the wrapped factor edge.
  • Joints and penetrations are not sealed with a coat of ceramic tile mastic prior to tile installation.
  • Insufficient gap (less than 1/4 inch) between the base of green board and the tub or shower pan.
  • Lack of flexible sealant joint at the tile-to-tub or shower pan juncture.

Potential Damage:

  • Water intrusion resulting in:
  • Tiles popping off
  • Tile and grout cracking
  • Dryrot, structural damage, and framing movement.

Recommended Solutions:

  • Install tile over a mortar bed or cementitious backer board such as “Durock”, “Wonderboard”, or equal, per manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Provide proper, flexible sealant joints at all fixture penetrations and tie-to-tub and shower pan junctures.