Weep holes in shower pan - how many and where? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-25-2017, 03:25 PM
We have a shower with tile surround and 6 foot fiberglass shower pan with frameless glass door/wall. It was put in with a new house about 4 years ago. White silicone was used at all joints - tile/pan, corners and verticals. I have no idea if there were "weep holes" or any place for water that got behind the tiles to go, never knew or thought to check.

About a year ago, despite fairly regular cleanings, the black mold got so bad on all caulk that I spent a weekend stripping it out (meticulously) and putting down some new silicone. Perfectly tight seals everywhere, because I didn't know any better. Rookie mistake :)

Fast forward to today, and the outer corner opposite the showerhead is showing some water damage... basically like you see in the 3rd pic on this page https://goo.gl/zggL0K. (also attached) Rotted baseboard, back corner floor tile cracked from floor below swelling from water, etc. I've removed a few tiles, dried things out and taken care of the mold.

Now I don't know my next move. I assume this was caused by water getting trapped on the pan's lip and just working its way to the wood, so I don't want to make the same mistake. There are no visible weep holes/spaces in the shower pan to as any sort of guide. Should I silicone again and just leave a few inch long gaps near the outer walls?

Any help would be greatly appreciated so I'm not doing this again in 6 months and rotting my framing in the meantime.

Thank you!


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03-25-2017, 04:18 PM
Can you pull the trim ring off that is around the mixer valve and peak behind it to see what was used behind your tile as far as waterproofing? Or better yet post a couple pics of your shower showing where you pulled tiles off.

03-25-2017, 04:46 PM
I think you would see the weep holes if your shower base has them. Like Ryan said, some pics of your shower would probably be helpful.

Were you able to save your old tiles without breaking them? Or maybe you have extra tiles.

03-25-2017, 06:04 PM
Attaching 2 pics. I've removed the corner floor tile and bullnose tile, and pulled back the kerdi to inspect the damage the the subfloor and walls. Once dried out, still in good shape and no mold. I have spare tiles, not worried about that part.

Now that it's exposed, with every shower that corner of the floor gets pretty wet (drying quickly with a fan) but none of the showerpan I can reach is wet on the outside, so it must be seeping out from behind the tiles.

As you can see the caulk is starting to separate so it needs a fix either way, just want to make sure it's done right this time.

Hopefully the pics help.

03-25-2017, 06:08 PM
It would be helpful if we could figure out what is behind the tile in the shower. It gets hard to diagnose without knowing how stuff is put together.

03-25-2017, 06:12 PM
So many times we see that the pan lip doesn't extend out to the outside of the base but rather stops about where the glass meets the wall. I think that might be where some of the water gets back into the sheetrock. Can't say that for sure about yours.

03-25-2017, 06:20 PM
I'll see about getting a look behind the trim ring tomorrow. appreciate the quick replies everyone

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
03-26-2017, 10:23 AM
Is it possible that water is running on the top of the shower curb next to the glass and then down the corner? I would use a level and check the slope of the shower pan and also the floor outside the shower. I'm curious if things naturally slope that way.

03-26-2017, 11:20 AM
Without checking, my guess is it's not level - not much in the house is. Do you mean water movement like the attached sketch on left? It's still dry as far as I can reach back on the exterior of the pan as I can touch (right image) so it would still need to be getting all the way back there.

Houston Remodeler
03-26-2017, 11:41 AM
Yes, we see this often. Unless the tile flange runs past the curb, the chance of leaking is good. In your case the flange stops short of the curb. Your only hope is that little bump and somehow bonding the future waterproofing to the pan directly.

03-27-2017, 02:48 PM
So the curb under the glass is level. The curb on the back wall opposite the shower-head is slightly (very) lower going toward the leak. So that might explain things.

Still working on getting the trim ring off. Need to find manual. I THINK it twists off, seems most kohlers do, just don't want to force it and bust.

Let's run with the sloped curb theory... even with a perfect caulk job, water is still seeping through grout and tiles, so once it gets back there it's just going to run the curb into that corner behind the shower. So there's just no way around the issue? Would a weep hole right before the corner help any?

I'll report back once I know the backer material, just wanted to post an update.

** Update

It's just drywall, at least behind the tiles on the valve side. Couldn't really tell if there's any sort of moisture barrier, seemed like tiles just right on the drywall.

I think that's all of the pieces of the puzzle now. I welcome any advice on how to best fix the issue.

Thanks again everyone