Shower tiles can become damaged by water. The caulk between the bathtub and the tile will crack and dry over time. This allows water to seep into the wall through cracks in the caulk between the bathtub and the shower tile. It can cause damage to the wall and even mold over time. We cover everything you need to do to fix water damage to shower walls, including drying them and replacing the tile. We also cover how to repair a leaky shower without removing tiles.
How does water get behind tiles?
Yes, water can penetrate the tiles and cause damage. Most common is a worn caulk that has been placed between your bathtub and the shower wall. If there aren’t enough grout or tiles, water can seep through the shower wall.
The water will eventually weaken the wallboard if it gets behind the wall. The extent of damage can cause tiles to fall off or mold growth inside bathroom walls. Sometimes, water can leak down to the ceiling and cause damage to the floor beneath.
How can I stop my shower tile from leaking?
Replacing the grout or caulk that is missing from your shower tiles will stop them leaking. If water is leaking from the ceiling, you will need to repair the wall first. These are the steps that will guide you through the entire process.
How to fix water damage behind shower tiles
These steps will help you repair a damaged shower wall. We cover everything you need about bathroom wall repairs, from drying the wall to replacing tiles and drywall to repair damaged shower walls.
How to repair water damage behind shower tiles
- Remove the Caulk Using a utility knife, cut the caulk. Be careful not to scratch the tile or bathtub. Caulk can also be removed with rubbing alcohol.
- Take out the Tiles – Next, use a putty knife to remove the tiles from the shower. You might be able even to remove them manually, depending on how damaged they are.
- Clean the Tiles Next, wash the tiles with warm water and soap to remove adhesive and caulk. You may still have to scrub the tiles after they are soaked. Set them aside to dry.
- Remove damaged drywall Using a drywall saw, remove the water-damaged shower wall. Do a straight cut 2 inches above the damage.
- Dry the Wall – Use a fan for complete drying of the wall and wallstuds. A high-volume fan will speed up drying times. A high-volume fan will dry a shower wall in between 12 and 24 hours.
- Install and Cut New Drywall – You can repair your shower wall with moisture-resistant greenboard, cement board or cement board. Make a small piece that is just larger than the opening, and screw it to your wall studs.
- Mud the Wall Joint – To seal the gap, use self-adhesive joint compound and drywall tape. To create smooth seams, let the mud dry.
- Install the Tile Using a notched trowel apply a thin-set layer to the wall. Then press the tiles into place. Allow the thin-set to dry before you proceed.
- Grout the Tile – Use new grout to match the existing tile. You should not grout the area between the tiles on the bottom and the floor of the tub or shower. Before you move on, let the grout dry.
- Calk the Shower – Next, place a thin layer of silicone caulk between tiles and bathtub.
How do you fix a leaky shower without removing tiles?
Although removing tiles is the best method to fix the problem, you can also repair a leaky shower without having to remove the tiles. You can begin by removing the old caulk with a putty knife or utility knife. The blade should not be used to scratch the bathtub or tile in the shower.
The caulk must be removed. After that, wash the bathtub and tile with warm soapy water. Use a fan to dry it. The fan should be left on for at least one to two days to dry the wall completely. Apply a layer of silicone caulk on the wall to seal it to the tub.