• Tom Adams

Shower Leaking Through The Tiles: Causes & How To Fix

"Unfortunately, leaking shower recesses are one of the most common building faults and complaints in Australia. It really doesn't need to be the case though."


The modern waterproofing systems that are available, and the tough building codes that we have in place mean that with correct installation, a shower recess should never leak (except due to extreme structural movement). Remember that a tiled and grouted surface is not actually completely waterproof. The waterproofing membrane under the surface, however, is. A leaking shower recess can lead to structural damage and expensive repairs. As soon as a leak is suspected, it should be investigated and repaired. Since the early 2000s, waterproofing of wet areas is accompanied by a guarantee provided by the accredited waterproofer (in most states).


If your bathroom is smelling musty, the tiles are changing to a darker colour, damp patches are appearing on the other side of a wall, or any other symptoms of a leaking shower are evident; it could be due to any of the following:

Pinholes in grout

Poorly grouted tiles

Leaking pipework behind the wall

No puddle flange installed under the floor grate

No fluid aprons installed around tap-ware in wall penetrations

Internal corners and bottom row of tiles not grouted with silicone

Cut edges of tiles exposed in shower

Structural movement of the building

Waterproofing membrane not included in installation

Tiles not correctly bedded into adhesive

And a list of other reasons that generally point to either poor workmanship or failure to follow the building code.

Fixing a Shower Leak

A leaking shower is a repair job for an expert. The first step, if the installation is still covered by a guarantee, is to call in the builder or waterproofer. Otherwise, call a plumber to determine if there is a leak in the tap-ware or pipe-work.

Call a builder or tiler to repair the grout, silicone joints, or other causes of the leaking water.

Platinum Seal services the Gold Coast region. If you'd like some free advice, feel free to contact one of our technicians. Regardless of where you live we're happy to help!

If you are planning on DIY, make sure you read our guide on How To Stop A Leaking Shower.

Depending on the damage the water has caused in the shower, the only way to fix this sort of problem may be to retile the whole shower enclosure, making sure that the proper installation procedures are followed.