My Shower is Leaking Through The Floor; What Should I Do?
One day, you might start to notice some wet spots in your living room and not think much about it.
But before you know it, you’re noticing water stains all over the room that happens to be below the upstairs bathroom.
You’ve got a shower leak, and if you don’t do anything to fix it, it’s going to get worse.
So then, what makes water leak through the shower floor and what can be done to save your home from water damage?
We’ll discuss what can cause a leaking shower and what you can do to solve these problems.
So if you want to stop your shower leaking, keep on reading.
💧 What Causes a Leaking Shower?
A leaking shower can be due to many different issues, from a water supply leak to problems with your shower door.
Here are the most likely reasons why your shower is leaking.
💧 Leaky Showerhead
A leaky showerhead should be fairly obvious to spot.
If the showerhead continues to slowly drip after its been turned off, this is a clear sign you’ve got a problem with it.
Your leaky shower might also be caused by a faulty shower faucet.
While a showerhead only refers to the part where the water comes out, the faucet includes the showerhead and the shower valve that controls the water flow.
Similar to a leaky showerhead, a leaky shower faucet will also continue dripping water for a long time after being turned off.
🧰 Solution: Replace the Showerhead
Most showerhead problems arise from the o-rings in the showerhead wearing out, which causes leaks.
You can buy new o-rings fairly cheaply and replace them by unscrewing the showerhead and opening up the inside.
Alternatively, you may need to replace the showerhead entirely if there are many damaged o-rings or other damaged parts.
This can be very simple: just unscrew the broken showerhead, and screw the new one on.
If the problem doesn’t seem to be coming from the showerhead, your problem is likely the supply to the faucet.
The solution is to tighten the supply line to the shower valves.
Though you may require professional assistance, you can do this with a wrench and some pipe tape.
💧 Leaking Water Pipe
Your shower’s water pipes can be challenging to maintain as they are quite difficult to monitor.
The pipes are installed behind the shower walls, so if they start to leak, you likely won’t notice until a lot of damage is done.
You’ll need to check the water valve to verify if the problem is coming from your water pipes.
This is also located behind your walls, but there should be an access point that will allow you to view it.
Leaks in these places can easily make their way to another floor of your home.
If you notice water leaking around the water valve, bad solder connections or cracks in the pipes, then you’ve found your problem.
🧰 Solution: Call a Professional Plumber
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for the average homeowner to fix water pipe problems, as they could be located in a very hard-to-reach location.
If you suspect your problems are coming from pipe leaks, you’ll need to call a plumber to fix the problem for you.
💧 Clogged Drain
A clogged drain will force a shower leak.
A blocked toilet can also cause a shower drain to overflow.
When water can’t make its way through a shower drain, it will end up overflowing and instead flood through the bathroom floor.
Your shower drain can become clogged over time as hair and other debris fall in and become lodged.
The shower drain can also wear out over time, so it can be hard to know exactly the problem.
🧰 Check For a Leaking Drain Gasket
Not only do you need to check for clogs in the shower drain, but you also need to check the drain gasket.
The drain gasket is a rubber ring that sits directly underneath the shower drain.
This rubber gasket forms a watertight seal around the shower drain, which stops shower pan leaks.
So if the drain gasket has any leaks or has worn down, this will directly lead to water leaking through your bathroom floor.
🧰 Solution: Flush the Drain Out
Before you go purchase another entire shower drain, first try flushing the drain out instead.
You can first try declogging it by flushing your pipes out with hot water, followed directly afterward by an equal one cup baking soda and vinegar solution.
If your problem is just a clog, this combination should clear the blockages.
If you find you still have a leaking shower drain, you’ll need to get a replacement.
On a positive note, there’s no need to call a plumber immediately.
Most repairs can be carried out by you, the homeowner.
Measure the drain dimensions and purchase a correctly-sized replacement at any hardware store (and a screwdriver and caulk gun, if you need them).
From there, you can follow the instructions given with your new drain or rubber gasket.
Related Reading: Got a Smelly Shower Drain? Your DIY Fix It Guide!
💧 Broken Bathroom Tiles
The tiles in your bathroom play an important role in keeping water from escaping the room through the shower walls and floors.
For this reason, it’s important that the tiles aren’t damaged, as even the tiniest hole can lead to a ceiling leak.
To find out if you have a shower tile problem, the process is simple: go to your shower stall or tub and investigate the surrounding walls for any potential water leak.
🧰 Solution: Grout or Replace the Tiles
If your shower leaks are coming from gaps in your tiles, you obviously need to fill or get rid of these gaps.
If the shower leak gaps are fairly small, you can accomplish this with grout.
You can quickly resolve your shower leaks by applying grout to whatever gaps are present in the worn-out grout.
However, you find the gaps are too numerous to justify grouting all of them.
In this case, you can replace the bathroom tiles.
You can do this as you would grout any tiles, but you may need to remove the old grout or old substrate first to remove them.
💧 Shower Door Leaks
A less likely, but still possible cause of a leaking shower is problems with your shower door.
Gaps in shower door frames allow water to escape out of the shower.
Inevitably this will cause a water leak through your shower floor.
If you find a lot of shower water pooling outside your shower door even when the door is fully closed, then your door is most likely the problem.
🧰 Solution: Seal the Door
When water leaks out of your shower door, the only solution is to seal the gaps in the door or replace them.
Otherwise, you might as well just be using a shower liner.
Sealing can be done using a caulk gun and sealing strips.
After preparing the area with dishwashing liquid or another cleaner, you can fill the gaps with a caulk gun and apply a sealing strip over the top.
After 24 hours, the caulk should be set in place and the shower properly sealed.
Before starting, you should make sure to scrape out any loose material that might be left over from your grouting.
You should also check the door tracks to see if anything needs to be replaced.
💧 Final Thoughts
Your shower water leak can come from any part of the process: be it the water supply that provides the water, the showerhead that disperses the water, or even the drains that take the dirty water away.
Knowing exactly what part is causing water leaks will allow you to fix the problem and stop any further water leaks.
And with the long-term costs associated with water damage and wood rot, it’s in your best interests to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
If you’re not confident in fixing leaking showers and need some assistance, Phyxter Home Services is here to help you.
We offer expert plumbing repairs throughout North America for all kinds of plumbing issues and other repairs.
Want to learn more about your home’s plumbing system? Feel free to check out our other plumbing articles!
Related Reading: DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Solutions