How to Stop a Shower From Leaking Onto the Floor

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Its pretty annoying to constantly have water on your bathroom floor after showering. Not only is it frustrating to be cleaning it up, but it can be a slip hazard, along with potentially damaging your floor over time. 

First, you’ll need to identify the problem so that you can use the correct solution. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common reasons why a shower leaks onto the floor along with their solutions.

How to Stop a Shower From Leaking Onto the Floor

Walking out of your shower just to realize that your floor is wet is a frustrating experience. Pooled water can cause damage over time and it can also make you fall. Read the following information carefully to find out why your shower is leaking onto the floor and how to stop it.

1. Low Or No-Threshold Showers

The installation of low or no-threshold shower pans is one of the most common reasons why a shower leaks onto the floor. This problem is also prevalent in walk-in or roll-in showers.

That’s because these types of showers have no barrier to stop water from reaching the floor. You can use different approaches to solve this problem, including the following.

Install Threshold Shower Base

The most obvious and easiest way to solve this problem is to install a shower pan that comes with a threshold. It’ll create a barrier to stop water from reaching the floor and allow it to drain effectively. If you have a roll-in shower, you can also install a big bathtub in it if you want.

Install Shower Door or Splash Guards

Installing splash guards or a shower door is another great way to prevent water from escaping the shower area.

The splash guards are especially useful when you have a shower tub along with a curtain. In addition, installing them is also extremely easy and you don’t need any professional help for that.

Whereas, you’ll need to hire a professional plumber to get a shower door installed.

Use Shower Dam

If you don’t want to install a permanent barrier or change your shower base, consider installing a collapsible shower dam. It’s made of rubber and uses adhesive to stay in place. Using this solution will come in handy if you have a person, who needs to use a wheelchair, in your house.

2. Broken Shower Pan or Tub

A broken shower pan or tub can lead to a shower leaking onto the floor. In such a case, you’ll need to inspect your shower pan or tub carefully to find a crack or a hole. Even if you see a small crack or hole, you must fix it right away using the following method.

  1. Clean the cracked area or the hole using a dry towel to make it moisture free.
  2. Apply water-resistant silicone caulking to cover the affected area properly.
  3. Leave the caulking to dry thoroughly. 

While caulking can dry within one to two hours, it takes about 24 hours to cure. So, make sure you don’t expose the affected area to moisture during that time.

Important Note: It’s important to note that using water-resistant silicone caulking to fill cracks and holes is a temporary solution. It’ll keep the affected area fully sealed for about two years. The permanent solution to this problem is to replace your damaged shower pan or tub.

3. Damaged Shower Tray Seals

The seals of a shower tray can get damaged over time if they’re not installed properly or are sealed with a low-quality sealant. Additionally, the same problem can also occur when your shower pan moves up and down due to unfixed floorboards beneath it.

The damaged seals of the shower pan allow the water to pass and reach the floor. You can use the steps listed below to solve this problem effectively.

  1. Wear a pair of leather gloves and use a sharp knife to remove the damaged sealant.
  2. Use a towel or microfiber cloth to dry the joints thoroughly. If you still see moisture, leave it for about an hour. Make sure that you don’t use the shower during that time.
  3. Apply a high-quality mold-resistant sealant to seal the joints properly and leave it for 24 hours to dry.

4. Clogged Shower Drain

Water can also reach the floor due to a clogged shower drain. It happens with time due to hair and debris that suck inside the drain hole. In such a situation, you’ll need to unclog the shower drain and you can use the following methods to achieve that.

  • Human hair is the most common reason behind a clogged shower drain. If the clog is visible, wear a pair of rubber gloves and use your hands to extract it.
  • If you don’t see anything around the drain, pour about a gallon of boiling water. Then, pour a mixture of one cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar. After that, pour a gallon of boiling water again.
  • Lastly, try a drain snake to unclog the drain and if it doesn’t work as well, call a professional plumber to do the job.

5. Damaged Grouting Between Tiles

The grouting is applied underneath and between tiles to keep them in place. It’s a highly porous material that absorbs water and can get damaged over time. This problem occurs when you don’t have a pan or tub installed in your shower.

You’ll need grout and a chisel to repair the damaged joints to solve this problem. Make sure that you let the grouting dry before you start using the shower.

6. Poor Shower Pan Slope

Ideally, the shower floor slope should be 1/4 inches vertically per horizontal foot. A shower pan with a lower slope than that will lead the water to reach the floor, especially during a long shower.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem that an average person can fix. So, you’ll need to call a professional to adjust your shower pan slope.

Final Words

A shower that’s leaking water onto the floor can lead to expensive water damage and it must never be ignored. If you have this problem in your shower, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. We hope this guide will help you find the reason why your shower is leaking water onto the floor and how to solve it.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.