5 Signs of a Leaky Shower Construction

So you’ve hired an installer to build your shower and the initial results look great. Looking beyond the external surface, how can you ensure that the shower is completely waterproof? Waterproofing is one of the most important elements of good shower construction as it creates a barrier for moisture and prevents unwanted leaks from occurring.

The problem is that most homeowners aren’t well-versed in identifying quality shower work. Not all contractors are experienced enough to guarantee their work which is why you should definitely learn how to inspect their finished product. The last thing that you want is to pay for shoddy shower construction which is something we want to avoid.

In this post, we’ll cover 5 signs of leaky shower construction so that you can address any inferior work as soon as possible.

1. The corners of the shower liner have been cut, not folded

One common mistake that inexperienced shower installers make is that they cut the corners of the shower liner instead of folding them. This introduces the possibility of water seeping into the floor and contributes to a whole host of issues like mould/mildew growth and subfloor rotting.

When dealing with the inside corners of a shower pan liner, it should always be folded to create a good seal. While it is possible to cut the corners and patch them properly, it’s much better to fold the corners to ensure no water seeps through.

Leaky Shower Construction

2. The shower liner doesn’t go high enough

Most of the problems regarding the height of the shower liner have to do with how the curb is waterproofed. The shower pan liner should go up 7 cm up the wall and above the framing of the curb. The liner also needs to go over the curb and fold on its front (the non-wet area).

Things get quite tricky when you approach the corners of the curb because you need to cut it in order for it to fold over the framing. Many shower liner companies make pre-formed corners for this very purpose. Make sure the installer uses these as improper installation of shower liners is one of the most common causes of leaks.

3. The nails in the shower are too low
There’s no point in installing a shower pan liner 7cm above the curb if the installer nails below the curb level. If you see nails below the shower’s curb level, contact your installer and have them look at their installation error.

Take note that this applies to traditional shower construction. If your shower is constructed with products such as Schluter Kerdi or Custom Redgard, then nailing below the curb level is absolutely fine. But if the installer did a mud pan with a liner underneath the mud, then nailing below the curb should be avoided at all times.

Make sure to inspect the curb for any protrusions on the top of the inside. Glue, nails, and staple can be used to attach the liner to the non-wet side of the curb (aka the front of the curb).

nails in the shower

4. Using cement board on the curb
Another mistake that shower installers make is using cement boards on the curb. It should be done out of metal lath and “mud” to ensure there are zero penetrations. Using cement board on the inside and/or top of the curb shows how inexperienced the tile installer is.

How can they install the cement board securely to the curb? They can’t use nails or screws because it’ll go through the waterproof liner and compromise the seal.

The right way to do it is by using a sand-cement mix along with a metal lath, which is supposedly what the shower pan is made out of.

5. The installer has not conducted a flood test

A professional shower installer isn’t afraid to guarantee his work. Upon completion, the installer should conduct a flood test to determine the quality of his construction. While a flood test doesn’t contribute to leaking issues, it does detect early signs of inferior work. This can be done by plugging the drain and filling up the shower just below the top of the curb.

With the drain plugged the water has nowhere to escape unless there are penetrations or holes in the shower liner. Detecting leaks is very important before the shower gets tiled. Put a mark on the wall and wait for around 24 hours before unplugging the drain/ If the water is lower than the mark you made, then it’s likely that there’s a leak somewhere.

These tips can help homeowners identify what inferior shower construction looks like. Don’t settle for less than a fully waterproof shower because leaks and moisture buildup can lead to more expensive repairs down the line.
It’s always a good idea to hire a reputable tire installer to ensure you’re getting high-quality services. If you’re looking for a professional shower installer around Perth, make sure to contact Shower Repairs Perth today.


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