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Question DetailsAsked on 6/16/2016

My tub is a built in tile and is cracked and leaking through the ceiling below it. What is the best fix?

I just bought this house built in 1967. It has an all tile square built in tub/shower combo. It has several cracks and missing tiles and is leaking through the ceiling into the kitchen below it. What is the best way to fix this. I have tried using the Flex-Seal and it worked for a while but now it is leaking again.

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1 Answer


BEST fix - as longest lived, would be to determine if the leak is from wall tiles which just regrouting and resealing should fix, or if it is leaking at the tub tiles in which case tile repair and regrouting and sealing might alleviate it for a bit, but if that is where the leak is your pan (liner under the tile mortar that catches anything making it through the tile) is leaking, and that cannot reasonably be repaired without redoing the entire tub.

Should be pretty easy to tell - fill the tub from the spout (no spray) and see if it leaks - if so, the tub and its linear are leaking (though walls could be too, but regrouting/fixing missing tiles should solve that problem). If does NOT leak when tub is filled and only leaks when the shower is used, then pretty easy fix and I weould get the missing /broken tiles replaced and general grout repair for any bad/missing grout - and redoing the grout at the wall/tub interface too.

Tough call if tub is leaking - do you spent maybe $300-500 repairing/resealing it and seeing if that solves the problem for decent period of time (though if tub is leaking is likely to recur every few years anyway if pan is leaking), or spend on the order of 5-10 times that much to have it totally redone ? Would be a judgement call - you could call a few Ceramic Tile contractors (your Search the List category) and see what they recommend (though recommending total replacement is a likely upsell response there) and bid for repair versus replace.

If you decide to repair it yourself every so often to see if you can keep up with it and avoid major repair costs, I would recommend replacing the missing tiles with proper thinset adhesive, the caulking seal areas and missing grout with a proper tub/shower caulk like Dap Kwik Seal Tub and Tile Adhesive Caulk - Flex-Seal is not really the product for that application.

Note that if you do that, unless you maybe put a permanent plugged hole or two in the kitchen ceiling and check every month or so with a fiber optic scope to see if it is leaking and wetting the subfloor area, you risk having progressive floor damage from continual wetting and eventual rot - possibly without any visible leakage aat the ceiling if just a slow drip. each time the tub/shower is used, so the "stop gap" measure route has its risks.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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