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Weep hole on tile wall near shower/bathtub

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 27th, 2020 3:21 pm
Deal Addict
May 23, 2006
1428 posts

Weep hole on tile wall near shower/bathtub

Are weep holes common on the tile wall near shower or bathtub? are they necessary?

Newly built house = I don't see any weep holes.
My 10 + years old rental townhouse = I recently sealed some missing grouts with silicone and might have sealed some spots that are meant to be weep holes.

The below article discusses this further:

https://floorelf.com/location-of-weep-h ... tallations

I also read some article that says it depends on how waterproof is your tile wall. If they are good, you don't necessary need weep holes?
  • weep hole shower.jpg
5 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36265 posts
I have never heard of or seen weep holes in a tub or shower enclosure. I do not understand why it would be there as there is (or should not be) any space between the tile and wall). The tile is stuck to the wall with thinset or other substance.

I suspect there could be a space if there is a fiberglass or acrylic tub or shower surround that is not completely stuck to the wall or structure behind.

I think you just have missing sealant.
Last edited by Pete_Coach on Dec 27th, 2020 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2006
1428 posts
I think it's due to the fact that grout between wall tiles are porous, so some water will go through behind the grout or wall tiles.
Therefore, the weep holes at the bottom allow water to come out?

However, if the tiles, grouts, and waterproof membrane behind tiles are installed properly, i believe only very small amount of water may go through, which will evaporate by itself anyway?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
7474 posts
weep holes are not meant to have water coming out, even on a outside brick / masonry wall. Weep holes are meant to have air circulate behind a brick wall, preventing condensation. Knowing this, there is no weep holes on a tiled wall, like Pete+Coach mentionned, tiles are directly glued / bonded on the drywall / fibercement / or whatever material behind the tile, preventing water to run down to the holes...

From you pic, it looks like silicone / sealant is missing there
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4186 posts
It could very well be intentional, if one is to believe the content of the article you posted.

That being said, modern showers SHOULD (most probably still aren't, especially in new mass-construction builds) be 100% water tight behind the tile. The tile is literally decorative. It serves no real purpose in terms of water proofing. The underlay behind the tile is completely waterproof, tied all the way down into the tub or the shower pan/drain system.

Some tile and pretty much all grout is porous. Grout always ends up with small cracks etc. as well that allow water to penetrate. If you've just slapped tile on cement board, which is a very common practice, I suppose a weeping hole like this might serve some purpose in terms of allowing air flow to dry it out. But it's such a small hole and massive area in a tub surround that it's not likely going to do any good regardless.

It's a rental - not yours to fix in any case. The photo you posted is from the article - would be more useful to see your actual wall.

If you're concerned, tell your landlord.


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