Is this indication of a water leak?

Hello running a moisture reader in this basement. It is on a concrete slab, and the bathroom has ceramic tile.

My moisture reader is showing some of the ceramic tile wet please see attached images

(I’m limited to only one embedded image since I’m new so please see the other images here. The readings are all different on a different tile)

Not sure if this is indication of a leak issue going on.

The carpet seems dry so not sure why the ceramic tile is recording wet.


Here was 2 more.


Are you using the correct Mode for the material being tested?

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I believe so.

The options are drywall masonry hardwood softwood and I was on masonry.

I don’t need a moisture meter to tell me if that tile is wet. It doesn’t look wet to me.

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That’s the problem with less expensive testers. Not enough range of materials.
Ceramic tile in not masonry, but is the closest choice for those offered.
Curious… was this a bathroom with a shower??
When was the last shower taken?
Get where I’m going here?

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Appreciate that, is there a reason why the reader shows this then? It also shows the concrete slab having moisture.

Thank you.

Yes there is a shower in here.

Last shower in here was taken about a week ago. The tiles around the shower seem fine though.

It’s like a lot of instruments we use in home inspections. You need to know what the proper settings are. You need to know how to interpret the data. Inexpensive instruments will get you inexpensive result.

I wouldn’t stake my reputation or the possibility of a lawsuit on a $39 instrument.

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I think what you’re holding there is known as a POS.


Moisture meters on masonry is nearly useless in my opinion. For example, dew point makes a difference no matter when the last shower was taken.

Why were you measuring moisture on tile? Did you see other possible problems?


You’ll get more consistent results with this.


Pull back the carpet here and check the tack strip, if it is wood and is wet, you will be able to confirm visually. (carpet can feel dry until it is saturated)

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There was no reason,

I basically had a leak upstairs from a shower door a friend didnt close a few weeks ago. So he just left it open and 3-4 days of showers eventually resulted in water showing haha.

So I just got curious got a moisture reader and went looking not my brightest move :sweat_smile:


Different materials will react differently with the meter. For example, a high sheen hardwood, or glossy tile may reflect differently, and it will test wet.
Best way to even know if there are concerns is to test multiple areas of the tile, and see if you get any fluctuations. You have to have a base reading, and this applies to all materials tested.

Sometimes with cheaper meters, even the amount of pressure you apply when testing can affect the reflection on the back side.

When you say fluctuations what do you mean?

Are you saying on each tile individually? Whatever the content reader showed was the same throughout that whole individual tile. If you go through the whole flooring it’s different.

The entire bathroom tile is 50-60% or above with some reaching max as the pic above showed. Maybe some times were 40-50% but it was not much lower then that.

you just need a newer model;


With cheaper testers, you cant really go by the percentage that it shows, you basically just have to see if you have drastic changes. If you are saying that you are getting 40% at some areas, and max at others, then it is probably picking up elevated levels. But again, I would experiment by pushing harder on the meter and see if it changes the reading. If it does, then it is useless for that application.
However, as Jeffrey stated, this would be affected also by recent humidity or shower usage.

I can confirm when I push harder the meter goes up also.

Also, if there was moisture under the tile, you would likely see darker grout in those areas. The grout would act like a sponge
Unless the grout was a waterproof or pre-sealed type. You can confirm this by getting the grout wet and see how it reacts.

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