Should a tile shower with fiberglass pan have weep holes?


You believe it should have weep holes but not seeing them? Any reason why a shower would not have weep holes?

It should not have weep holes if done properly…that is not brick veneer…

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flexible caulk at the base and corner joints would be the appropriate finish

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Jim’s got it! ^^^^^^

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shower weep hole

This in an example of what I am referring to

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that is a whole different animal…a fiberglass surround with an integral water chanel is not a tile surround

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Just curious, does it really matter? There is likely a flange behind the finished tile. Here is a confusing mfg install guide. Maybe someone can make sense of it.

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https://pdf.lowes.com/productdocuments/ed76f9e4-ab2d-4f5a-9950-b2ae01e2e4ff/45060976.pdf?_gl=1*1wkyqym*_gcl_aw*R0NMLjE2NzQ0OTgzODMuQ2owS0NRaUFfYmllQmhEU0FSSXNBRFU0ekxlNUE5VUwzSG5fYTVIeWFxX0xBSmt1NFhjLVFMTWdmQlU1V252VGxXT09hc1NuWmpBcTZRVWFBcUsxRUFMd193Y0I.*_gcl_dc*R0NMLjE2NzQ0OTgzODMuQ2owS0NRaUFfYmllQmhEU0FSSXNBRFU0ekxlNUE5VUwzSG5fYTVIeWFxX0xBSmt1NFhjLVFMTWdmQlU1V252VGxXT09hc1NuWmpBcTZRVWFBcUsxRUFMd193Y0I.

Right, those have a “drain plane” behind the surround (for lack of other available terms in my mind right now.)

integral water channel is what I was talking about which is part of some types of tub/shower units…I have never heard of a drain plane…that may be a regional thing…You do not want to direct water behind ceramic tile as the backing is porous and will wick moisture up to the wall above the tile flange…

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No, I made it up, seriously, lol. But I suspect it is intended to allow water that gets behind the prefab panels to drain.

That makes perfect since. Thank you.

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If the pan did not have one of those integrated weep holes already, I wouldn’t mention it. But if it did have that, and it was filled with caulking, I would call that out.

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Every fiberglass pan made for a tile surround still has a flange around the perimeter, same as a bathtub.
The backer board should sit on the flange, and not on the fiberglass curb. Otherwise, this could wick up moisture like you said.
So the weep holes would still be beneficial

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You certainly have the right to be wrong about this…

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What am I wrong about? I have installed dozens of these pans, and hundreds of tile surrounds on top of existing ones.
I have never once seen one without a flange, and if it was missing, I wouldn’t install tile on it without waterproofing the heck out of it.
That’s like installing tile on top of a drop in tub.(which I would call out in my report)

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I was not arguing the the presence of the tile flange on a tub or shower base , that is a given requirement for a tile installation. but the practice of installing weeps on a tile installation is foolhardy at best. Once You have allowed the moisture to get behind the tile You have already lost the battle. It will wick up through the porous back of the tile and failure soon follows…

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Hardibacker and durock are not water proof, but they are resistant. Other products are waterproof. (Ditra and denshield)
But even with hardi, water would still need a way out if it does get behind the tile and runs down the wall.
Otherwise, like you said, it will sit there and wick up into the material forever.
It will run down the face long before it sits there long enough to soak through to the framing.

Moisture can and will get to the backer board. Most residential grouts are not waterproof.

Tub surrounds are a perfect example. They do not have weep holes, tile is just caulked to the tub.
When it has drywall behind the tile, where is the failure always first to happen? At the tub, where the water sits there and rots the drywall. You then have the bottom foot of drywall around the tub just crumbling to pieces

I think You just made my point Daniel…weep holes are designed for exterior surfaces where water naturally enters through penetrations and trims, interior finishes like tile are supposed to keep water from getting to the wall surface and framing behind them, once the water gets behind the tile failure has begun and no amount of holes at the bottom will stop it. I can explain this to You all night but apparently I cant make You understand it so I am done here…

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Yes, obviously. And I never said that weep holes were required. I was merely talking about how they may be beneficial. Water gets through grout all the time. It is a cement based product, with little to no added sealers or polymers. Even adding topical sealers only waterproofs it for a year at best.

The whole topic started with a question about are they required with his example. I said “if the pan doesnt have them, I wouldnt even mention it”. But if it does have them, the manufacturer put them there for a reason, and the installation instructions say to not fill it with caulking. That was my only point of the whole discussion

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Location of Weep Holes in Tile Installations.

Inside or outside. If there is a water source regularly hitting something, you should plan that it will eventually get inside. Because of this, you always want to leave a way for it to get out.

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