Weep Holes in the Shower???

I did a new construction townhouse yesterday and the builder left 1 1/2 inch gaps in the caulk around the shower/tub. The client tells me the builder was very proud to say that they were weep holes and that they were up on the latest building practices. I though weep holes were to let water out not in. This is on both ends of the tub and inside the curtain or area if a shower door was installed. Has anyone seen or heard of this?

So just where does the water go to?

Looks to me like it goes into the wall. I don’t know if there is some sorts of drain in there but I just can’t see the benefit to this.

They are not for water to go into… but rather come from. Usually, the tub or shower pan has a 1 1/2 inch lip that the tile is put over. **If **the tub/shower walls were installed with a vapor barrier behind the cement backer board, the barrier overlaps the lip slightly. Theoretically, any condensation forming or leakage that comes through the grout and mortar, will eventually travel down the barrier and through the weep holes. If the water runs down, it would be in very miniscule amounts and not enough to notice. If you ask the pros, half will say they do it, others say it’s not needed. Typically, if there is moisture behind the walls, it can bleed back through the grout and mortar when the shower is dry and not in use.


That is crazy IMO.


Illustration “D” page 2.


In Figure D, we see a stone or ceramic tile tub surround using backer board as the substrate for the tile. The backer board walls are constructed with the same requirements as noted in Figure C. The only difference is that the backer board and tile will abut the tub.

That is how I see it.
Hope this helps.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

Thanks guys for all the info. Has anyone seen it done like this?

I’ve seen it done, but not to that extreme. Usually about 3/8 - 1/2 inch in length. Some installation instructions tell you to leave the gap. Here’s Jacuzzi’s install instructions. Page 3 shows a diagram pertaining to the discussion.


Thanks Wick. When I first saw it I thought maybe they were planning on the homeowner putting up a glass door but that would not have been an ideal place for the door.

that may be something that may have some meritt on a particular type of shower base where the water is directed back to the drain…but as shown on this application I’d be willing to gaurantee you that there will be plenty of water running down the front leg of that tub and repairs will be required very soon…truly a bad idea…jim