Weep holes inside shower

1st off I have no pictures of what I’m asking. But here goes anyway.
Has anyone ever heard of weep holes in tiled showers? The builder states that they put small holes (weep holes) in the bottom of all of their tiled shower stalls. Has anyone ever seen this? I have not.

Absolutely. We see them here all of the time with tile showers with one piece bases. Same principal as brick weep holes. Grout is permeable (just like mortar) so if water gets in, it has a place to get out.

Andrew Constantine
InspectPro Home Inspections
Serving NC and SC :roll:
Charlotte Area Home Inspector

shower weep hole.jpg

Well just damn. It seems to me that water would go inside and cause problems.

The shower pan has a lip that extends up behind the tile a little ways. This lip also extends behind the weep hole.

Been in the building and inspection industries for a long time. Have not seen this or heard of it before now. Seems like misguided theory and practice!

A lot of tubs I see around here have this small groove right where the weep holes are

I be damned
here you go

No one is going to convince me that a tile wall in a tub or shower needs weep holes like a brick veneer.
If the tile job is installed over a water proof system backer, like it should be, why would you expect the tile wall to weep.

You sealed the grout right?

The tiles were grouted right?

Was it done proffessionably?

What a line of BS. :slight_smile:

I agree completely !!!

I agree with Marcel as well…

Isn’t the reason we all have inspections to go to each week the fact that not every trade does their job to peak standards?

Convincing or not, weep holes exist because water will find a way in. If you don’t believe it, you may want to consider another profession. :slight_smile:

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Agreed…I experience it on my own shower walls.

Why put a waterproof system backer behind the tile, again?

I agree with Marcel never seen it done in Canada .

See them all the time.


Weep holes at the tiled drain pan yes, but not in tiled walls.



No weep holes on this detail.


That gap in the sealant to the tub is to let water out that seeps in behind the sealant when adhesion has been lost.
Not the first time in my adventures have I seen improper sealant applications and silicons loose their adhesion and water is trapped behind the caulk and the lip of the tub and turning to mold.
Wish I would have taken pictures.

Most tile installers will grout the whole thing and apply an approved sealant to tub and tile afterwards to maintain the seal and prevent water accummulation behind the sealant in the void.

As far as providing a water proof backing, that is in order to assure that any movent or cracking of the tile joints or corners cracking that water will not find its way to the wall cavity.

After the cement board is installed, a membrane is installed to waterproof the enclosure of the shower.

No weep holes necessary.

This is the Membrane.

Water absortion of tile grout does not compare to mortar on a brick veneer. It is much more water repelent with less absortion.

The backer material has to be water resistant due to failures in the grout joints and movement that can occur and let water in.
A water resistant membrane at the tub to wall juncture before a cement board is installed is critical for that reason.
Just as their are weeps at 4 piece fiberglass tub shower enclosures, water can wick up the caulked joint at the tub wall juncture the same way.

Tileing installations can be installed in a variety of ways and this is just one way, I have seen many in my career.

I agree 100% Marcel except the fact that you should not grout all the way to the tub as a steel tub flexs with hot and cold temps grout breaks and with it the sealant, a quarter inch gap should be left.
As a former renovator I stopped using conventional backer board and cement board when the Kerdi line came out. The Shluter kerdi board is by far the best (and most expensive) system. The backer product will not absorb water (zero mold) totally lightweight. You put a continuous water proof membrane on each joint. The quarter in gap is left and filled with a silicon sealant before tiling. After tiling the same gap is again filled with sealant producing a water tight wall…no weep holes!
If anyone is interested to read more

I always check to see if the grout is water proof.
Even if it does not knock the tile loose it absorbs dirt and odor.
Just splash water and see if it turns dark.