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It seems that water is seeping through the seams between the tiles in the shower. We suspect that the construction worker who installed the showers and the tiles did a lousy job in selecting/mixing the proper grout.

Is there a product or film on the market that would allow us to make the seams water resistant, without having to fully demolish the shower cabin?

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lmgtfy.com/?q=grout+sealer – Steven Oct 9 '13 at 18:45
1  
@steven :) The results on your google search give mixed message though. Either shops selling it or blogs advising against applying grout sealers – Nonsense Oct 9 '13 at 18:58

Tile, grout, and cement products are usually porous and will leak. The standard practice is to place a waterproof layer under the tile in showers and baths. Sealing grout is usually done for stain resistance, not to create a waterproof surface in a shower.

At this point, there's no easy answer. You'd have to fix it by removing the tile and starting all over.

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BMitch is overall correct. If you cannot afford to fix it right now, you can buy time by applying a hydrophobic grout sealer. This will not stop water, but will cut it back substantially. You will have to periodically renew it. I would use one that soaks in, as opposed to a surface layer. Usually it will take several applications to get to the point where no further soaks in.

You can also buy time by keeping the bathroom dry. Run the fan! Run it for at least an hour after anyone has steamed up the mirrors.

It also will help if the spaces where the water is getting to can be vented.

And of course, decreasing the frequency and length of use will help. (half shut the hot water line to this shower. Cool showers tend to be short. If they cut the cold to get it warm enough, then water isn't hitting the walls very hard.

But you need to fix it in the long run. The above can postpone it a few months to a few years, depending on to what degree you apply them.

The usual standard now requires cement backing board, what amounts to a waterproof coating, or a layer of plastic (Ditra system and similar) then your tile.

Last winter I ripped out the free standing ugly plastic shower stall and did my own. The prep work was FAR longer than the tiling. I did cheat and used a pre-formed fiberglass base.

As far as I can tell showers are a "Do it right, or do it over" It's really hard to fix it. (I now, however, always leave an access panel to my plumbing so I can replace taps 20 years from now, and check for leaks. )

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