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I have a bathroom upstairs with a bathtub/shower, and a bathroom downstairs directly below. I keep getting a significant leak from the upstairs bathroom down through the ceiling into the bathroom below. I finally determined for certain that the leak happens when the shower water is spraying onto the wall, it goes through the tile grout.

I know there's mold and water damage behind the walls and I plan on redoing the entire bathroom next year, but as a temporary solution for the leak, I'm considering gluing clear marine vinyl sheets (I'm talking about this kind of thing) directly onto the tiles, using a clear construction adhesive (like Gorilla Glue that comes in a caulk tube).

I'd glue one sheet on each wall and use caulk to seal the sides. To me this sounds foolproof at least as a temporary way to prevent water from getting through the walls. Are there any issues with this I'm not considering?

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That sounds like a longer lasting solution than duck-taping a couple of shower curtains up. Remember that a shower curtain protects the floor outside the tub from getting wet, so I'd think this should work just fine as a one-year-or-so "temporary" solution.

  • Make sure that you overlap the sheeting onto the surface of the tub. It could be that there is an unsealed grout joint way down low and that the grout is wicking the water up and over the lip of the tub that's sitting behind the tile.
  • Make sure the adhesive you choose is suitable for the sheeting you're using. I'm not certain whether or not your particular choice is good or not, just giving you a reminder.

I put "temporary" in quotes because sometimes these things drag on... ;)

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  • Yes, "temporary" - famous last words, haha!
    – jbyrd
    Nov 16 '20 at 20:18
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I'd be inclined to take a closer look at the suspected leak area. It's unlikely that you're getting enough water through the grouted joints to leak a noticeable amount of water into the floor below. What I would suspect is you have a bathtub without an integral flange and the joint where the tile meets the tub is compromised or not properly sealed with silicone behind or in place of the grout. So what I'm wondering is if all you need to do is seal that joint to temporarily resolve the issue.

If that joint where the tile meets the tub is indeed the source of the leak another thing to try is something like Gorilla Glue Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape to bridge the tile to tub gap. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gorilla-4-in-x-10-ft-Black-Waterproof-Patch-and-Seal-Tape-4612502/306379572

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  • Good thought - I think I have a solid caulk line where the tub meets the wall, but I will double check on that and report back.
    – jbyrd
    Nov 16 '20 at 20:21

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