The floor in my bathroom is constantly wet after showers. House was built in 1970 and this bathroom is all original. From the yellow tile down to the linoleum.

The shower curtain is sealed, the shower head is not spraying, everything above the floor is dry. I tested this by drying it, putting down dry pieces of toilet paper, then showering. TP on the floor was soaked, TP on the rim of the tub was bone dry.

What should I look at to find out where the water is coming from?

My current list is:

  • old caulk around tub rim
  • plumbers putty around spout
  • plumbers putty around faucets
  • plumbers putty around drain
  • look inside drain for cracks

What else should I investigate?

Should I find the leak or just reseal everything?

3 Answers 3


Your external list is pretty good, what's missing is an internal list:

  1. water shut off valves(stem leaks)
  2. Connections between stop valves and mixing valve
  3. Stem leaks on mixing valve
  4. Shower arm and tub outlet extension: leaks at elbow inside wall

It is unusual for these sources to end up on the floor, outside the tub, unless your bath is over a slab.

If you have access (if not, you should make one; 14" square centered on the valve) to the back of the mixing valve, use a flashlight and watch carefully when the water is first turned on, after its been off overnight

  • 2nd floor bathroom, tub is on the subfloor. It leaks onto the bathroom floor and on occasion down into my kitchen cabinets.
    – Freiheit
    Jul 15, 2014 at 16:07

Just resealing everything is a bad idea because you might, for example, just trap the leaking water somewhere you can't see it. The water will still leak and cause damage or mold.

You really need to find out where the water is coming from. Turn on the shower and sit outside of it to find the leak.

  • How do I watch for the leak? If it was leaking from a visible location (like overspray from the showerhead) I would see wet spots from that. I suspect that the leak is someplace I can't see, for example if its getting behind the faucet, under the tub, then onto the floor.
    – Freiheit
    Jul 15, 2014 at 14:42
  • If, for example, the spigot is leaking but the puddle is on the floor, then the water has to travel from the spigot to the floor. That travel is what you are looking for.
    – longneck
    Jul 15, 2014 at 14:44

We had same problem...

It was the water shut off leak (stems), as indicated on list above.

If those terms aren't clear to you, it means your hot and cold water knobs on shower do not completely shut off water and are leaking all the time. Ours didn't leak next to the tub; the leak appeared from the wall nearby.

A good amount of water, hours after shower. Apartment maintenance replaced the stems on the knobs and leaks stopped. We also had a water heater in closet next to bathroom that they said had leak from condensation lines that "may have contributed to this problem". Of course this is what they told us, so I can't vouch first hand for this. But if you even have a small drip from shower after you turn off water, it's probably time to replace stems..so you don't end up replacing floors.

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