Shower door leaking? Fix it before it’s too late with these easy tips.
Cleaning up water on the bathroom floor after a shower is probably the last thing you want to do—in the morning while getting ready for work, at night before going to bed, or anytime. To say that shower door water leaks are annoying is an understatement. So how do you fix a shower door water leak? It’s probably easier than you may think. Tracking down the leak can be the hard part. We’ll walk you through the steps to find the leak and break down the possible solutions.
Shower door water leaks don’t always result in big pools of water on the floor of the bathroom after a shower has run. Sometimes small amounts of moisture do damage over the span of several years. The severity can range from discoloration to scum build-up and black mold, even to rotten drywall and subflooring.
The key is to locate and stop the water leak as soon as possible. It’s best to check for water leaks from the shower door after a new shower door has been installed, and periodically throughout its lifetime. Shower door parts can wear out over time and this can cause water leaks that weren’t present before to form at later dates.
The way that a shower keeps water in will be determined by the structure of the shower itself. Therefore, the type of shower you have will often determine where the water is leaking from and how to fix the leak. Do you have:
- Framed shower door leaks?
- Semi-frameless shower door leaks?
- Frameless shower door leaks?
What Causes Shower Door Water Leaks?
Shower doors and shower enclosures can leak water for many reasons. It can happen to new showers and old showers as well. Typically, shower door water leaks are caused by:
- Ineffective caulking
Both framed and frameless shower doors are sealed in around the edges with caulk to prevent water from exiting the shower. Worn out or missing caulk can let moisture escape.
- Broken or improperly installed shower door sweeps
Frameless shower doors generally have sweeps attached to the bottom of the door which keeps water from exiting the shower underneath of the door.
- Broken or improperly installed shower door seals
Frameless shower doors usually have seals installed on the vertical edge that meets the stationary pane in order to keep water from exiting through the crack, while still allowing the door to swing.
- Clogged drain holes
Framed shower doors usually have drain holes located along the bottom inside edge of the frame. This allows any water that enters the frame to drain out, into the shower. If these holes become clogged, water may drain out or overflow into the bathroom.
- Unslanted shower curbs
A shower curb is a threshold that you step over to enter and exit the shower. It is usually only a couple of inches in height but plays a vital role in keeping water inside the shower. Not only does it act as a barrier, but the top should also have a 5-degree slant so that water that lands on top of the curb runs back into the shower.
How to Locate a Shower Door Leak
Shower door leaks can be difficult to track down. Keep in mind that the leak may be coming from multiple locations. Start by turning on the water in the shower and watching from the outside to see where water begins to appear. Water always flows downward so it may be originating from higher up than you think.
Typical shower door leak locations include:
- Along the wall
- Where the shower door meets the jamb
- Along the bottom of the shower door or shower door track
How to Fix a Shower Door Leak
How the leak is fixed will depend on where the leak is originating from and what type of shower enclosure you have. Any work done to your bathroom and especially your shower is always best left to a professional. Professionals have the proper tools and materials to fix issues properly the first time around and eliminate the guess work. The following is for informational purposes only as general guidelines for how a professional might correct the situation.
Shower Leak Along the Wall
Old caulk should be removed and fresh caulk should be applied to the inside edges of the frame where it meets the walls and tub. Be careful that the drain holes do not become clogged by the caulk.
Caulk typically comes in three forms- a squeeze tube, a caulk cartridge, and strips.
Pro Tips: Be sure to match the caulk color to either the current caulk, or the finishes in your bathroom. Caulk typically comes in clear, white, and almond.
Be sure to use the proper tool for the job. Special caulk removal and finishing tools will made the job much easier.
Caulk strips will be easy to install and create little to no mess. However, the seal may not be as good as, or last as long as traditional caulk.
Using a caulk gun will give the most professional looking results. However, it takes some practice.
Squeeze tube caulk is the best of both worlds. It requires little setup and doesn’t require the purchase of a caulk gun.
Shower Door Leaks Under the Door
In a framed shower door, if the leak is originating near the bottom of the door, it is likely caused by clogged drain holes. Locate the drain holes along the bottom inside edge of the frame and use a small drain brush to clean the holes.
If the shower door is frameless, you’ll want to inspect the sweep that runs across the bottom of the door. Some sweeps are adjustable and need adjustment over time. Other times, sweeps wear out from years of use. If the sweep is missing, damaged, or improperly adjusted, you’ll want to replace it.
If the sweep appears to be in working order, take a look at the shower’s curb. If there is not enough of a slope back in towards the shower, then the issue is likely being caused by the curb. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this is to do the tile work over again.
Shower Door Leaks Between Glass
If water is leaking through a shower door where two panes of glass meet, a seal should be installed. This seal simply acts as a barrier that fills the gap between the two panes and allows the water to drain back into the shower instead of escaping. These seals are usually installed with an adhesive that keeps them in place.
How Glass.com® Can Help
If your glass shower enclosure needs to be repaired, use Glass.com to locate a reputable shower door dealer or glass shop in your area that can assess the needed repairs and provide a quote. Ready for a full upgrade? Our affiliates can help with that too!
Concise. Thanks. However my leak is at the hing side of a new-angle door. I run the shower, close the door and watch water that is hitting the inside of the hinge side dripping on the bottom outside of the door. The door seems aligned properly, and I don’t think that it did this for a while. I did install new shower head that puts water more directly to that location. It is puzzling how water is hitting the inside and running down to the outside and then dripping on the floor….help:))
Depending on the configuration of your hinges, it may be possible to add a seal, which should help significantly.
Our shower door is leaking from the bottom and it is driving us crazy. Is there a person we could call to fix it my husband tried everything
You can use Glass.com to locate a local, reputable glass shop in your area that can provide assistance.
I have a frameless shower door that leaks, what type of glue do I use to fix it?
You don’t want to use glue for this job. Depending on where the leak is, you’ll want to either use caulk, or install new seals or sweeps. It would be best to contact a local shower door installation expert who will be able to identify a solution and fix the leak effectively.
As a disabled individual, I have tremendous difficulty in crouching into cramped spaces. I have a shower cubicle that has developed a serious leak in the lower corner ….it has taken to literally running out onto the floor and I have to mop up more-or-less continuously. I really need to fix this. Best method? I know….get somebody in to do the job! Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
How can I seal water from running under the glass doors.
3/8 clear frameless bypass, 60 x 76, both panels open , no curb.
forgot to mention, 3/8 gap from floor to boottem of glass, due to center guide on floor at the divided lite,
Dimmension of guide is 3 x 2 x 1/4.
I need to find a bottom seal for a framed shower door. Can you help me? Thanks
Reach out to a local full-service glass shop in your area and they should be able to get it replaced for you!
Our shower is built in the corner of a brick room. The other two walls are glass walls with a glass door.
The shower floor was not built at an angle towards the middel to allow the water to escape.
The water is now leaking below both glass doors. Both glass doors were sealed at the bottom, but it did not help.
Could you please give advice as we have to clean the floor every time we shower
You may want to try a different type of sealant since it sounds like the current sealant is not working as it should. You could also have a “curb” installed to stop the water, but you may need to have the glass moved if you go this route. It will be best to speak with a professional contractor in your area who can view the issue in person.
We have a framed shower door with a curved bottom that holds the sweep. The water is staying in the curved well and when we open the door it flows out the end. Should this curved well be slanted so that it runs out the hinged side? If you adjust the 2 screws that hold the bottom curved well, it looks like you could create the slant. I did put in a new sweep already.
Based on your description, it sounds like your assumption may be correct. You would just want to make sure that the angle of the door’s vertical edge isn’t thrown off by the adjustment which could cause another leak.
brand new sliding glass shower doors leaking. Appears to be coming from center space between two doors. Any help?
Your best option would be to contact the company that handled the installation. If it was just installed, they should be willing to come back out to fix the problem. If you did the installation yourself, try contacting the company that manufactured the shower doors. They may advise you of seals that are available or recommend a caulk.
Same issues with frameless shower tub doors. I did find a seal to reduce gap between the sliding doors. Shaped like an F. “F shaped shower door seals”
Same issue as the first commenter. Water seems to be going thru the hinge on my frameless shower. How can I seal the hinge? Thanks
Hinges aren’t typically watertight because they need to be able to swing back and forth to operate the shower door. Therefore, you won’t be able to seal them with caulk the way that you would with a seam. Your best option is likely to divert water away from the hinges.
I had a very bad contractor( using word loosely). Lots of mistakes made. Now another has come to light. The tub pitches out, hoping I don’t regret my frameless bypass doors about to be installed. Has a sweep & very small track( not right word) thin low metal piece on top of tub.
Thanks for your comment RoLab. We’re sorry to hear of your bad experience with a low-quality “contractor”. This is why we always emphasize the importance of an experienced, high-quality glass installer. It sounds like it might be too late in your case, but here’s a link to our Shower Replacement Guide. For future glass projects, you can search for qualified glass replacement professionals in your area using our shop locator tool.
The fixed glass panel to the side of the frameless shower door just started leaking underneath. What can be used to seal this area? Thank you for your help!
Hi Fran, it’s tough to say without pictures, but you’ll likely want to run a bead of clear silicone caulk along the bottom edge of the panel to seal it. Consult a local professional to verify this.
I strongly recommend
Thank you for every other informative blog.
Zero entry shower, frameless glass shower door has started leaking. Replaced sweep. Have caulked seams. No evident leakage from anywhere else.
What else can I do to find source of leak?
Hi, I have a frameless sliding glass door and water leaks through the bottom sliding door. Is there anything that can be done to fix this.
First, check to see if the weep holes are clean and unclogged. Next, check the caulk to see if it’s time to re-do. These are the two most common culprits.