Menu

Need Glass? Get Started Here:

How to Stop a Shower Door From Leaking Water

Close up of water in gray squares of a floor mat.
7 min read

Find it helpful?

Share With

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.

Caution Wet Floor Sign

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.

Shower Head with Water

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.

5-in-1-silicone-caulk-removal-tool
5 in 1 Silicone Grout Removal Finishing Angle Sealant Scraper, Stainless Steel head, 15 Pieces
View In Store
prime-caulk-removal-finishing-tool
5 in 1 Silicone Caulking Tools Remover and Finishing Tool
View In Store

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.

clear-caulk-strip-bath-shower
Caulk Strip - Self Adhesive, for Bathtub and Bathroom, 59/50"x 10', Transparent
View In Store
white-caulk-strip-bath-shower
Tape Caulk Strip, Self Adhesive, for Bathroom Shower and Bathtub, 1-1/2" x 11' White
View In Store

Using a caulk gun will give the most professional looking results. However, it takes some practice.

bates-dripless-caulk-gun
Bates- Dripless Caulk Gun, Caulk Gun for Silicone
View In Store
dap-silicone-clear-caulk
DAP 18898 Silicone-Caulk, 10.1 oz, Clear
View In Store

Squeeze tube caulk is the best of both worlds. It requires little setup and doesn’t require the purchase of a caulk gun.

ge-silicone-shower-caulk-clear
General Electric GE360 Kitchen and Bath Silicone I Caulk, 2.8-Ounce, Clear
View In Store
ge-silicone-shower-caulk-white
GE Supreme 100% Silicone 30 Min. Water-Ready caulk, 2.8 oz tube, White
View In Store

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.

drain-hole-cleaner-snake
Long Drain Brush, Flexible Feeding Tube Brush, Slim
View In Store
drain-hole-cleaner-kit
Hiware Cleaner Brush Kit - 9-Piece Extra Long Pipe Cleaners
View In Store

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.

troysys-shower-sweep-bottom-seal
TroySys 36" Clear Bottom Sweep with Drip Rail for 3/8" Glass Shower Doors
View In Store
dalrun-shower-sweep-bottom-seal
Frameless Shower Door Sweep Shower Door Bottom Seal for 1/4" Glass,36", Clear Vinyl
View In Store

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.

Water on Tiles

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.

Frameless Shower Door Seal to help prevent water
Frameless Shower Door Sweep Seal Drip Rail, H Type 3/8" x 120", Silicone Door Seal Strip- 1 Pack
View In Store
frameless-shower-door-seal-strip
Frameless Shower Door Sweep to Stop Shower Leaks, U Type, Fit for 3/8”, 8.2 Feet long
View In Store

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!

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, Glass.com earns from qualifying purchases.

Share:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Snow

Daniel Snow serves as the Vice President of Operations for Glass.com and is also a contributing editor. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from George Mason University and has a background in the real estate industry. After high school, Daniel even worked at a family-owned glass shop for a short period of time and is an Auto Glass Safety Council certified installer. In his free time, Daniel enjoys being outdoors, especially around the water where he can be found surfing, fishing, and boating. He has a passion for bringing old vehicles back to life and loves working with his hands to restore cars, boats, and motorcycles.

More Articles from Daniel Snow

Related Posts

28 Responses

  1. 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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Popular Posts

Editor's Picks

close up of a car windshield

Maybe you've heard that one of the best ways to clean road film - the grit and grime that comes from traveling - off your windshield is to pour a can of soda over the glass. Or use shaving cream. But do these really work?

5 min read

Need Glass? Get Started Here:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

© 2022 Glass.com. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

image 14

Glass.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a
means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to shop.glass.com 

© 2022 by Glass.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express written permission from Glass.com.

>