Tips for increasing the water resistance of a tiled shower

By Tal | 2013-08-07

Update 2018-09-26

To ensure a waterproof installation it is essential to waterproof the shower enclosure prior to tiling. However, if an existing tiled shower is showing signs of leaking - i.e. damp patches on adjacent walls or on the ceilings and walls of the levels below - and removing the existing tiles to waterproof and retile the shower is not an option, the following tips should assist in increasing the water resistance of the shower.

Inspect the grout

  • Water can seep through cracks, voids and even tiny piholes in the grout joints. If these are detected in the grout, we recommend that the grout be carefully scraped out of the joints, using a grout rake, to a minimum depth of 5mm.


  • The joints should then be regrouted, using TAL Wall & Floor Grout mixed with TAL Bond as a total water replacement.
  • TAL Bond is a modified latex additive which will enhance the bond strength, flexibility and water resistance of the grout. Ensure the grout joints are completely filled, and the grout is thoroughly compacted into the joints.

Check the perimeter of the shower floor

  • The  joint  around the perimeter of the shower floor and drain should also be inspected as these are areas where water can permeate through into the tile installation and thus into the substrate. To allow for movement in the tile installations, this joint should be filled with a suitable (shower type) resilient joint sealant. Perhaps the joint was filled with a cementitious grout, or the incorrect type of sealant was used. 


If the problem still persists:

  • Provided that the existing tiles are in good condition and firmly attached to the substrate, and of course that the installation allows for added height of new adhesive and tiles, it is possible to waterproof and tile over the existing tiles.
  • Thereafter install the new tiles using a latex-modified adhesive and grout system. TAL Bond should be used as a total water replacement in the adhesive and grout mix to improve the water-resistance of the adhesive and grout.

TAL can issue a Materials and Methods Specification for a tiling installation. Contact the TAL Technical Advice Centre number on 0860 000 TAL (825) to request a specification.



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