My upstairs bathtub area has a leak, that is resuling in some water
dribbling down behind the tub tile, wetting the floorboards, and working
it's way down to the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom directly beneath
The water is coming from the general area of the front of the tub (where
the faucet and handles are). I removed the access cover and found that
the 36 year old tile around the tub is affixed to common drywall, not
durock or other waterproof backer board. Crap.
Despite a recent recaulking with silicone sealant, water seems to be
getting through the caulk/grout seams, soaking into the little metal
"tray lip" of the tub that the drywall sits in, running down along a
very slight incline in this lip to the corner, then dribbling down to
the floorboards from there. Water also is seeping in around the holes in
the tile/drywall due to poor joins between the plumbers putty and the
rotten drywall (yuk!!).
I recognize the right fix as being basically a gut job of the whole
tile/drywall backing, replace with cement board, and retile. But we've
got houseguests coming in two weeks, a baby on the way due mid August,
and a tight budget.
What I'd like to do is put this off for a year, if I can find a way to
hold back the water.
Any thoughts here? I can re-grout, re-caulk the area in question. That's
easy, and may reduce water infiltration. But more is needed. I had some
thoughts of chipping out the crumbly drywall behind the bottom tiles
where the worst of the problem is, and using mimimal-expansion
polyurethane foam to fill the gap and create a (relatively) rigid,
completely waterproof backing for the base of the tiles where they meet