If you're installing a new shower and tub, you're paying attention to how well the tile and grout are drying and sealing, right? After all, you don't want a bunch of water seeping into the wall behind the tile and creating a mold problem. However, those aren't the only things you should worry about. When you place a new shower stall or tub surround in your bathroom, remember to protect the area of the wall just above the shower head and also on the sides of the curtain. If water from the shower head sprays in the wrong direction, you don't want these parts of the wall to get soaked.

Water Can Be Unpredictable

Shower stalls and tub surrounds tend to end a few inches above or below the shower head, depending on how high up you've decided to place the pipes. The sides of the surround/stall's walls end just a bit past where the curtain would sit. If the shower head nozzle becomes mildly clogged with scale, streams of water can spray in odd directions, including just outside the shower walls. If the nozzle actually breaks, water can come streaming out of the connection between the shower head and the pipe, sending water up onto the wall above it or to the sides.

In both cases, water can soak into the drywall. If this happens a little, as long as you have good ventilation in the bathroom, you should be OK. But if it happens a lot, or if a lot of water splashes onto the wall, you'd need to clean that up immediately and fix the shower head.

There's also another option: Extend the walls of the surround or stall much further up along the wall and outside the curtain. That way, any water that sprays onto those sections will simply drip down. For the wall around the shower head, that just means the water would end up back in the tub.

Don't Forget the Floor

The water that sprays outside the curtain, though, still presents a problem because now it's on the floor. You have two choices here:

  1. Use a door instead of a curtain. If you change the stall so that you have a door, you'll have built-in protection along the sides from the rails and rims of the frame. A curtain can billow inward or close only partially, leaving a corner of the stall's open side exposed. Using a door instead of a curtain will increase your remodeling costs.
  2. Place toweling on the floor every time you use the shower. This is cheaper than installing the door, but it does lead to wasted toweling. (You could use a handtowel and wash that frequently, too, but then you'd still have higher laundry bills.)

If you want more information about preventing water damage to drywall around a shower or tub surround, contact a company that handles water damage restoration and drywall damage. The people there will let you know what your options are to prevent water damage both on the walls and the floor without wasting too many resources. For more information, contact Mike's Drywall Service Inc. or a similar company.

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