Understanding Weep Holes in Shower Drains

Understanding Weep Holes in Shower Drains

June 28, 2024 Fred Hueston Comments Off

Understanding Weep Holes in Shower Drains

Frederick M Hueston  StoneForensics.com

Weep holes are an important feature in some types of shower drains, designed to protect the integrity of the shower floor and the underlying structure by preventing water buildup. These small openings allow water that seeps under the shower floor tiles or through the grout to enter the drain system instead of accumulating and causing damage such as mold, mildew, or structural issues. Here’s a look at which types of drains typically incorporate weep holes and how they function:

Types of Drains with Weep Holes

  1. Traditional Point Drains
    • Presence of Weep Holes: Yes
    • Functionality: In traditional point drains, weep holes are located around the sides of the drain body, beneath the strainer or cover. These holes are critical for managing water that seeps beneath the surface, guiding it into the main drainage pipe. This feature ensures that all water in and around the shower area is effectively directed away, maintaining dryness in the subfloor and preventing water damage.
  2. Linear Drains
    • Presence of Weep Holes: Sometimes
    • Functionality: Some linear drains are designed with weep holes, particularly those installed flush with the shower floor where water infiltration underneath tiles is a concern. The weep holes in linear drains work similarly to those in point drains, collecting subsurface water and channeling it into the drainpipe. However, the design and placement of weep holes can vary widely depending on the manufacturer and specific product design.
  3. Tile Insert Drains
    • Presence of Weep Holes: Varies
    • Functionality: Whether tile insert drains contain weep holes depends on the specific design and intended use. Some models include weep holes to enhance water management, especially in settings where the tile insert is flush with the shower floor, making subsurface water drainage a priority.

Importance of Weep Holes in Shower Drains

The presence of weep holes in shower drains is crucial for maintaining the health and longevity of bathroom installations. They play a key role in:

  • Preventing Water Damage: By allowing trapped water a route into the drain system, weep holes prevent the accumulation that can lead to mold, mildew, and even structural damage.
  • Enhancing Drainage Efficiency: Weep holes help manage water flow both on the surface and underneath, ensuring that all water is swiftly removed from the shower area.
  • Protecting Waterproofing Membranes: These holes ensure that the waterproofing membranes applied beneath tiles are not subjected to standing water, which can degrade these materials over time.


When selecting a shower drain, understanding whether it includes weep holes can be crucial depending on your shower’s construction and the level of water exposure it receives. Drains with weep holes offer added protection against water damage by ensuring that moisture does not remain trapped beneath the shower floor. This feature, while small, plays a significant role in the overall effectiveness and durability of shower drainage systems, making it an important factor to consider in the decision-making process.