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There are many variables to consider. First you have to know what type of tile was installed. Whether it is a glazed tile (impervious glass-like surface) or unglazed tile (same clay material form top to bottom). If it is an unglazed tile is it porous?

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If water from your shower is leaking into a crawl space the problem is not the cementitious grout joints. There has to be an underlying problem with the shower pan’s waterproof membrane.

Ceramic and Porcelain TileExpert AnswersfailuresgroutLeakMoisture ProblemsRepairsWet Areas
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The reason you will get mildew on the tile in a shower is because the water is not draining or drying properly. This could be cause of the tile not being installed correctly with the correct slope on the tile floor.

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Regardless of what type of tile you install over your garage, none of the installations will be waterproof unless you waterproof under the tile first.

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First of all if it was installed correctly you wouldn’t have a problem. To fully figure it out I would have to perform a forensic intrusive inspection, which probably isn’t practical for a small shower.

Ceramic and Porcelain TileExpert AnswersfailuresinstallationLeakMovement JointsRepairsWaterproofingWet Areas
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For an ADA shower you can’t have a curb/dam. You need a minimum slope to drain of ¼” per foot and no more than ½” per foot. You need a two part drain with weeps for the primary waterproof membrane to clamp to.

Ceramic and Porcelain TileExpert AnswersinstallationstoneWaterproofingWet AreasWood Subfloor
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Patching the grout joints to stop the leak is a band aide approach. It does not fix the problem, rather it is only fixing the symptom of the problem.

Ceramic and Porcelain TilecracksExpert AnswersfailuresLeakRepairsWaterproofingWet Areas
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The term mastic in the ceramic tile industry is an organic adhesive per ANSI A136.1. Type 1 and type 2 organic adhesives are to be used only in interior wall and ceilings with limited water exposure. Type 1 is more resistant to water than type 2 adhesives.

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When there is failure in a tile installation it is generally not due to one condition or deficiency, but rather due to several compounding deficiencies.

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