What can I do about this water?


This tile is in my split foyer. It was installed maybe 10 yrs ago. The house was built in 1979. Soon after I moved in, I had parquet (the rage then) put down and the tile was installed over that.

It's a small foyer, maybe 5' x 7' at most. Several months ago I started seeing standing water in the middle of the tiles after a heavy rain. It's usually a puddle much larger than this one. This one is about 5" x 6" and they're usually about 1' x 2'. It's not a huge problem because I just clean it up but how it got there baffles me. I never detect a path from the door to the puddle. I've put my finger on the grout lines to see if they feel wet and they never do. It's not coming from the ceiling. There's no sign at all of a leak there. I sent a photo of one of the larger puddles to my former and now retired handyman who's a genius at everything pertaining to home fix-it and he was baffled. I had another so-called handyman look at it once and he had no idea. Can anyone here suggest what's happening other than magic? 😊

q what can i do about this water
  18 answers
  • Jan Clark Jan Clark 7 days ago

    This is not condensation. The water is coming from somewhere. My first suggestion is: look around the house - are there any signs of the foundation shifting? Small cracks around joints, doors that get stuck, stuff like that. Since you've been in the home for quite awhile, a foundation crack would be my first guess. Talk to a foundation guy - they give free estimates and know the signs. Second guess - plumbing issue. I pipe could be shifting when the ground swells from rain. You should look into that, too. If it determined that water is seeping up from the ground or a loose pipe, you've got a potentially bigger problem than a puddle in your foyer. If it isn't, then I'd go with magic! My guess is if you seal up that small crack in the grout, you'll find the water pooling somewhere else after the next storm.

  • Deb K Deb K 7 days ago

    Hi there, strange, it looks like a dribble from some carrying of water in a cup, check for cracks in the grout, water always takes the path of least resistance, seal any cracks you can spot and see if the water appears anywhere else, if at a total loss, maybe call in a contractor to take look.

  • Louise Louise 7 days ago

    There's not a small crack in the grout. The whole tile area seems to be in fine condition. If there's a plumbing issue, where is the water coming from? There's no hole in the tile. And that area doesn't have any plumbing pipes or anything like that underneath it but if it did, there'd have to be a hole or crack in the tiled area but unless the water were squirting upwards, and that would have to be a rather powerful squirt, it would puddle on the tile since water typically goes downhill and up. AND it only happens after a heavy rain.

  • William William 7 days ago

    I would say the water is seeping under the parquet floor and migrating up the tile grout. In the photo it looks like small cracks or missing grout. It's possible the water is getting through the door and under the parquet floor. You can check this running a hose full blast against the door threshold from the outside and see if water surfaces on the tile. If so you can replace the threshold and install a door sweep. Also you may consider replacing any loose or missing grout. It's also possible the parquet floor, which really isn't a good substrate for tile, is deteriorated which may mean redoing the tile floor properly. I hope this helps.


    • Louise Louise 7 days ago

      Thanks. You always have great answers. I'll try the full blast water and see what happens. I have a new door which I plan to have installed as soon as I get myself in gear and finish painting it. Maybe that would fix the problem?

  • Dee Dee 7 days ago

    It may be a foundation problem, where you have a crack and water is seeping through. Also check for plumbing issues. Is there a pipe under that floor for sewage?

  • Louise Louise 7 days ago

    No, as stated above, no plumbing is underneath that area. Steps to downstairs adjoin the small foyer so no room for plumbing.

  • William William 7 days ago

    If the door and/or threshold are the problem a new door would solve it as long as the bottom of the door and threshold have a good positive seal. Otherwise replace the threshold after the new door is installed. When i replace our door a few years ago I had to replace the threshold and shim it up for a good seal. two beads of caulk under the shim board and two beads under the new threshold. Also a bead of caulk on the outside of the threshold.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 7 days ago

    Hi there, You could have a phantom pet, or it could be the wood floor below is sweating !

    Probably have to remove tiles to investigate. Ask a Building Surveyor or Buildings Engineer to take a look at it! Best wishes.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A 7 days ago

    are there pipes underneath the tiles? it could be a leak from the pipes

  • Louise Louise 7 days ago

    No pipes.

  • William William 7 days ago

    You have a prehung door. Makes installing easier. Exterior doors come with a threshold so your good. Interior doors do not. Here are some installation instructions that may help for a tight and weatherproof install.


    • Louise Louise 5 days ago

      Great video!! How can I be sure that the person I hire to install the door will do all of these steps? Does the sill pan come with the pre-hung door?

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor 7 days ago

    Agree with the wise suggestion to try to blast it with a garden hose from the exterior to see if you can force some kind of reaction.

    We had a strange situation with an elevated French door leaking under certain circumstances rain +-wind blowing. We opted to switch it out for a slider as we were concerned of wood rot under the threshold with the unpredictable rainwater weeping.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H 6 days ago

    Is the floor level there? Usually a puddle forms at the lowest spot on a floor. If settling has caused that, it may very well have affected the seal around your door or caused a crack that's letting water seep in from the foundation. Water travels. Last year, the only sign we had that we had a roofing issue was a puddle I kept finding near a door after a heavy rain. We checked the flashing, the roof above it, the attic etc. and found nothing. The leak was letting water in where it was running down the plank walls beneath the insulation and sheetrock. Finally, I gambled and removed the sheetrock above the door. Under the insulation, the wall was wet. We had the roof replaced this spring because it was soon joined by other leaks. That was a year after I noticed that little bit of water the first time. There's a lot of magic in the world, but, when you find water, it's coming from somewhere. Good luck!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law 5 days ago

    It may be at your threshold, absorbing into the parquet, and then seeping back up. That's a mystery for sure. The next time it rains, put a large towel at the door and see if this still happens. I'm very surprised someone installed the tile over the parquet without putting down cement board. That is the purpose of the board, as a barrier of moisture to prevent the tile from getting wet.

    • Louise Louise 5 days ago

      Now that you've mentioned it, I'm sure he did put down cement board. He was a real professional in everything he did. He put cement board on the bathroom floors before tiling them so I'm sure he did the same with the foyer.

  • William William 5 days ago

    No the sill pan does not come with the door. Most installers use flashing tape which provides a better seal. Sill pans were used before flashing tape was available. Not all the steps need to be used in the video. Use it as a guide so you ask questions to whoever you hire. If your door is new and still factory wrapped there should be basic instructions with it. To hire somebody you can check Homeadvisor, Angi or Thumbtack. You can also check with Home Depot for local contractors/handymen. They have a list of contractors that purchase from them.

    • Louise Louise 5 days ago

      I've been emailing with a guy on NextDoor who seems to be an expert but you know how that goes. He's asked me several questions and asked me to send him photos of what I have so he at least asks questions. He no longer does this kind of work but said he'd install the door for me if I promised not to refer him to others.

  • William William 5 days ago

    If he's on NextDoor you would expect he'd be looking for referrals. If he no longer does this kind of work I'd be looking for someone else. Also try to get at least three estimates. The cheapest isn't always the best

  • Betsy Betsy 4 days ago

    Hi Louise: Check around the house and see where the water may be coming in and seal that area. You may be able to adjust the slope of the soil away from the house. Water usually comes in from a circuitous route, rarely straight in. You may have to pull up those tiles and check to see if there's a problem there. If your house is on a slab, you may have something that crawled under the house, as small as a mouse or snake, that set up residence and when it rains, the water comes in their holes and fills up their houses. I'd try the sloaping of the soil away from the house, first.

    Good luck

    • See 1 previous
    • Betsy Betsy 2 days ago

      Does the ground slope away from the house on all sides? Water has a way of getting into cracks and/or crevices. Other than that, I have no idea. Sorry

  • Annie Annie 2 days ago

    It really looks like the water has to be coming up through that grout between the two tiles. How strange. Putting tile over parquet I don't think was the right way to do it. Anyway, you may have to break a couple of those tiles to see what is happening under neath :(

    • See 1 previous
    • Annie Annie 24 hours ago

      I will try to upload your photo, I selected the area where it looks to me at least, the grout between two tiles is cracked.

      How far away from the door is this? Unless it IS coming from under the door when you have a heavy rain, I still think it's coming up from underneath.

      Did you try William's suggestions with blasting the lower part of the front door with water? That would be the easiest way to find out if it is just coming under the door.