Shower Shelf Wood Damage
Any protrusions like a shower seat or shelf into
a shower can create problems if these areas aren't properly
waterproofed. Rarely do I get the opportunity to remove the tile and
tile backing on a shower seat and find that there wasn't any damage.
Any areas in a shower or bath tub that are level or flat, have the potential for water to accumulate for long periods of time. While you're taking a shower, there is a continuous supply of moisture that will be soaking into the grout and working its way behind the tile.
You're probably thinking that most showers with seats or shelves should be properly waterproofed and in most cases you're absolutely right. All it takes is one small crack or hole for water to seep into it and within a few years, you're replacing the water damaged wood and tile seat. This is a reality and does happen.
I'm not suggesting that this is normal but it does happen. And this is normally when I get called to perform the home repair or remodeling necessary to solve the problem. Rarely do I get to see the bathrooms that have outlasted their time
Home Tip: Try to wipe these areas down after you have taken a shower or bath. This will prevent the remaining water from working its way through the grout in between the tiles, into areas where moisture can lead to water damage.
In a situation like the picture above, I would recommend framing a wall on top of the small shelf or moving the bathtub wall over to create a flat or straight shower wall and eliminate the small shelf or seat. This seat is too small to sit on isn't worth the problems it could create in the future.