Waterproofing your bathroom

Effective waterproofing is essential for bathrooms. Constant splashing and wetting of a surface and persistent steam encourages the migration of water from wet areas into substrates and adjacent spaces. Water can often end up in cracks and behind tiles, going unnoticed. If left for long periods of time it will likely cause major damage, resulting in extensive and expensive repairs.

Insurance companies may not cover for damage caused over a long period of time.

Where waterproofing is required in bathrooms

Waterproofing is required to ensure no water penetrates surfaces leading to rot, structural failure and mould growth. Wet area detailing is required in the following areas of bathrooms:

  • Showers (walls and floors)
  • Splashback areas around baths and sinks
  • Floors
  • Pipes and connections to fittings and appliances
  • Walls (Bathrooms also require wall linings that are impervious to water).

NB: It also pays to check your pipes and fixtures to ensure there are no leaks

Waterproofing membranes

A waterproofing membrane is a waterproof plastic, rubber of coated-fabric material used to prevent water getting into walls, roofs, foundations and floors.

Waterproofing membranes are required:

  • Under floor-mounted vanities, baths and showers (requires continuous impervious substrate or membrane)
  • At least 150mm up adjourning walls of vanities, baths and showers
  • Under all tiling in areas subject to regular water splash
  • Sealed around penetrations so there is no path for water to migrate to adjacent spaces.

Waterproofing tiles

Tiles are not inherently waterproof, so it is essential that ceramic and stone tiles used in bathrooms and showers have a maximum water absorption of 6%, be laid over a continuous impervious substrate or membrane as well as waterproof grouted joints and bedded with a suitable adhesive

Who to use to waterproof?

When waterproofing tiles use a specialist contractor, as the tiler laying your tiles may not be specifically trained in the application.

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