The Fundamentals of Waterproofing a Bathroom
So what is waterproofing? It’s the essential process of protecting your bathroom from water damage. Some people question the value of properly waterproofing a bathroom. To us there is no debate as we’ve worked on many bathrooms that were unfortunate victims of bad (or no) waterproofing attempts. Although it is possible for you to waterproof your bathroom yourself, we strongly recommended hiring a professional.
But if you’re set on tackling this challenge yourself, read on to discover a few of the fundamentals on how to waterproof your bathroom. It’s absolutely crucial that you ensure you have the correct waterproof materials and substances. If you use water-resistant materials, instead of waterproof ones, the structural integrity of your bathroom could be at risk. Take our word for it, you don’t want to be the victim of this common mistake.
It is also important that you don’t rush when waterproofing. You need to leave each coat or sealant to set properly, most types will require up to 24 hours without being disturbed before they dry completely. If the sealant hasn’t settled properly, you could inadvertently create pin holes or air gaps that will allow water to pass through. This is why it’s important not to rush.
A significant stage of waterproofing occurs before tiling. This process takes place in four stages. The first is surface preparation. It’s important to make sure the surface is properly prepared, with no contaminants, dust or loose particles on it. This is crucial to ensure 100% coverage and even distribution of the primer. Correctly applying the primer is the next step. It is important to ensure that you achieve complete coverage otherwise water may leak through the wall and cause structural damage.
Once the primer has completely dried, you can put your bond breakers in. Tape and silicone based mixtures are popular amongst trade experts. Tape can be used for the sheet joints, and a 12mm base of the sealant for the internal corners. After this has set you can apply the membrane. We recommend using a brush to apply it on the edges, corners and areas of detail, and a roller for the body. It is also important to make sure you paint into the puddle flange (drainage hole). At least two coats of the membrane should be applied, at 90 degree angles to one another (one from north to south, then the second from west to east). This will reduce the likelihood of pin holes and air gaps.
Once the tiles have been fit using a waterproof adhesive you will need to paint the walls. Remember to make sure your paint is water proof and not water-resistant, and apply multiple layers. The previous wall paint should be completely removed first, to prevent future flaking. The paint should then be applied in a similar fashion to the membrane (90 degree angle).
You should pay extra attention to corners and joints, for example where the basin is joined to the wall. It’s important to make sure these areas are properly covered by bond breakers to prevent leaks and water breakthroughs as these are extremely vulnerable areas.
These are the basic fundamentals of waterproofing a bathroom, but don’t be mistaken, it can very easily go wrong, This is why it is best to hire an experienced professional. If you’ve fallen victim to bad waterproofing, or want to get a new fitted bathroom that’s professionally waterproof, then give us a call. We have experience in the fitting & waterproofing a range of bathrooms and wet rooms across Nottingham.