A comprehensive waterproofing bathroom is the foundation of any successful, long-lasting bathroom remodeling project. The waterproofing quality can mean the difference between a bathroom that looks great and functions well for years and one that decays quickly and succumbs to mold and mildew.
Because bathrooms are naturally damp spaces, waterproofing (or tanking) is an integral part of any restoration or self-build project, but the method you choose is dependent on several factors.
- The floor tiles you intend to use
- Whether or not you intend to install them yourself or hire a professional.
In any case, you must waterproof beneath a tiled structure to prevent leaks from damaging the fabric of your home. The following guide describes how to waterproof your bathroom floor to ensure proper waterproofing bathroom materials and reduce the risk of structural damage caused by dampness, water leaks, or condensation:
1. Choose a Waterproof Bathroom Material
Bathroom waterproofing requires materials with specific features. The materials such as wood, paper, and jute made from organic, plant-based materials such as bamboo can be excellent choices for most areas of your home, but not in humid areas like the bathroom. For bathrooms, inorganic materials such as stone, metal, plastic, ceramic, or porcelain tile are preferable because moisture does not affect them. Mold and mildew do not grow on inorganic materials, and they do not decay when exposed to water.
Baseboards made of PVC, for example, maybe more desirable than those made of MDF or solid wood. It is best to choose ceramic or porcelain tile for walls or floors. It is usually preferable to use solid-surface material, quartz (synthetic stone), or natural stone for bathroom countertops. The moisture in a bathroom can affect even plastic laminate surfaces with an MDF core.
Be sure that the backer board of a shower or tub surround is made of high-quality waterproof material and well-sealed after installation. Also, it is a good choice for tiling floors.
Whenever you design or remodel a bathroom, ensure that you use waterproof materials. In doing so, you will significantly extend the life expectancy of your bathroom and require much less maintenance.
What Type of Waterproof Materials Should I Use?
If you want to waterproof bathroom floors, there is always the option of treating the flooring with waterproof products, so you should install a waterproofing material like a cement backer between the flooring and the substrate.
Waterproof Luxurious Vinyl
It’s a good idea to choose vinyl flooring for the flooring itself. Mold is resistant to vinyl flooring (vital if you don’t have much ventilation in your bathroom), and it is also resistant to scratches and other types of damage.
Installing vinyl flooring usually doesn’t require you to tear up your entire bathroom; it can often be laid over an existing floor material. A central bathroom can look traditional with linoleum or tile and take on a wood-look look with planks that look like wood.
Waterproof Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tiles are another excellent option used on the bathroom’s walls, floors, and even as a backsplash. Moreover, it comes in a wide variety of styles and looks (even a wood finish). It is already water-resistant, but it can be protected further with waterproofing materials, like a sealant.
Bathroom Shower Ceramic Tile
In the waterproof part of the wall, the traditional tiling method uses “thick paste” construction, which ensures the flatness and smoothness of the tiled surface. It is a convenient method for providing the wall is flat and smooth tiling. There is a significant danger associated with this construction method because the cement mortar pasted with ceramic tiles will shrink. The thicker it is, the greater the shrinkage, and the shrinkage will ultimately lead to hollowing and falling off ceramic tiles. Because of this, ceramic tiles need to have permanently adhered to. Leveling the wall before pasting the tiles should ensure a long-adhesive force.
Filling the Gap Between Ceramic Tile
The spacing between tiles should be a specific size, usually no smaller than 2 mm, to allow stress to be released and prevent hollowing. Missing joint tile filling and avoiding moisture from entering the interior of tiles and adversely affecting the bonding force, the tile joint filling should be complete.
2. Take Action against Leaks
The first step in waterproofing the bathroom begins with removing the leakage in the bathroom. At times, there may be multiple possible causes of leakage in a bathroom that the following table explains some sources briefly.
|1.||Bathroom Flooring Tiles|
|2.||NAHANI Trap||Using Polymer modified mortar to seal the gap between nahani trap|
|3.||Joint Openings in Tiles||Waterproof grouts, preferably epoxy grouts, should be used to seal tile joints.|
|4.||Bathroom Fixture/Concealed Pipes||providing access to the bathtub or shower plumbing from the rear via a service panel is always beneficial.|
3. Eliminates Condensation and Mold
What should you do if mold is already a problem? As long as the infestation isn’t too severe, you can take care of it yourself:
- Caulk and sealants infested with mold must be removed and replaced.
- For a clean bathroom, white vinegar or bleach or hydrogen peroxide are good mold-killing options. It’s best not to mix the two; mixing can trigger toxic reactions.
- You can help dry the mold out by opening windows and doors while you clean.
- Utilize purifying plants; using certain plants can reduce mold. A variety of house plants are known to reduce humidity in the air, which can aid in the removal of existing decay and the prevention of future mold growth as English Ivy, Peace Lily, Reed Palms, etc.
4. Add Insulation
In waterproofing the bathroom, It is critical to insulate the floor, but eliminating the source of moisture is the first step.
The term “dry rot” is misleading. It’s not at all dry. A fungus grows in moist environments. For the finished flooring, we recommend that you install tile over cement backer board. This flooring treatment, in our opinion, provides the best protection against moisture penetration.
Likewise, bathrooms have a credibility for being challenging insulation projects.
The main issue with bathroom insulation is moisture management. Hot water used during showering generates steam and raises moisture content (the volume of water vapor in the air), which becomes “stuck” in the bathroom walls if not thoroughly shielded, triggering mildew growth and jeopardizing your health.
Bathrooms with proper insulation save energy and money. To achieve this, insulate:
- walls inside
- pipes for hot water
DIYer or Pro Helps in Waterproofing the Bathroom
Installing most waterproof bathroom flooring can be easy for DIYers, while certain types can also be relatively straightforward. A DIYer who has studied the techniques can install easily installed materials, such as luxurious vinyl planks, in an evening after studying the installation instructions carefully.
But the installation of porcelain and ceramic tile is frequently left to professionals, but with a small bathroom, there’s no reason why you can’t do it yourself. Getting to know the fundamentals of tile installation takes only a few hours on the weekend.
However, in waterproofing the bathroom, It is possible for a small mistake in plumbing pipe installation to cause thousands of dollars of damage. In this area, you don’t want to take any chances even though modern materials, like PEX tubing, can make DIYers’ tasks more convenient.
Unless you are entirely confident in your abilities, you should strongly consider hiring a professional to do the plumbing rough-in work. Even though you assemble all other projects in the bathroom renovation, knowing that the plumbing work was done by a professional who is competent of all requirements set will give you an extra measure of confidence. Once the heavy plumbing is complete, most DIYers will find it simple to connect the plumbing fixtures, so bathrooms are more challenging to renovate than other rooms. It doesn’t mean you can’t do the job yourself; it just means you need to know what to look for and follow the specifications and procedures strictly.
Sponsored Content. Waterproofing Bathroom Installations: Everything You Need to Know. Homebuilding & Renovating.
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