How To Waterproof A Shower in 12 Steps
One of the most important ways you can protect the structure of your bathroom is waterproofing. There are actually several steps involved that can help you waterproof your shower and protect your bathroom and the overall value of your house. Give your bathroom the attention it needs now and you will save time and money in the long run.
If you are working with a contractor, make sure you talk to them about the slope of your shower. This can help prevent water pooling. In many areas, there is a code requirement for the slope of a shower. Sloping your shower properly makes a big impact on the overall effectiveness of other waterproofing techniques. However, after you slope the floor, you may need to do some tile cutting to make the shower meet the tile smoothly. This is very important, as you will never get a good, tight seal without doing this.
Next, you want to pick the right substrate for use underneath your tiles. Make sure you choose a product that is actually waterproof. Greenboard, mortar and grout are not and you would have to treat the product to keep it waterproof. One option is a laid concrete substrate, however this requires at least 28 days of curing before you attach the liner and tile over it. After it has cured, check carefully for any cracks and fill it in with a crack-isolation membrane.
After that, you want to use a shower liner to sit above the substrate and under the shower insert or tiles. Choose a liner made of polyvinyl chloride or chlorinated polyethylene for the best results. CPE liners are normally easier to install than the PVC models, but PVC is cheaper, so there are pros and cons to both. These are available in flat and pre-sloped models, so choose the one that fits your shower for the best in waterproofing.
After you have installed this and are laying tile or installing a fiberglass shower case, use care to make sure everything meets up as closely as possible. While you will be caulking the areas where they meet, it is important to have a nice, tight fit to avoid the caulking pulling apart after a short time.
With just a bit of care you can create a waterproof shower area that will require little in regards to maintenance. Do not cut corners on this important step. Water damage can be costly and hard to fix in the future.
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