Tile shower in the bathroom looks good, but it could also lead to common water leakage problems like mold and moisture. It is important to understand the waterproofing methods in bathroom to avoid any water leakage or moisture problem in future. Before tiling a shower, correct installation of shower pan is important. In most of the construction, cement board, backer board, tile, grout and sealants are used for installation. These are used to give dimensional stability in wet spaces, but these things do not safeguard the bathroom from moisture problem. It is important to have a proper waterproofing in your bathroom to safeguard it from leakage or unwarranted mold or dampness.
Waterproofing in a specialized job, more often can’t be properly executed by construction builders or local construction technicians. Setting plain mortar, tiles and grout and tiles are porous in nature, so it can’t hold water. Water proofing needs a specialized treatment that requires expertise and proper design execution.
Common mistakes to avoid during installation of shower
- A common mistake is to install 2/10 inch wood blocking between the studs in the shower pan. It is a common mistake most of the builder do while installation of shower pan, but an experienced professional involved in bathroom waterproofing in Melbourne knows that it will eventually leaks water from the tiling system.
- Most of the ignorant plumbers install the two-stage drain and vinyl pan liner. Most of the plumbers generally do the mistake of installing the pan liner over the subfloor. Another, mistake is not to use any waterproofing material; instead they install wood blocking for the pan liner. It makes the whole line flop between wall studs, and vulnerable to water leakage.
- The best method even if the plumber is not using any waterproofing material is to make the subfloor be pre-sloped before installing the vinyl pan liner. The slope doesn’t hold the water and it flows toward the end.
- Most of the time a common mistake is to install wall board in the bathroom with a comfortable setting the plumbers or builders think. They think installing a sloped mud set pan over the vinyl liner helps to provide positive drainage in the shower floor.
- Most of the time plumbers and builders have mistaken that if there is no birdbath (standing water) in the shower pan when turn off the valve, the shower system is installed correctly. This gives them the confidence that there is no need to install any waterproofing material prior to installation.
- Another big problem is to fasten the wall board below the curb line inside the shower pan. Often builders or plumbers ignore the pea gravel in the mud set, which is very important aspect for proper drainage.
Importance of shower waterproofing
Above mistakes lead to one thing that is often overlooked that is standing water gets trapped inside the pan below the tile level. This is the reason shower must be scientifically constructed because if you put more than an inch of deck mud under the tile, there will always some standing water. In the meantime if there is no waterproofing treatment is done in the done, the moisture slowly wicks up the walls. This will eventually lead to molding. If you see mold growth at the wall to floor transition, it is most probably because of inappropriate construction of shower pan.
Effective waterproofing system is of many types. Some are proper drainage solution under the tile. The best thing is to install complete shower systems that include a draining system. You also need to understand waterproof means prevention of water leakage from the shower tiling. Moisture-proof is the prevention of condensation due to temperature differences. So, you need to find a solution that caters to both problems. Your shower pan must be flood tested before installation. You just can’t rely on construction materials like mortar, grout, sealers etc. for complete waterproof from water and moisture. If the shower pans after 24 hours of testing show visible moisture or worst standing water, insist your builder to resolve the issue before installing.
If you notice efflorescence in the floor tile grout joints, it is probably because of a failed shower pan. It is a chalky substance that can develop into stalagmite conditions.
About the Author: Piers Smith is a professional waterproofing expert and specialized in bathroom waterproofing in Melbourne. He has 25 year of experience in residential, commercial and industrial designs of waterproofing.