5 Top Tips for Waterproofing Shower Stalls

Waterproofing shower stalls
Steve Thompson
Steve Thompson
December 3, 2021

Maintaining a home is making sure the bathrooms stay clean and function properly. Many people overlook that bathrooms are where moisture can build up the most in a home. Water leads to mildew, which studies show occupies about half of all homes. This condition creates health risks, but waterproofing shower stalls is a reliable solution to minimize moisture.

How Waterproofing Contributes to Shower Durability

While wall and floor tiles in bathrooms tend to be waterproof, the grout between them usually isn't. This material is made of fine sand glued with cement and adhesives. It absorbs water that causes damage to the structure below the shower if there is no protective waterproof membrane. Due to water damage, you may eventually need to replace plywood or drywall underneath your shower.

Assessing Your Shower

A proactive step toward protecting your bathrooms and minimizing maintenance is periodically inspecting them for water leaks. These leaks can rot on the bathroom floor, door frames, ceiling, and nearby rooms. Leaks can also lead to cracks that grow and cause more damage over time. Be aware that moisture attracts cockroaches and other insects.

Waterproofing Solutions

The solution to preventing bathroom leaks is waterproofing shower stalls using waterproof membrane technology. Membrane layers are placed below the tiles to prevent water from penetrating the home's foundation or mortar subfloor.

The main types of membranes used in this renovation are made in the form of sheets, liquid, foam wallboards, and foam shower bases. While liquid membranes are the easiest to install, the three other membranes offer more durability. Professionals use 2-inch alkali-resistant tape or PVC self-adhesive caulking sealing tape for best results.

Cement boards, which are water-resistant but not waterproof, are often used as backing for showers and bathtubs. Leaks in the cement can be fixed if you detect them early, whereas progressive leaks can degrade the entire cement board. A cement board can become a more reliable solution if coated with a waterproof membrane.

If you apply a liquid waterproof membrane to your existing shower, you'll need at least two coats. Usually, you should wait 24 hours before applying a second coat. Make sure you add an extra layer to the top edge of your shower. This solution should provide reliable waterproofing for at least ten years.

The roof deck is another area to check for moisture and leaks. Routinely inspect your home to see if rooftop deck leaking is an issue. If you detect roof leaks, consider a PVC membrane.

Additional Waterproofing Tips

1. If you plan on a bathroom renovation, remember that waterproofing is the most critical priority.

2. Laticrete Hydro Barrier is a top choice among shower experts for installing a tile shower. This reliable solution is easily applied with a roll or brush.

3. Another easy-to-apply membrane is Custom Building Products LQWAFI-2 RedGard Waterproofing. Not only is it useful for shower pan liners, but it’s also an effective waterproofing solution for pools and spas.

4. RedGard 3.5-gallon membrane is a popular high-quality choice for residential and commercial bathrooms. It's reliable for both interior and exterior applications.

5. If you seek an EPA Energy Star Rated product, Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Waterproofing is a high-quality choice that seals cracks effectively.

Conclusion

Taking the proactive step of waterproofing shower stalls will add years of savings to your bathrooms. It will help prevent dry rot and other damage caused by excessive moisture. Contact us at West Coast Deck Waterproofing for all your indoor and outdoor waterproofing needs.