How to Waterproof a Shower

A guide on how and what you should know before waterproofing a shower.

Expert Article On How To Waterproof a Shower


how to waterproof a shower
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How To Waterproof Your Shower

Do you know, your shower is the most dampest area inside your home, nearly consuming 25% of your household water usage and are by far one of the biggest consumers of water in your home. In an average household, the shower is used at least four-five times a day.
More than half of the population in Australia's region have reported several problems with mould and mildew, so this means thousands of people are susceptible to mould-related health issues and concerns.
To overcome the excess moisture where mould spores bloom is one of the most important aspects of improving your homes indoor air quality and look.
This implies that appropriately
waterproofing a shower isn't only a recommendation; it is fundamental in shielding your home or a business structure from the impacts of water; that's why you should always use a professional waterproofer or tiler to do this for you to minimise or eliminate any future problems, which could cost you more time and money in the long run.

What Is Shower Proofing Is Needed?

Most people around the globe assume that the tiles which we use in our showers are waterproof. Even though the porcelain and ceramics tiles we use on our bathroom floors and walls are 100% waterproof, the grout between them is somehow not. Grout does an excellent job in holding and arranging tiles together at a place, but it also allows some amount of water through the tiny holes and capillary pores left in the mixture. Thus, we can say that grout can act as a semi-permeable covering that can be used underneath the ceramic tiles to make up your shower.
Keeping in mind all these issues and problems, we will further talk about waterproofing methods for a shower. Afterwards, we will look at the different types of coatings, layers, coverings, membranes etc.

Indications To Show That Your Shower Is Leaking

Some common indications that enable you to know that your shower is probably leaking water are as follows

  • Cracks and visible holes in between the grout and tiles.
  • Cracking along the joints of the tiles.
  • Using silicone carelessly along the joints between tile floors and walls.
  • Installation of puddle flange incorrectly that connects to the drainage system of your shower.
    (Excellent method for waterproofing shower)
  • There are many different methods to waterproof the floor and wall under your shower tiles; here are a few:

  • Porcelain or Acrylic shower base.
  • Sheet Membrane
  • Liquid Membrane
  • Foam Shower base
  • Cement Boards
  • Australian Shower Waterproofing Regulations

    Shower walls and floors are to be waterproofed up to 1800mm high. The walls in the bathroom areas should be waterproofed up to 150mm high, and shower hobs should be waterproofed up to 100mm high.
    If no
    shower hob is installed and you have a dropdown shower, the whole bathroom floor must be waterproofed.

    How Much Does It Cost To Waterproof A Shower? 

    Across Australia, expenses to waterproof a shower can change by state, as different areas don't all have the same regulations and substrates. Here is an example of the cost to waterproof a shower. At the lower end of the scale, the work could cost about $40 - $50/m², depending on the size of your shower. A typical cost for an average-sized shower you would be looking at approx $330.00.

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    DIY Shower Waterproofing

    Applying a barrier that acts as a waterproofing agent is essential for installing a shower; that's why you should always try to use a professional waterproofer or tiler, but if you still would like to give it a go here, you will learn how to prepare and waterproof your shower surface properly.


    (please note this is just a helpful guide, please always refer to the manufacturer's recommendations)

    Required tools:

    • Regular Size bucket

    • Paintbrush and roller

    • Roller Tray

    • Safety Glasses

    • Spirit Level 

    • Scissors

    • Respirator

    Materials Required:

    • Pencil or Marker

    • Primmer

    • Silicone Apparatus 

    • Masking Tape

    • Rubber gloves

    • Reinforcing Covering bandage tape

    • Waterproofing 


    Clean work Area to be waterproofed

    Before installation, it is highly recommended to clean the surface of the entire floor and wall areas. To achieve the maximum bonding of the waterproofing, all the surfaces should be properly clean. There should be no dust, acid, grease left behind. All ways follow the recommendations from your waterproofing manufacturer.


    Indicate the area to waterproof the shower

    Start measuring your wall and marking the area using a pencil or marker where you will be waterproofing. Mask those lines with the help of masking tape. According to your requirements, it is better to extend your waterproofing 10cm above and 10cm wider than the edges of your shower area. But, for sure, you can judge whatever is generally required.


    Prime all walls and floor areas to manufacturers recommendations

    Once you have marked the areas to be waterproofed, the wall and floor areas must be in good condition, clean and dry. Depending on your substrate, you will need to prime the areas; most times, you can use a water-based product like ARDEX Multiprime, which will help improve the adhesion of waterproof products to various substrates.

    The main benefits of using this primer are

    • Water based 
    • Quick-drying
    • Improves adhesion

    You can use it on 

    • Fibre-cement sheets
    • Concrete, render, screeds
    • Masonry and lightweight concrete blocks


    Apply corner pieces or waterproofing bandage

    Begin with the installation of corner pieces or bandages. You can use a product called ARDEX Construction Detail Bandage sold from your local tile retailer.
    Make sure that all the corners should be appropriately covered instead of using inner and outer corner pieces. It is better to cut the pieces using cutters to fix them properly. First, remove the foil from the bottom part and apply the corner pieces on the floor. Next, remove the foil of the other part and apply it to the wall. Use some pressure and remove air pockets using a sucker or any other apparatus. Corner pieces are very important in waterproofing the wall near the shower area. (Please Note- for bandages without self-adhesion, a waterproofing product should be used to adhere the bandages)


    Waterproof plumbing fittings and pipes

    Use covering and seal to fix all the plumbing fittings and pipes coming out of the wall and floor. It is better that transitions between the wall and any plumbing pipe are plaster residue-free. Use the squeegee to press out all the air bubbles and wrinkles created during plumbing fitting.


    Apply membrane on walls

    Always apply the covering membranes on the wall surface and corners from top to bottom. It's best to use either a roller or a brush. With the corner bandages, use a spatula instrument to remove all the air pockets during the membrane application making sure not to damage the bandage. Its always recommended to do a minimum of two coats of membrane.


    Apply membrane on Floors

    Finally, apply the waterproofing membrane to your floor areas with a minimum of two coats, with each coat applied in different directions.


    Cut out Shower drain

    Once the shower sealing and waterproofing methods are completed, cut out the sealing membrane coverings carefully to open the channel to the shower drain.


    Silicone on all corners

    After 24hours, when the membrane has fully cured, you can apply a 10mm bead of flexible waterproof silicone to all corners to allow for any movement making sure it's smooth and not lumpy, so your tiling work will be not affected.


    Finished Waterproofing

    You have now completed the shower waterproofing, and now it's time to start tiling!
    It's always best practice to use the same brand of primer, waterproofing and adhesive, so they are all compatible, and if you have any warranty claims in the future.

    If you still need help please don't hesitate to call or message your local Tiling Company - TILER TILING PERTH



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