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When it comes to bathroom renovations, the importance of a waterproofed shower cannot be overstated. By installing an effective waterproofing membrane you not only prevent water damage but also safeguard against mould, mildew, and structural issues. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the significance of shower waterproofing, common issues encountered without it, and the top three DIY-friendly methods for achieving a watertight shower.

The Significance of Shower Waterproofing

Contrary to popular belief, the tiles and grout in your shower are not inherently waterproof. Without proper shower waterproofing measures, moisture can seep through, leading to a host of problems including mould growth, structural decay, and even foundation issues. Waterproofing acts as a protective barrier, ensuring that your shower remains a sanctuary of relaxation rather than a source of potential damage.

Issues Without Proper Shower Waterproofing

  1. Mold & mildew growth: When water permeates the walls or floors behind tiles, it creates an environment conducive to mould and mildew. This can lead to health issues, particularly for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions.
  1. Pest infestation: Moisture behind tiles can attract pests like centipedes, termites, and carpenter ants. Not only can this be a nuisance, but it can also result in structural damage.
  1. Structural decay: Moisture infiltrating the framing and studs can lead to decay, compromising the integrity of your home's structure. This can be both costly and time-consuming to rectify.
  1. Foundation issues: Water finding its way into the substructure can cause cracking and settling in the foundation, potentially leading to costly repairs.

How to Identify Inadequate Waterproofing

If you've noticed a persistent musty odour or visible signs of mould and mildew, your shower may not be adequately waterproofed. Additionally, damaged tiles or gaps in grout are telltale signs of water infiltration. If you haven't sealed your grout or tiles in some time, it is worth considering resealing your shower to prevent issues later down the line.

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3 DIY Shower Waterproofing Methods

Waterproof Shower Kit: A Comprehensive Waterproofing Solution

Shower kits are an excellent choice for complete waterproofing solutions, the Schluter Shower Kit is a popular choice among our customers. This all-inclusive kit presents a robust answer to creating an impermeable shower enclosure, ensuring your bathroom remains protected against water-related woes.

Key Components Of The Schluter Shower Kit

Off-set shower tray: Crafted from lightweight expanded polystyrene, this tray forms the foundation for a mortar-free base. Its innovative design aids in efficient water drainage.

Adjustable drain: The kit features a channel body drain with a versatile design, accommodating various tile thicknesses seamlessly. This adaptability ensures a snug fit regardless of your chosen tile dimensions.

Stable shower curb: The 60-inch pre-fabricated shower curb provides stability and load-bearing capacity, guaranteeing durability and safety in your shower space.

Kerdi membrane: This pliable membrane, fortified with synthetic fibres, epitomizes reliability in waterproofing. Its unique composition ensures a robust bond with thin-set mortar, promising protection against water infiltration.

Waterproofing band: Designed for critical areas like joints and connections, this band acts as an additional safeguard against potential water breaches.

Benefits Of A Waterproof Shower Kit

Complete package: The Schluter Shower Kit presents a holistic solution, sparing you the hassle of sourcing individual components. It ensures a seamless, all-encompassing approach to shower waterproofing.

Fast installation: The kit is engineered for swift and straightforward installation. Its components work in harmony, streamlining the process and minimizing the potential for errors.

Superior protection: By integrating advanced materials and design, this kit provides unparalleled protection against water damage. It establishes a robust barrier, safeguarding your bathroom from the perils of moisture infiltration.

Considerations When Installing A Waterproof Shower Kit

Professional installation: While DIY enthusiasts can embark on this project, optimal results may necessitate professional expertise. Engaging a seasoned installer can ensure every component is fitted with precision and accuracy.

Initial cost: It's important to note that the initial investment for a shower kit may be slightly higher compared to alternative methods. However, this cost is an important investment in the long-term integrity of your shower space.

Ideal Applications Of A Waterproof Shower Kit

The Schluter Kerdi Shower Kit shines brightest in scenarios demanding a professional-grade waterproofing solution. It finds its true calling in new installations and extensive renovations, where its comprehensive components and robust design can be fully leveraged to create a watertight shower.

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Waterproof Membranes: Strengthening Shower Defenses

Waterproof membranes, such as Schluter Kerdi Membrane, provide a robust shield against water infiltration. Unlike liquid solutions, these membranes are designed to be sheet-applied, delivering a consistent thickness for effective waterproofing.

Key Components Of Schluter Waterproofing Membrane

Modified Polyethylene Core (PEVA): At the heart lies a specially engineered modified polyethylene core, known as PEVA. This core forms the foundation of the membrane, providing it with exceptional durability and waterproofing capabilities.

Non-woven polypropylene layers: Reinforced with non-woven polypropylene layers on both sides. These layers enhance the membrane's strength and resilience, ensuring it can withstand the rigours of daily use in showers, steam rooms, bathrooms, and various other settings.

Anchoring fleece: This component ensures that the membrane remains firmly in place, effectively creating a robust barrier against water infiltration.

Wide coverage area: With a width of 3 feet 3 inches (1 meter), it is designed to cover a significant portion of the wall, from the floor up to the shower head height. This generous coverage minimizes the number of seams required during installation, resulting in a faster and more streamlined process.

Benefits Of Waterproof Membranes

Quick application: Waterproof membranes are extremely quick to install, allowing for timely tile placement. This membrane ensures that your project can progress efficiently.

Versatile adaptability: Designed for application on a variety of surfaces, including flat, curved, and irregular ones, these membranes accommodate diverse shower configurations, making them a flexible choice for different projects.

Adhesive power: Waterproof membranes have excellent bonding capabilities, adhering securely to an array of substrates. This feature ensures that the membrane forms a dependable barrier against water penetration.

Odourless application: Unlike some liquid solutions, waterproofing membranes are odour-free during application. This makes it an ideal option, even for enclosed or confined spaces.

Considerations When Installing Waterproof Membrane

Application consistency: Achieving optimal waterproofing may necessitate multiple coats, this step ensures a thorough and effective seal, though it may extend the application process.

Ongoing maintenance: While waterproof membranes provide exceptional protection, periodic checks and maintenance may be necessary to ensure continued effectiveness over time.

Ideal Applications Of A Waterproofing Membrane

Waterproof membranes are the ideal choice for a range of scenarios. These membranes are particularly advantageous for showers, steam rooms, bathrooms, bathtub surrounds, closed balconies, kitchens, laundry rooms, and living/dining spaces. Their versatility and robustness make them suitable for both residential and commercial settings, if your project involves spaces that demand superior protection against water and moisture, a high-quality waterproofing membrane like the Schluter Kerdi 200 should be your top pick.

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Liquid Membrane: Revolutionary Waterproofing 

Liquid membrane applications have revolutionized the way we approach shower waterproofing. Among the outstanding products in this category, MAPEI Mapelastic Aquadefense stands out as a premier solution. This advanced liquid-rubber membrane provides exceptional waterproofing and crack-isolation capabilities, making it an excellent choice for various residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Whether you're working on a new installation or seeking to reinforce an existing shower, liquid membranes offer a quick-drying, easy-to-use solution.

Key Components Of The MAPEI Mapelastic Aquadefense

Quick drying formula: Featuring an impressively short drying time of just 30 to 50 minutes. This means you can proceed with tile installation swiftly after application, saving you time and effort.

Versatile application: Whether you prefer using rollers, sprayers, or brushes, this liquid membrane adapts seamlessly to your preferred application method. This versatility ensures that you can achieve optimal coverage and effectiveness across various surfaces, be they flat, curved, or irregular.

Cost-effective: MAPEI Mapelastic Aquadefense represents a cost-effective investment in shower waterproofing. Its competitive pricing, coupled with its exceptional performance, makes it an attractive choice for DIYers and professionals alike.

Benefits Of Liquid Membranes

Efficient budgeting: Liquid membranes offer a budget-friendly option for enhancing the waterproofing of existing showers. It helps you avoid costly repairs down the line by providing a reliable barrier against water damage.

DIY-friendly application: Applying liquid membranes is a straightforward process. Whether you're an experienced DIYer or a first-timer, the user-friendly nature of this liquid membrane ensures that you can achieve professional-grade results with ease.

Considerations When Using Liquid Membranes

Limited protection: While liquid membranes offer strong waterproofing capabilities, they may not be as strong as sheet membranes in certain applications. In scenarios where maximum strength is required, evaluating the specific needs of your project is crucial.

Possible multiple coats: Achieving optimal waterproofing may require multiple coats of the liquid compound. While this is a standard practice in many waterproofing projects, it's important to plan for additional application time.

Ideal Applications Of A Liquid Membrane

Liquid compounds are the go-to choice for those seeking an efficient, cost-effective method to enhance the waterproofing of existing showers. It's particularly well-suited for DIYers looking to undertake this crucial home improvement project without the need for a full-scale renovation. Additionally, it's an excellent option for professionals aiming for reliable, quick-drying results in their waterproofing endeavours. Consider MAPEI Mapelastic Aquadefense for its quick-drying formula, versatile application, and budget-friendly benefits, ensuring your shower remains a sanctuary of relaxation for years to come.

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Ensuring your shower is properly waterproofed is a crucial step in maintaining the integrity and longevity of your home. The shower kits, waterproofing membranes, and liquid membranes offer distinct advantages and are tailored to different scenarios. Whether you're embarking on a new installation or looking to reinforce an existing shower, choosing the right waterproofing method can make all the difference in safeguarding your space from water damage and associated issues.