Thursday, 5 April 2012

Waterproofing the Bathroom - Tanking

When it comes to installing a new wet room, bathroom or shower room, it is important to remember to apply a waterproof tanking before tiling or fitting the fixtures. This ensures that the room is fully waterproofed under the flooring or behind the tiles to prevent water leakage. As most bathrooms are made from such materials as block-work, concrete, softwood, plasterboard or plywood, these are all susceptible to water damage and excessive moisture, therefore they will require protecting. Even though tiles can offer very good protection from water, even the smallest hole or gap will allow moisture to escape and cause unseen damage in the walls or floor.

Tanking as it is called, is the application of several different building materials including sealants, primers and membranes to ensure the room is fully sealed and watertight (similar to a water tank hence the name tanking). Once these have been applied, the room will be ready for the installation of the fixtures and fittings as well as the tiling and flooring.

Waterproofing the bathroom is carried out over several steps starting with the application of a Waterproof Tanking Primer. This is applied to the raw building materials to prepare the surfaces before the membrane can be applied later in the process. It is quick drying and can be over-coated with 1 hour.

Once the Primer has been applied, the next step is to waterproof the corners and edges using Waterproof Tanking Tape. This is a self-adhesive joint and corner sealing butyl backed fleece tape which needs to be applied to all corners, joints and pipe penetrations to ensure no leakage can occur.

After the tape has been applied, the Waterproof Tanking Drain Mat needs to be installed around the drain outlet. This works in the same way the tape does, it allows board movement yet still provides a waterproof seal.

The final process is to apply the Waterproof Tanking Membrane which is a liquid waterproofing compound applied by brush. The first coat is to be applied generously in a horizontal method ensuring all Tanking Tapes and Drain Mats are also covered. After 6-12 hours of drying time, the second coat can be generously applied, this time in vertical strokes to create a permanent waterproof barrier with a thickness of no less than 1mm.

After a drying time of 24 hours, tiling and flooring can commence. It is recommended that a suitable waterproof tile adhesive is used as well as a mould resistant silicone sealant for that complete finish.

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