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Importance of Waterproofing a Shower….

Being a Professional Tile Contractor/Installer in Tampa, Florida and helping out on tile help forums I have noticed people are always asking about info on damaged showers and tubs for water damage, rot, grout discoloration, efflorescence, leaks or black mold.

The lack of a pan liner or surface membrane is usually the main reason these problems occur. Professional tile contractors who know the importance of a properly built shower with a pan liner & pre-slope, a bonded waterproofing sheet membrane or a liquid applied membrane.

Mold and rot occur when water gets absorbed into the grout and then seeps into the cementboard or drywall and then starts rotting the studs. Also when drywall is used the problems are even worse because the mold feeds on the paper face of the drywall. Mold loves cellulose and spreads throughout the damp wet area behind your wall.
As the leak goes unnoticed the damage and mold become worse.

When a shower liner is used without a pre-slope the water sits in the mud pan and slowly deteriorates/breaks down the mud bed and fills with mold/sludge. Sometimes the weep holes then become clogged with calcium deposits and efflorescence forms on the grout joints from the water drying up through the grout to the surface. A bonded surface membrane will solve these problems.

While we still do and have been doing traditional pan liners for as long back as I have been doing tile for (23 years), newer, updated ways of waterproofing a shower have been developed like Laticrete HydroBan, Laticrete Hydro Barrier & Schluter Kerdi or even the new Schluter Kerdi Board.
All excellent surface applied waterproofing membranes.

I tell customers it’s good to spend the extra money now to do it right or you will spend 3 times the money tearing it out a few years later by doing it wrong.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 25, 2009 at 2:46 pm

thanks for the info. we were building a shower but had questions to our builder about him not using waterproofing, this will be some ammo for us to use to show him how it should be done correctly.
thanks 🙂

Mr. Yoginder May 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi there. Nice blog. You have shared useful information. Keep up the good work! This blog is really interesting and gives good details.

christopher September 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Great blog. I have been interested in using the Kerdi product to build a shower pan but I need to practice on something easier first.
Thanks again,

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