038 HPM 0517

HPM May 2017

38 BATHROOMS & SHOWERS Waterproofing: how is it done? Effective waterproofing ensures that the shower room or wetroom you have fitted stays leak-free for the duration of its lifespan. Shaun Hunt, of Impey Wetrooms, explains the importance of tanking and offers some tips to ensure your installations remain leak-free The growing popularity of wetroom installations, coupled with the added interest in level access showering, means that the subject of waterproofing is under the spotlight more than ever before. The key to achieving effective waterproofing, or tanking as it’s commonly known, is to create an entirely watertight barrier on both the floor and walls, to guard against any potential leaks and create an ideal surface on which to begin tiling. Here is some advice which may prove helpful when considering waterproofing in a wetroom or level access shower room. Tip one: time saving Firstly, it’s important to choose a product that you’re confident you’ll find easy to use. If you’re new to the process, a tanking membrane offers versatility, speed of installation and is simple to use when waterproofing or undertaking a wetroom installation. Opting for a self-adhesive membrane, ideally one provided on a roll, like Impey’s Waterguard, ensures easy application and handling, making light work of the installation process. When time is of the essence, choosing a tanking membrane rather than a liquid tanking solution, can instantly speed up the installation process. Because no curing time is needed, installation of underfloor heating or tiling can commence as soon as the product is laid. The polypropylene surface of the tanking membrane means it’s an ideal key for tile adhesive. Plus, if you select a product with decoupling properties, there will be no need to buy an extra decoupler. Tip two: details matter Fitting your tanking membrane effectively is imperative – as even the highest quality products need to be used accurately for the best results. Here are two specific tips, which can often be overlooked. • Make sure that before you commence fitting the tanking membrane, the room is completely clean and free from any dust, grease or residues. Also, check that you have smoothed down any protrusions so there is no risk of the membrane becoming compromised or damaged during the installation process. • Remember to position jointing tape accurately as referenced in “The key to achieving effective waterproofing, or tanking as it’s commonly known, is to create an entirely watertight barrier on both the floor and walls, to guard against any potential leaks and create an ideal surface on which to begin tiling” product instructions. With the WaterGuard product this means lining all wall and floor junctions, and ensuring at least 75mm of the tape is going up the wall and 75mm covering the floor. Tip three: quick fitting corners To ensure speed and accuracy when tanking a shower area or wetroom, it’s a good idea to opt for a waterproofing membrane which offers pre-made corners. Making your own corners can often be tricky and time consuming. In addition, a poorly fitting corner, can create a ‘weak point’ in the tanking, which can jeopardise the integrity of the installation and potentially lead to leaks or weeps. With pre-made corners, it’s simply a case of peeling off the backing and forming the product into the corner, for a clean connection. Tip four: remember to waterproof the whole floor To safeguard against leakage, it’s important to waterproof the whole floor, and not just the area around the wetroom floor former or level-access shower tray. Although the actual showering area may only be the equivalent size to that within a regular enclosure, the way in which a homeowner uses a wetroom can be different; no longer feeling the need to contain the water in one area, or worry about splashes throughout the room. Many installers like to tank walls as well as floors, finding that the ‘belt and braces’ approach to waterproofing gives complete peace of mind. If you choose a membrane that’s highly elastic, resistant to ageing and has great load-bearing capabilities, it will offer protection against heavy wall tiles. www.hpmmag.com May 2017 The layers of a typical wetroom installation enquiry number 123


HPM May 2017
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