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What you need to know about waterproofing your bathroom



When looking at bathroom waterproofing it is critical to ensure you meet council consent and warranty requirements should anything go wrong.

What is waterproofing?


In New Zealand, prior to early 2019, waterproofing solutions were predominantly supplied in a liquid form typically applied to GIB lined walls. Depending on the supplier, liquid waterproofing comes in various colours however, they all do the same job. There are different consistencies too depending on the location the waterproofing is being applied. Applied correctly it will dry to form a waterproof barrier between the finished surface and the wall or floor lining.


Most liquid membranes come with a 10-year warranty, however the manufacturer will want stringent tests carried out should anything happen during this warranty period. Incorrect installation may result in the warranty being void so having this process undertaken by an experienced waterproofing specialist can save you heartache should things go wrong.


What you need to know:


● Waterproofing all wet areas is extremely important, especially for tiled areas. A wet area is anywhere where water or high levels of moisture is present. This could include showers, bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, balconies, or deck areas.

● When renovating an existing shower, the council consent waterproofing requirements differ depending on the shower base. A tile base shower is considered a high-risk waterproofing situation and would need council consent. An acrylic base does not need council consent when changing like for like.

● When changing the purpose of a room such as adding an en-suite into a bedroom area, council consent is required in all cases.


Do I need to waterproof the whole bathroom?


Under current guidelines, waterproof membranes should be extended past both the highest water outlet and any waste outlet. In many bathrooms this could be halfway across the doorway and into the next room. The minimum recommendations are to waterproof all the main wet/splash areas, the entire floor and up the wall to create a seal.


How long should I wait until I can start tiling?


After the final coat of liquid waterproofing has been applied, it will need at least 24 hours to dry however the room temperature may mean it takes longer than this. The membrane needs to be fully set prior to applying any tile adhesive.


In addition to the traditional paint-on waterproofing, there are now other options available such as solid foam boards and formed sloped shower trays. Once installed it becomes a waterproof box ready for tiling within 4 hours of installation. This type of installation is a bit more expensive than the liquid version but can be more cost effective in the long run as it reduces installation time.


So, as you can see, waterproofing your bathroom may be a job best left to the professionals.

Done correctly it can save you cost, ensure you meet consent and warranty requirements giving you peace of mind should a plumbing leak develop in the future.


Bathroom Genie are approved installers of both liquid and solid waterproofing solutions and our bathroom remodelling specialist is a qualified plumber with over 30 years of experience. Give us a call to discuss your project and we can advise on the best option for your needs.

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