Waterproofing Tile Installation

There are wet areas in the house, especially those tiled areas such as the bathroom that we assume will be automatically waterproof, but nothing is further from the truth. Even though waterproofing tiles is not as straight forward as it may appear, the good news is that it is not rocket science and with some little due diligence, it can be very easily accomplished. When proper waterproof tile installation is done, any water leak through the grout will be diverted back into the bath tub or shower basin for that matter.

In order to waterproof tiles in a standard bathtub you will need to realize that they have a lip on three sides through which they capture water. The remaining side is the fourth side through which you usually pass when you want to get into or out of the bathtub. The reason that makes waterproofing tiles a real necessity is what is called capillary action. You can notice this especially when you leave a paper towel or a rag suspended into a bowl of water and the water travel’s upwards. This is the same thing that will happen when a cement board or a water resistant tiled surface is left in any puddle of water along the edge of the tub. This is why it is always advised that ceramic tile boards installed near a tub should leave some space between the bottom of the board and the tub or the shower surface.  However, installing a tar paper or a plastic vapor barrier on the wall studs before installation helps in waterproofing the tiles. The layers of the tar paper must be allowed to overlap one another like roofing shingle do or else you risk having streams of water running behind your sheets of tar paper.

Since grout is not waterproof water very easily travels through it and especially around those contact points they have with ceramic tiles. In waterproofing tile installations therefore you make sure that the instead of filling them with grout, silicone caulk does a far much better job.  Waterproofing needs to be done while the grout is still soft especially after the grout has cured; duration of about one week is needed for the curing, after which waterproofing tiles will deliver excellent results.  It is also advisable to try a silicone sealant since silicone is known to form a powerful film sealant that water cannot penetrate.

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