The importance of waterproofing your natural stone bathroom cladding
Waterproofing is a controversial topic in terms of necessity. It is necessary for all new buildings, however keep in mind that renovation projects will use the initial waterproofing of the building. Another detail is the necessity of waterproofing bathrooms of houses and villas, yet the contractors are responsible for waterproofing the flooring in apartment bathrooms. Basically waterproofing is a membrane/paint applied over the surface for preventing water infiltration. Thus, in order to avoid the major risks of possible water infilation under the bathroom flooring, waterproofing is necessary. The real dangers of water infiltration in the installation joints from the natural stone/ceramic tiles flooring are: water flooding through the ceiling, development of mold and damp due to moisture, tiles detachment, screed grinding, development of water stains and the specific smell of wet environments.
Keep in mind that water splashes on flooring will not infiltrate the surface of stone/ceramic tiles. The waterproofed stone will not allow water to penetrate surface. The grouted and waterproofed joints reject water, but in time, by using acid detergents for cleaning, the grout cracks, allowing water infiltration. Grout joints will not replace waterproofing, that's why bathroom waterproofing is necessary, for protection against the risk of water infiltration. However, waterproofing is not exclusively for bathroom, there are other areas that require this procedure: foundation, roof, kitchen, swimming pool and basement.
This is also recommended for cladding, especially for shower enclosures and kitchens. For public restrooms it is recommended to analyze the risk of water to infiltrate, based on space usage and traffic. You can waterproof the entire surface or only a part of it (example: for backsplashes in kitchens/restrooms with common use sinks, you should only waterproof the surface with splashing risk, not the entire wall).
In bathrooms, waterproof the entire flooring, alongide walls (where the sink is installed, with risk of water splashing) and shower enclosure (the entire flooring and walls).
Waterproofing needs to follow manufacturer's instructions, however, you should follow the steps:
1. Screed pouring – after installing the pipes. If the screed is already poured, pipes will be installed by digging into the screed; after levelling, apply waterproof for covering the pipes.
2. Surface cleaning – clean surface by removing residues, dust and fats, when the screed is cured. It should be performed carefully, since residues might prevent the surface from being adherent.
3. Surface preparation – cover surface cracks and joint gaps from walls before waterproofing (use can use silicone for this). Some manufacturers might also recommend applying a coat of primer.
4. Applying the first coat of waterproofing – according to manufacturer's instructions. For a successful operation, compliance with environmental conditions (temperature, rain, wind, sun) is essential. Use standard tools: brush, paint roller and gloves. For large surfaces, operate automatically. Thickness of waterproofing layer ranges between 1 and 2.5 mm, depending on the manufacturer and the area.
5. Applying sealing strips – apply at the junction areas between wall and flooring on one hand and also two walls on the other hand, for covering the expansion joints and plug in areas for pipes.
6. Applying second layer of waterproofing – perpendicularly to the first layer, including the sealing bands, in a time frame mentioned by manufacturer in user’s manual.
7. Washing tools after use – necessary to avoid the cure of waterproofing on the surface.
8. Cladding the walls and flooring in a few hours, for allowing the cure of waterproofing (according to manufacturer's specification)
9. Waterproof public wet spaces with similar materials, applying also a third coat of waterproofing, intended for areas with water under pressure.
Bathroom waterproofing is not complicated and this will solve many problems, besides extending the lifetime of such an area and maintaining optimum living conditions. Based on our experience, we can gladly assist you with any project, just give us a call at +40318.222.33 or email: email@example.com.
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