Waterproof tiled shower area

31
Posted 25th Feb
I have mixer shower bath taps and when the shower is in full flow water penetrates the grout in the tiled wall around the shower area and drips down from upstairs into the hall way below the bathroom.

I have put dx fix self adhesive film over the tiled wall and this has resolved the problem. I am looking to get the bathroom re-tiled and one option is to use splash panels around the shower area and then tiles around the rest of the bathroom. These splash panels are expensive and they don't look as good as tiles.

I have seen a few youtube videos which suggest different ways to make the tiles water proof by putting on a waterproof membrane on the wall before putting the tiles on.

I don't know if this is going to work out any cheaper than the splash panels and whether it will actually work well?
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I just had a look for shower panels - they are stupidly expensive for what they are.

How about water resistant laminate? victoriaplum.com/bro…els
or rearo.co.uk/bat…14/

Floor laminate is cheaper, not sure how easy it is to put them on the walls though or if it would work as well.
Bigfootpete25/02/2020 12:59

I just had a look for shower panels - they are stupidly expensive for what …I just had a look for shower panels - they are stupidly expensive for what they are. How about water resistant laminate? https://victoriaplum.com/browse/multipanel-linda-barker-shower-wall-panelsor https://www.rearo.co.uk/bathroom/laminate-wall-panels/selkie-carrera-marble-satin-shower-panel-29114/Floor laminate is cheaper, not sure how easy it is to put them on the walls though or if it would work as well.


i ordered 4 splash panels, which cover 9.6 metre square and the total cost was £460 including the joins for the panels and delivery a few months ago. this works out to be £48 per metre square! i quickly cancelled it when they told me the price and just bought tiles instead. i ordered the panels because i thought they were going to be cheaper but when i got the invoice for payment it was really silly price.

i may have to do the splash panel for the shower area but i would prefer the look of tiles and that is much cheaper. although having to prepare the walls may add costs so it may not work out that much cheaper. also i don't know how bad the walls are when the tiles are taken off as it may need re-plastering as there must be gaps behind the wall for water to go downstairs through the grouting.
Buckyball25/02/2020 11:58

You need stuff like this:https://www.tiledoctor.com/waterproof-grout/


i don't think water proof grout alone is going to be good enough for a shower area? when i read on google about water proofing shower areas, it states that this is not sufficient.
I have installed many baths with shower attachments and stand alone showers. Never had any problems with water penetrating the grout.
I always make sure the bath or tray is silconrd to the walls and then tank the area (This is a rubber type paint). Ideally you should then use a waterproof adhesive and the grout. In the main I use Bal products and never had a call back due to the failure you describe.
Are your tiles natural stone by any chance? If so they may not have been sealed.
hubcms25/02/2020 13:30

I have installed many baths with shower attachments and stand alone …I have installed many baths with shower attachments and stand alone showers. Never had any problems with water penetrating the grout.I always make sure the bath or tray is silconrd to the walls and then tank the area (This is a rubber type paint). Ideally you should then use a waterproof adhesive and the grout. In the main I use Bal products and never had a call back due to the failure you describe.Are your tiles natural stone by any chance? If so they may not have been sealed.


do you mean you paint the walls with a rubber type paint? that is the waterproof membrane if this is the case. the tiles are ceramic tiles and the grout look solid so there is no crack in the grouting. water penetrates to a severe extent that it pours down to the hall downstairs, not just drip down! there is no damage to the tiles either and the water ingress is not through the bath sealant as it has stopped when i put the dc fix film over the tiles. i haven't covered the sealant around the bath with dc fix, just the tiled area around the shower, so it is definitely going through the grouting as it can't be going through the ceramic tiles.
OP
claddingwarehouse.co.uk/ask…lad

claddingwarehouse.co.uk/dec…p=1


I also would check / re-do any natural stone waterproofing (brush on) seal if applicable in your b/room.
(scratch that I just read they were ceramic).

is it possibly that the bath? maybe was sealed when empty not weighted under the demands of a full one & that it is effecting a bad seal? ..too much flex in an acrylic bath? (prefer steel m'self) , taps not sealed & trickle leads through (spacer washers etc)? ..jumping in late to thread
I specced & put up cement tilebacker board (hardiebacker) seal the joins with sealant & glass-fibre tape before tiles are (were) placed
Edited by: "Mr_Gus" 25th Feb
Mr_Gus25/02/2020 14:24

OPhttps://www.claddingwarehouse.co.uk/ask-vladhttps://www.claddingwarehouse.co.uk/decorative-bathroom-cladding?p=1I also would check / re-do any natural stone waterproofing (brush on) seal if applicable in your b/room.(scratch that I just read they were ceramic).is it possibly that the bath? maybe was sealed when empty not weighted under the demands of a full one & that it is effecting a bad seal? ..too much flex in an acrylic bath? (prefer steel m'self) , taps not sealed & trickle leads through (spacer washers etc)? ..jumping in late to threadI specced & put up cement tilebacker board (hardiebacker) seal the joins with sealant & glass-fibre tape before tiles are (were) placed


it is not the seal as i had put dc fix on a few months ago so the bath has been used several times since then and there has been no leak. i think it is just old grouting so although i can't see obvious cracks in the grouting, it may be loose where it meets the tiles, or not tight enough to stop water ingress. with new tiles and new grouting the problem may not occur but when the grouting gets old the same problem will happen again.

i don't think i can simply rely on the grouting holding out as re-grouting every few years would not be economical if even possible without re-tiling. i need a permanent solution and i just seen boards that you can install behind the tiles which are water proof. but they are 10mm thick so that will be too tick with new tiles.

anyone used these of sorts of boards before?
mutley125/02/2020 13:13

i don't think water proof grout alone is going to be good enough for a …i don't think water proof grout alone is going to be good enough for a shower area? when i read on google about water proofing shower areas, it states that this is not sufficient.


It works fine in my shower I did myself - but I also used the waterproof tile backing board behind the tiles that I thought were standard with tiles. On the raised shower floor I have tiles as well on top of waterproof plywood - no leaks, no sealant required.
Bigfootpete25/02/2020 16:03

It works fine in my shower I did myself - but I also used the waterproof …It works fine in my shower I did myself - but I also used the waterproof tile backing board behind the tiles that I thought were standard with tiles. On the raised shower floor I have tiles as well on top of waterproof plywood - no leaks, no sealant required.


sounds like i need those backing boards. just concerned that there is not enough room for that to rest on the bath tub as well as tiles as the backing board i saw is 10mm thick. i want slim backing boards really. the wall is already plastered so it doesn't need to rigid board, just a waterproof one.
mutley125/02/2020 15:11

it is not the seal as i had put dc fix on a few months ago so the bath has …it is not the seal as i had put dc fix on a few months ago so the bath has been used several times since then and there has been no leak. i think it is just old grouting so although i can't see obvious cracks in the grouting, it may be loose where it meets the tiles, or not tight enough to stop water ingress. with new tiles and new grouting the problem may not occur but when the grouting gets old the same problem will happen again.i don't think i can simply rely on the grouting holding out as re-grouting every few years would not be economical if even possible without re-tiling. i need a permanent solution and i just seen boards that you can install behind the tiles which are water proof. but they are 10mm thick so that will be too tick with new tiles.anyone used these of sorts of boards before?


I had my whole bathroom decked out in waterproof boards on walls (not too sure about the floor or product it actually was) as I have wet room area in the bathroom. The flooring had to be designed to ensure all the water would drain off to one point and that has caused no issues nor has the boards on the wall. if this is for a rental property my recommend would be get the splash panels. Not all of them have that clinical look I presume you dislike
Edited by: "OllieSt" 25th Feb
OllieSt25/02/2020 16:28

I had my whole bathroom decked out in waterproof boards on walls (not too …I had my whole bathroom decked out in waterproof boards on walls (not too sure about the floor or product it actually was) as I have wet room area in the bathroom. The flooring had to be designed to ensure all the water would drain off to one point and that has caused no issues nor has the boards on the wall. if this is for a rental property my recommend would be get the splash panels. Not all of them have that clinical look I presume you dislike


i already have a splash panel on one wall so i need some more on the other wall. they are not clinical as they have marble effect but as they are upvc, they don't get that gloss ceramic look, which i like. or the matt tile look which is also attractive. you can see that they are upvc and over time they can look dull, whereas tiles will look good for a very long time, not to mention they are a lot cheaper.
Edited by: "mutley1" 25th Feb
mutley125/02/2020 16:43

i already have a splash panel on one wall so i need some more on the other …i already have a splash panel on one wall so i need some more on the other wall. they are not clinical as they have marble effect but as they are upvc, they don't get that gloss ceramic look, which i like. or the matt tile look which is also attractive. you can see that they are upvc and over time they can look dull, whereas tiles will look good for a very long time, not to mention they are a lot cheaper.


You've been given enough options. Which one appeals to you most?
OllieSt25/02/2020 16:46

You've been given enough options. Which one appeals to you most?


i want the tiles but i don't know how to make it work as i want to make sure it is water proof and not rely on the grouting to hold over time as that can't be relied upon. i need some sort of backing system but the backboards are too thick and the waterproof membrane won't work on a wall unless it is in good condition, which i suspect this is not going to be so as water is running down behind the tiles so there are gaps in the plaster wall behind the tiles.

i am hoping someone can suggest something that will work, like a thin waterproof board or sheeting material. i may have to get the wall re-plastered and then apply the waterproof membrane, but this will be expensive as it is labour intensive and it will take a lot of time get the shower area finished.
Mind and use the biggest tiles u can find so u have less joints. Here’s mine
39982941-v9ii4.jpg
39982941-NmuqB.jpg
mutley125/02/2020 16:11

sounds like i need those backing boards. just concerned that there is not …sounds like i need those backing boards. just concerned that there is not enough room for that to rest on the bath tub as well as tiles as the backing board i saw is 10mm thick. i want slim backing boards really. the wall is already plastered so it doesn't need to rigid board, just a waterproof one.


Not sure what you mean by rest on the bathtub? The backing board is screwed to the wall, you don't need to use the bath as a support when putting the tiles on, it's probably better to temporarily move the bath out of the way and screw a piece of wood to the wall while the adhesive is drying, then you can fit the bath in afterwards, so it can either be flush against the tiles or fit just under the bottom of the tiles.

I was also looking to get thin boards, the ones I got in the end pushed the tiles out a bit further than the original ceramic tiles.
mutley125/02/2020 16:51

i want the tiles but i don't know how to make it work as i want to make …i want the tiles but i don't know how to make it work as i want to make sure it is water proof and not rely on the grouting to hold over time as that can't be relied upon. i need some sort of backing system but the backboards are too thick and the waterproof membrane won't work on a wall unless it is in good condition, which i suspect this is not going to be so as water is running down behind the tiles so there are gaps in the plaster wall behind the tiles.i am hoping someone can suggest something that will work, like a thin waterproof board or sheeting material. i may have to get the wall re-plastered and then apply the waterproof membrane, but this will be expensive as it is labour intensive and it will take a lot of time get the shower area finished.



The backing boards can be 6mm. If that's too thick then you've got nowhere to go
Edited by: "OllieSt" 25th Feb
Bigfootpete25/02/2020 17:21

Not sure what you mean by rest on the bathtub? The backing board is …Not sure what you mean by rest on the bathtub? The backing board is screwed to the wall, you don't need to use the bath as a support when putting the tiles on, it's probably better to temporarily move the bath out of the way and screw a piece of wood to the wall while the adhesive is drying, then you can fit the bath in afterwards, so it can either be flush against the tiles or fit just under the bottom of the tiles. I was also looking to get thin boards, the ones I got in the end pushed the tiles out a bit further than the original ceramic tiles.


the bathtub has a lip on the side and that rests against the wall where i have stuck dc fix on. at the moment the tiles sit on the lip and there is not a huge amount of lip left for the tiles to move forward with a thick backing panel. i need a really thin panel so with the tiles sitting on top, it doesn't move too much further into the bath tub area but still stay on the lip.

i don't want the bath tub moved as that will cost money and may cause leaks if the plumbing is not put back right. i want the job done with the bath tub left alone.

i really need 3mm back panel so if 6mm is the minimum, the builder will have to sand down the plaster to make room as i don't want the bath tub moved.
OP, I used Hardiebacker in 2008 ..all good since (though I used heavy large travertine & jerusalem !? stone on the THICKER hardibackers.

As for the links I gave you, they are clickfit.

I first came across this modular plastic set up in the states circa 1992 very commonplace.
Ultimately your grout has failed ironically it may not have had enough water added to it when it was mixed so not causing the desired chemical reaction for it to go off. Another reason is it may have been way passed its use by date when mixed. Either rake it all out and start again or rip all the tiles off and start again.
Generally tanking kits are used to protect porous surfaces from moisture, for damage limitation.
Yes you can go down the aquaboard route however in my opinion it reminds me of caravan shower cubicles.
hubcms25/02/2020 21:18

Ultimately your grout has failed ironically it may not have had enough …Ultimately your grout has failed ironically it may not have had enough water added to it when it was mixed so not causing the desired chemical reaction for it to go off. Another reason is it may have been way passed its use by date when mixed. Either rake it all out and start again or rip all the tiles off and start again. Generally tanking kits are used to protect porous surfaces from moisture, for damage limitation.Yes you can go down the aquaboard route however in my opinion it reminds me of caravan shower cubicles.


so do you think if i got a builder to apply a layer of waterproof membrane and then put tiles on with waterproof grouting i should be fine?

the tiles are old so the grouting has probably had its day. it was a bath tub with a shower hose for low level use. i have put the hose high up so now water sprays on to the tiled wall and as it was never designed to be used as a shower, the tiling was never done with that in mind.
mutley125/02/2020 21:47

so do you think if i got a builder to apply a layer of waterproof membrane …so do you think if i got a builder to apply a layer of waterproof membrane and then put tiles on with waterproof grouting i should be fine?


Yes that's the way to go. 6mm boards would be better, but if 6mm is too thick then the membrane is your next best option.

I've done this exact procedure many times without any issues years down the line. Without blowing my own trumpet I would classify myself as a bathroom wall waterproof membrane expert.

Hope this helps
Edited by: "OllieSt" 26th Feb
The reason people use a tanking is to prevent further wall damage should the tiling/grout fail. For general use including what you require the water shouldn't start to get behind your tiled surface. You can also use non water soluble adhesive such as Bal White Star again this is about prevention. Also the reason people use products like Hardie Backer board instead of plasterboard is it is very water resistant and reduces flex in a wall if you do not have much in the way of timber batterns to screw to.
Where possible I just use 13mm plasterboard, followed by tanking. Ideally apply a skim coat of finishing plaster to the plasterboard as this help prevent damage to the plasterboard when in 10 to 15 years later you want to start all over again. HTH
If you have a dremel (or such like) remove all the grout & sealant. & replace with waterproof grout & a quality mold proof sealant.
hubcms26/02/2020 06:32

The reason people use a tanking is to prevent further wall damage should …The reason people use a tanking is to prevent further wall damage should the tiling/grout fail. For general use including what you require the water shouldn't start to get behind your tiled surface. You can also use non water soluble adhesive such as Bal White Star again this is about prevention. Also the reason people use products like Hardie Backer board instead of plasterboard is it is very water resistant and reduces flex in a wall if you do not have much in the way of timber batterns to screw to.Where possible I just use 13mm plasterboard, followed by tanking. Ideally apply a skim coat of finishing plaster to the plasterboard as this help prevent damage to the plasterboard when in 10 to 15 years later you want to start all over again. HTH


the wall is concrete believe it or not for an upstairs bathroom! but the concrete is plastered and then the tiles are tiled over the plaster. the tiles have not moved at all and they look solid so the water is simply getting through the grouting and running straight down to downstairs without damaging the plaster behind the tiles, otherwise the tile adhesive would give and the tiles would fall off or become loose.

i think when the tiles are removed, the wall behind will have lots of holes in it so the builder will need to do something about the wall before he can put new tiles on.
FYI a good tiler should be able to do all the work, and in theory do a better finish than a general builder. However I would say that as I'm a qualified tiler lol!
hubcms26/02/2020 18:10

FYI a good tiler should be able to do all the work, and in theory do a …FYI a good tiler should be able to do all the work, and in theory do a better finish than a general builder. However I would say that as I'm a qualified tiler lol!


A tiler would be best but it is a trade that a multiskill tradesman can do. Builder is just a generic term that I am using

If the tiles are actually tiled directly onto the block work, would this be a no no?
Edited by: "mutley1" 26th Feb
mutley126/02/2020 19:09

A tiler would be best but it is a trade that a multiskill tradesman can do.


Jack of all trades master of none is a recipe for disaster.
You could tile directly on block work. Would be fiddly/time consuming, and would recommend you use self mix adhesive as it may need to be thick in places. Personally I would apply bonding to the clockwork first.
Edited by: "hubcms" 26th Feb
Have you checked that it is not the waste pipe leaking
PEPSIDAVE26/02/2020 22:38

Have you checked that it is not the waste pipe leaking


if it is the waste pipe then putting dc fix film on the tiles would not have resolved the problem. it is not a waste pipe or the bath sealant. i checked under the bath.
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