Anyone who has gone through a bathroom makeover would know that the repercussions typically become apparent after the project is completed.

For instance, if you were to cut a hole in the bathroom wall to install shower recesses, a single oversight is all it takes to send water running around the wall cavity. At every step of the way, therefore, installation instructions must be followed to the letter. In fact, as far as state laws go, you are not supposed to perform such a project yourself unless you are certified.

Bathroom waterproofing

In Queensland and New South Wales, for instance, waterproofing work must be done by a certified pro. TAFE schools offer Certificate III Construction Waterproofing courses although they require applicants to have prior waterproofing experience. Only those who complete the course or possess relative competencies can be licenced.

Another factor to consider is minimum waterproofing protection. Under AS 3740, a minimum wall height of 1.8 metres and a length of 1.5 metres around the shower area must be waterproofed. For the rest, walls must be waterproofed up to a height of 0.15 metres, with the remainder up to 1.8 metres designed to be water-resistant. These values may vary depending on the bathroom layout.

In the case of shower recesses, location is an important factor. Most Queensland homes have a 70-mm stud wall, while the rest of Australia uses a 90-mm stud wall. Climate conditions are the primary reason for the difference. The temperate climate south of Queensland requires thicker insulation for homes, which means deeper stud walls.

Although some bathroom recesses do not require overtly invasive work, care must be taken to ensure that the waterproofing membrane within remains unscathed. Fortunately, top-quality shower recesses are designed to be installed without the need for major reproofing since they are already waterproof. That being said, an additional layer behind the recess wouldn’t hurt.

If you do prefer to carry out your bathroom renovation project by yourself, then be sure to choose the best products. A zero-fail, ready-to-tile shower recess that is quick and easy to install—such as what Ripple Systems manufactures—is the perfect choice if you want an uncluttered bathroom.

(Source: “Bathroom waterproofing,” BUILD)

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