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Standards For Waterproofing Bathrooms

What are the Australian standards for waterproofing bathrooms?

Waterproofing a bathroom must comply with the Australian Building Code and Australian Standards AS3740-2010 Waterproofing of wet areas in residential buildings. 

Your licensed waterproofing specialist will know these Australian Standards, but it is good for the property owner to know the minimum requirements. 

It also can’t hurt to go beyond the minimum requirements if the property owner is concerned about water damage. The cost of installation can be much less compared to the cost of water damage. 

  • If a bathroom is installed on the ground floor, the floor and walls of the shower must be sealed up to 1800 mm. 
  • The walls enclosing the bathroom must be sealed up to 150 mm. 
  • For wet rooms (bathrooms with frameless showers), the entire bathroom floor as well as the walls must be sealed up to a radius of 1500 mm.  

The same minimum requirements as for a shower must also apply to the shower area in a wet room bathroom. 

Many modern bathrooms are now a ‘wet room’ style and are widely requested for renovated bathrooms.
The entire bathroom must be waterproofed.It is of utmost importance that the waterproofing is done correctly to avoid future water damage. 
If a bathroom is on the second floor or higher, the entire floor must also be waterproofed. The same applies to bathrooms with wooden floors. 

Can you waterproof a bathroom yourself?

It depends on where you live whether you can seal the bathroom yourself or have to hire a professional service provider. 

Even if you can waterproof your bathroom yourself, you should contact a licensed waterproofing professional. 

In Queensland and New South Wales, a bathroom must be waterproofed by a contractor with a valid waterproofing license. 

In other Australian states, the waterproofing specialist must provide a certificate of compliance to ensure that the waterproofing has been carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3740.

Waterproofing a bathroom should be done by a qualified waterproofing professional, even if local regulations state that you can do the waterproofing yourself. Local and state laws can be contradictory and can also change. 

Your new bathroom may not meet Australian waterproofing standards if it is done as a DIY job. 

If you save money on your renovation now, it raises the question of what additional costs you will incur in the future if you have not installed correctly. 

Waterproofing problems

The most common waterproofing problems in homes are due to the installation or lack thereof. A leaking bathroom is a certainty. Here are the most common waterproofing problems to avoid.

  • Failure to ensure that waterproofing is installed in the correct order of bathroom renovation. Waterproofing is done before the walls and floors are installed with their final finish. 
  • Not selecting the correct waterproofing product for the application.
  • Not allowing sufficient time for the waterproofing to cure.
  • Not applying the waterproofing in the required areas of the bathroom or at the required height.

The best way to avoid these common waterproofing problems is to work with a licensed and insured waterproofing contractor. They have the experience and knowledge to choose the right product and installation for your bathroom. 

How to waterproof a bathroom floor in Australia?

The best way to explain waterproofing a bathroom floor in Australia is that it is done in several steps. 

There are various applications or systems that are designed to prevent water from seeping through various openings and surfaces of the bathroom. 

Before the bathroom is built, waterproofing is applied under the floors and walls. 

The most common type of waterproofing is to seal the bathroom with a sheet. The following steps are required when waterproofing a bathroom floor:

  • The wall and floor surfaces of the bare bathroom are cleaned and primed.
  • A waterproof membrane is painted or sprayed on.
  • The membrane needs some time to dry. 
  • Floors and walls can be covered with slabs/tiles. 
  • A liquid sealant is applied to the tiles to create a protective barrier against water penetration. 
  • Then the joints between the tiled floor and walls are sealed with silicone to prevent water from running behind the joints. 

What is the cost of waterproofing a bathroom?

The cost of waterproofing a bathroom can vary. Much of the cost depends on the size of the bathroom and whether it is a wet room or has concealed sections such as an enclosed shower that require less application. 

It is best to get an estimate from a qualified and insured waterproofing contractor. Costs can also vary from state to state. Waterproofing work can cost upwards of $40 per metre. For an average-sized bathroom, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000.

Signs that a bathroom has been poorly sealed include:

  • Dripping water under the shower or seepage of water around wall and floor structures.
  • Water damage to wooden studs and structures that attract termites
  • Mould and mildew growth in walls and on floors
  • Squishy or moving of tiles when standing on them

There are two ways to fix poor waterproofing. 

  • The tiles on the floor and wall can be treated with epoxy to create a protective barrier against moisture and water.
  • You can demolish the bathroom and clear the wall and floor surfaces so that the waterproof membrane can be reapplied. 

Does a concrete bathroom floor need to be waterproofed?

It is recommended to waterproof concrete floors in a bathroom. Although concrete is porous and water resistant, it is not waterproof and therefore requires the same waterproofing measures as other floor coverings. 

If more consideration was given to the waterproofing application stage in the original build or renovation. Water damage would not be a common building defect that home owners would have to face.

Need A Waterproofing Company?

If you are requiring a waterproofing company in SE Queensland – Get in touch without team.
We can also do all your interior linings work as we have a team of plasterers as well
Call us today on 07 3555 8939

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