If you've ever encountered the horror of water dripping through your ceiling, you'll realise that when things go wrong in your bathroom, it can quickly turn into a disaster. To help prevent the unthinkable from happening, why not waterproof your bathroom?
When updating your bathroom, you will invariably end up choosing paint, wallpaper or tiles, placed directly onto plasterboard or plastered brickwork. Floors are most commonly finished in either vinyl or tiles, installed directly onto floorboards. This will certainly reduce the cost of your overall bathroom installation, however, with all the water that flows in and out of a bathroom, these surfaces may not provide the protection you need, leading to further problems down the line.
Since 2018, the BSI (British Standard Institute) regulations have changed, meaning that a suitable waterproof membrane must be fitted to any substrate in "wet areas". "Wet areas" are typically any part of a room that can experience wetting from, for example, a shower, bath or basin.
For more information on this, check out our latest article, where we answer the question "Do you need to waterproof your bathroom?".
A wet room solution without the wet room?
One way of overcoming these issues is to treat your bathroom as if it were a wet room. A wet room, if you are unsure of the term, is a fully tanked room (one that is waterproofed) by using boarding and adhesive that forms a complete barrier to water. This will greatly reduce the risk of water penetrating outside the confines of your room.
A fully waterproofed room doesn't necessarily mean you need to install a walk in shower. You can still opt for a more traditional suite with bath, but it does give you plenty more options when it comes to adding a shower.
Can I create a wet room upstairs?
One common question we often get asked is, can I have a wet room upstairs? The simple answer is, yes you certainly can. In fact, many people seem to have the misconception that a wet room is MORE likely to result in leaks. Whereas, in fact, the opposite is true.
A cross section of waterproof boarding in a wet room
Aside from meeting current regulations, here are 5 good reasons to waterproof your bathroom:
1. Stops leaks
With gravity, water will always find the easiest and quickest route downwards. If a weak point or crack develops in your floor or walls, or gaps form in the sealant between your walls and bath, water can easily start to seep through and will soon find its way into the ground floor of your house. This may manifest itself in damp walls and ceilings at a lower level, or worse, drops of water forming on light fixtures, meaning water and electrics mixing, which is never a good thing. A tanked room provides a fully watertight seal beneath floors and walls that will prevent this.
2. Prevents damp and mould
Whilst you can see what is taking place on the exteriors of your walls and floor, it's what's underneath that you can't see. If you are redoing your bathroom, you may have pulled away tiles to reveal damp, rotten looking plywood or plaster. This is caused by water getting through the top layer and penetrating the wood, plaster or brick, which is usually never treated for such things. By adding a waterproof barrier between these surfaces and your top layer (e.g. tiles), you can prevent the build-up of condensation and prevent damp from occurring.
Not only will waterproof boarding prevent leaks and damp forming, but it is also a great insulator. If external walls form part of your bathroom, you will know how cold those walls can feel to the touch, especially during the winter months, meaning your bathroom requires a greater BTU (British Thermal Unit) to heat it. This, in turn, costs you more money in the long run. Waterproof boarding will help to keep the warmth in and will go some way to reducing your energy bills.
With level access and no shower tray, a wet room enclosure can be both stylish and functional
4. Greater bathroom options
By building a stud wall with waterproofed boards, you can start to add more designer touches to your bathroom, such as a wall hung toilet and concealed cistern, wall hung basin and handy niches for your essentials. You can also choose to turn your bathroom into a wet room and do away with your shower tray to leave a highly contemporary open plan shower. Your designer bathroom suddenly got interesting!
5. Increase your property value
A fully tanked room shows that time and effort has been spent on providing a quality, professional finish to your bathroom. This, in turn, is a real selling point when the time comes to up sticks, adding value to your property.
Find out more about waterproofing your bathroom
If these 5 reasons have convinced you to waterproof your bathroom, you'll be happy to know that full bathroom waterproofing kits are now available at Victoria Plum. Take a look at our full range of high quality and affordable wet room solutions and save yourself time, effort and money further down the line.