Codes of Practice and regulations have changed over the years as new materials and technology have developed and as result of customers needing and wanting more protection from their installers. Most residential customers, however, don’t ever think about these regulations and assume that the installers are fitting everything correctly, which unfortunately is not alway case. Often, it is not until something goes wrong that mistakes come to light, which can be costly and time consuming.
Changes to waterproofing regulations
The latest regulation changes concern waterproofing, which is very important in bathrooms, wet rooms and steam rooms, or in fact any room that is subject to water contact. Most of these rooms are tiled and although these are excellent water barriers they are not enough to stop water getting to the substrates that they are fixed to. If these substrates are moisture sensitive (i.e. plaster, plasterboard, marine ply, ply board) and a cement based adhesive and grout is used, then moisture can pass through, damaging the underlying substrate and causing leaks, which may not be noticed until the substrates have hit their saturation point. Most tile adhesive and grouts are only water resistant. Damp and mould issues can be a common symptom and this water damage can spread to adjoining rooms- always an expensive and inconvenient repair.
The latest British Standards Institute [BSI] codes of practice have addressed waterproofing issues and BS 5385-1 (wall and floor tiling in normal internal conditions) is the appropriate standard for residential properties.
Waterproofing your bathroom
The new revisions state that all substrates should be waterproofed before tiling. So if you are getting your bathroom/wetroom up-dated and tiling or boarding is going to be applied then the fitter must ensure that the substrate has been fully waterproofed. This can be done by applying a tanking kit which is a tape and paste system, waterproof matting or by installing backer boards or cement based boards prior to tiling. It is important that the substrate you are tiling on to is stable, flat and rigid and capable of supporting the weight of the tiles or shower boards.
At New Image we stock everything required to make sure that your fitter can comply with these regulation changes and ensure that your bathroom will stay watertight.
Cement Based Backer Boards
‘NoMorePly’ is a cement based backer board that come in different thicknesses and its primary aim is to strengthen timber floors and walls to reduce bounce levels and when fitted correctly it prevents tiles and grout joints from cracking and creates a water resistant surface suitable for tiling. To match the strength of a 6mm thick sheet of ‘NoMorePly’ a 15mm sheet of plywood would need to be used which could create an awkward ‘step’. Using the ‘NoMorePly’ Megastrength adhesive and screws and following the manufacturers fitting guidelines offers complete security against failure and a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer.
These foam-cored backing boards also come in different thicknesses for all applications. Because of the strength of these boards they can take a greater weight of tile compared to plasterboard so are suitable for the ever more popular large format tiles.
These boards are extremely versatile and can be used for walls and floors, [particularly over floorboards] under and over underfloor heating and are especially suitable for wet rooms and bathrooms as they are dimensionally stable, are easily cut and fixed to solid surfaces or stud work. They are moisture and water resistant so will never degrade, rot or warp regardless of how wet it gets.
Regardless of which board is used it is still recommended, for a belt and braces job, that the installation is protected by fully tanking the area before tiling thereby creating a fully waterproof room.
Retrospectively we can also supply a grout protection spray that will make an impregnating seal on your grout to help stop water penetration through to the substrate.
For more advice on any of the issues raised or for more information on any of our products we are always happy to help- we know what we are talking about!