How to Waterproof a Shower (3 Awesome Methods!!) — by Home Repair Tutor

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47 thoughts on “How to Waterproof a Shower (3 Awesome Methods!!) — by Home Repair Tutor”

  1. Putting any type of vapor barrier over the studs and behind the wall board is creating a water sandwich which will never dry out creating an atmosphere for mold to take hold and multiply exponentially. Naaaaassssty! Remember what you have here. A vertical surface of cement, tile and grout. Unless the grout is allowed to deteriorate, the amount of moisture getting behind the wall tile, wicking through the mortar and then through the cement wallboard is negligible. On the off chance any water does get through you need to allow it to evaporate. So, hang the board. Tape and thin-set all the joints. Use thin-set to fill any low spots on the boards. Apply waterproofing tape with a high quality pre-mixed water-proofer to all joints. If you are really anal, apply the same waterproofing to the entire cement board surface. (The resin guy post is so far over the top and labor intensive, I'm almost speechless. How would you ever get that fiberglass and resin flat and smooth? Talk about a tile laying nightmare. I think he is full of crap and just dreamed up the whole thing.) Hang the tile. Grout the tile. Use silicone or the sealant of your choice to grout the corners. The corners tend to be sources of leaks, especially near the floor. Seal the grout. Seal the tile if you used a natural stone type tile. Maintain the grout and sealers. If your floor pan was installed correctly and you perform the above, the shower should last for decades with no water or mold issues just like the days of old. You think the guys that built showers in the early part of the last century had all these choices? Nope. And many of the tile jobs still stand on their own. So stop over thinking this process and perform the standard install. You will be satisfied! And a fan vented to the outside is an  absolute requirement.

  2. I just siliconed the joins and seams then mesh then thinset. I used fortified thinset and although silicone does not adhere to thinset I was able to cover the corners and seams with thinset through the mesh and cover the silicone. After numerous showers I did the second bathroom next door to the first one so I could inspect the first bathroom backerboard from behind. Corners and seams bone dry. Also I made sure no thinset got applied to the lip perimeter around the tub then I filled it with white silicon underneath 1 inch of the tile around the perimeter. If you tap on the tile you can hear a hollow sound but after the silicone the sound is gone so you know it has been filled. It probably takes more time but it's a DIY job.

  3. I used hardibacker board and Schluter membrane to seal the concrete floor and corners all the way up until 6 inches to the shower ceiling.
    Do i have to completely seal the walls, can i use Redgard for the rest or is it not necessary to seal it? Do i have to seal the ceiling of the shower?
    The guy at Home depot told me i should not put a vapor plastic behind the hardibacker because it will prevent the hardibacker from breathing and cause mold.
    And what trowel should i use for 10X17 inches tiles?
    P.S Those hardi board are HEAVYYYY

  4. I also do not see the need to tape tub or shower base flange. Eight years ago, I used Hardi Backer as the board, taped all joints with thin-set and fiberglass tape (except the tub flange). I don't even think I decided to try and seal the flange to the Hardi Backer board under the tile, I would think this joint is going to flex a little and would probably crack any seal you put there anyway…I just tiled over and sealed the tile to tub with flexible silicone white caulk. If you really wanted to do something before tiling, maybe shoot a line of some flexible caulking in there for extra credit.
    I think the Hardi Backer board is a cross b/t cement and the others in the video. It is very dense and stiff like cement board, not as heavy though. Easy to cut with hand-held jigsaw. It is not as "gritty" as cement board either. My thought is that it would hold up better and not flex as much as the two non-cement board products in the video. I coated the whole surface with a blue water-proof sealer…I think by Laticrete. Then tiled. I went back and forth with putting up a plastic barrier behind the Hardi Board, but decided against it and to let it breathe. It has been trouble-free for eight years and going strong! I am not a pro, but getting ready to start my 4th bathroom total gut and remodel and plan to do the same. I hope Hardi Board is still available. Go DIY'ers!!

  5. Fatal flaw in all these videos that I can see, is not dropping the concrete backing board slightly below the lip of the tub. It's astonishing to me how many contractors don't seem to understand, that lip is there for a reason! It's designed to take any moisture whatsoever behind the tile and direct it towards the inside of the tub. If you're using poly behind your concrete board, it should also go slightly below and inside the lip.

  6. Any of the provided methods ware nothing to do with weatherproofing they were just installing the backer boards without any proper demonstration of real waterproofing

  7. Seems odd to have so many different ways but yet still have problems. Why not use Cement board for a foundation then fiberglass mesh and resin over it? May sound odd but boats and many marine products are made of fiberglass. Seems like too many ways to achieve something not as satisfactory.

  8. Hello, I understand "waterproofing" a shower floor but the surrounding wall? A quality "cement and sand" board is "water resistant" which is what is necessary. If you have all the ingredients under the cement board, quality insulation and a 6 mil vapour barrier, then there is no reason to put on a "Ardex 8+9". Are you making a swimming pool or just promoting an expensive product which you really don't need? Bathrooms must be well ventilated to remove excess air moisture according to all building code. You probably could use this product (Ardex 8+9) if you are using the "new architectural design" a "window screen" over your walls…I hear that it's nouveau riche…LOL. You do not have hydrostatic pressure on your walls! Your shower head doesn't deliver so much pressure that your "TILES" will not stop it. People who have mold or water penetration issues use bad building practices and bad building materials then they go through so many expensive products which is fantastic for the manufacturers and so many unscrupulous or idiotic builders/contractors.

  9. The time it takes him to do all that monkeying around i would have had 2/3 of the shower set after floating it on the first day…..Oh and floating with cement waterproofs the walls……imagine that.


    Had a leaky shower. Hired contractor, used cement board and the black painted on membrane stuff. lasted for 6 months then leaked. Contractor came back and said this is this is way it is supposed to be done, sorry it leaked so what do you want me to do? I said rip it all out, re-line it with cement board and then lets fiberglass it like a boat.

    So that is what he did. We just bought regular fiberglass resin and mat. Applied the fiberglass resin to cement board then the mat and then more resin just like a boat, did 3 layers and ended up about 1/4 to 3/8 thick. Did this on floor and 95% up walls. After it set up and cured we mudded it and tiled it.

    Done deal and that was in 1998. Sold that house 4 yrs later and still know one of the neighbors. He says the shower stall is still exactly as we did it with the same tile and there has been no leaks for 19 yrs now.

    This is now my "GO TO" method for shower stalls. Since then I have talked other people into doing it exactly that way and it has never failed yet.

    I know where there are plenty of old fiberglass boats, some over 40 yrs old and they all still float and if let set with the drain plug in, will fill with water. Fiberglass on a shower stall like this is pretty well permanent and if done right will last as long as the house and simply NEVER leak.

    After explaining this to friends, they decided to do it the exact same way. It is dead simple to do also. Any fool can mix resin, roll it on, stick some fiberglass mat to it and roll on more resin to seal up the mat, then do same again total of 3 times and end up with 1/4 to 3/8 fiberglass thickness and a total permanent seal. Nice thing is, it leaves a nice rough irregular surface the mud sticks to extremely well so you can then stick on the tiles.

    Once you do a shower stall like this, you will see it makes so much sense and is so easy to do, you will never ever even consider doing it any other way ever again. My contractor was blown away and has done many this exact way. He sells them as "forever showers" guaranteed to NEVER EVER leak and none ever have.

    Fiberglass your shower stalls and stop worrying, it will never ever leak and will outlast you.

  11. I'm remodelling bathroom as we speak… Prepping the floor. I think i'll use Kerdi Board. Seem easier. My question is: My shower will be in an inside wall, should i use a plastic water vapour barrier ? I'll be using one on the other side (exterior wall). Thank you for your Video's there great. I'm in Montreal,QC. Canada

  12. I just made a master bath lqarger since majority of the wall already has drywall I used the green drywall to even the wall. I have hardie boards but after watching this video I will go with the lightest material not the cement board, my wall will not have contact with water because I am getting steam shower but still since there's moisture from the steam I want the wall to be done right.

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