Methods, materials, stages of waterproofing walls and floors

7 min

Why waterproof a bathroom?

1Waterproofing the bathroom is the most important stage in the renovation work, since this is a room in which there is a high concentration of moisture. Carrying out waterproofing works is necessary to ensure a more durable operation of finishing materials and supporting structures of the building. Will not allow seams to disperse or provoke cracks.

In addition, the possibility of flooding of neighbors through the same microcracks or other flaws in floors and walls will be minimized. Such a nuisance can occur even if a small amount of water has been spilled on the floor. A waterproofing finish will help avoid these kinds of troubles. In addition, moisture that gets into cracks and places unprotected from water evaporates very slowly.

It also reduces the likelihood of fungus and mold, which can occur in hard-to-reach places, due to the accumulation of excess moisture there. Therefore, if you are concerned about your health and the health of people close to you, waterproofing is necessary. Modern materials and methods allow for complete comprehensive protection against moisture penetration into the walls and base of the bathroom floor.

Waterproofing methods

2Before starting work on waterproofing, you should decide who will carry out all the stages of repair work. If you want to independently carry out these works and not involve specialists in order to save money and make repairs with a minimum budget, you should familiarize yourself with the main stages of waterproofing work. It also requires knowledge of waterproofing materials and methods of applying or installing them. So, let’s look at the basic methods of protecting the bath room from moisture penetration into the base of the walls and floor.

  • Painting method – this method of waterproofing is the most economical, since a bituminous solution is used here. This material is one of the most affordable building materials on the market today and is easy to use. It is enough to smear all parts of the bathroom walls well to get good protection.
    The disadvantage of this protection is fragility, service life – 5-7 years. This is quite a little considering that many expect to make repairs for a longer period. But for those who love change and change the interior of the bathroom every few years, such waterproofing is quite suitable and will save money.

  • The coating method – this method is also easy to implement, but it is better to be performed by a specialist. To waterproof the bathtub using this method, bitumen mastic is used with additives from polymer or rubber materials, which make the material more durable in operation and an effective waterproofing agent. When carrying out work, a layer of protection of at least 3 mm should be applied.

  • Gluing method – in this case, a bitumen solution based on polymer additives is used for gluing reinforced polyester or glass fabric to the walls of the bath. All surfaces of the walls of the ceiling and floor of the bathroom are pasted over with these materials. Work is carried out by heating the adhesive mass or by cold method, depending on the selected type of bituminous solution. Waterproofing in this case has good efficiency.

  • Impregnated waterproofing, penetrating waterproofing – there are many options on the market. One of the most effective methods is to impregnate concrete or plastered bathroom walls with a special compound that can be easily purchased at a construction supermarket. The impregnation penetrates deep into the wall and creates a protective layer that protects the surface from moisture penetration. This is a fairly simple way to do the work yourself. No special skills are required for impregnation work.

Waterproofing with roll materials

3You can do the waterproofing of the bathroom with your own hands without much effort, since there is nothing difficult in carrying out repair work. You should carefully study all the main stages of the work and feel free to start them. One of the methods is pasting the surface of the bathroom walls with roll-up waterproofing materials. Self-adhesive waterproofing is very popular, which is easy to install and practically does not require special skills, therefore it is ideal for independent work.

Self-adhesive waterproofing is very simple to install – a piece of roll material of the required size is cut off and placed on the wall around the entire perimeter of the bathroom surface or where you carry out protection against moisture penetration. Next, you should walk well with a roller along the self-adhesive tape so that the material adheres to the wall and holds firmly. The following fragments of the protective roll material are overlapped by approximately 4-5 cm. At the junction of the floor and the wall, a significant overlap is provided, which should be at least 15-20 cm on the wall.

In a similar way, the installation of roll waterproofing is carried out, but by a welded-on method, which requires special skills in working with the burner. It is not difficult, but without some experience it will be difficult to carry out the work yourself. The roll of material is unwound to the desired configuration and by fusing it adheres to the surface of the wall, bathroom floor. The bitumen layer on the material melts and thereby adheres reliably to the wall surface.

After the work on pasting the walls and floor with roll materials, a concrete screed should be created on the floor of the room. Here it should be borne in mind that the floor level in the bathroom will differ from the floor level in other rooms and this should be taken into account.

Waterproofing with coating materials

4Lubricants are best suited for self-service work to protect against moisture penetration. The modern construction market offers a lot of ready-made mixtures that can be immediately applied to the surface of the base of walls and floors. That is, the advantage of this type of waterproofing is its versatility. Lubricants will significantly reduce the time for repairs, unlike roll materials. Renovations will be faster and budgets will be lower.

There are two types of coating materials – bitumen or cement based

  • Bituminous mastics have been used for a long time and have good moisture protection characteristics. Modern bituminous mixtures for waterproofing are divided into two types – bitumen-rubber (rubber) and bitumen-polymer. Both types have excellent adhesion rates, that is, good adhesion to the surface. These mastics use oxidized bitumen with the addition of organic and other fillers, which increase the effectiveness of the waterproofing properties of the material.

  • The cement-based coating material is produced from cement itself with the addition of mineral-based fillers. Waterproofing cementitious materials can be divided into two types, one-component and two-component. The former have a free-flowing consistency and are diluted with water, while the latter are ready for use. The binder component in a two-component cement coating is polymer-based latex. These coatings have good waterproofing properties and are widely used.
    Before applying cementitious materials, the wall surface is pre-moistened. Then the first layer is applied, and then a couple more layers (you need to apply 2-3 layers). A break is made between the application of layers so that the coating is well absorbed into the surface. Cement coatings tend to penetrate deep into the surface structure, which has a good effect on the effectiveness of waterproofing. The approximate consumption of the cement mixture is 3 kg per square meter. The good elasticity characteristics of cement-based coating materials allow them to be applied to various surfaces.

Stages of works on waterproofing walls

  1. 5Before waterproofing a bathroom, carefully prepare the surface of the walls for repair work. The floor and walls should be treated with a mortar consisting of a cement-sand mixture. All cracks, depressions and surface irregularities should be repaired. You should perform an even and high-quality screed, plaster the walls as well and qualitatively as possible. After that, remove all excess debris and dirt from the surface of the walls and floor and apply a primer. This will allow the waterproofing materials to better interact with the surface, that is, have a good adhesion to the wall or floor.

  2. Next comes the application of a waterproofing compound to the surface of the walls. Carefully study the instructions of the composition that you have chosen for work. Apply the mixture evenly to the surface with a brush. Particular attention is required to be paid to places where joints, corners and other hard-to-reach places pass. There, a double coat can be applied to obtain more effective protection and exclude moisture penetration in such places. You can also use reinforcing materials, such as tape reinforcement that is applied to a corner or joint.
  3. After the waterproofing material is applied to the surface of the walls, you should wait at least a day for the materials to settle and harden. Then you start decorating the room with ceramic tiles or other material, such as plastic. When finishing with tiles, you can use a special waterproofing adhesive, which will increase the effectiveness of protection against moisture penetration. The joints between the tiles should also be treated and covered with a special waterproofing compound. Bathroom corners can be additionally protected with ceramic corners and sealant.

Stages of floor waterproofing works

6This stage of work is very important for waterproofing the bathroom, since all moisture accumulates on the floor, which can go into the ceiling or floor. If you live in a panel house, then the lack of waterproofing in the bathroom can lead to flooding of neighbors. As a result, significant financial costs are incurred if a pipe breaks or a leak occurs. Therefore, one should not save on protection against moisture penetration into the base of the bathroom floor, and a full range of works should be carried out using modern waterproofing materials.

  1. First of all, preparatory work should be carried out to clean the floor from debris and dirt.
  2. Then level the surface. The floor must be free from cracks, dents and other similar defects. For this, self-leveling cement mixtures are used, which are very easy to use. Any man can independently level the floor. Once the floor has been leveled and the surface cleaned, it is time to carry out waterproofing work.
  3. The type of waterproofing that will be used for the entire bathroom should be selected and applied. It is also possible to combine different types of waterproofing materials and technologies. It can be either a glued waterproofing of the floor, which is carried out using roll waterproofing, or roll waterproofing, using appropriate materials. Saving on materials can reduce the effectiveness of protecting your bathroom subfloor from moisture, so choose quality materials from trusted manufacturers. It should be noted that paint waterproofing for the floor is practically not used, since it has a short service life.

Treat the waterproofing of the floor very carefully, as this will avoid unpleasant consequences in case of leaks or pipe breaks. Why take the risk and pay the aggrieved party in case of flooding. The bulk of the moisture goes into the floor, therefore, a multi-layer and high-quality waterproofing of the floor will protect against moisture penetration.


Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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