A painless way of waterproofing your shower stall.

It has been a while since I have written about home improvement.  I have been too focused on my career as a Real Estate Sales Representative of Century 21 that I have been side tracked by my commitment to my clients.  Today however, I would like to share with you a quick and painless way of waterproofing your shower stall.

When a shower stall is old and the grout in between the tiles fall off, water begins to seep into the back of the tiles thus soiling whatever wall holds the tiles up. If it is drywall, as was used in the past, the paper and gypsum core begins to absorb water which then weakens the structure of the wall.  The other concern is the growth of mould that will eventually spread and become hazardous to our health.

Today due to the continuous research of a company called Custom Building Products I would like to introduce to you 2 new products that this company carries and one that I have already talked about in my previous blogs.  I would like to bring your attention to the WonderBoard and Red Guard.

The WonderBoard is none other than a cement board that comes in two configurations.  One is a 3' x 5' x 1/2" board ideally used on walls of shower stalls that gives it a rigid surface.  The other comes in a 3' x 5' x 1/4" dimension and is used for fortifying substandard wooden sub-floors in preparation for tiling.  The WonderBoards construction is made out of some kind of a fabric mesh and is pressurized with concrete thus creating a smooth surface ideal for tiling.

In preparation for its installation, one must remove the old materials on the wall to expose the studs.  It is important to make sure that there are no obstructions left on the studs such as nails or screws which can obstruct the proper installation of the new WonderBoard.  It is imperative that this work area must be inspected thoroughly as mould might have spread and must be removed as well.

The removal of the mould is not too difficult as mould is an organism that can be eradicated quite easily.  However, it is important that it must be removed completely.  There is a product at the Home Depot called Concrobium.  It comes in a white bottle containing approximately a liter of this liquid solution. Spray the Concrobium in the affected areas and allow the solution to dry.  As it dries remove all residue from the work area.  It is important to protect your health as you do this by using an N5 or higher grade of face mask to protect yourself from inhaling this product and the mould.

As the work area is ready, install the necessary insulation and vapour barrier then begin to install the 1/2" WonderBoard.  Purchase some ceramic coated screws called Rock On Screws and begin screwing the board onto the studs.  To even out the outer surface of the wall, install some wooden shims behind the in areas that might cause the WonderBoards to be uneven.  Cut out any excess WonderBoard with the use of an Exacto knife and breaking the material away from the cut.  This will give you a straight cut.

As the walls are now ready for waterproofing, open your can of Red Guard and begin to stir it to remove any lumps that might have occurred as it sat on the shelves in the store.  Red Guard is no other than a waterproofing membrane that comes in liquid form and can be painted.  The beauty about Red Guard is that when it dries, it becomes a sheet of rubber over the surface of your WonderBoard.  I recall that as I was promoting this product I would leave a small paper or cardboard box in the flooring departments of Home Depot and filling them up with water.  A week later I would come back and the water has not seeped out of that box.  This will do the same in your shower stalls.

With a paint brush or roller paint the Red Guard over the surface of your newly installed WonderBoard observing the corners and the lower portion where the board meets the shower pan.  Do the first coat moving upwards and downwards and the second crosswise. When the colour is blood red it is still wet, but as the colour turns pink it is now dry and ready for another coat.  Waterproofing with Red Guard is as easy as painting your walls.  It is a no brainer.  As the surface is ready, tiling can begin.

Remember, the only mortar you can use over Red Guard when tiling is MegaLite.  I have spoken about this product in my previous blogs as the most versatile mortar out in the market.  All three products featured in this article are made by Custom Building Products and may be purchased at any Home Depot in your area.  Till next time, enjoy your project.

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Manuel Bustamante

Manuel Bustamante

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
Contact Me