The Price of Waterproofing a Bathroom

A lot of water splashes onto the walls and floors of a bathroom. When you’re ready to renovate your bathroom, you need to make waterproofing a top priority. If you fail to do this properly, your home could suffer a lot of structural damage if water were to get onto your walls or floor and leak through it. At Men Behaving Handy, our qualified Handymen can make sure that you receive quality work and no risk of damage to your home.

Out of all the rooms in your home, the bathroom is definitely the wettest. This is where you shower, bathe, wash your hands, and use the toilet. When you go to waterproof your bathroom, you will be applying a unique type of paint, membrane, sheet, or spray that will prevent water from leaking through it. These applications can also be made to your home’s other wet areas as well. 

Just be sure waterproof your bathroom because that is where water has the opportunity to damage your home the most. Unprotected walls and floors will result in more dampness, mould, and mildew in the room. As it continues to get worse, the timbers of your home’s structure will rot, and the metal will corrode. 

Here is some advice from the experts:

The Cost

The big question is, how much money will it cost to apply waterproofing material to a bathroom? It really depends on which contractor you hire to do the job. They typically have their own service rates and use their own waterproofing materials. 

In most situations, a bathroom waterproofing job should cost you per square meter. If your bathroom is extra small or big, then this will influence the price. 

If you would rather buy the waterproofing materials yourself and have a Men Behaving Handy expert do the job, here are the items you will need:

Primer: This is an adhesive solution that gets applied to bathroom surfaces first. That way, the waterproof materials will stick better. If you purchase Dunlop Primer & Additive (1 litre), it will cost you $16.90.

Waterproofing Material: There are waterproofing products that come in various application forms, such as paint or spray. Either one will do a good job of blocking water leaks in your bathroom. If you purchase Dunlop Express Wet Area Waterproofing (20 kilograms), it will cost you around $200 to $210. This product has an acrylic polyurethane waterproof membrane that is water-based. If you purchase Dunlop Undertile Waterproofing (4 litres), the price would be $89. 

Bond Breaker: This product is used to seal joints in the bathroom. At $85, you can purchase Crommelin Reinforcing Fabric. 

Building Code of Australia

You cannot just perform waterproofing on your bathroom without making sure you’re complying with Australian building code regulations, particularly AS-3740-1994 of Australian Standards. This code states that bathrooms in residential homes must meet these standards:

– You must waterproof the entire floor in the recess of the shower. The walls in the shower need waterproofing too. Make sure the waterproofing height goes up to at least 1,800 millimetres on the shower walls.  

– The walls of the bathroom must be waterproofed. The minimum height of the waterproofing needs to be 150 millimetres. 

– You must waterproof 100% of your bathroom flooring if it is made of wood. You must also do this if the bathroom is located on a higher floor than the first floor. 

– When a person goes to get out of the shower by stepping down onto the floor, the area above this needs a minimum of 100 millimetres of waterproofing. 

This is a list of the minimum requirements for waterproofing your bathroom. However, you should always aim higher to reduce the risk of damage as much as possible. For instance, if your bathroom is on the first floor or is not made of wood, you should still apply the waterproofing material to the whole floor anyway. Make sure you put some of this material around your toilets and bathtub too. 

There are certain Australian locations that require a licensed waterproofing professional to perform the work. The local council of these areas would then conduct an inspection of the work afterwards. Find out if this requirement exists in your area before starting any waterproofing job. 

Who performs the waterproofing job?

If you live in Queensland or New South Wales, waterproofing jobs can only be performed by someone with a waterproofer’s license. A waterproofer must have a Certificate III in the category of Construction Waterproofing in order to be qualified. Sometimes there are waterproofers who are specialists that work in similar practices, such as flooring or tiling. They might possess the required qualifications too. 

There are certain territories and states in Australia which don’t require someone to have a waterproofer’s license. If the person you hire doesn’t have a license, they must be able to show you a statement that affirms their work conforms to AS 3740 of the Australian Standards. This is in reference to “Waterproofing of domestic wet areas.”

If you go into almost any hardware store, you will find waterproofing products for sale. Make sure you focus on the details carefully and follow the instructions set forth on them. Most importantly, you must be diligent so that you waterproof every single spot. 

Any do-it-yourself waterproofing work must be evaluated by a building inspector after you are finished. Be aware that if you file insurance claims in the future, your insurer may not like that you did the work yourself and will hold it against you. 

The Bathroom Waterproofing Process

Your bathroom needs to be waterproofed before it gets tiled. The first step in this process is to prepare the areas for waterproofing by applying primer. Be sure to focus closely on the joints of the floors and walls. You’ll want smooth surfaces left everywhere with no coverage broken. Following the primer application, you will use silicone sealants on places where the walls meet the bathroom fixtures and other features. The sealants will waterproof these areas so that water doesn’t leak through any cracks or holes around them. 

Always focus on all corners and edges of the bathroom because they are the most susceptible to water leaks. You can use neutral cure silicon as a sealant for them. But to produce a bond breaker over the joints, use a polyester fabric bandage because it is flexible enough for these areas. If you don’t apply the bandage, small cracks will eventually form in the waterproofing membrane as the building slightly shifts over the years. Any fittings, such as taps and drains, need a bond breaker around them because the membrane tends to break very easily in these places.

For important bathroom surfaces, you’ll need a waterproofing membrane application made of liquid rubber. Apply a horizontal coat to start it off and wait for it to dry. After that, apply a vertical coat to seal all the tiny gaps in the surfaces that are still left behind. This coat will need time to completely dry as well. The amount of time this will take depends on the temperature and climate of your location. It is best to wait around 5 days just to be safe. If you are applying the waterproofing yourself, there may be a 10-year warranty on the products that you used. However, if you have a licensed professional perform the job, the waterproofing should last for a lot longer than 10 years. 

Hiring a Professional Bathroom Waterproofer

The waterproofer that you hire to renovate your bathroom needs to be perfect for the project at hand. You can qualify various waterproofers by asking them questions like:

– Do you have a license to perform waterproofing jobs?

– Are you covered by insurance?

– How many years of experience do you have in waterproofing? Can you provide me with references?

– What is the estimated length of time to waterproof my bathroom?

– What is the estimated cost of the waterproofing job?

– Does your work come with any warranties? Do your waterproofing products come with warranties? 

At Men Behaving Handy, we will provide you with a quality contractor. You won’t need to spend time worrying about it and can trust the job will be done to the highest standard.  Contact our team to enquire about bathroom renovation and waterproofing. 

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