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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Economical shower waterproofing for ceramic tile, marble,slate.and all natural stone materials

In my 30 year career I've repaired and seen hundreds of showers that had water damage both inside the shower and inside the wall. Many times the mildew had eaten away at the wood studs in the wall and caused the grout to turn black from the inside out causing costly repairs and complete tear outs to redo the wood studs.In severe cases mildew can be dangerous to the health of the elderly and the very young. The following "how to" will explain the most economical "ultimate shower waterproofing " technique to insure a "never leak shower" and insure a "no mildew" tile installation. There are other options out there but this is by far the most economical sure fire way to know you will never allow water to penetrate your shower walls.

I am currently working on this job in Byfield mass. and all the walls and floors will be slate and marble finished.The contractor on the job was responsible for installing all the backer board and The contractor used durock on all the inside shower walls not Hardy board as I would have preferred. ( see my blog "hardy board vs Durock) When the home buyer called me to get a estimate he voiced great concern about waterproofing his shower walls so as not to have mildew or water damage in his shower walls ever. Since durock was already installed in all the showers and not hardy board it was required to completely seal every sq inch of the shower walls as well as seal all joints to insure no water ever got to the wood studs in the wall.  

The first step was to use "silicone II"  to seal every seam of the durock including all corners being careful to smooth out all caulk to insure a clean glob free seal. Step 2 all the joints were taped with anti crack fiberglass backer board tape and skimmed with superflex thinset to insure no cracks form over the years.

The third and final step was 2 coats of "Redgard"anti crack paint on waterproofer one coat rolled on horizontally and one coat vertically .All corners are painted with a brush to insure proper sealing.There were as well inset soap boxes framed into the wall that were also caulked and then painted with the regard to complete the sealing process. The tile can now be installed in the showers with no worry of leakage or wood rotting for a lifetime of leak free showering !

All products used to completely seal up these 3 showers in Byfield mass are all available at Home Depot and can insure you never have any water damage in your home from shower leakage.Have your tile installer follow this process or do it yourself for total piece of mind when creating your new shower in your house . For a full list of other options and great advice on the many waterproofing options go here and check it out.

Pictures below are as follows left to right in order. 1-Silicone II caulk product, ,2- Redgard waterproofing crack supression paint on sealer product,3- Marble and granite modified thin set product, 4-Durock taped and thin setted, 5-Durock sealed with Redgard6-,Inset soap box caulked and Redgard sealed, 7-Floor Durock redgard sealed 3 ft out from wet area


  1. For all natural stone materials waterproofing is really essential part. For this ceramic tile shower installation should be proper.
    ceramic tile shower installation

    1. If you want to be sure u never have water get into your walls and wood studs EVER then this is the way to go on every shower application chris

    2. Hey Chris,

      I see you are using Redguard. I found another product that I'm extremely happy with. It's called BondTAC. It's a waterproof / water repellant membrane, an air and vapor barrier, and an extraordinary adhesive. Once all the gaps are filled, you apply the BondTAC, thinset, and tile. It's elastomeric, so you don't even need the superflex thinset under the BondTAC, as you did with the Redguard. Simply put, you can build the shower walls out of sheetrock, coat them with BondTAC, and you never have to worry about water penetration. Oh, and its mold / mildew resistant as well. Here's the kicker - it has crazy coverage - 225 to 500 sq. ft. per gallon. :)
      If you're interested, check it out at the U.S. distributor's site: Also, if you do a search on YouTube for "BondTAC", a lot of how-to and demonstration videos are posted.

    3. thanks Mo great info thanks

  2. Small bits of content which are explained in details, helps me understand the topic,thank you!

    Waterproofing contractors

    1. Perfect example of abusers of this blog. Instead of commenting or providing any meaningful feedback, IE: RELATING TO THE POST of Tile Expert Sharing his time, experience, pictures, expertise, etc. to HELP people, YOU and contractors and selfish businesses don;t even ATTEMPT to address the issue. The only thing Clear is YOUR link to your OWN BUSINESS. Shame on you

  3. This week we started the big project of putting in a new prefab shower in our downstairs bathroom. When we took out the old shower, I was astonished by all of the disgusting mold I found growing between the shower and the walls. Would waterproofing defend against this happening with the new kit we are putting in?

    1. brandon
      hardy board between the stall and studs calked with the sillicone II seen above would assure never to have mold on the studs again regards chris

  4. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What web host are
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    1. Again Diana's area contact here here from the web master link thanks CHRIS

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    1. started blog in dec 2010 as far as look and lay out I owe all of that credit to diana smith web master who has created all that you see THANKS DIANA !!!

  6. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on
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    1. Thats definatly Diana's area you can contact Diana the web master of this site and my best friend and confidant thanks chris

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  8. Very Informative! This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much for sharing this!

    Plumber Leaking Shower

    1. thanks so much John we are just trying to share knowledge and insite to help those out there who need to do thier own tile or need to ubderstand more about hiring a tile guy

  9. Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback.

    I've visited your site, and found you to be reputable, professional and knowledgeable. You are in "our" field, and you seem to care about doing the right thing by your customers, the same as Chris does for his customers and readers of this blog. I did send you an email proposing you become a guest blogger on this very popular site, as we think inviting quality, like minded business owners/individual professionals who share our commitment to helping consumers by being honest, upfront and with good intentions, we can really reach a lot of people who would really appreciate hearing from people knowledgeable in these areas of home property repairs/projects who know the speaker has no ulterior motive.

    Please read my email or write me or Chris with any questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Diana Smith
    Webmaster and SEO Online Marketer for Tile Excellence, Inc.

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. To all you contractors and installers, stone manufacturers, flooring professionals commenting on this blog, why don't you consider submitting an article for consideration as a guest blogger? You'll get a lot more exposure and credibility than making comments unrelated to Chris's post, then posting your company website. We want good, ethical skilled laborers, contractors, designers, flooring experts and stores that sells related products to have a chance to share their expertise, their "niches", their systems, their experiences, etc., but I am deleting more "comments" than posting them because they are not helpful, or actual comments or shared experience, but rather attempts to advertise their product/service. we've been posting for quite some time, FREE of cost, we do offer guest blogging opportunities where YOU and YOUR COMPANY/PRODUCT is featured. If interested, write to with your thoughts or finished posts. Just remember...honest and ethical, non competitive and no advertising-----and most importantly articles/posts that exposure our readers-your potential customers GOOD, HELPFUL information. Thanks.

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