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How To Waterproof Your Bathroom Floor

How To Waterproof Your Bathroom Floor
BHL | 11 Aug

In this article we will talk about how to waterproof your bathroom floor. There are two opportunities for you to waterproof your bathroom floor. The first is when you are building your house or apartment from scratch, and the second one is during a renovation or upgrading.


It is always better to create your waterproof bathroom from the beginning than renovating it later. The reason is that when you are building your bathroom you can plan ahead with the professionals about the pipings, keeping space for later plumbing repairs, and so on.


However, if you are doing it after many years of use then you will have to tear down a lot of things to properly waterproof the floor. Your pipings can be seriously damaged or hinder the process. This is why it is very important to set your pipings in a way that it does not hinder later servicing or repairing or the bathroom floor.

Now, water is irresistible. If you give it a simple crack it will take the whole. With time and water pressure high enough, a simple crack or whole can slowly become bigger and wider and cause devastating damage to your floors and walls.


Water is such a villainous element to your unprotected bathroom. Moisture is a very common factor in bathrooms. This is why you will see people remodeling their kitchen or bathroom more often than the other parts of their home.  

So far, we have read why water can be your biggest enemy in the bathroom, and why modern, efficient, and super technical planning is important to prevent future damage.


Besides, your planning should also keep provisions for future repairing of pipes or joints, etc. We will discuss in detail how you can do it all. A well planned bathroom will look great and will not easily be under attack from mildew and mold.

Using waterproof materials for building your bathroom

There are various types of building materials - some are waterproof and some are not. Materials such as paper, bamboo, jute, or wood are plant based and organic; these are good for places in the house where you do not use water or where there is no connection to moisture.


However, these materials are, although very attractive, not usable in moist places like the kitchen and the bathroom. In bathrooms you will need to use plastic, metal, stone, porcelain / ceramic tiles, etc., because they are impervious to water or moisture. These materials do not decay or rot. 

For instance, you can choose PVC baseboards. You may use solid wood or MDF for other parts of your home but not for bathrooms. For floors and walls you can use ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles based on clay. You can take into account the materials used for countertops.


For countertops in the bathroom it is better to use synthetic stone quartz, materials with a solid surface, or you can even use stones from nature. Even a countertop with MDF core and plastic lamination can be affected badly by moisture in the bathroom. 

While tiling the place where your bathtub will be and the shower, you need to ensure the highest quality material for the backer board with proper waterproof sealing. For floors with tiles you can use the same kind of backer board material with waterproofing.


If your walls are not tiled, you can use wallboards that have facing specially waterproofed. It is better to avoid tiles with faces made from organic paper which can be seen on commonly used wallboards.

In short, always choose materials that are specially made to resist all kinds of moisture or water. They are always a better option for building a bathroom or renovating it. With this your bathroom will need less time and effort for maintenance, and resist water for a longer period of time.

Hiring a professional for the work

Mistakes, however big or small, made during the modeling or remodeling of your bathroom will lead to an enormous amount of expenditure. Mistakes can be in installation of pipes, for instance. Although the modern do it yourself materials like PEX tubing do not need a professional to do the work, this is not an area where you should take any chances.


If you are not a professional level expert yourself with a lot of experience, you must hand the work over to someone more experienced and regularly do this as a living. Besides, using a professional will give you an assurance that your work has been done with confidence. Professionals work with confidence and guarantee, so if anything happens right after their work, you can get them fixed instantly. 

Give entry to the plumbing

It is not necessary to leave an option for easy access to the plumbing of shower or bathtub, it will always be helpful to do so. If there is a possibility to create a rear access from the other side of the wall, create an opening through which plumber can observe, and if needed repair the supply lines from the back side. This option is much better than the one where you have to take the tiles out from the wall to access the supply lines from the front.

Exhaust fan installation

If the inside atmosphere of a bathroom is always damp, molds will form. To avoid this situation, you need to install a high capacity, and high quality exhaust fan. As per the rules of a building, exhaust fans installed in the bathrooms must be able to expel air at a rate of at least fifty CFM or cubic feet per minute, and continuously it must be able to expel air at a rate of 20 CFM.


For a larger bathroom you should consider buying and installing a much bigger and stronger fan. Many modern exhaust fans come with infrared heat bulbs that can burn the extra moisture in the bathrooms. You can also use a heater that can help you with the moisture. Keep your fan running for at least ten minutes for better results.

Use tiles for wall surface

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are waterproof. So, if you cover the surface of the wall with them, your wall will be completely waterproof. These are commonly used in shower walls, bathtub surroundings. In modern bathrooms you will see them as partial to full wall covering, backsplashes, or wainscoting material. 

Waterproofing your bathroom floor

Bathroom floors are special in a sense that you use water on them. Moisture hangs within the bathroom atmosphere and makes the floor damp. So, using usual organic materials such as hardwood, bamboo, engineered wood will not work well, especially in the bathrooms where water is poured directly during shower or cleaning or washing clothes. Even plastic laminated flooring will not do because it has byproducts of wood at its core and can easily be affected by water or moisture.

If you want the wooden color or texture on your bathroom floor, you just need to choose floor tiles available in that exact matching color and texture. Porcelain or ceramic tiles nowadays come in all kinds of color and texture. You can also use luxury vinyl tiles and planks. This is suitable because vinyl is made from completely inorganic material and thus absolutely waterproof.  


The installation of the tiles is also important. You must ensure that the tiles are absolutely watertight. This will keep the underlying layers safe from moisture or water. 

Give attention to the baseboard system

You also need to pay attention to the baseboard system - the junction where the bathroom walls and floor meet together. To stop water or moisture from entering the layers beneath the tiles, you must caulk the top and bottom of the baseboards and tightly fit them together.


This will work really well to prevent water from entering the sublayers. Do not use wood for the baseboard system. It is better to use PVC moldings that are synthetic, or a wall base of thermoplastic vinyl that are flexible. These materials really work well to form tight sealing even without caulking.

Caulking for all holes and cracks

Use bathroom grade caulk based on silicone. This element is absolutely indispensable for sealing everything in a bathroom - floor, baseboard system, cracks, etc. This will ensure that everything is watertight.

Watertight your tub and shower

Usually, the shower or the tub does damage to the wall and floor of a bathroom. You have to make them waterproof to prevent all possibilities of any damage. Use professional services to do this work. Professionals use special waterproofing materials like backer boards, membranes, etc. You can also use tub and shower surround panels that are fabricated. 

Using high gloss pain

Using high gloss paint will prevent water stains from water splashes.


It is not easy work to waterproof your bathroom floor. However, if you follow the steps written here, you will be able to do a pretty good job.

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