How to waterproof a shower

Jas Naylor
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How to waterproof a shower

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Project Overview

Applying a waterproof barrier is an essential part of preparing to install a shower. We’ll teach you how to apply the waterproofing and reinforce the joins and gaps in the walls and floor. You will also learn how to prepare and reinforce your surfaces properly. 

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Mark out the area to waterproof around the shower
2 Prepare to waterproof the shower
3 Waterproof the shower walls
4 Waterproof the shower floor
  • Step 1. Mark out the area to waterproof around the shower

    Measure up your wall and mark out where you will be waterproofing. Then mask those lines off with masking tape. A good rule of thumb is to extend your waterproofing 100mm above your water outlet and 100mm wider than the edges of your shower. But check your local council regulations to make sure what is required.
  • Step 2. Prepare to waterproof the shower

    Use a brush to paint primer onto the area you want to waterproof. Use a generous amount on every surface. While you are waiting for the primer to dry, measure the edges, corners and internal joints that need to be waterproofed. Now cut lengths of the reinforcing membrane to cover these areas.
  • Step 3. Waterproof the shower walls

    Paint a coat of waterproofing where your reinforcing membrane will be installed. Then put the membrane on the still wet area. Now apply another coat over the top, flattening the membrane with your brush as you go. To make it easier when putting membrane into recessed corners, cut a nick that lets it split across the different surfaces. Once the membrane is installed, use horizontal strokes to paint a first coat of waterproofing across the walls.
  • Step 4. Waterproof the shower floor

    Install reinforcing membrane where the floor joins the walls and around the drain. Once again, paint the area, then put the membrane down and give it a second coat to flatten it. When your membrane is installed, waterproof the rest of the floor. Once the first coat has dried, give the whole shower cavity a second coat, this time using vertical strokes instead of horizontal ones on the walls.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Bucket
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Roller tray
  • Safety glasses
  • Scissors
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Primer
  • Reinforcing membrane
  • Rubber gloves
  • Silicone
  • Waterproofing
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Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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