myhammer guides > Guide > Wet Spots – A Particular Challenge for Tiling


Autor: | Freitag, 12. November 2010 | Kommentare
Wet Spots – A Particular Challenge for Tiling

Tips for best results when tiling bathrooms and other areas prone to wetness

Tiling a wet area such as a bathroom, shower or sauna is a little more complicated than tiling other areas. While the tiles themselves are generally not affected, the installation has to consider the frequent exposure to water.

The first priority is to protect the underlying structure. In an area such as a wet room that is going to be exposed to water regularly, it is imperative that the underlying structure is protected from any water penetration. The best way to ensure this is the use of a tanking system, which typically consists of waterproof coatings, tape and matting. If a complete tanking system was not used, the tiled area stands a chance of leaking and allowing water into the building structure, causing damage and inconvenience.

Once the area is prepared, care has to be given to selecting the right tile adhesive. Most ready-mixed adhesives are water-based and function by bonding as the water in them dries out. Subsequent exposure to water can weaken the bond and lead to failure. Applying tiles around service connections can be problematic, yet it is critical to adequately waterproof these. Specialised tools may be required to cut tightly fitting tiles.

The correct selection of grout is also important, as it is the primary defence against water penetration. Cement-based grouts are porous and allow water to penetrate into the underlying adhesive. Grouts that combine cement with latex to improve waterproofing are available, but sometimes this is not sufficient and a specialised grout may be required. It is recommended that the grout is also anti-bacterial, as this will reduce the growth of unsightly mould.

To complete the waterproofing, the edges need to be sealed with an anti-bacterial silicone sealant. Some expertise is required here to ensure that seals do not break under pressure from water or human weight.

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