Consumer Advice about tile showers

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Consumer Advice


Tiled showers - Construction

Leaking tiled showers are very common throughout New Zealand. Leaking can occur in both concrete and timber constructed homes. All buildings, timber or concrete or a combination of both, move with atmospheric conditions and ground expansion/ contraction. As a result many paint-on waterproof coatings crack as they are not pliable enough to cope with such movement. Even a seemingly-solid concrete floor can crack causing waterproofing membrane failure, allowing water into the building's construction with the long-term result being rotted flooring, framing, carpets, etc. Even for proficient, experienced applicators, the performance of a waterproof membrane over an extended perod of time is very often beyond their control. For the long-term, only a true one-piece shower base / tray with actual sides can reliably contain water.

Waterproof membranes

Acrylic Paint-on Coatings are the most commonly-used waterproofing membrane is an acrylic paint-on coating which often fails even when applied to the manufacturer's specifications. Acrylic and many urethane membranes are too thin and not pliable enough to handle normal building movement. Also, as with all 'plastics', acrylic coatings 'age' and become brittle over time. Frequently, acrylic coatings are applied too thinly over areas of 'reinforcement'; the result being pin-holing and subsequent devastating leaking. Also very prevalent are occasions where acrylic coatings are touch-dry, but not fully cured and the application of tile adhesive can cause the coating to re-emulsify, allowing water to pass into the flooring and framing.

Fibreglass/ Resin Waterproofing systems applied on the job site are mostly too thin to handle normal building movement, resulting in cracks and water egress into the building's construction.

Sheet Membranes require a number joins and the adhesives used break down over time with leaking the obvious result. Sheet waterproofing can also be prone to unseen damage by other trades.

Tilers / Waerproofers

To comply with the New Zealand Building Code all waterproofing is to be performed under licence issued by the waterproof coating manufacturer and/ or agents. Beware, there are tilers applying waterproofing without any training or approval by a manufacturer. With some brands of waterproofing there is not a lot of policing of the product application. We, as tile shower base suppliers, often see tilers, novices and DIY homeowners easily purchasing and applying acrylic, cement/ latex, or urethane waterproof coatings without a licence or manufacturer's oversight. Where a building consent has been issued for the construction of a new home or renovation of a bathroom, and before a Code of Compliance Certificate can be granted by the council, a licenced applicator must provide a producer statement for the product supplied and a warranty statement for the workmanship of the application. Reliance Showers NZ issues a warranty statement with each shower base, subject to its correct intended use. The shower tray installer and the wall waterproofing membrane applicator will respectively issue producer statements.

TILE RITE Shower Trays

Installation and cost comparison

All Reliance shower trays are manufactured in NZ from naturally waterproof aluminium, and are designed with correct drainage-gradients, side-upstands and frontal thresholds to contain all surface and under-tile water run-off -- all essential for a well-performing, leakfree tiled shower.

Installation is simple and fast -- easy for homeowners, DIY, and trade persons to understand, especially compared to problem-prone methods such as high-density foam bases and hand-formed sand/ cement shower floors.

The cost-effectiveness and inherent-durability make TILE RITE the logical and preferred choice.