Installing a leak-proof tile tub surround
I am installing ceramic tile in my bathroom shower, I have removed everything to the studs, what should I install before the tile?
-Tim Y. Flat Rock
Updating your bathroom is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home, not to mention increase your living experience. Designed and installed correctly, you can protect your home from mold growth and moisture damage.
As in most home improvement projects, preparation is the key. There are many underlayment products in the market and educating yourself can save you money and time.
Photo by soxophone players
The most commonly used cement boards are known as DUROCK and HardieBacker cement board, which is impervious to water. Installation can be slightly more challenging because they require special fasteners and cutting blades, but the benefits far out way the cost of the extra tools.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik
Before installing the board, attach a waterproof membrane over the studs and under the board. This will protect the wood in case of water penetration. If the water were to seep through the tile and cement board, it would run down the membrane, keeping the wood dry and free from water damage and mold. Don’t forget to create a seamless area after installing the cement board by taping all seams with joint tape.
Making your bathtub a masterpiece will take a little time and special attention, but the years of enjoyment of your “Work of Art” can be priceless.
Paul is a State of Michigan Licensed Builder. He serves as president and founding member of HandyPro Handyman Service and nationally franchised HandyPro International. Listen to Paul every Saturday at 11:00am on "It's Your Home, Let's Talk About It" WAAM Talk 1600AM. E-mail questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.