Waterproofing a Bathroom

Learn how to avoid leaks and excess moisture build-up on walls, ceilings and floors.

SP0070_RX-blue-bath-tile_s4x3 Designer, Lori Dennis

Water, water everywhere? Bathrooms are, by nature, wet spaces. But you want to be sure that water doesn’t leak through walls and cause mold or other damage. To avoid leaks and excess moisture build-up, take care to waterproof your bathroom wall, floor and ceiling.

Walls. Behind the shower is breeding ground for mold, mildew and rot. Be sure to apply a moisture barrier before installing your finished wall. This will keep water droplets from reaching the wall material. Wallboard should be rated for a moist environment. Finally, be sure to seal your walls. Beyond the shower, tile is easy to maintain and keeps water out of the walls.

Floors. Tile is your best bet for keeping water from seeping through to floor boards. Honed tile is slip-resistant, and larger grout lines will also give you better traction. Remember to seal grout annually. “Water can get into and behind grout,” says Cassia Wyner, designer/owner, CW Design, Brookline, Mass.

Ceilings. Select waterproof paint and install a vent to usher moist air out of the bathroom.

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