Tanking and general paranoia

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Hi,

Having recently just finished a total refit of our main bathroom, I'm now preparing to tackle a total refit of the en-suite.

In the main bathroom, I fitted an upstand shower tray on a mortar bed, recessed into the plasterboard walls. I got a pro into do the tiling. He used BAL White Star adhesive and BAL Superflex grout and made a very neat job of it. However, he worried me by saying that the materials he used were water resistant rather than water proof, but he assured me that I wouldn't have any problems. I didn't know much about tanking at the time, so I didn't push to have it done first. The shower in the main bathroom is very occasional use (e.g. if we have guests to stay), but we'll be using it every day whilst I'm refitting the en-suite (which could take a few months based on the bathroom experience!). Should I be concerned about water penetration? I don't know if there's much that I can do about it now. Is it possible to seal the tiles & grout in some way?

Regarding the en-suite, I'm planning to tank the shower area first as the shower will be used every day. The plan is to remove the old plasterboard (which has been damaged due to previous leaks), replace with Aquapanel, tank walls and floor, fit shower tray then tile. Even with a fully tanked approach like this, I'm still concerned that if, for example, the grout fails, water gets in behind but can't penetrate the tanking, so it somehow spreads between the tiles and tanking and thus gets into the plasterboard or flooring *beyond* the tanked area. Is this a realistic scenario? I'm envisaging a scenario where the grout/adhesive is slightly porous and thus soaks up the water which spreads through it like a sponge, unable to drain away through the tanking. On the other hand, I suspect that I might be being paranoid.

Any advice/comments that can help to put my mind at rest regarding the two issues above would be much appreciated :) Also, any advice in general in how to get the best possible waterproofing solution for a shower would be great (assuming a conventional tray + enclosure + tiles type look).

Cheers,
Graham
 
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It depends really on the size of tiles used Graham. The larger the tile, the lower overall grouted area, the less of a problem. If your walls are small tiles, you're more likely to come unstuck. There're plenty of showers out there that are not tanked and don't have problems with water damage (of course the opposite also applies). As the work is already completed I wouldn't worry about it. Get some grout sealer if you must but personally, at this stage, I'd just leave it.

If you're planning on tanking, forget Aquapanel - just use plasterboard and tank that.
 

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