KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
11th February 2020
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Do it right and you can build the perfect wetroom
writes Ian Pattison, Managing Director, Abacus Manufacturing Group
"There is one thing that must rank before all others with any shower or wetroom installation - it must be leak free.
Deciding how this is achieved should come at the earliest stage of planning and design. Of course, the waterproofing properties of any product cannot be considered in isolation; aesthetics and ergonomics are also key factors in the decision-making process, along with practical thoughts about how the work will be executed on site.
All these factors mean that it is far better to look for a complete system than separate components that may or may not integrate. The most effective option will embrace the shower tray as well as the wall and floor panelling, together with all accessories. Equally important is the material that the system is based on - one winning product is expanded polystyrene (EPS).
EPS has the advantage that it can be moulded to form wall boards as well as shower trays. What is more, it has a high compressive strength, is lightweight, easy to handle and cut, and offers good insulating properties. Importantly, the EPS is sandwiched between coatings of fibreglass reinforced polymer cement, tested to 10 bar of static water pressure. One example is the Abacus Elements system.
Specification can sometimes be a problem when many components are required. This worry has been solved with at least one EPS system through the availability of a computer memory stick that provides easy steps to specify a complete waterproof room with a choice of shower bases. The parts required are then supplied as a kit, down to the last screw. As a result, the amount of material wastage is cut and installation time is reduced.
Once on site, a key benefit for the installer is the ease with which the EPS based product can be cut; consequently it may be trimmed exactly to fit. To avoid water penetration into the fabric of the building, all joints are bonded during the installation process with waterproof adhesive and, together with any fixings, sealed and taped to allow for flexibility and movement.
When it comes to tiling, the surface allows a much greater adhesion grip, making it an easier substrate to tile onto than plasterboard or timber. As no preparation or pre-plastering is required, the overall cost of using EPS tile backer boards is equivalent to plasterboard. The resulting installation will not only look good but provide the highest levels of durability and peace of mind.
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6th February 2015