Redgard for tiled shower? Waterproof...

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by worrywell, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. worrywell

    worrywell New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    California
    Hello all,

    How do I waterproof a walk-in shower? I am attempting to waterprrof a walk-in shower that will be tiled on all three walls. The size of the shower will be a standard 60 x 34. Is Redgard a good waterproof sealer for the floor and walls and then tile over it. Is this possible?

    I do not want to use a pan liner, just a liquid waterproofer. The reason is that the home is located in Baja Mexico and liners are practiced yet.

    The subfloor is cement and the shower is located on the second floor. I just installed the 1/2 durolock cement boards for HD on the walls. What is next?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Redgard is a good product, have you read the installation instructions? They are fairly detailed.

    You really do need a sloped bed and a preslope, though for the pan.

    The hardest part of the install is ensuring you have the prescribed thickness without voids or bubbles.

    There are surface applied membranes that work well, too. www.schluter.com makes Kerdi, which may be eaiser in some ways, and is maybe less prone to install errors. Noble makes some that work well, too.
     
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I would check over with the tile guys at this forum: www.johnbridge.com, to see if redguard by itself is can be the waterproof foundation on walls or floors, in lieu of cement board on walls, and vinyl liner or copper pan on floor.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    REdgard is an approved substance to build the liner of a pan with. Most of the pros prefer Latticrete's version which requires embedding fiberglass reinforcement bands on the corners. The procedure is described on www.custombuildingproducts.com website. Most of the pros don't particularly like it - they prefer a traditional liner, a sheet surface membrane like Kerdi, or to just use the Redgard as a wall, niche, surface waterproofer and do the pan normally. When you are painting/rolling the stuff on, it is really hard to know when you've built up the required thickness so it will work properly. Too thick and you've got stability problems, too thin, and it is just too easy to breech it.
     
  6. worrywell

    worrywell New Member

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    California
    Question applying Redgard. After I apply the Redgard it to all shower walls and floor, do I have to apply a coat of cement on top of the redgard or can I start tiling with my mortar?

    Thanks!
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Once the Redgard has dried/cured, it is designed to have the thinset and tile applied directly. Suggest you go to their website and read the installation instructions...you'll want to follow all of the proper steps to make the system waterproof.

    It's been awhile since I read them, but I think they intend the pan liner to be done in a similar manner as if you had used a sheet liner. Double-check...if this is true, there is a preslope, Redgard, then the final setting bed, then the thinset and tile. I'm not sure it is designed for direct placement on the pan for tile. In other words, on the floor (as opposed to the walls), I'm not sure if it is intended to be tiled over directly. Normally, you'd use a clamping drain with weep holes that allow the moisture that gets under the tile and grout to flow down to the waterproof membrane, and out the weep holes.

    The only systems I'm familiar with that have the waterproofing right underneath the tile is Wedi, and Kerdi. There may be others, double-check the installation instructions for Redgard. I loaned my TCNA spec out, and can't look it up, but the www.custombuildingproducts.com website should have their installation instructions on it.
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    John, John, John, this thread is 3-years old...
     
  9. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

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    ditto
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    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Great information. I think that there have been millions of showers built with liquid applied membranes. On the internet, it appears to be quite the opposite. (and that smells fishy.) I am glad that someone who has built more than a handful of showers has posted a few more details.
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I'm by no means against a good liquid waterproofing system - they work, and work well. There's a big BUT in there, though. Many first-timers do NOT get the required thickness, and if you aren't careful, you can have a pinhole leak. that's a lot harder with a sheet membrane. And, the stuff is fragile until it is covered and accumulates dirt if it sits very long that's hard to clean off. I just think that there is more redundency with the overlap on a sheet membrane. Now, if you've done many, a good liquid applied membrane is fine, but I'd rather use something other than RedGard, but that would work if you follow the instructions (important for ANY system!) and reliably get the proper thickness with no voids or pinholes.
     
  11. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

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    ditto
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    it's not fair, to point out fine grained details that you have heard or read somewhere. It would be easy for me to build counter arguments that make people doubt the orange sheet membrane. Very easy.
     
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    RedGuard is not my favourite product. In fact I rarely use liquid waterproofing at all anymore.

    too many issues.

    too many risks.

    I have seen old Redguard go brittle. Touched it myself.

    Installed it myself.

    One of the final reasons I stopped using liquids all together.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2016
  13. Keith the tile guy

    Keith the tile guy New Member

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    Location:
    DC
    RedGard is a great product when installed properly. It is approved for walls, ceilings, shower pan liners...and yes, even steam
    showers.

    I have been a pro for 25 years and the stuff has not failed me yet...and I have been using it since it first came out.
    IMHO, it is much easier than kerdi and nobleseal.

    I always use mesh tape around the drains and where 2 surfaces meet. It allows you to encapsulate the entire shower from
    the ceiling to the drain. You can brush, roll, and even spray it on ( use a size 25 to 29 tip ) and man it goes on quick.

    It's perm rating is great and test show that when cured, it can stretch 5 1/2x it's size without leaking. Now why wouldn't
    anyone want to use a product like that?

    I often hear tile guys put down Redgard, saying Kerdi this or Noble that...and scratch my head....as it can marry to an adjustable ring drain and is so quick and can carry a Manufacturer's LIFETIME WARRANTY...yeah you read that right.

    Build dozens of tile showers in a new hotel....and tell me that manually applying Kerdi or Noble is quicker than spraying 45 mil
    of Redgard.....cause it aint so.

    My opinion....Worth the price charged
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  14. Ceci

    Ceci New Member

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    Location:
    Chicago
    Hi John,

    I have a question if you don't mind. Would it create a problem if one were to do the preslope, then put in a Oatey pan liner, then the final mudbed, and then redgard the whole thing? Just asking since someone who came out to my house stated he does it that way. Never heard of using both the Oatey pan liner and the redgard over the final mud bed. He would use the redgard over the Hardieboard shower walls also as the way to waterproof them.

    Thanks,
    Ceci
     
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    New England
    That's not a good idea. If everything was perfect, it might work out. If the weep holes were compromised, you'd end up with moisture trapped between the two layers. If you want a surface membrane, use a surface membrane, either a painted on one or a fabric. Don't try to mix systems. All of the approved methods stick to one means of waterproofing. A surface membrane has advantages - much less to get saturated, quicker drying times, and, therefore, a lower chance of mold. Mold requires three things: moisture, spores (can't really get rid of them), and food. You can minimize food by being meticulous in your cleaning regimen, but few people are - those nooks and crannies are tough to keep squeaky clean.
     
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2016
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Except during a flood test, a typical shower should never see much of any liquid water on the liner; and, if it is constructed properly, any that does get there will flow to the drain through the weep holes, if that kind of a drain is utilized and the liner is properly sloped (people that put the liner flat on the floor deserve any grief they get!). If it is something like a surface membrane shower, there may not be any weep holes, and, since it is then immediately beneath the tile which should be bonded well with thinset, there couldn't be much liquid water there at all since the thinset and tile are nearly a solid mass, bonded to the surface membrane.

    Kerdi tends to bead water if you just drop some on the surface, so if you flooded it, it could take awhile for it all to become totally wetted, thus the initial drop in level. Then, any exposed thinset would absorb a little as well. Once equilibrium has been reached, except for evaporation, it should be stable. A drop after that reaching that initial equilibrium would indicate a leak.
     
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A big baking pan left out in my home, filled to the brim, was down more than an 1/8" in 24-hours. Now, add the fleece on the waterproofing membrane to the sides, and it could easily have been more. Vancouver's average humidity levels are pretty high. Some places are not. Then, throw in central heating, with or without humidification, and the variances you'll get can be significant from season to season and home to home. To state the level will not drop is condition dependent, and ignoring simple physics. Any evidence of moisture penetrating things is a cause for concern and remedy...a slight drop, may not be. Any rapid drop is a great concern.

    Your box, coated with Kerdi does not appear to be well adhered to the substrate with a full coat of thinset. For the material and seams to work, both they and the entire material needs to be properly embedded. I've touched a cardboard box, filled with ice and water for months, waterproofed with Kerdi only on the inside that was still intact, entirely dry. Installed properly, it does not leak. No special materials used...just Kerdi and thinset plus good technique. If you can't replicate that, you're doing something wrong.

    A Hyundai has a 10-year warranty on the drivetrain...a Mercedes 4-years...which is a better car? The length of a warranty isn't necessarily an indication of quality.
     
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I went away for two weeks and the (lid-closed) toilet bowl was down a couple of inches...relative humidity levels vary radically across the country. Flat saying any water sitting out will not drop in level is just wrong...it may be true in the summer without a/c and close to 100% RH, but not in many locales. All I can tell you is that I filled the pan to the brim - overflowing, and the next day, it was down over 1/8". No fans running (radiant heat), the pan sitting in the sink.
     
  20. ggoose

    ggoose New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    Hello John,

    Interesting posts. I was wondering if you might elaborate on the process of setting the 3-piece drain using Redgard as the liner. I think I have it figured out from your photos, but am not quite sure.
    Thanks...:)

    ggoose
     
  21. Jayw

    Jayw New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Location:
    Ontario
    Iam at the stage where my shower floor is ready for tile. Couple questions:
    image.jpg
    1. Do I have to seal the bottom edge where Duroc meets floor with mesh tape?
    2. Wht do I use for sealing joints? Same thinset used to set tile?
    3. I have vapour barrier on walls and PVC pan liner... Can / should I use red guard?
    It seems that red guard on the floor will prevent water that gets through the grout/tile to get through dry pack to liner? Tht correct? If red guard is used will it not hold water at grout level, which I think would not be good?
    4. Red guard on walls seems more practical but I read somewhere it will trap mositure in if used on walls with vapor barrier.
    5. I made my curb a little too wide and in stages ( long story/nightmare ...wholly f is a neo angle hard for a first time!!) I had to create the front ( outside ) of the curb last, after the top and inside had set... The outside is rough and damaged on outside edge in one spot. Not sure if I need to correct or just leave small void under tile? Thoughts? If I do want to smooth it out do I use same cement as original or tile thinset or something else? Pic attached

    image.jpg

    Thks in advance
    J
     
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