A wet area is any bathroom, wet-room, shower area or steam room, or any other location subject to frequent water contact. Though they tend to be tiled, the substrates being fixed to are often moisture-sensitive (plasterboard, plaster and even some proprietary backer boards); and British Standards advocate the use of tanking membranes to protect them.
This is because the tiles alone are not enough to stop water getting to the them. Cementitious adhesives and grouts are the popular choice for fixing them, and their porous nature allows moisture to pass through. Over time, water is absorbed through the grout joints and adhesive bed and then into underlying substrates.
If the substrate is not protected, it can cause damp and mould issues; and as time progresses, this can even transfer to adjoining rooms and/or cause the tiles to de-bond! Ultimately, you’re left with an unsightly and costly situation to fix.
British Standards already advocated waterproofing in commercial wet areas. However, under the new BS 5385-1:2018 clause 220.127.116.11 for Tanking, it will now also be a recommendation for domestic locations. So, whenever you’re tiling any bathroom, shower or other wet area, remember to apply a suitable proprietary tanking membrane system first.
Dartmoor Tiling can advise on which product would be suitable for your application and ALL areas that are subject to water strike would be suitably tanked prior to tiling walls and floors.