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Waterproofing Guide

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A Short History of Waterproofing

Tiled shower recesses, where the floor has tiles as a finished surface, have grown in popularity largely due to the flexibility in design that it offers. Previously, a formed shower base of pressed metal or polymarble of a fixed size was installed, with tiles on the walls only.

Onsite waterproofing of the “wet area” has almost totally replaced the use of copper trays, the old way of containing the water underneath the tile bed.

Onsite waterproofing using a range of polymer materials is usually applied as a liquid which then cures to a tough waterproof barrier to stop the migration of moisture into sensitive materials such as the surrounding timber, plasterboard, mortar or carpet.

Connection of the traditional copper tray to the drainage system was via a brass flanged waste that was soldered onto the copper tray and then connected to the pipe work via a threaded connection.

In the very early days of the “onsite sealing revolution” in the late 1980”s we recognized the importance of this connection from the sealing material onto the drainage system, a number of flanged fittings were developed which became the industry standard. The early Seala-Waste and Puddle Flange provided:

  • A large area to bond onto
  • A flange that could be mechanically fastened to the floor, removing the shearing force that could impact on the membrane interface
  • An updated and relevant connection end for solvent welding
  • An attractive grille design in multiple finishes.

Our early success with these products did not stop us from pursuing new breakthroughs in design, in some cases aimed at improving the functionality of the system and in other cases aimed at improving the aesthetic appeal of the grille.

We hope that you can join the many thousands of people, tilers, waterproofers, plumbers, designers, and architects who have used and trusted our products since those early days.

Waterproofing Methods

Two broad methods of waterproofing have developed since the introduction of onsite sealing; MEMBRANE UNDER TOPPING and MEMBRANE OVER TOPPING. While we do not side into the relative arguments of each method, we do have products and methodology to suit each system.

Membrane Under Topping

The origins are clearly from the copper tray days, when a bed was graded to falls inside the tray so that the tiles drained to the outlet. The underlying bed was often saturated with water that had got through the junction of the walls and floor, as the water was contained within the waterproof tray – no adverse effects were usually noted. The waste fitting incorporated some holes designed to allow the bed to drain of moisture.

With onsite sealing, this method is able to be refined; in that our flanges can be recessed to form the lowest point under the bed. Some even advocate a topping prior to the membrane to ensure any free water in the bed can drain away, in every case the benefits of this need to be taken against the prevailing standards of the day.

Nevertheless, it needs to be understood that the tiles then get fixed to the bed, and there is a great likelihood that moisture will be present in the bed. If the membrane is robust and waterproof, then – just like the copper tray scenario, there is probably no harm in having some moisture present. The leak bypass function of our flanges will ensure that free water will not build up to a point where it is foetid.

Membrane Over Topping

Some people prefer the falls be put in with mortar, with the membrane then applied to the topping and then the tiles directly fixed to the membrane. This development emerged from the new membranes that allowed direct sticking of the tiles to the membrane.

This technique addresses the concern of some who dislike idea of a wet bed; however a bigger problem was how to ensure a positive connection of the membrane to the drainage system. With the altitude of the membrane now at the very same altitude as the tiles, where could the connection be made? The answer was to revert to under bed membrane in the area immediately around the waste to allow connection to our flange. This hybrid solution ensures a positive connection to the drainage system while still preserving a largely dry bed. The recess formed in the area immediately around the waste can be filled in with impervious material such as tile cement prior to tiling.

Waterproofing Products

Puddle Flange

Leak Control Flange

The importance of providing a flanged connection to penetrations through wet area floors is now well recognized. When we pioneered the concept of Puddle Flanges for use in residential buildings, we consulted heavily with architects, builders, plumbers and waterproofing applicators.

The ingress of water into moisture sensitive materials such as timber, plasterboard, carpet, mortar or electrical wires can have devastating consequences. Wet areas in construction typically provide the greatest source of call backs to the builder. There is no doubt that Puddle Flanges that brace the pipe work which allow moisture to escape from the mortar bed provide excellent protection against drips around penetrations.

Puddle Flanges are made of robust ABS plastic, used mainly in suspended floors (timber or concrete) or in some cases cast into the slab.

*Notes for fitting the 100mm Puddle Flange:

  • The spigot fits inside 100mm DWV pipe for solvent welding.
  • A flange that could be mechanically fastened to the floor, removing the shearing force that could impact on the membrane interface
  • On lightweight floors such as FC sheeting or particle board, recessing the flange flush to the floor will give moisture in the bed a clear path to drain away.
  • The waste is fitted inside the flange and is designed for a loose fit to allow water to drain past the gap.
  • Filling the gap between the waste and the puddle flanges with mortar bed will support the waste.
  • The mortar bed should be river sand and cement that allows water to pass through. With concrete floors, the slab would need to be blocked out prior to the pour to make fitment possible.
  • No plastic waste available to suit.
  • Brass/chrome/gold in all bounty designs.
  • Bermuda 100mm fits into plastic CONN100P that can be adjusted up or down for height.

*Notes for fitting the 80mm Puddle Flange:

  • The spigot fits inside the 80mm DWV for solvent welding.
  • The benefit with this waste is that it is relatively easy to chip into an existing slab.
  • As always, if rebated into the floor it will perform better.
  • Fitment of the waste is as for the 100mm flange.

*Notes for fitting the 80×50 Puddle Flange:

  • The 80×50 puddle flange has a 50mm DWV socket end and will take an “in pipe 80mm waste”.
  • Supplied in plastic or brass/chrome/gold in all bounty designs.
  • The 80mm Bermuda needs a plastic adaptor that can be cut to length. (not available yet)
  • As the fitting is a 50mm socket, it provides a very secure joint over 50mm DWV pipe with solvent weld.
  • With lightweight flooring, this puddle flange provides unsurpassed security.
  • The 50mm connection is particularly relevant to showers, where leakage risk is the highest.
  • The PF50 is challenging to fit to an existing slab. in such a situation, the 50mm Megaflex would be more appropriate. Fitment of the waste to the puddle flange is the same as for the 100mm puddle flange.

MEGAFLEX – the preferred embodiment where the water proofer is fitting the flange.

  • The ‘O’ ring joint allows the flange to sit flat on the floor even when the pipe somewhat crooked.
  • As with all Puddle Flanges, the drainage of the mortar bed will be most effective when the flange is set below the level of the slab by a few millimeters. This rebate can be done by the concreters or –although more difficult – with a grinder and ‘Zec’ disc prior to fitment.
  • The 50mm Megaflex comes with a specified top.
  • Ring seal into 50mm DWV pipe
  • Supporting the flange with a bead of Sikaflex will prevent flexing of the flange on an uneven surface.
  • The dovetail groove locks are unique to the Mega flex and ensure that in addition to the molecular bond of the membrane, there is also a positive mechanical keying in.
  • Lubricate the ’O’ ring with a water based lubricant and ream off sharp edges of the 50mm pipe before inserting.
  • Let flange dry after cleaning with a rag lightly dipped in PVC primer before applying membrane system.
50mm Megaflex – Not available with plastic grates
– Availabe with Bounty Floor Grates (plastic undercap required)
80mm Megaflex – Available with plastic grates
– Available with Bounty Floor Grates
100mm Megaflex – Available with plastic grates
– Available with Bounty Floor Grates