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Unread 06-26-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
jbear666
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Steam Shower Waterproofing question

Hey guys and gals,
I am the installer for all of the tile in a new construction project. The homeowners are having Silestone installed on the walls and the ceiling of their master shower which is also a steam shower. I will be doing the mudpan for them so they asked me if I wanted to install the duroc for the Silestone guys as well. I am installing 1/2 inch Duroc, then taping and mudding the seams. My question is this: Am I ok painting the walls with Laticrete Hydroban or the Mapei Aqua Defense alone? Is that enough or is more necessary? The last steamer I did was 15 years ago and I painted it with Red Guard and have had no issues. I know Wedi makes the Subliner Dry paper but that is pricey. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks as always, Jeff
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Unread 06-26-2016, 06:23 PM   #2
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You need to use a waterproofing with a perm rating of .5 or less for steam rooms.(ASTM E 96 procedure E hight temp high RH)
Aqua D would meet the requirment for steam rooms.
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Unread 06-26-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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The last one I did like that they considered the resin/quartz slab (at that thickness) to far exceed any of my standard vapor regulations, so we only focused on the corners and seams (this was occasional-use residential, not continuous-use commercial). They had me do the bottom 18", and 9" on each side of the vertical corners, nothing on the ceiling, so they had an optimum bonding surface without squishy layers on top. They were more concerned about the heavy weight of slab dragging the stone right through flexible membranes, especially paint-on's.
One note, the slab installer will want to install those slabs with just dollops of silicone on the walls. I would make them shim it and set it with mortar so it isn't point loading your drypack at the perimeter. The fabricator on mine set the whole ceiling with Sikiflex sealant, not adhesive; didn't understand the difference!
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Unread 06-26-2016, 10:42 PM   #4
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what Tom said, Silestone is impermeable and if a good quality silicone is used at the seams the whole thing will be steam proof. Also are they sloping the ceiling? omitting this will result in a making this a rain shower.
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Unread 06-27-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
jbear666
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Thanks for the info guys.

Tom, am i understanding you correctly that you would not recommend painting the ceiling with either product to allow for a better bond of whatever the Silestone guys use as adhesive? Makes sense.

Petr. How do they "slope" the ceiling? Is there something I can do when installing the Duroc or do they bump out the back of the ceiling slab to make it slope to the back wall?

Thanks, Jeff
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Unread 06-27-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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The ceiling should slope 2 inches per foot minimum. There's a few recognized methods on how to build steam showers in the TCNA handbook. May not be a bad investment for a project like this.
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Unread 06-29-2016, 01:15 AM   #7
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Like Jim said. In a commercial steam room the ceiling heats up and water does not condense there. A residential steam room the steam hits a cool ceiling and condenses, sending a cold dripping rain on the occupant. The 2"/ft slope allows the water to run down rather than drip. Needs to be frames that way.
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Unread 06-29-2016, 12:36 PM   #8
Sharon @ LATICRETE
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Hi Jeff,
If there is no vapor barrier behind the Durock, the best way to do the installation would be to use LATICRETE HYDRO BAN Sheet Membrane on the Durock because it will act as waterproofing and as the vapor barrier/vapor diffusion retarder. There should also be insulation in the wall system to minimize or eliminate condensation within the wall cavity caused by dew point. See details SR 614S in the attached file.

If a vapor barrier is installed over the insulation/wall framing and then the Durock then HYDRO BAN on the cement backer board would be fine as the waterproofing membrane. It is very important to keep in mind that the vapor barrier behind the Durock must be installed so that it drapes INTO the shower pan liner so that any water will end up going down the drain and not into the wall cavity or ancillary spaces. See detail SR614 in the attached file.

I've attached 2 files for your reference.

Let me know if you have any other questions - we're happy to help!
Attached Images
File Type: pdf ES-SR614.pdf (80.6 KB, 126 views)
File Type: pdf ES-SR614S.pdf (100.3 KB, 119 views)
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Unread 06-30-2016, 11:26 AM   #9
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Can you ask the tec guys how you seal the vapor barrier behind the durock to make it vapor tight? Could never figure out it's effectiveness(vapor barrier) after attaching the durock and putting many holes in the vapor barrier thus making it useless. A topical sheet membrane was the only logical way to me to do a steam shower.
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Unread 06-30-2016, 02:30 PM   #10
Sharon @ LATICRETE
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Quote:
Can you ask the tec guys how you seal the vapor barrier behind the durock to make it vapor tight? Could never figure out it's effectiveness(vapor barrier) after attaching the durock and putting many holes in the vapor barrier thus making it useless. A topical sheet membrane was the only logical way to me to do a steam shower.
I'm checking in with the team and will get back to you shortly.
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Unread 06-30-2016, 07:40 PM   #11
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The answer is simple. Add acoustical sealant between the vapur barrier and the studs. All holes become self healing. But if you've ever worked with the black goo, you will know why I cringe at the thought.
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Unread 06-30-2016, 10:34 PM   #12
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Dave, it's not a vapor barrier and it's not watertight as if it was the first-line moisture barrier that handles most of the vapor and all of the moisture. They call it a vapor diffusion retarder, which means it's just slowing it down, not trying to be 100% vapor-tight. It's taking 99% of the potential negative vapor pressure off of the back side of the main membrane, allowing it to perform it's job like a rockstar instead of just barely almost making it in the most challenging situations.
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Unread 07-01-2016, 09:18 AM   #13
tilemanct
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It was a bit of sarcasm as to the practice. At Coverings a few years back I brought up this issue. No one could answer my question as to putting multiple holes in the barrier. One man named Eric talked about a topical sheet membrane system that would solve all issues in a steam shower. He was so Noble (hint hint). Never looked back.
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Unread 07-01-2016, 09:41 AM   #14
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An approved vapor barrier is already punctured to some degree to allow what Tom was describing . Back in the days , we used to install Ice and Water shield behind the durock . The elasticity and the coating left on the body of the screws were sufficient to make it '' vapor proof '' .

As Dave said , once the topical membranes become an important player in the assembly , you can't look back for efficiency . However , there are assemblies which still use a back in the days vapor barrier -- not a 100% barrier goal -- and work as designed .
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Unread 07-01-2016, 12:15 PM   #15
Sharon @ LATICRETE
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Dave - here's the response from our tech team:

That is a great question. There is no known sure fire method to ensure that moisture vapor or water will not get through the penetrations through the vapor barrier placed behind the backer board in a steam room. Here are some methods that people use that can help to minimize penetration of moisture:
1) Put a dab of 100% silicone sealant (LATICRETE LATASILâ„¢) immediately between the corrosion resistant nail and the vapor barrier and nail into place. The sealant acts as a water stop/seal so moisture has a much harder time getting through.
2) When installing the vapor barrier place a 100% silicone sealant on the studs before placing the vapor barrier, so when the corrosion resistant nails are used to install the sealant the vapor barrier is sealed against the studs.

While we not 100% sure how much improvement is seen with these methods, there is apparently success when implemented. We would agree that a sheet membrane (e.g. HYDRO BAN Sheet Membrane) provides a better method in steam rooms to prevent moisture or moisture vapor transmission.
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