Technical Focus: A New Way to Waterproof
Professionals on jobsites have an incentive to save time without sacrificing quality
Today, the average cost for an upscale kitchen remodel is $123,000 and a typical master bathroom renovation can run $30,000 or more. When an installation goes wrong, the incremental time and money spent to fix it is an expense that builders or contractors can’t always recoup. To avoid costly callbacks while helping protect the homeowner’s investment, the industry demands innovative solutions that will last the test of time.
When working in a high-intensity moisture area like a kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to use and properly install an underlayment to protect against moisture infiltration. If installed incorrectly, the resulting moisture will invite mold and damage to the framing in the overall construction. These issues don’t show up overnight; you may not know that something went wrong for weeks or even years down the road. If a problem is discovered, the builder or contractor could be liable and on the hook to fix the error. Getting called back to remediate a home makes for a much more costly project. And it’s not just the bottom line that takes a hit. Referrals and online reviews are gold in the tile industry. When your reputation and livelihood is on the line, an extra level of confidence is important.
For high-moisture areas that require a waterproof solution, contractors know to look for products that have passed the ANSI A118.10 waterproofness test to ensure the product will perform in high-moisture environments. This stringent test performed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) involves having a 2-foot tube of water placed on the surface of the product for 48 hours. To pass, there must be zero moisture penetration. To meet this ANSI specification in a project, an installer would traditionally use moisture-resistant cement board coated with a waterproofing agent. This involves applying a waterproofing agent by hand over the entire surface of the fiber cement board. The liquified solution hardens and provides that waterproof confidence. While this is a very time-consuming process, it passes the waterproofing test as required.
As homeowners increasingly demand features like high-pressure waterfall showers and integrated smart technology, contractors want more confidence that the products they choose will help prevent moisture damage. Now, there is a 100% waterproof cement board from James Hardie, with a waterproof composition throughout the board, known as HardieBacker® Cement Board with HydroDefense™ Technology, which passes the rigorous ANSI A118.10 waterproofness test. With customers depending on online research, reviews and referrals more than ever, using a product that not only performs, but is backed by a company with a strong reputation provides assurance that your work and reputation are protected.
Using a 100% waterproof cement board eliminates the need to spend extra time applying waterproof coating across the entire surface area of your project. High-intensity moisture areas in today’s homes can be as much as 250 square feet — using a 100% waterproof cement board can provide time savings that translate directly to your bottom line. With a waterproof composition throughout the board, you only need to waterproof the joints and fasteners.1 The result is the ability to use fewer waterproofing products to save valuable time. With the availability of quality labor becoming a growing concern, a 100% waterproof cement board is an innovation that may help maximize the labor capacity that you do have.
Instagram-worthy kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and mudrooms now have the protection they deserve. From walls to floors to countertops, using a 100% waterproof cement board as an underlayment can protect high-moisture areas of the home that are susceptible to water getting through the product. Innovations like this make life better for not only the installers and contractors who are using it, it also gives homeowners that extra level of confidence that their investment will be protected.
Some application areas, such as shower pans, may require additional waterproofing. Refer to local building code requirements.