Paul carries out at least 8 bathroom renovations each year. 'More and more people prefer a walk-in shower over a traditional shower tray, Paul says: 'A barrier-free shower requires less maintenance, is safer and aesthetically more pleasing.' 'Although I have a lot of bathroom renovation experience, every new project is a challenge.' To ensure customer satisfaction, I choose to work only with high-quality products and materials.'
‘The biggest risk is definitely water leakage.’ ‘Leakage occurs when inferior products are used or when an installation is not performed accordingly to (building) instructions and regulations.’ It goes without saying that the slightest leakage could cause major damage. Paul explains: ‘I have encountered many situations where water damage to the bathroom and the ceiling below the bathroom occurred due to a faulty (installed) shower drain.’
Another important aspect is the piping system. When you encounter dated pipes during the bathroom renovation, you need to replace the pipes. By doing so, you exclude any pipe leakage in the future.
“To ensure a newly renovated bathroom from water leakage, Paul applies the following rules”
An average shower head produces about 12 liters of water per minute, with a standard shower session of approximately 10 minutes this runs up to 120 liters of water. With a household of four people, that’s around 480 liters. That is why it is important to choose a reliable and durable shower drain that offers a sufficient drainage capacity.
Most bathrooms are renovated every 15-20 years, a shower drain should last just as long or even longer. ‘I’ve found a shower drain manufacturer whom I’ve been working with for years. Their products are made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel and antibacterial ABS plastic. These products also have a high durability thanks to extensive testing.’
Certificates and quality marks proof that a product meets specific requirements. This provides extra insurance of having a good product. Unfortunately, it occurs that these marks and certificates are falsified and/or issued by organizations that do not have the authority to do so. ‘I always read the terms and conditions of the supplier or manufacturer. If a problem arises, I need to know if I can rely on them for support.’
‘When selecting a shower drain, I make sure that it’s according to the local building regulations, which in the EU is the EN 1253 standard. The EN 1253 requires a shower drain to have a 50 mm water seal.’
When you bought a product, you are entitled to a proper working product according to the law. Your purchased product must meet its expectations. If it’s built into a bathroom floor then it should last at least as long as the bathroom itself. If this is not the case, you are dealing with a faulty product.
When choosing a cheap shower drain with a lack of warranty (short-term or no warranty at all), it should come as no surprise that this product is likely to be faulty and that the manufacturer is solely concerned in making fast money and offers no service.
Paul explains: ‘If a bathroom has a minimum lifetime of 10-15 years and the shower drain is built into the floor, a reliable manufacturer gives you at least a 10 year warranty. I also choose shower drains with the Water Protection System (WPS). This is a pre-assembled sealing membrane that is attached to the drain which offers easy waterproofing and thus a 10 year warranty on watertightness!’
‘Installing a shower drain should be simple. This means that you shouldn’t be assembling a lot of parts before the installation. In general, the more parts you have, the bigger the risk of making errors during assembly. That’s why I prefer shower drains preassembled with a built-in set and grate included. It’s also important to have a clear installation manual and/or video when there’s a new model.’
Waterproofing does not only apply to the shower drain but also to the complete bathroom. It’s possible that water penetrates through broken joints or cracks in the tiles. ‘I use a self-adhesive sealing membrane (SAM) to create a waterproof layer underneath the tile floor. By choosing the SAM-system, I can ensure a 100% watertight room, whether it’s a new construction or renovation project.’
‘Applying secondary floor drainage with a shower drain is another great way of providing extra safety. With a secondary drainage, any water that penetrates through the silicone joints, tile joints or cracked tiles is still able to flow into the shower drain. Make sure that you waterproof the entire wet area using a certified waterproofing membrane.’
A watertight connection between the shower drain and the tiled floor is another important part of making a bathroom waterproof. ‘You can achieve this by using a flexible sealing compound like EasySillicon.’ Advises Paul. ‘The sealing needs to be flexible because a stainless steel shower channel can expand and shrink due to temperature changes.’ If a non-elastic joint is used, a crack may occur causing leakage.
‘I recommend following the manufacturer instructions. Applying elastic sealing is craftsmanship and the sealing should last for a long time. This means that the sealant and jointing must remain in good condition over the years. Leakage due to bad sealing joints or bad maintenance is generally not covered by the insurance.’
‘I recommend a shower drain that is easy to clean. The cleaning process of a shower drain should be uncomplicated because cleaning needs to be done regularly to prevent clogging(s) and to keep the drainage capacity optimal. I prefer a shower drain with a removable siphon, which can be easily removed and properly cleaned.
When it comes to installing a shower drain, there are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Choosing high quality and proven products is recommendable. ‘If you have any questions regarding the product, warranty or installation questions, you should contact your supplier or manufacturer and they should offer support.’
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