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Why waterproofing your bathroom renovation in Sydney is so important in Sydney

Why waterproofing your bathroom renovation in Sydney is so important
Complete bathroom renovation in Pagewood 17

What type of contractor can do bathroom waterproofing in sydney?

Your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, and it’s also one of the most susceptible to water damage. That’s why it’s so important to get the waterproofing done by a professional when renovating your bathroom in Sydney. In fact, if you are renovating your bathroom in Sydney you have to get your waterproofing done by someone who holds a license with NSW Fair Trading. The contractor must have a licence before they do any residential building work in NSW, including waterproofing, valued at more than $5000 (incl GST) in labour and materials.

You should ask if they have either a;

  • CPC31420 (current) Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
 
  • CPC31411 / CPC31408 Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
 
  • BCG31403 Certificate III in Waterproofing (General Construction)
 
  • Qualification 90464 Certificate III in General Construction (Waterproofing) TAFE course #8126
 

This is because waterproofing is a protective treatment of a home to prevent water or moisture getting into it. It is also the protective treatment of wet areas of a home (such as a shower) to stop the unwanted escape of water from those areas. The protective treatment used is solid membranes or membranes applied by brush, roller or any other method.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Proper waterproofing is essential to protect your home from structural damage. Water can seep into the walls and floors of your bathroom, causing rot and mould. This can weaken the structure of your home and lead to serious problems, such as cracking walls and floors.
 
  • Waterproofing can help to prevent mould and mildew growth. Mould and mildew can cause a variety of health problems, including allergies, asthma, and respiratory infections. It’s important to create a healthy environment in your bathroom by preventing mold and mildew growth.
 
  • Waterproofing can extend the life of your bathroom fixtures and finishes. Water can damage your tiles, grout, and other bathroom fixtures. Waterproofing can help to protect your investment and keep your bathroom looking its best for longer.
 
  • When you hire a professional waterproofing contractor, you can be sure that the job will be done correctly. Professional contractors have the training and experience to waterproof your bathroom to the highest standards. They will also use high-quality materials and products to ensure that your bathroom is protected for years to come.
 

Don’t take the risk of having your bathroom waterproofed by an amateur. Hire a professional waterproofing contractor today to ensure that your bathroom is protected from water damage for years to come. This will ensure that you get

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your bathroom is properly waterproofed will give you peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about water damage causing problems in your home.
 
  • A warranty: Many professional waterproofing contractors offer a warranty on their work. This means that if there are any problems with the waterproofing in the future, the contractor will come and fix them at no charge to you.
 
  • Convenience: Professional waterproofing contractors have all the tools and equipment they need to get the job done quickly and efficiently. You won’t have to worry about renting or buying any equipment yourself.
 

If you’re renovating your bathroom in Sydney, be sure to hire a professional waterproofing contractor. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run

why do you need watproofing in your bathroom?

When we are doing complete bathroom renovations in Sydney it gives us the opportunity to prepare a room correctly and this starts with making the the walls and flooring are perfectly square, the flooring surface is level, a screed is prepared correctly & the waterproofing is done to a high standard. As you can see in the short video above we even test our own work to make sure any potential flooding is contained in the room. Waterproofing a bathroom is an essential step in bathroom construction and renovation because it serves multiple purposes:

  • Prevent Water Damage to the Structure: Bathrooms are continuously exposed to water. Without proper waterproofing, water can seep into the walls, floors, and ceilings, leading to rot, decay, and structural damage. Over time, this can weaken the building materials and compromise the integrity of the structure.
 
  • Avoid Mould and Mildew Growth: Damp and moist areas are breeding grounds for mould and mildew. These fungi can lead to health problems, including allergies, respiratory issues, and other medical complications. They can also produce an unpleasant odor and stain surfaces.
 
  • Protection Against Electrical Hazards: Bathrooms usually have electrical fittings, such as lights, exhaust fans, and sometimes power outlets. Water ingress can pose a significant risk of short circuits, electrocution, and fire hazards.
 
  • Maintain Aesthetic Appeal: Consistent water leakage or seepage can cause paint to peel, tiles to lift, and grout to degrade. This damages the visual appeal of the bathroom and might require frequent maintenance or renovation.
 
  • Preserve Property Value: A bathroom with water damage can significantly reduce the value of a property. Potential buyers or tenants usually avoid properties with bathroom issues, as they indicate more profound, potentially expensive problems.
 
  • Save Money in the Long Run: Although waterproofing involves an initial cost, it can save homeowners a lot of money in the long run. Addressing water damage, mould remediation, and structural repairs can be significantly more expensive than preventative waterproofing.
 
  • Meet Building Standards and Codes: In many regions, including parts of Australia, waterproofing wet areas like bathrooms is not just a good practice; it’s a requirement as per building codes and standards.
 

In essence, waterproofing ensures the longevity of the bathroom and the safety of its users, while also maintaining the overall health of the dwelling. It acts as a barrier, preventing water from reaching areas where it can cause damage. Given the importance of this task, it’s always recommended to have waterproofing done by professionals who can ensure it meets the necessary standards and requirements.

In Sydney (and across New South Wales), waterproofing of wet areas, such as bathrooms, is considered to be a form of building work that requires specific qualifications. According to the NSW Fair Trading and Home Building Act, waterproofing in bathrooms and other wet areas must be done by a tradesperson who holds a current waterproofer’s licence.

Waterproofing, when not done correctly, can lead to significant damages in a property, resulting in costly repairs. Due to this type of potential risk, it’s essential that a trained and licensed professional, familiar with the Australian Standard AS 3740 (Waterproofing of domestic wet areas), handles the task to ensure it’s done correctly and compliantly.

If you’re considering getting waterproofing done or any other renovation work, always check the tradesperson’s licence and qualifications. Not only will this ensure the job is done right, but it will also give you recourse in case anything goes wrong.

Why Demolishing Your Bathroom Completely is a Wise Move Before renovating

Laundry renovation with new cabinets by a home renovation specialist using a licensed builder Dylan Doncevski from Passion Built new waterproofing

Renovating a bathroom is not just about modernising its appearance. Often, it’s an opportunity to rectify underlying issues, improve its functionality, and increase its longevity. The biggest practical reason is that underlying damage can’t even be seen unless you remove the floor or wall tiles or even the old flooring. There could be water damage, asbestos or other problems behind all the visible surfaces. If you’re considering a bathroom renovation, here’s why starting from scratch—by completely demolishing the room and installing a new floor, screed, and waterproofing before tiling—is a prudent approach:

1. Unearth Hidden Problems
Older bathrooms can harbour various hidden problems, from rot and mould behind tiles to old leaking pipes. By demolishing the room, you expose these issues, allowing you to address them proactively before they escalate into bigger, costlier problems.

2. Ensure Effective Waterproofing
Waterproofing is the unsung hero of any bathroom. A complete demolition means removing old, potentially ineffective waterproofing and replacing it with a modern, compliant solution. This can protect your bathroom from water damage, mold growth, and structural issues, ensuring peace of mind for years to come.

3. Modernise Infrastructure
Bathroom standards, from plumbing codes to electrical systems, evolve over time. By starting afresh, you can ensure your renovated bathroom meets current standards, increasing its safety and functionality.

4. Optimise Space and Layout
Complete demolition offers a blank canvas. You’re not restricted by existing structures or layouts. Whether you want to move your bathtub, enlarge your shower, or add new features, starting from scratch makes these alterations simpler and often more cost-effective in the long run.

5. Improved Floor Levelling with New Screed
Older bathrooms might have uneven floors or poor drainage slopes. By installing a new screed, you can ensure proper water drainage, prevent water pooling, and create a stable, level base for your new tiles.

6. Enhanced Insulation and Acoustics
A total demolition provides an opportunity to upgrade insulation, both thermal and acoustic. This can result in a warmer bathroom in winter, cooler in summer, and enhanced privacy through soundproofing.

7. Increase Property Value
A bathroom renovated from its foundation, addressing both aesthetic and functional aspects, can significantly boost your property’s value. Potential buyers often appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing a bathroom has been thoroughly updated.

8. Harmonised Design
Starting with a blank slate ensures all elements—from plumbing fixtures to electrical outlets—are consistent in design and function. There’s no need to work around outdated components or make design compromises.

 

While the idea of completely demolishing your bathroom might seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the initial apprehension. By stripping the room back to its bones, you have the unique opportunity to rebuild with precision, addressing both current needs and future-proofing against potential issues. After all, a renovation isn’t just about aesthetics—it’s about creating a space that’s functional, safe, and enduring.

What happens if the waterproofing in a bathroom fails?

Renovating a bathroom on a concrete slab

If the waterproofing in a bathroom fails, it can lead to a host of problems, both immediate and long-term which can include some or all of the following;

  • Structural Damage: Water can seep into the walls, floors, and ceilings, causing the building materials to weaken and deteriorate. Over time, wooden beams can rot, concrete can erode, and metal reinforcements can rust, which can compromise the structural integrity of the building. The worst part of this is you can’t see this type of damage until it starts to effect surfaces that are visible, so typically that means the internal areas are so damaged that they have to be replaced.
 
  • Mould and Mildew Growth: Persistent moisture can result in the growth of mould and mildew. Not only can these fungi cause staining and unpleasant odours, but they can also pose health risks, leading to allergies, respiratory problems, and other medical complications.
 
  • Damage to Finishes: Constant exposure to water can cause paint to peel, wallpaper to come off, and tiles to delaminate or lift. The adhesive materials, such as grout and sealants, can also degrade, leading to gaps and spaces where water can further intrude.
 
  • Floor Damage: The underlayment and subfloors can become saturated and deteriorate if water seeps through. This can result in buckling, warping, or collapsing, especially in wooden floor structures. If the bathroom is on a second storey then water can leak into the ceiling area and effect the rooms below as well.
 
  • Ceiling Damage: If the bathroom is on an upper floor, a failed waterproofing system might lead to water dripping into the rooms below, staining and damaging the ceilings.
 
  • Electrical Hazards: Water intrusion can pose risks to the bathroom’s electrical installations, like lights, outlets, and exhaust fans. This can lead to short circuits, malfunctions, and even the risk of electrocution.
 
  • Increased Utility Bills: Dampness and water intrusion can affect the insulation properties of walls and floors, leading to higher heating or cooling costs.
 
  • Damage to Adjacent Rooms: Water doesn’t always stay contained within the bathroom. It can travel and damage adjacent rooms or areas, leading to widespread repair needs.
 
  • Decrease in Property Value: A bathroom with signs of water damage can deter potential property buyers or reduce the property’s overall market value.
 
  • Pest Attraction: Wet and rotting wood can become a haven for pests like termites, which can further escalate the structural damage.
 
  • Unpleasant Smells: Persistently damp areas can develop musty and unpleasant odours that can permeate throughout the home especially if the flooring is carpet or lino that is damp.
 

Given these potential consequences, it’s essential to ensure that bathrooms are waterproofed correctly from the outset and to address any signs of water damage promptly. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help in early detection and rectification of waterproofing issues.

How much does it cost to get waterproofing done to a bathroom in Sydney?

When you hire a professional waterproofing contractor, you can be sure that the job will be done correctly. Professional contractors have the training and experience to waterproof your bathroom to the highest standards. They will also use high-quality materials and products to ensure that your bathroom is protected for years to come.

When choosing a professional waterproofing contractor consider these steps:

  • Get quotes from multiple contractors.
  • Ask for references and check them.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Ask about the contractor’s experience with waterproofing bathrooms.
  • Once you’ve chosen a contractor, be sure to discuss your specific needs with them. They will be able to advise you on the best waterproofing solutions for your bathroom.
  • Get a written quotation and renovation contract
 

Don’t take the risk of having your bathroom waterproofed by an amateur. Hire a professional waterproofing contractor today to ensure that your bathroom is protected from water damage for years to come. The cost of waterproofing a bathroom in Sydney can vary significantly based on a range of factors, including:

  • Size of the Bathroom: A larger bathroom will naturally require more materials and labour, increasing the cost.
 
  • Complexity of the Job: Bathrooms with intricate designs, multiple corners, or unusual features can increase the labour time and materials needed.
 
  • Choice of Materials: There’s a range of waterproofing products available in the market. Higher-end products might offer better longevity and protection but come at a premium price.
 
  • Preparation Work Required: If the area requires extensive prep work, like removing old tiles or fixing damages before waterproofing, this can increase the costs.
 
  • Location and Accessibility: If the bathroom is hard to access or is located in a place where standard operations are difficult, it might increase labour costs.
 
  • Professional’s Experience and Reputation: Highly experienced waterproofers or well-known companies might charge more due to their expertise and reputation in the industry.
 
  • Guarantees or Warranties: Some professionals might offer extended warranties or guarantees on their work, which can be reflected in the price.
 
  • Additional Services: The inclusion of services like tile installation after waterproofing, or the application of sealants, can alter the final quote.
 

As a general ballpark figure, based on data from recent years waterproofing in Sydney might cost anywhere from $30 to $50 per square meter for just the waterproofing membrane application. However, when considering the entire scope of work, including labour, materials, and any additional services, costs could range between $500 to $1,200 or more for a standard-sized bathroom.

It’s crucial to get multiple quotes from different waterproofing professionals to understand the current pricing in your specific area and for your unique needs. 

Ensure that any quote you receive breaks down the costs for clarity and that the professional is licensed and insured.

Free site inspection, consultation & quote

It’s really easy to find out the cost to renovate. We offer an obligation free site inspection, consultation & written price quote so that you can work out all the costs before you commit to renovating.

Get more free renovation advice

Enjoy some of our free bathroom renovation advice articles that explain the practical steps to getting your renovation completed without spending a fortune while also making sure you get the job done right the first time.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a collection of the questions we get asked a lot when we get phone calls or emails and people want information about the cost to build a new bathroom.

Yes, you can make your bathroom bigger by moving an existing wall. However, it’s important to note that this is a complex project that should be done by a qualified professional. There are a number of factors to consider, including whether the wall is load-bearing, the type of construction of your home, and the necessary permits.

Steps involved in moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger

  • Consult with a licensed builder or architect. This is important to ensure that the wall can be moved safely and without compromising the structural integrity of your home.
  • Obtain the necessary permits. In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit from your local council before you can move a wall.
  • Prepare the work area. This will involve removing any furniture or fixtures from the area and protecting the surrounding surfaces.
  • Remove the existing wall. This is a delicate process that should be done by a qualified professional.
  • Install the new wall. The new wall will need to be framed and wired according to building codes.
  • Finish the wall. This will involve installing drywall, insulation, and any other necessary materials.

 

 

Things to be aware of

  • Load-bearing walls: Load-bearing walls support the weight of the roof and other structural elements of your home. Moving a load-bearing wall can be dangerous and should only be done by a qualified professional.
  • Type of construction: The type of construction of your home will also affect the process of moving a wall. For example, homes with brick or concrete walls will be more difficult to renovate than homes with wood-framed walls.
  • Permits: In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit from your local council before you can move a wall. It’s important to check with your council to see what requirements apply in your area.
  • Cost of moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger The cost of moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the wall, the type of construction of your home, and the location of your home. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for this type of project.

 

Benefits of moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger

There are a number of benefits to moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger, including:

  • Increased space: Moving a wall is a great way to add more space to your bathroom. This can make your bathroom feel more comfortable and spacious, and it can also make it more functional.
  • Increased value: Moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger can also increase the value of your home. Buyers are often willing to pay more for homes with larger bathrooms.
  • Improved layout: Moving a wall can also be a great way to improve the layout of your bathroom. For example, you may be able to create a more efficient layout by moving the toilet or shower to a different location.

 

Moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger is a complex project that should be done by a qualified professional. However, it can be a great way to add more space, value, and functionality to your bathroom.

Renovation builders are equipped with the expertise to plan, design, and execute renovations that can range from minor updates and cosmetic changes to major transformations involving structural modifications. Their role extends beyond that of traditional tradespeople, as they often provide comprehensive solutions that encompass various aspects of a renovation project.

Key characteristics of a renovation builder include:

  • Design and Planning: Renovation builders often collaborate with designers or possess in-house design teams to conceptualise and plan the renovation. They work closely with clients to understand their vision and goals, ensuring that the design aligns with their preferences and lifestyle.
 
  • Project Management: Renovation builders assume the role of project managers, overseeing all stages of the renovation process. They coordinate different trades, manage schedules, budgets, and timelines, and ensure that the project runs smoothly from start to finish.
 
  • Structural and Functional Changes: Unlike some other trades that focus on specific tasks (e.g., plumbing, electrical work), renovation builders are skilled in making structural changes, such as moving walls, altering floor plans, and integrating new architectural elements to enhance the layout and functionality of spaces.
 
  • Comprehensive Expertise: Renovation builders have a broad skill set that spans construction, carpentry, finishing work, and often encompass various trades under their umbrella. This expertise allows them to tackle diverse aspects of a renovation project without the need to subcontract every task.
 
  • Code Compliance: Renovation builders are well-versed in local building codes and regulations. They ensure that renovations adhere to legal requirements and obtain the necessary permits, which helps prevent potential legal issues and ensures the safety and compliance of the project.
 
  • Quality Craftsmanship: Renovation builders prioritize delivering high-quality workmanship to ensure the longevity and durability of the renovated spaces. This includes using premium materials, employing skilled craftsmen, and maintaining attention to detail throughout the project.
 
  • Client Collaboration: Renovation builders maintain open communication and collaboration with clients, keeping them informed about the progress and addressing any concerns or modifications that arise during the renovation.

In summary, a renovation builder is a professional or company that specialises in transforming and upgrading existing spaces through a combination of design, construction, and project management skills. They offer a comprehensive approach to renovations, making them distinct from other types of trades that focus on specific tasks or components of a project.

If the waterproofing in a bathroom fails, it can lead to a host of problems, both immediate and long-term which can include some or all of the following;

Structural Damage: Water can seep into the walls, floors, and ceilings, causing the building materials to weaken and deteriorate. Over time, wooden beams can rot, concrete can erode, and metal reinforcements can rust, which can compromise the structural integrity of the building. The worst part of this is you can’t see this type of damage until it starts to effect surfaces that are visible, so typically that means the internal areas are so damaged that they have to be replaced.


Mould and Mildew Growth: Persistent moisture can result in the growth of mould and mildew. Not only can these fungi cause staining and unpleasant odours, but they can also pose health risks, leading to allergies, respiratory problems, and other medical complications.


Damage to Finishes: Constant exposure to water can cause paint to peel, wallpaper to come off, and tiles to delaminate or lift. The adhesive materials, such as grout and sealants, can also degrade, leading to gaps and spaces where water can further intrude.


Floor Damage: The underlayment and subfloors can become saturated and deteriorate if water seeps through. This can result in buckling, warping, or collapsing, especially in wooden floor structures. If the bathroom is on a second storey then water can leak into the ceiling area and effect the rooms below as well.


Ceiling Damage: If the bathroom is on an upper floor, a failed waterproofing system might lead to water dripping into the rooms below, staining and damaging the ceilings.


Electrical Hazards: Water intrusion can pose risks to the bathroom’s electrical installations, like lights, outlets, and exhaust fans. This can lead to short circuits, malfunctions, and even the risk of electrocution.


Increased Utility Bills: Dampness and water intrusion can affect the insulation properties of walls and floors, leading to higher heating or cooling costs.


Damage to Adjacent Rooms: Water doesn’t always stay contained within the bathroom. It can travel and damage adjacent rooms or areas, leading to widespread repair needs.


Decrease in Property Value: A bathroom with signs of water damage can deter potential property buyers or reduce the property’s overall market value.


Pest Attraction: Wet and rotting wood can become a haven for pests like termites, which can further escalate the structural damage.


Unpleasant Smells: Persistently damp areas can develop musty and unpleasant odours that can permeate throughout the home especially if the flooring is carpet or lino that is damp.

 

Given these potential consequences, it’s essential to ensure that bathrooms are waterproofed correctly from the outset and to address any signs of water damage promptly. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help in early detection and rectification of waterproofing issues.

Broadly, serious defects in a building are where building work fails to comply with the performance requirements of the Building Code of Australia or includes defective design or faulty workmanship relating to: waterproofing. fire safety. structural matters.

In New South Wales (NSW), faulty waterproofing in itself isn’t necessarily classified as a “structural defect.” However, it can lead to structural defects if the failure of waterproofing results in significant damage to primary structural components of the building.

The NSW Home Building Act provides warranties for homeowners against defective work. These warranties include a two-year warranty for non-structural defects and a six-year warranty for major (structural) defects. If the faulty waterproofing leads to major damage within this period, it might be considered under the major defects warranty.

A “major defect” in the context of the NSW Home Building Act generally pertains to:

A defect in a major element of a building that is attributable to defective design, defective or faulty workmanship, defective materials, or a failure to comply with the structural performance requirements of the National Construction Code. And, because of the defect, causes or is likely to cause:

the inability to inhabit or use the building (or part of the building) for its intended purpose, or
the destruction of the building or any part of the building, or
a threat of collapse of the building or any part of the building.
“Major element” of a building includes:

an internal or external load-bearing component of the building that is essential to the stability of the building, or any part of it (including but not limited to foundations and footings, floors, walls, roofs, columns, and beams), or
a fire safety system, or waterproofing.


Given that “waterproofing” is explicitly listed as a “major element,” if faulty waterproofing results in one of the significant detrimental outcomes mentioned (like making part of the building uninhabitable), it could be classified as a major defect.

However, interpreting and applying these provisions can be complex. If someone believes that they might have a major defect due to faulty waterproofing, they should consult with a legal professional or expert familiar with NSW building regulations and laws.

Dylan
Dylan

Licensed builder and founder of Passion Built

About us

Passion Built, a premier licensed builder in Sydney, that provides bespoke bathroom renovation services tailored to meet the specific needs and visions of each client whether it is for a house, apartment or commercial use location. Recognised as one of the most modern bathroom renovation builders in Sydney, we specialise in transforming living spaces including a laundry

For those looking to revamp their bathrooms, our detailed bathroom renovation package brochure provides an array of options to renovate a bathroom in your house or apartment within your budget without compromising on quality. 

Unique services such as converting laundry to bathroom are handled with the utmost precision, showcasing our dedication to innovation. With a commitment to transparency and no hidden surprises, our fixed price bathroom renovation quotations ensure complete peace of mind for every single client. 

Trust Passion Built to design your new bathroom space; your dreams, our blueprint.