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Old 08-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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DensShield and Aqua Defense


So after reading all and many message boards, here's my plan:

Cut and install DensShield panels, coating all ends and edges and cut hole openings, with Aqua Defense. I'll also add in silicone sealant between all boards and at shower base (I have an acrylic shower base) to close off these gaps (AD will be used to protect the ends of the boards).

Seal all screw heads with Aqua Defense.

At all board joints, corners, etc. apply 2" fiberglass tape (this is after caulk in between). Not sure exactly which is better / needed; embed fiberglass in thinset then coat with AD OR embed fiberglass in AD and then add an additonal one or two thin coats of AD.

Any benefit to embedding fiberglass in thinset over AD?

Not really worried about an additonal $50 on my bathroom for the AD that I'll need.

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Old 08-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
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Gail, I moved this to 'tile' ---I;m not familiar with either product---so I'll pass on giving you an answer.

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Old 08-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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I looked at the Aqua Defense Mike, it is a Mapi product. I have used the DensShield when I did out Bath floor. I think that they would be better off staying with the tried and true method used for tiling, then go with the extra work that they are doing with the DensShield.

As for the DensShield Gail45, it already has a waterproofing on the face that the tile attaches to, and Fiberglass waterproof fabric on the back, that sets on the subfloor, or against the wall. When you install it for floors, you use the Gray thinset over the fiberglass tape when you tape the seams, before you tile. You do have to wait 24 hours before tiling, when you install the DensSheild and do the tape & mud of the seams and screws. The Walls, you just attach as if you are doing Green board or Drywall, but use Gray thinset and the Gray Fiberglass mesh tape still to seal any seams, and over any screws. You use the same screws that are used for Cement board, due to they are Epoxy dipped, and will not corrode or rust.

It then becomes a water tight wall covering. But really I would stick with Kerdi http://www.schluter.com/8_1_kerdi.aspx or the Homelux membrane http://www.homelux.co.uk/index.php?l=product_list&c=29 or the Homelux Gator Gold http://homeluxgatorgold.com/ I used the regular Homelux for the next door neighbor's bathroom floor, and it is easier to work with, and is a two step job. Cut & fit, then use a 3/16" notched trowel, when you put down the thinset, before laying the Mat back down, then use a Grout trowel to smooth out the fabric, and let it dry.

Next day you can tile over, just like Kerdi.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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Thinset is not waterproof and hence the need for something like Aqua Defense. Neither are the screw holes so need to waterproof them as well. Water will get in behind the tiles via grout lines so trying to prevent seepage into the DS via the edges or screw holes which are not waterproof....until you add the AD.

Kerdi would also do the same job as the AD but you do need something for waterproofing.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gail45 View Post
Thinset is not waterproof and hence the need for something like Aqua Defense. Neither are the screw holes so need to waterproof them as well. Water will get in behind the tiles via grout lines so trying to prevent seepage into the DS via the edges or screw holes which are not waterproof....until you add the AD.

Kerdi would also do the same job as the AD but you do need something for waterproofing.
You do not need the AD. When you do the tile job properly, grout & seal the joints, you end up with a waterproofed barrier. You are over thinking this way too much.

Hundreds if not thousands of shower & tub jobs have been done with Kerdi & a proper mortar job, with properly grouted joints, and none of them have come apart. Same goes with using DensShield with tiled laid on top with just mortar & grout. Mapi's mortar has the proper chemicals in it, that makes it so that water cannot seep into and cause the tiles to lift.

It is only again, once you lose the grout barrier, and allow water to stand over the tile, to seep through the joints, then you lose the barrier that makes it waterproof.

The backer is just there to create a way of placing the tile on the wall or floor. Kerdi is used over Backer board, Green Board, Purple Board, DensShield, to give you a second layer of protection.

BTW, who is it that told you that you must use Aqua Defense for this job, or is it just something you picked up on some web forum?

Now why is it that this post http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...t=aqua+defense mirrors your's, but under a different username? Then there is this one http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...t=aqua+defense

Really all you need to do, is follow Georgia Pacific's instructions on how to install DensShield, and what I stated. You are really over thinking how to do this, and going against how to do it properly.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #6
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Yes I posted on multiple message boards to get some feed back.

From my understanding, grout is not 100% waterproof, thinset is not waterproof, the edges of the DS are not 100% waterproof be that from the factory or due to cutting (hence GP recommendation for flexible sealant on edges), cuts made in the DS for pipe or valve pass through are not waterproof, screw holes in DS are not waterproof. So to counter all these problems I thought to use AD to seal all these areas.

GP does not recommend any waterproofing for walls in shower but...refer to DS004 and the shower seat where they apply a waterproofing membrane over the entire area. So what's the difference really. If the regular installation is waterproof then there is no need for the waterproofing membrane in DS004...but it's there.

So what's the harm in using AD to ensure waterproofing of all these areas?

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Old 08-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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btw, this is the message board that gave me the idea of skipping the thinset and just use AD.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f73/de...116371/index2/
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gail45 View Post
btw, this is the message board that gave me the idea of skipping the thinset and just use AD.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f73/de...116371/index2/
What you read was a group of guys in the trade having small talk back and forth, regarding personal opinion of using Hydro ban & Aqua Defense.

Where you are getting that Thinset is not waterproof, you really need to check your facts, regarding how to do tile work, before tackling this. Thinset is a modified Portland Cement that has a Latex component in it, that allows water & moisture to pass through, without allowing the bond to be broken. Same goes when you apply the grout by following the manufacturer directions, and using colored Silcone Grout caulk along the corners at the walls and where the wall meets the floor, not just grout at those points, since those areas will flex more than the wall.

Thinset is what is used to attach tiles to a substrate, whether it is Homelux, Kerdi, DensShield, but you must follow the manufacturer directions, not just read a bunch of forums and take personal opinions or small talk about it.

Mapei is the main manufacturer that makes the most popular brand, and if you follow their directions, along with Georgia Pacific's regarding installing DensShield, your tile will look professional, and last longer than the structure itself.

We have plenty of experts n here that do this every day, and they know what they are doing. I do tile work when I need to, but have done the research to know how to do it properly, especially in bathrooms, so that I do not have to go back and redo the work, two, maybe four years later, because I did not follow proper procedures.

If it was me doing this shower or bath, I would go with DensShield for the walls or Cement Backer board, then Kerdi or Homelux over it, per manufacturer directions, which states to use modified thinset to attach the material to the backer board, then let dry.

After the waterproofing layer is allowed to dry, then place the tiles on the wall per Mapei's directions, let the thinset dry and hold the tiles in place. Once done with that step, then goes the grout colored sealant at the corners and where walls meet curb for the shower pan, or floor of shower, or where walls meet top edge of the tub.

Then Grout the joints of the tile per manufacturer directions, let set for a bit, wipe off excess per Mapei's directions, let dry, then go back over and remove any haze from the grout job.

After everything is let to dry, then seal all joints in the grout, let dry per manufacturer directions, then install shower or bath door or curtain rod, depending on what you are going with, to keep water from being splashed out on the bathroom floor.

We regularly bathe our dog in our shower, and when she is done, the floor is soaking wet. We have had no issues with any grout coming loose off of the DensShield, nor any tiles lifting off of the DensShield. The running joke when I did the floor, was that when this house ever falls down, the floor will still be there in one piece, because I did it so well, that it is going nowhere, even if we threw a gallon of water on the floor, it is not getting anywhere under the tile layer.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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So in reading all this; thinset is a cement mortar that is not waterproof. Use of fiberglass tape alone or with thinset is not waterproof. Joints and fasteners are an avenue for water passage, even with thinset. Grout (alone) is not waterproof. Cement board is not waterproof and allows moisture/water passage.

In my research (for personal tile installation later); DensShield wicks 3/8" water at cut end, compared to 3" water with cement board (in 24hr test), hence the requirement for poly plastic to protect the wood framing/insulation.http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...WlK87HmnplLw0w

I commend you for researching the product so well! Perhaps you read my earlier comments in your search... (GBR); http://www.********************/f13/...back-tub-6291/

Research (factual) is how we learn... keep on reading! Otherwise it is just personal opinions.

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Old 08-18-2013, 01:38 AM   #10
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Actually Gary, the way that DensShield is manufactured, it does not wick moisture like Cement board. See page 4 in that Google doc link you posted, onwards regarding how DensShield is better than Cement board or other competing type products.

Matter of fact, DensShield works so well in wet locations, that there has been no mold seen behind the panels, when they are taken down in bathrooms, when you follow GP's directions in installing the product. When we laid it on our floor, I went around the edges where it met the bottom plates, and caulked with Silicone to seal the edges at all four sides, and around where it met the closet flange, and riser pipe for the toilet water, same with the hot & cold riser piping for the sink basin.

The only time that I have ever seen any water get through into the basement, was right at the edge of the tub where it meets the wall that the toilet is on, not at the floor and the tub, which has been fixed now, by going back and caulking that seam again. Had to do the good old light test, by turning on the bathroom lights, and also having the wife run a flashlight around the edges where the tub meets the wall and floor, then going through and caulking those areas. It was not until three years after we did the bath, that we found a few spots, due to the tub flexing when stepping in and out, which was expected, but not seen during remodeling.

When I talk to people and they mention about remodeling their bath or Kitchen and are putting down Tile, Vinyl Flooring, or even Wood flooring, I recommend that they try DensShield. If they have a good solid sub-floor, I have been mentioning to them how easy it is to use the Homelux membrane, and how it is standing up to creating a water proof barrier below the tile at my next door neighbor's house.

I will tell you, that it is nicer to work with these products, than deal with Cement board and how much of a PITA it is, along with the fact that Cement board wicks up moisture like a sponge, compared to DensShield.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:37 AM   #11
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Where you are getting that Thinset is not waterproof, you really need to check your facts,.
Ok, what I meant was that Thinset will not prevent water from getting to the edges of the DS and as you said it allows water to pass through it as does the grout. To prevent damage to the DS I was going to prevent water from getting to any exposed cuts or edges with the AD.

Seems much easier to just coat the edges than try and fill spaces with caulk especially around pipes. What do you do with the valve openings that just have exposed edges?

Also I've read that thinset has a hard time sticking to silicone so the more silicone you use say for edges and screw holes the more potential problems with thinset adhesion. Why not minimize the use of silicone with AD which thinset easily adheres to?

Really what is the thinset and fiberglass mesh step for? Has no purpose for sealing. Can't see how it would add much strength to the joint in such a thin layer. Sounds like it is just used to cover up the silicone and provide a good bonding surface near joints, screw holes, edges. Wouldn't AD do the same thing?

thanks for your help,

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Old 08-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #12
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Just found this video. Start at the 13 minute mark. That's what I am suggesting but with caulk in joints prior to mesh. Not sure if this guy caulked in joints.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOI3gFzRb_A
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #13
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Yes, if the manufacturer states to caulk the joints, you caulk the joints. Disregard what videos on Youtube are stating, unless it is the manufacturer's own videos.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
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Gregzoll,

I think you are missing the point. The manufacturer's instructions are not adequate. There is no waterproofing installation instructions. I'm trying to do that via the use of AD.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:22 AM   #15
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Gregzoll,

I think you are missing the point. The manufacturer's instructions are not adequate. There is no waterproofing installation instructions. I'm trying to do that via the use of AD.
buildGP.com now specifically states that a liquid waterproofing membrane is acceptable for DensShield after siliconing joints / corners and embedding the fiberglass mesh tape in tile setting material. Guess GP has caught up with what appears to be a fairly common practice even if it was not necessary based on their previous product specs.

Gail45, I agree with your logic but I did embed the mesh tape first (but with the dreaded "mastic" even if it was Ansi 136.1 - see link below), as that is what GP still specifies before applying a liquid membrane.

Mastic used for setting mesh tape in tub surround - help!


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