4 Types of Shower Waterproofing Systems For Your Bathroom

Last Updated: August 03, 2022 | By JULIAN GILL

When it comes to bathroom renovations, there are a lot of different options you can choose from. One popular method is shower waterproofing. There are different types of waterproofing systems that you can use for this purpose, and each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on what you’re looking for. For instance, if your primary concern is leakage prevention or preventing water damage in general, one option might be more suitable than another.

Basically, four types of waterproofing membranes are used to make your shower area waterproof. These are-

4 Types of Shower Waterproofing Systems
4 Types of Shower Waterproofing Systems
  • Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
  • Sheet Waterproofing Membrane
  • Foam Wallboard
  • Fiber Cement Backer Board
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#1. Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

This is a thin coating containing a primer coat and topcoat. This waterproofing system involved using a special kind of paint designed to repel 98.99% of the water from its surface.

It has some pros and cons. For example, it can reach fragile sharp corners effortlessly. In cons, liquid waterproofing is extremely easily damaged, and even a tiny hole can destroy the whole system!


  • Quick applications
  • Cost-efficient
  • Perfect elongation


  • Can be damaged easily

Some famous liquid waterproofing systems are following:

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#2. Sheet Waterproofing Membrane

Sheet Waterproofing Membrane
Sheet Waterproofing Membrane

This is a waterproofing membrane in the form of sheet rolls. There are different types of sheet waterproofing products. These products are primarily differentiated by how they adapt to concrete surfaces. And so, we have torch-applied membranes and self-adhesive membranes. They are both used as roof waterproofing systems.

Another one is the synthetic fibers sheet membrane which is used as a shower waterproofing system. This system involves a thin sheet that reflects up to 98% of water away from its surface. It prevents moisture in the shower wall and flooring easily.


  • Easy to work
  • Uniform membrane thickness
  • Consistent coverage
  • It can be applied in different weather conditions


  • Labour intensive

Some famous sheet waterproofing membranes are following:

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#3. Waterproof Foam Wallboard

Waterproof foam wallboards are rigid panels that are made up of extruded polystyrene. Due to Extruded Polystyrene, they’re waterproof and water-resistant as well and are best to be used as a waterproofing base in your shower area. They also work as a tile backer on which you can install the tiles or any front-end material from which you want to cover the base.

Foam Wallboard waterproofing system
Foam Wallboard waterproofing system

Foam Shower Bases

Foam shower bases are the same as foam wallboards, but they’re a bit thicker and heavier than foam wallboards. However, unlike foam wallboards which cover the whole area, they only cover the bottom of your shower area (floor). Moreover, unlike foam wallboards, they don’t need tiling as well. They’re usually custom-designed according to the shape and placement of drainage in the shower area.

Foam-based waterproofing is the most common and reliable membrane to make the system waterproof. It’s the same membrane that is used in commercial buildings and small roofs to make them waterproof. The system can repel 99.99% of water away from its surface. It involves using Extruded Polystyrene or XPS foam which makes the kit highly resistive to the environment and completely waterproof.


  • Moisture resistant
  • High R-value
  • It has a recyclable polystyrene


  • Prone to cracking and shedding

Some famous waterproofing foam wallboards are following:

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#4. Fiber Cement Backer Board

Fiber Cement Backer Board
Fiber Cement Backer Board

Fiber cement backer board is a long-lasting and low-maintenance material used to cover house exteriors. It is also sometimes used to cover commercial buildings. It is manufactured with sand and cement, and it contains cellulose fibers, making it durable.

Whether it can be used for a waterproofing system or not depends on the brand. Most of the brands of these durable boards have fiber reinforcement cement composition sheets, which are hard and waterproof.

Overall, foam membrane waterproofing is the far better according to most experts.

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author of resisories.com julian gill pictureJulian Gill

Julian Gill is a mechanical engineer and Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) and worked as a plumbing engineer for ten years. Besides this, he is interested in home improvement and currently works as a writer. @JulianGillPro

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