Understanding Australian Standards for Waterproofing Bathrooms

The Building Code of Australia lists basic Performance Requirements for waterproofing wet areas in homes. According to the Housing Industry Association, most of the problems associated with meeting these basic requirements arise out of definitions for certain terms.

For example, ‘Wet Areas’ refers to areas that have water supply from a water supply system, and so encompasses areas such as laundries, showers, and bathrooms. Surprisingly, the term does not cover bar areas or kitchens.

‘Waterproof’ is a more specific term. It describes the characteristic of a material that does not allow moisture to pass through when tested in accordance with AS/NZS 4858. Water resistant is again a different term that means the material restricts the movement of moisture and will not degrade because of moisture.

Another definition to understand is ‘shower area, enclosed’. This term covers those closed off with walls or screens, but not frameless or semi-frameless glass doors or curtains.

There are other terms that have technical definitions. The Housing Industry Association suggests that understanding these terms is critical to compliance and best practice for waterproofing standards in the home.