Best Waterproofing Membrane for Shower Walls and Floors [2022 Update]

A leaking shower can be quite horrible, especially if you want to maintain the charming appeal of your bathroom. Get waterproofing membrane for shower and apply it before installing the tiles to prevent dampness inside the shower wall.

Many homeowners do not waterproof their shower because of a lack of knowledge and sometimes due to the cost associated with waterproofing. It may seem like nothing is wrong with the bathroom because you can’t see what’s going on behind the tiles.

Leaking water can damage the wall and you will see damp plaster after pulling the tiles. Water can easily leak through the grouts between tiles. Waterproofing membrane can easily prevent such occurrence and keep your walls safe against water damage.

The membrane is a widely used material for shower waterproofing. There are polymer-based and other kinds of membranes and therefore choosing the best waterproofing solution for the shower can be a bit daunting.

Don’t worry because this post will provide you with 10 best products to protect your shower walls and floors.

Best Waterproofing Membrane for Shower:

Waterproofing is important to protect bathroom walls against potential damage, but which product you should choose? There are different kinds of membrane products. Each one of these membrane products come with some perks and some drawbacks.

Some products are simply designed to roll out and attach to the surface below the tiles and some membranes come in liquid form. These liquid membrane products are produced to be applied with a paint roller, brush, or sprayer.

The selection of the right membrane product mainly relies upon the details of the waterproofing project. However, most of the bathroom remodeling and installation experts support liquid membrane products. It is a flexible material and it can easily spread across the wall without living any spot.

Our experts have evaluated many options and found the below reviewed 10 products, which are absolutely perfect for protecting shower walls against water damage. Check these reviews and you will get the best waterproofing membrane for shower.

Laticrete Hydro Barrier

Laticrete Hydro Barrier (1 Gallon) Buy on Amazon

Laticrete waterproofing membrane is considered the best product to protect bathroom walls. It covers the bathroom walls with thin, self-curing, and load-bearing liquid rubber polymer. This rubber polymer spreads across the wall and creates a flexible seamless waterproofing membrane.

This product is perfect to apply on the interior, exterior, vertical, and horizontal surfaces. IAPMO has approved this product to be applied as a shower pan liner. It acts as an excellent barrier against water passing through tile grouts.

This product turns into a very thin layer after curing the wall. It also acts as a load-bearing structure and it exceeds the demands of standard codified regulations such as A118.12 and A118.10.

This polymer membrane also offers great microbial protection, which is essential in damp areas. You can easily apply it over a variety of substrates such as brick masonry, concrete, mortar beds, etc.

Choose Laticrete waterproofing membrane if you want long-lasting protection for your shower walls. Laticrete Hydro Barrier is absolutely the best when it comes to protecting shower walls!

  • Offers flood testing within 24 hours!
  • It will be only 0.020–0.030″ thick after curing the wall.
  • Anti-fracture protection.
  • It exceeds ANSI 118.10 and 118.12 standards.
  • Allows you to use the bathroom after 4-8 hours of applying the product.
  • It is quite thin and it may spill off easily!

CUSTOM BLDG PRODUCTS LQWAF1-2 Redgard Waterproofing

CUSTOM BLDG PRODUCTS LQWAF1-2 Redgard Waterproofing, 1 gal Buy on Amazon

Apply Redguard waterproofing on drywall if you are looking for a ready-to-use elastomeric waterproofing membrane. It is designed for both stone and tile applications. It forms an incessant water-resistant barrier with excellent adhesion when applied on the interior or exterior substrates.

The chances of crack transmission on stone floors and tiled floors reduce to a very low level after applying this product. This membrane will bond straight to PVC, clean metal drains, stainless steel, and ABS drain assemblies. You can also apply it like a slab-on-grade moisture vapor barrier to protect the floor.

It works great with concrete, masonry, cement mortar, cement backer board, and exterior plywood and OSB. Many professionals suggest this product because it is quite easy to apply. You can use an airless sprayer, a roller, or a towel to apply this membrane on the wall.

Buyers have offered it top rating for extra heavy-duty service and they have praised its quick-drying formula. The curing time reduces significantly and that’s why it is our 2nd top pick as a reliable waterproofing membrane for shower.

  • Easy to apply and dries quickly.
  • Shipped as a ready to use shower wall curing solution.
  • Recognized to be used as a shower pan liner.
  • Perfect for waterproofing pools, spas, and water features.
  • Shipped in poor quality containers.

USG DUROCK Brand Liquid Waterproofing Membrane


The USG waterproof membrane is an acrylic polymer-based waterproofing solution for your bathroom walls and floor. It shows great results in both commercial and residential stone and tile applications. That’s why many professionals recommend using this product to prepare water-resistant floors and walls.

It is tested with substrates like concrete, cement backer board, masonry, gypsum fiber, and other gypsum-based cement toppings. The results were amazing and since then it is being used in a wide variety of properties across the globe.

This membrane is approved to be used as a shower pan liner according to IPC 417.5.2.5 section and UPC section 408.7. It changes color after curing the wall and helps you in finishing shower installation project faster.

The USG waterproof membrane has the lowest permeance rating, which is 0.43 perms at 15 mil dry thickness! You can apply it in the shower, swimming pool, or other moist areas where you want to protect substrates against water damage.

  • Performs great as crack isolation, waterproofing membrane, and vapor retarder.
  • You can apply it in the steam room and shower without using any vapor retarder.
  • Easy to apply with a towel, brush, or roller.
  • Glues tightly to PVC, stainless steel, and ABS drains.
  • This product is slightly thick and expensive.

Mapei Mapelastic AquaDefense

Mapei Mapelastic AquaDefense - 1 Gallon Buy on Amazon

Chosen by thousands of people across the globe, the Mapei Mapelastic Aquadefense offers an innovative way of protecting shower walls, floors, pool walls, and other wet areas. It is a quick-drying liquid-rubber membrane, mainly used for waterproofing and crack isolation.

This product is tested and approved to be used in commercial, residential, and industrial environments. Leaking water can quickly damage adjacent rooms and ceiling below the bathroom floor.

The AquaDefense thin liquid membrane dries quickly and acts as a barrier between water and adjacent structures. You can easily apply this product in coves, cracks, corners, and drains by using a brush.

The product is designed to dry within 50 minutes of applying. You can apply epoxy mortar or any MAPEI polymer after curing the wall. The manufacture has flood tested this membrane after 12 hours of drying time. It has shown great results and you can use it as a shower pan liner.

  • Dries faster and allows you to install tiles within 50 minutes after drying.
  • Exceeds ANSI A118.10 and A118.12 standards.
  • You can apply it with a brush, roller, or towel.
  • Bonds directly to a variety of materials such as PVC, stainless steel, etc.
  • Perfect to be applied in confined spaces and there will be no odor!
  • You have to apply the tile within 30-50 minutes otherwise the surface might crack!

Laticrete 9235 Waterproofing Membrane Roll

Laticrete Waterproofing Membrane Fabric - 6 Buy on Amazon

Leticrete is offering a variety of solutions to make your walls water-resistant and secure against water damage. This Laticrete waterproofing membrane roll is quite thin and its load-bearing capacity makes it a perfect waterproofing solution applied before installing stones, ceramic tiles, and brick installation.

This membrane provides a self-curing liquid rubber polymer along with robust fabric that you can immediately install to create a flexible and flawless waterproofing membrane.

Laticrete waterproofing membrane bonds easily with many types of substrates. Therefore, it is widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial building projects.

  • Perfect to use in corners and coves.
  • Suitable for residential, commercial, and industrial uses.
  • Offers great protection to interior and exterior walls against water damage.
  • A perfect treatment for hairline cracking in substrates.
  • It is a thick membrane and you may need to cover the entire surface to apply it properly.

Schluter Kerdi 108 Sq Ft Waterproofing Membrane

Schluter Kerdi 108 Sq Ft Waterproofing Membrane Buy on Amazon

The Schluter Kerdi 108 Sq Ft Waterproofing Membrane is a reliable solution to create a watertight and water-resistant steam room or tiled shower. This membrane is prepared from soft polyethylene and it works flawlessly as a bond membrane and vapor retarder.

Its both sides feature special webbing synthetic fibers that form a tough bond with thin-set mortar. It will grip the substrates tightly and then you can install tiles right above this membrane. You can apply it easily with a trowel and spread it evenly across the surface.

Being super easy to apply in the steam room and tiled showers, the Schluter Kerdi 108 Sq Ft Waterproofing Membrane promises to protect your floor and walls from water damage. It will keep water out of the substrate and thus the adjacent structure won’t get damp due to water leakage.

Apply this membrane while remodeling your bathroom or building a new shower room. It will keep tiled shower walls from water damage for years. That’s why it is our favorite waterproofing membrane for shower.

  • Easy to apply:
  • Prevents your tiled shower and steam room effective from water damage.
  • Equipped with special fleece webbing.
  • Capable of crack bridging.
  • It is quite expensive and it doesn’t adhere firmly to all types of substrates.

RedGard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane

Custom BLDG Products LQWAF3 Gard Waterproofing, 3.5-Gallon Buy on Amazon

RedGard is a renowned name in the construction industry. The RedGard 3.5 gallon membrane is widely used as a shower pan liner and to prevent water damage in moist rooms. It allows you to build a watertight shower room in your building from the bottom up.

It does not require in treatment before applying on the substrate. This elastomeric solution adheres quickly to the substrate and allows you to install tiles within 30-50 minutes. Consider it a reliable waterproofing solution if you want to finish the bathroom installation or remodeling work faster.

Its outstanding adhesion capacity allows you to prevent cracks transmission in stone or tile floors. Whether there is stainless steel drain, metal drains, PVC, or ABS drains, this material bonds quickly with these materials and prevents water leakage immediately.

Being cost-effective and easy to apply, the RedGard 3.5 gallon membrane is widely used in industrial, residential, and commercial bathroom installation and remodeling projects.

  • This ready-to-use membrane is suitable to apply in both residential and commercial areas.
  • Adheres tightly and quickly and allows you to install tiles at the same day.
  • A reliable membrane to apply on the interior and exterior substrates.
  • Significantly reduces crack transmission in the floor.
  • This membrane is expensive and thick.

Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Waterproofing and Protective Coating

Rubberseal Liquid Rubber Waterproofing and Protective Coating - Roll On WHITE (32 ounces) Buy on Amazon

Offering top-quality liquid rubber protective coating to prevent water damage, the Rubberseal liquid rubber waterproofing is produced to provide a robust seal for all kinds of commercial and residential waterproofing needs.

You can also use this product while installing a roof. It can reflect the heat from the room and it will effectively seal any cracks or coves that occurred during roofing. You can trust this water-based, cold applied, low VOC, and flawless rubber membrane to prevent water leakage in any household or industrial item.

It shows outstanding chemical resistance, elongation, and puncture resistance, and these properties are proven in many tests. This feature-rich emulsion shows incredible bonding strength unlike many other waterproofing membranes for shower.

You can easily install it by a roll or towel. It will immediately create a tough bond with the substrate and seal the target area to prevent water leakage. Therefore, Rubberseal liquid rubber protective coating is widely used to avoid water damage.

  • Offers liquid rubber protective coating to avoid water damage.
  • Insulating properties make it great for roofs.
  • It is an EPA Energy Star Rated product.
  • Superb Elongation and low VOC.
  • It turns into a porous material after drying and then it can catch dirt easily.

Laticrete Hydro Barrier 3.5 Gallon

Laticrete Hydro Barrier (3 1/2 Gallon) Buy on Amazon

The Laticrete Hydro Barrier 3.5 gallon is the first choice of many shower installation experts when they build a tile shower. Many people think waterproofing is enough to stop water vapor, but that’s not true. This protection only prevents water from passing through the sealed surface.

Such protections do not prevent water vapor from passing through substrate and tiles. Therefore, better material is required to perfectly seal the tile shower and prevent water damage to adjacent rooms in the home.

The Laticrete Hydro Barrier 3.5 gallon membrane effectively prevents water and water vapor from leaking through tile grouts. It perfectly seals your tile shower and protects the wall and floor from water damage.

This vapor barrier is an affordable way of sealing the bathroom, steam room, and other moist areas of your home or commercial property. This protection is essential and it works way better than other products designed to prevent water damage.

  • A reliable solution for both interior and exterior use.
  • Great load-bearing and thinner solution to apply behind tiles.
  • You can easily apply it with a roll or brush to form a flexible and seamless anti-fracture membrane.
  • Turns dark blue once fully cured.
  • Sometimes it can be tough to tell the product is dried or not!

Waterproofing Fabric for Shower Walls by JJ Care


Last but not the least, JJ Care Waterproofing Fabric for Shower Walls is outstanding protection against moisture. It is a tough and tear-resistant material, but it is flexible enough to take any shape you want. You can lay it on the floor or apply it on the walls to restrict moisture leakage through the floor or walls.

Installing this waterproofing fabric is pretty easy underneath floor tiles or over the wall before installing tiles. It bonds faster with unmodified thin-set mortar and protects your structure for years.

You might be doubting its waterproofing capabilities because we have listed it at the last in this list, but you can trust this membrane for exceptional performance. JJ Care has used only top-quality materials to build this membrane. It is made tear-proof, fully water and steam resistant, and flexible.

You get easily foldable sheets, which form the great floor and wall connections and seals the entire room to prevent water and water vapor discharge in the substrate. It is a widely chosen membrane for steam rooms because shower installation companies trust JJ Care for providing the highest quality products.

  • It is a thick and durable Waterproofing Fabric for Shower Walls.
  • Measures 3.3 feet by 33 feet and delivered as 108 square feet of a roll.
  • Easy to install over a variety of substrates.
  • Prevents water vapor from discharging into the wall.
  • Not designed to be installed by non-professionals.

What Liquid Waterproofing Membrane for Showers to Choose?

The market is flooded with several liquid-based “paint-on” waterproofing materials. The following guidelines will help you in choosing the best liquid waterproofing membrane for showers.

  • What areas you want to cover?

Of course, you are going to apply the product in the shower area, which remains moist most of the time. Choose a waterproofing membrane that adheres tightly to horizontal, vertical, exterior, and interior substrates tightly.

You should be able to apply it evenly in the half-walls, shelving, benches, niches, floor corners, etc. so that it can seal all the water or water vapor leaking spots.

  • What is the curing time?

All the liquid membranes don’t have the same curing time. Some products take much longer than others. Prefer a product with faster curing time.

You should also be able to notice easily that it is dried so that you can install tiles quickly. All the reviewed products in this post have a minimum curing time.

  • Bonding ability:

The chosen product must bond firmly to the substrate. Ensure it is designed to bond tightly to the type of substrate material you have used otherwise it won’t protect your walls properly. Perfect bonding prevents water and steam from passing through the substrate and damaging the wall.

  • Is it reliable?

Your chosen membrane should have great tensile strength, flexibility, and elongation to prevent water damage for a long time. A poor quality membrane will not offer long-term protection.

We have listed and reviewed only top-rated membranes, which belong to the most reliable brands in the market. Therefore, you can trust our selection to find the best liquid waterproofing membrane for showers.

Best Shower Waterproofing Systems:

Water leakage causes significant damage to the structure. The damaged area becomes damp, moldy, paint starts decaying and causes bad odor. Therefore, the following four types of shower waterproofing systems are used to prevent water damage.

waterproof membrane

Traditional waterproofing:

People have used traditional style showers for many years. This type of showers was made of some kind of metal chicken wire or mud. Lead or copper pan was installed on the floor along with a rubber liner or hot-mop tar.

This technique is still followed to build waterproof shower rooms. However, mud is replaced by a fiber-cement backer board and cement board. The moisture barrier in this type of shower was installed behind the walls. It was either tar paper or 4mil plastic.

This method was not effective to protect horizontal surfaces, corners, and other critical areas. Therefore, it is not a widely practiced method now.

Liquid waterproofing:

It is one of the most popular waterproofing solutions applied nowadays. This method works on any shower configuration. You first build the shower and then paint the liquid membrane over the substrate. It dries and waterproofs the entire walls, shelves, and floor installed in your bathroom.

This method does not deliver pleasing results only when you don’t consider the right mil thickness, cure time, and mud pans cure time, using fabric reinforcement in the corner. It will protect your walls for years if you follow proper technique and use top-quality membrane.

Sheet Membranes:

Bonded sheet membranes have pleased many homeowners with their waterproofing capability. Many companies are competing in the market to deliver the best sheet membranes and prevent water damage.

You can apply sheet membranes and then start installing tiles. There is no need to wait for curing mud pan or applying several coats. Just apply a high-quality sheet membrane and then install tiles. It will prevent water and steam leakage effectively.

Foam Backerboard:

The fourth waterproofing solution applied widely is foam backer board building panel. It works similarly as the bonded waterproofing solution. This board thoroughly reflects moisture and protects the substrates in the wall and floor from potential damage.

Backerboards are much lighter and therefore easy to carry. There is no need to install a cement board because this foam backerboard is completely waterproof. You have to apply a water-resistant sealant between the boards to keep them together.

Any feature-rich banding material will keep the boards together and thus you can prepare a water-resistant membrane behind the tiles to prevent water damage. Although it is a great protection against leaking water and vapor, it is not as effective as a liquid waterproofing membrane for showers.

Waterproofing Shower Walls and Floor:

It can be pretty frustrating to see water seeping through the walls or floor. You must plan about waterproofing shower walls and floor as soon as possible to limit dampness to the shower area. The following guide will help you in this endeavor:

How to waterproof shower walls?

You can try different methods for waterproofing bathroom walls. A 4-6 mil plastic sheet is installed between cement and the studs according to the traditional method. It forms a moisture barrier that resists water penetration in the wall.

Water-resistant membranes are used to form a moisture barrier according to the topical method. You can install this membrane right above the cement backboard or substrate and then install tiles.

You can also use liquid and waterproofing sheet membranes to create a moisture barrier and prevent bathroom walls against water damage. Pick a method that you can conveniently apply for waterproofing bathroom walls.

Waterproofing shower floor:

floor membrane water

Seeping water can easily rot the material behind shower tiles. Structural timber installed behind the walls and below the floor can decay due to leaking moisture. Therefore, waterproofing shower floor is quite important.

First of all, clean the entire floor to remove dust and dirt accumulated there. Get high-quality primer, pour it in the bucket, and start applying it on the floor and up to 20cm on the walls with a roller brush.

Let the primer dry and then fill silicone in the corners and at the joints of the bathroom floor and wall. It will eliminate the chances of leaking moisture through corners and joints. Now, pour waterproofing liquid in a bucket and apply it thoroughly across the floor and at the bottom of the bathroom walls.

Let it dry and then install membranes at the joints and then again apply another coat of waterproofing liquid membrane. Follow this method and the entire bathroom floor will become waterproof.

Now, you know how to waterproof a shower floor before tiling. The process is quite simple and you can do it on your own if you are remodeling the bathroom on your own.

Waterproof Paint for Shower:

The shower area is quite different from other parts of your home. It remains moist most of the time and ordinary budget interior latex won’t protect the wall here. Therefore, you need to apply coats of a shower waterproofing paint to protect walls and prevent water from seeping into the wall.

You should choose a bathroom shower paint designed specifically to survive in moist environments. Ordinary paint cannot prevent mold and mildew buildup in the walls and damage timber walls. That’s why shower installation experts use only waterproof paint for shower walls.

The following are the most widely used paints to protect shower walls:

  • Appliance epoxy paint:

This paint can effectively protect the flawlessly constructed shower walls against water damage. It is extremely durable and its attractive sheen makes it a perfect choice as waterproof paint for shower.

  • Marine paints:

This type of paint shows great protection against water-based wear. A few coatings of marine paints will be sufficient to seal off water seeping pores and prevent mold and mildew buildup.

  • Patented branded paints:

Many paint brands feature their unique solutions for protecting shower walls. Each brand develops a different formula to protect shower walls and make them waterproof. You can do some research and find a durable waterproof paint for shower walls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to waterproof drywall for showers?

First of all, clean the drywall by using a microfiber tack cloth and then apply coatings of waterproof primer on the wall. Use a brush to apply primer on the corners and edges of the wall.

Now, get waterproof paint in a bucket and use a roller brush to paint the drywall. Cover each corner and all the edges perfectly with a brush to ensure water vapor won’t seep through those areas.

What kind of paint do you use in a shower?

You can use latex enamel, oil-based enamel, and paints designed specifically to resist moisture.

How can I waterproof my shower without removing tiles?

First, remove silicone strips and clean the entire floor and tiled walls. Now, fill waterproofing agent in the grouts and corners to seal all the areas from where water or vapor is seeping into the walls. Let it cure and then use the bathroom.

Do I need to waterproof shower walls before tiling?

Yes, you need to waterproof shower walls before tiling. Water can seep into the substrates or structural timber through gapes and corners. Get high-quality waterproofing membrane for shower and apply it before tiling to protect the floor and shower walls.

Do you need to waterproof cement board in the shower?

Yes, you must waterproof the cement board in the shower to prevent the wood studs from water damage. The methods are already explained in this post. Choose a suitable waterproofing membrane, apply it, and then install the cement board to eliminate the chances of water damage.


Almost everyone knows the importance of waterproofing bathroom and shower area. Frequently seeping moisture will damage timber studs or substrates behind the tiles. It can cause mold and mildew buildup in the walls, which will further damage the structure.

We have reviewed the best products available in the market for waterproofing shower. Pick the best waterproofing membrane for shower and apply it before installing tiles to waterproof your bathroom.

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