Liquid vs. Sheet Membrane: Which Is Right for Your Development?

Many homeowners and even property developers mistakenly believe that when working with water-deterring materials like floor tiles, there is no need to install additional waterproofing measures. That, however, is not the case– especially for constantly water-exposed areas like showers, balconies and  pools as well as typically dry but moisture-attracting spaces like basements.

While waterproofing is an essential part of any residential or commercial development, the type of waterproofing methods you utilise are negotiable. The main material used in the process is waterproofing membrane, which is typically composed of liquid or sheet membrane. There are several varieties, but sheet membrane and liquid membrane are especially common.

There are benefits to both of these options, as well as some downsides. But there is not one membrane option that is inherently better than the other. The ideal option really just depends on your building or development needs, personal preferences, time allowance, budget, spaces being waterproofed, and local weather.

We highly recommend that you do some independent research and perhaps call on professional help when determining the best waterproofing membrane for you. However, this comparison of sheet membrane versus liquid membrane can help get you started.

Sheet Membrane: Membranes of this type generally can be applied directly to your substrate

Pros:

  • Uniform thickness: Because sheet membrane comes in ready-to-apply rolls, it guarantees an even thickness across all spaces you use it on.
  • Know exactly how much space it will cover: Sheet membrane has a predetermined coverage allowance, according to how much is included per roll. Given its consistent size/thickness, it is not subject to over or underuse like liquid membrane can be.
  • Highly resilient: Sheet membrane is ideal for high-traffic areas because it holds up well against constant traffic.

Cons:

  • Not made specifically to fit certain areas: Sheet membrane must be cut and pieced together to suit the size of your space.
  • Require special attention to seams: Given the fact that you are combining differently sized sheets, you must carefully seal the seams between each sheet to keep water from penetrating any unsealed area.

Liquid Membrane: Membranes of this type consist of water based, solvent based or cementitous based.

Pros:

  • Easy to install: Because it is liquid-based, this membrane spreads easily. It also does not need to be tediously smoothed out like sheet membrane does.
  • Fits in corners: Given the nature of liquid membrane, it can fit into small spaces like hard to reach corners for a full and even finish.
  • Versatile application options: Liquid membrane can be applied via brush, roll or spray. It’s all up to you!

Cons:

  • Possibility of air bubbles: This is a possibility when incorrect or poor substrate preparation is not carried out.
  • Inconsistency in coverage: Because you are applying liquid membrane yourself, your walls, floors, or ceilings may be subject to human error and therefore uneven layers of membrane.

Now that you know the key differences between sheet membrane and liquid membrane, you may have a better understanding of which one is best for your construction project. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to get a second or third opinion. Additionally, you may want to try both in different parts of your project if one suits one area better and the other suits another area.

Whichever type of membrane you prefer, Construction Coatings is here to provide it for you! We will even offer you a FREE quote on any products you need when you contact us. Call 9870 3137 for more information.

Which type of waterproofing membrane do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

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