I recently had the pleasure of hooking up with Richard from Noble Company to pilot one of their new products that’s creating a buzz in the tile world. In a great attempt (and successful) Noble Company released a new sheet membrane called Value Seal which is very similar to their Noble Seal TS sheet membrane. This product, however, is a little more lightweight and easier to work with within the confines of a tiled shower… All these corners and creases add up so it’s great to have a well versed product that will fold and adhere to inside corners for watertight transitions without the build up! This product was used on a tile shower in Harrisburg, Pa and I actually did a complete Noble shower with their Thin Bed Clamp Drain, Preformed Niche and other various sealants and glues.
One thing that I really like is the membrane is 6′ in height so you can directly sweep your membrane across all three shower walls with creased corners and be at a legitimate height for waterproofing specifications. On this project (since it was a full bathroom) I was back and forth with other tasks like setting the drain, installing the niche and various electrical items that needed to be done so I took a different approach that allowed me to use a few different applications with setting materials. The fixture wall and opposite fixture wall membrane was set first and I used Noble Bond EXT which is literally the stickiest glue in America… All went well with applying it over the cement board and after drying it became a complete fixture to the wall.
After installing the Niche on the back wall of the shower I used a latex modified thin set mortar to apply the membrane to the wall and results are the same. Keep in mind that thin set is generally a cheaper option when compared to the Noble Bond EXT, however, both are bulletproof applications. Using thin set has to be quicker work though. I notch the full wall to begin, then do my beads of Noble Sealant 150 around the Niche seam area… before embedding the membrane, I do a quick scratch over all the mortar just to ensure none of it has skimmed over. On this one, I set the full sheet to the wall and embed it with a wood float and make sure the sealant at the niche area is completely set. Then I can carefully cut the hole out where the membrane covers the niche openings and re-press it in for the final seal.
When I do overlaps and seams, I prefer to have a little more material hang over so it’s easier to pull back while applying mortar. Most tile guys do a 2″ or 3″ overlap but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with 6″ or 8″. With this product, you can hold the membrane back to apply mortar and then your bead of seaming sealant. The Value Seal really holds a nice seam in the corners without lifting out or bubbling and the material is still rigid enough that your not weakening the product or cutting into it when crunching it into the corner joint with a wood float or trowel.
Preparing the cutouts and folds for a one piece shower floor is pretty easy too and you can take a look at the process on a previous article that I wrote on the Noble Thin Bed Shower Drain to get a good idea of how well the Value Seal Membrane ties into the Noble drains. Overall it’s a great product, user friendly and makes for a quicker installation which can be key in many situations during a bathroom remodeling project.