Job Profile-Installing Tile Deck Waterproofing and Underlayment Using Mer-Ko ARC On A Santa Barbara Home

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Barton Construction of Santa Barbara (805-451-9982) was contracted to repair a leaky tile deck on a home just 11 years old. Rot had penetrated down into living space below and major repairs needed to be done.

Brett Barton was looking for a solution, not just a low price on a job that had two attorneys as owners living in it. One who works in construction defect law. So his problem was to find the right company. Brett had been reading Journal of Light Construction, where he read about Central Coast waterproofing installing Desert Crete on some decks. He liked what he read and saw and called us to ask if we’d work in Santa Barbara.

This wasn’t a big deck but it is over living space, so mistakes couldn’t be made. We decided on Mer-Kote Tile deck waterproofing and a mortar bed for the new tile, as a dual membrane system, with waterproofing on the substrate as well as on top of the underlayment. ARC from Mer-Kote was used with their standard under layment system, poured against expansion strips to allow the slab to expand and contract. Fabric reinforced ARC waterproofing is ICC approved as a waterproof membrane for tile decks, one of a few that is.

We installed a Tile deck drain from Thunderbird Products, it allows surface water to drain as well as subsurface water that may make it past the barriers to the floor, where waterproofing will help direct it to the weep holes of the drain. An overflow in the corner above our Thunderbird will allow a secondary drainage method if leaves clog our floor drain up. This is a code, so make sure you have an overflow on parapet walled decks or you risk making your sliding door the overflow.

After the Thunderbirds were in, we flashed the deck with 6×4″ galvanized sheet metal, and then using Mer-Kote burlap and primer, reinforced the sheet metal with burlap, then applied ARC waterproofing to the vertical rise and out to the floor. Then the ARC was installed over the substrate with a polyester reinforcing. Now the deck is waterproofed in like a tub.

We then set in lath to reinforce our underlayment system. The lath is laid in loosely, and a mortar bed 3/4″ thick was poured out on the deck. After curing for several days over the weekend, on Monday we returned to finish the deck. We installed pea gravel around the drain for subsurface water to drain through, covered the gravel/drain area with cement and then after that dried, put down another coat of ARC reinforced membrane on top of the mortar bed.

Now the deck is completed and ready for tiling directly over with thinset and grout. The stucco will be kept 1″ or more above the finished tiled surface and these owners will have a great tile deck well protected from moisture intrusion by a bonafide waterproofing/tile deck system from Mer-Kote and Central Coast Waterproofing.

Our methods cost more than other unapproved methods. But when it comes to performance, Mer-Kote can’t be beat. Proven, time tested recipes that are Tile Council of North America verified.

When your next deck project entails using a tile finish, we invite you to experience the quality and professionalism offerred by Central Coast Waterproofing and it’s team of experienced installers.

Call Bill Leys at 805-545-8300 for a free consultation.