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The layout of a damp room requires the use of suitable materials to choose the partition. Find the right products, their advantages and disadvantages, implementation...

Closing a bathroom: what materials

partition in a bathroom

In nine as in renovation, the partitioning of rooms must meet certain technical constraints.
If thermal and acoustic comfort prevails in a dwelling, bathroom and kitchen are subject to an additional requirement.
In these rooms, partitions and bulkheads must above all withstand high humidity.

Ask yourself the right questions to choose your wall

If the choice of material is wide enough, it is divided into two categories because of their different technical characteristics (weight, cost, ease of installation...). On one side the "dry" partitions that are mounted on a frame, and on the other "wet" partitions that require the use of mortar or glue.
The use of a material of one or the other category is dictated by the technical constraints of the room (surface, structure of the floor, location of toilets, passage of networks of water and electricity... ).

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Choosing your plasterboard

Very widely used by DIYers to mount a drywall, plasterboard adapts to all needs (phonic, flame retardant, water repellent) and is easily installed by screwing on a metal frame.
Among its many advantages, we note its ease of cutting (with a simple cutter), its flatness, the simplicity of integration of technical networks and the possibility of inserting a thermal and / or acoustic insulation.
Despite these advantages, plasterboard remains a fragile product. For example, it does not support a weight greater than 30 kg. In addition, the joining of the plates requires a treatment with joint and coated strips which requires a certain know-how to obtain an impeccable finish. A detail whose importance is less if the final coating is a tile.

The "dry" partitions

Failing to choose a product dedicated to wet rooms, it is possible to opt for "all-in-one" products that adapt to all configurations. This is the case with "gypsum-cellulose" plates consisting of plaster and cellulose fibers, and "cement" plates with a lightened cement core with fiberglass mesh (or glass mat). Both are very resistant to moisture and shocks.
In addition, their composition can withstand heavy loads (up to 50 kg), such as a washbasin or suspended washbasin. Side implementation, despite a weight of about 13 kg / m² (against about 10 kg / m² for a plasterboard), they are simply installed by screwing and edge to edge. Here, no plaster, grouting is provided by a bead of glue carefully placed on the edge of the plate.

The solution for "wet" partitions

The wet rooms do not display large areas (on average, 5 m² for a bathroom and 10 m² for a kitchen) and are often contiguous to one or more peripheral walls to benefit from an opening to the outside synonymous with light and natural ventilation.
In the category of so-called wet partitions, there is a wide variety of solid or hollow materials: plasterboard, cellular concrete blocks, clay bricks, concrete blocks, etc.
Unlike drywall, the implementation of these products comes down to spoiling a mortar or a special glue.
On the other hand, not all references are resistant to moisture. In particular plaster tiles! It is therefore imperative to choose a waterproof product, easy to recognize its color (blue green). Its format (66 x 50 x 5 to 10 cm) allows a fast execution, to make pale the plaquistes.
Same type of advantage for the cellular concrete blocks that are an interesting solution. Offered in several sizes (from 60 x 25 to 60 x 60 cm in 5, 7 or 10 cm thick), they combine lightness and ease of processing.
Rest traditional materials such as terracotta or concrete blocks. So few do-it-yourselfers use them to make partitions, these products reveal some significant features and should not be put aside. If only for their natural insensitivity to moisture, their mechanical strength and their insulating capacity.
In addition, they are available in a wide variety of thicknesses (from 5 cm) for formats as generous as plaster tiles (20 x 40 or 50 cm, 25 x 38 cm, etc.). However, for all of these solutions, three drawbacks remain: they must be coated on their entire surface, slits must be made to pass the electrical ducts in case of recessed installation, but especially they must be implemented on floors able to support their weight in case of installation in floor or in the attic.

Do not neglect the finishing of a partition

Whatever the type of material constituting a partition or a bulkhead, the finish must be neat to ensure the durability of the structure.
Plasterboard, for example, is vulnerable if its jointing is not done with a waterproof coating. Otherwise, the water infiltrates and deteriorates the facing, but also the insulation and the electrical network.
Even with the consequences for products that require full coating, a standard product is likely to deteriorate prematurely. As for painting, it is obviously necessary to apply a special wet room solution. If the choice is tiled, it is imperative to use an adhesive mortar and waterproofing mortar to eliminate any risk of infiltration.

Seal to fight against moisture

Fight against any damage due to moisture in a bathroom does not stop at the partitioning.
Sanitary appliances such as the shower or the bathtub must imperatively be waterproof. In order to make it easier for you, it is now very easy to create a shower, a bathtub surround, a vanity, storage, etc., with panels that are said to be ready to tile, but also ready to coat.. Generally composed of a polystyrene core coated with a special mortar reinforced with glass fibers, they are available in straight panels, receivers, bendable panels, etc. Available with all mounting accessories (tapes, glue, screws, profiles, etc.), these systems have no difficulty in implementation.
• In renovation, however, it must adapt to the existing which sometimes makes it impossible to use these systems ready to tiled. This does not dispense with the sealing of the vertical walls and floors of showers and bathtubs. The most common solution is the application of a waterproofing membrane intended to receive a tile. Generally laid with tile adhesive mortar, it is applied by covering the strips. A technique that eliminates any risk of leakage.
Alternatively, liquid sealing systems (SELs), which after drying, form a tight, adherent, flexible and crack-resistant membrane. Compatible with all types of substrates (concrete, plaster, plasterboard, plasterboard, etc.), they are applied according to the manufacturer's instructions on a primer or not.

Certification of partitioning materials

The materials used must comply with the standards in force and meet certain requirements (here, the resistance to moisture). The NF Mark is issued by independent bodies (read our survey, System D No. 824, September 2014). It is particularly visible on plasterboard, cellular concrete blocks, clay bricks and concrete blocks. It is also necessary to ensure the qualities of a product by consulting the technical notice (TA) or the technical application document (DTA). Delivered by the CSTB (Scientific and Technical Center of the Building), they "certify" the aptitude for the use of a product (to consult on

The opinion of the expert *

"To get rid of moisture, everyone is free to choose the material that suits them, but we must always keep in mind that its durability is directly related to its composition and the quality of the implementation. more, depending on the needs, it will be necessary to take into account the presence of suspended furniture. "

* Pierre Besse, Regional Sales Manager, Bio'Bric / Bouyer Leroux

Advantages and disadvantages of plates

cutting a cement slab

Waterproof plasterboard

Composed of a water-repellent plaster core and two green cardboard facings, these plates, 13 mm thick as standard, come in many sizes: 250 x 120 or 60 cm, 280 or 300 x 120 cm but also in 125 x 90 cm. They are cut with a cutter or saw and rest on frame.
Advantages: easy to cut, easy to install, switch networks inside the partition, affordable price.
disadvantages: fragility, need for insulation and grouting, limited load resistance.
Weight: about 10 kg / m2.
Price: 5 to 6 € / m2 (excluding framing and thermal insulation).

Gypsum-cellulose plates

Their manufacture is obtained by a mixture of paper fibers and gypsum. In 10 or 12.5 mm thick, they are available in the format 250 x 60 or 120 cm, but also in 150 x 100 cm. They adapt to all configurations. To ask on frame.
Advantages: resistance to shocks and loads, passage of networks inside the partition, laying edge to edge, no coating.
disadvantages: heavy, cut with power tools, special screws, sealant treatment with specific sealant.
Weight: about 15 kg / m2.
Price: 7 to 9 € / m2 (excluding framing and thermal insulation).

Cement plates

(PHOTO) - Based on light aggregates bonded to cement and armed on both sides, they are 120 cm wide and 100 to 300 cm long. Light, they are easy to handle.
Advantages: resistance to shocks and loads, passage of networks inside the partition, laying edge to edge, no coating.
disadvantages: prices, cuttings with power tools, emanation of dust during cutting, special screws, treatment of joints by mastic specified, difficult to find in GSB.
Weight: about 12 kg / m2.
Price: about 20 € / m2 (excluding framing and thermal insulation).


Made from water-repellent plaster, they come in 5, 7 or 10 cm thick in 66 x 50 cm format. They are assembled by tongue and groove previously glued with a special glue. Simple to cut with a handsaw, the assembly of a partition is fast. They can also be used for the realization of a piece of furniture, a wall of shower, etc.
Advantages: price, practical size, gluing, tongue and groove assembly, ready to paint.
disadvantages: weight, plumb with the difficult partition on old floors, creation of grooves to embed the electrical networks.
Weight: from 50 to 70 kg / m2
Price: starting from 13 € / m2.

Cellular concrete blocks

Most often proposed in 5, 7 or 10 cm of thickness in the format 60 x 25 cm, it is also declined in tiles of 60 x 60 cm. The assembly is done by tongue and groove to be glued with dedicated glue. They require extensive fi nishing work in the case of painted walls. They are suitable for making furniture.
Advantages: low weight, easy to install, cost.
disadvantages: fragile when handling, essential coating (painted walls), plumb with the diffi cult wall on old floors, creation of grooves to embed the electrical networks.
Weight: from 39 kg / m2
Price: starting from 10 € / m2.

Terracotta bricks

More difficult to achieve, terracotta brick walls are completely insensitive to moisture. For a good thermal and acoustic comfort, it is necessary to opt for products with double cell or which integrate an insulator. They are available in sizes from 40 x 20 to 66 x 50 cm and from 3.5 to 10 cm thick.
Advantages: wide variety of dimensions, solid, very resistant to moisture.
disadvantages: masonry laying, essential coating (painted walls), difficult plastering on old floors, creation of grooves obligatory for embedding networks, weak insulation.
Weight: from 30 kg / m2
Price: 9 to 12 € / m2.

Concrete blocks

Slightly used, concrete blocks 5 cm thick and 50 x 20 cm thick are highly resistant to moisture and offer very good sound insulation. They can withstand heavy loads.
Advantages: sound insulation, insensitivity to moisture.
disadvantages: weight, masonry laying, coating required in case of painted walls, obtaining a perfect perfect plumb on old floors, creation of bleeding mandatory for built-in electrical networks.
Weight: from 70 kg / m2
Price: 6 to 8 € / m2.

partition with a waterproof plasterboard

In the new or renovated, the waterproof plasterboard can be implemented in partition, against wall and shower wall. If installation is easy, special care should be taken when applying the grout to prevent seepage.

partition with polystyrene panels

The newest of waterproof materials, polystyrene panels are used to double the vertical walls as well as to create a shower tray, a vanity unit, a bathtub apron...

partition with polystyrene panels

... their reinforced mortar surface is an ideal support not only for the tiles but also for a decorative plaster and any other material to be glued (compatible with a wet room application).

partition with water-resistant plasterboard

Water-resistant plasterboard partition and plasterboard furniture: an economical solution for creating a bathroom that is resistant to humidity.

grout a terracotta partition

Too little used, the partitioning system using clay materials remains one of the best ways to overcome the pathologies related to moisture... because naturally resistant! Thin joint installation greatly simplifies their implementation.

partition with cellular concrete

The placement of a cellular concrete partition uses traditional masonry techniques. Laying cross joints, plumb, making bleeding for networks, everything is there. Undeniable advantage: its durability...

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