Cavity sliding door systems compliance issues in wet areas

21 March 2019

QBCC Inspectors performing audits of building work under construction have observed a trend over recent times where builders are increasingly utilising cavity sliding door systems in wet area locations that are intended to have wall tiles affixed.

IncorrectCorrect
Cavity slider prepared to have wall tiles directly applied Cavity slider with stud wall installed in front to receive wall tiles 

Cavity slider prepared to have wall tiles directly applied.

Cavity slider with stud wall installed in front to receive wall tiles.

Builders and trade contractors should be aware that many of our leading manufacturers who produce cavity sliding door systems do not recommend that their products be utilised in the above manner as their product’s framing system may not have been tested or designed to support the additional loads placed upon them by wall tiles.

In short, the timber or steel framing utilised in our traditional cavity sliding door units do not meet the requirements of AS1684 “Timber Framing Code”, AS 3958.1 “Guide to the installation of ceramic tiles” or provide an acceptable framing layout to meet the fixing requirements of wet area sheeting manufacturers, hence a non-compliant installation has been provided.

Going forward

To avoid the above issues, many building contractors have ensured the compliance of their work by constructing an additional stud wall in front of the cavity sliding door unit to allow for proper fixing of sheet lining materials and to provide a rigid and robust substrate which will not easily deflect and damage wall tiles or waterproofing membranes.

Understandably many builders and building designers may be reluctant to sacrifice valuable floor space within a wet area to install an additional stud wall as mentioned above, however if the QBCC observes non-compliant building works practitioners will be required to bring such works into conformity.

Anyone contemplating the installation of a cavity sliding door system in a tiled wet area should consult the door and wall lining system manufacturer as well as your Building Certifier to ensure that the proposed installation meets all regulatory requirements.

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Information supplied by Gary Stick, Manager, QBCC Technical Standards Unit

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