Top 5 RedGard Alternatives (Definitive Guide)

RedGard is undeniably one of the best liquid waterproofing membranes on the market. It is a rapidly drying elastomeric membrane that creates a waterproof surface while preventing cracks on tiles. RedGard is so powerful that it can be used on both interior and exterior floors.

However, there are many alternatives to RedGard that are worth considering. Sometimes you may visit a local store and not find RedGard on the shelves.

Or, you may want to try out another liquid waterproofing membrane that is cheaper or has more advanced features. Irrespective of what your reasons are, below I have researched and listed the best RedGard alternatives.


Top 5 RedGard Alternatives

1. Mapei AquaDefense

Performance-wise, Mapei AquaDefense is on the same level as RedGard. However, it boasts certain features that are better than those of RedGard.

For instance, Mapei dries within 30 to 50 minutes. RedGard on the other hand dries after 1.5 hours. Therefore, if you are interested in a rapid-drying waterproofing membrane, Mapei AquaDefense is your best option.

Besides that, Mapei AquaDefense is more flexible than RedGard. Therefore, if you have a floor that experiences hydrostatic pressure, Mapei would be a much better waterproofing membrane.

Mapei AquaDefense can be used on a wide range of surfaces ranging from floors to ceilings. One of the features of AquaDefense that I find impressive is how it’s able to withstand heat. Due to this feature, it can be used in saunas and steam rooms.

Just like RedGard, Mapei AquaDefense is sold when it’s ready to use. It can be applied via a roller brush or sprayed onto a surface. it is a recommended tile substrate. You also need around two coats of AquaDefense to create an impermeable barrier.

Even though Mapei AquaDefense performs the same as RedGard, I find the latter to be more resistant to moisture.

If you find yourself stuck between Mapei AquaDefense and RedGard, follow the pro tip below. Use RedGard on balconies and pathways where there is heavy exposure to moisture.

As for Mapei AquaDefense, it is more useful in humid and hot places like saunas, steam rooms, showers, and kitchens.

2. Laticrete Hydro Ban

The second best RedGard alternative is the Laticrete Hydro Ban. This is also a liquid waterproofing membrane that can be used to form a seamless, flexible rubber coating over a surface.

Laticrete Hydro Ban has a lot of similar features to RedGard. For example, both have a drying time of around 1.5 to 2 hours. They both prevent the cracking of tiles and prevent water from seeping through a floor.

Hydro Ban, however, has some features that also give it a competitive edge over RedGard. I love how it dries into a self-curing waterproof membrane. That means it’s pretty durable and will waterproof your floors for a long time.

It is super easy to apply and is sold ready to use. Hydro Ban is formulated to change color from light sage to green when it cures. You can, therefore, easily judge whether it’s cured or not.

Laticrete recommends the floor be flooded after 24 hours. if you do it prematurely, there is a good chance of damaging the membrane.

Another impressive feature of Hydro Ban that I heavily appreciate is how it can be used on a wide range of surfaces. You can use it in swimming pools, showers, bathrooms, hot tubs, kitchens, and balconies.

It has lots of positive reviews online and you can install tile directly over it. It’s also worth mentioning that Hydro Ban comes with anti-microbial technology.

This is something that you can’t get from RedGard and plenty of other liquid waterproofing membranes.

Some of the suitable substrates of Hydro Ban include cement, concrete, stone, tile, gypsum board, plaster, mortar bed, and plywood.

3. ARDEX 8+9

ARDEX 8+9 isn’t your typical waterproofing membrane. It is a two-component cement-based membrane. ARDEX 8+9 contains an acrylic-based liquid compound and hydraulic cement-based powder.

Unlike RedGard, it doesn’t come ready to use. You will need to mix liquid ARDEX 8 with ARDEX 9 powder. That’s why it’s called ARDEX 8+9.

This waterproof membrane is quite different from RedGard. Therefore, you may be wondering why it is on this list of alternatives. First of all, ARDEX 8+9 has lots of positive reviews online from professional contractors and DIY enthusiasts.

Once it cures, ARDEX 8+9 creates a durable and flexible waterproof membrane. It bonds well to a wide range of substrates and it’s certified as a shower pan. That only proves how powerful its waterproofing capabilities are.

Some of the differences between RedGard and ARDEX 8+9 are that the latter can be tiled in less than 90 minutes and you can flood test it within 4 hours.

ARDEX 8+9 has a shorter rapid setting time than RedGard, Hydro Ban, and Mapei AquaDefense. This is one of the main things I like about this liquid waterproofing membrane.

Unlike RedGard which is available on a ready-to-use formula, ARDEX 8+9 has to be mixed and prepared. But the good news is that it’s super easy to apply. You only need to use a roller brush.

ARDEX 8+9 can be used both on the interior and exterior. You can use it on floors, walls, swimming pools, showers, bathrooms, and kitchens.

4. USG Durock Waterproofing Membrane

In case you walk into a local store and they don’t have RedGard in stock, you can use USG Durock waterproofing membrane as an alternative.

If you are familiar with USG, then you can testify that their products are of high quality. Well, this waterproofing membrane is no exception.

USG Durock waterproofing membrane is highly effective at preventing moisture from passing through a floor. You don’t need a vapor retarder if you are going to paint USG Durock on your walls and floor. It is an acrylic-based polymer membrane that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

As a RedGard alternative, USG Durock has a fast-drying time of around 2 hours. It offers anti-fracture protection of up to 1/8 inches.

USG Durock waterproofing membrane can also be used in hot and humid areas such as saunas. It has lots of positive reviews on Amazon and many people praise how effective it is at waterproofing and not having a strong odor as is the case with most membranes.

5. Kerdi Waterproofing Membrane

The above four RedGard alternatives are all liquid membranes. Kerdi is slightly different. It is a pliable sheet. Unlike RedGard which is painted, Kerdi is attached to floors using a thinset.

Even though one is a liquid and the other is a pliable sheet, both do an excellent job of keeping water away from your floor. And Kerdi waterproof membrane is recognized internationally as one of the best waterproofing products. That’s why it is on our list.

Kerdi can be used on plenty of different surfaces such as showers, bathtubs, and steam showers. Like RedGard, it is an ideal tile underlayment.

This polyethylene waterproofing membrane is ideal for preventing mold growth and development. The fact that it’s a mat guarantees uniform thickness. Kerdi comes in rolls of sheets which makes installation relatively easy and quick.

One of the reasons Kerdi waterproofing membrane is a suitable RedGard alternative is that it’s widely available in plenty of outlets.

In case you are unable to get your hands on RedGard, you can easily get Schluter’s Kerdi. The other thing is that Kerdi is pretty durable and it can outlast RedGard when it comes to providing waterproofing solutions.

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