The simple answer is YES
The reason why is also simple ..... as a homeowner you expect work done to your asset to be durable and protected from damage from water.
Part of the building code (E3) looks at internal moisture and when tiling in bathroom areas that are wthin a water zone, either the shower, vanity or bath will need to be protected with a waterproof membrane.
This membrane to be guarenteed by the manufacturer should be applied by an accredited applicator - dont rush down to the local tile/hardware shop and think this is DIY job
The councils involvement under the building act is to check for information that confirms how and where the waterproof membrane will be applied and how penetrations, such as your shower mixer, glass screen and floor waste will be sealed. They also visit the site during work to confirm that what's been documented has been done.
Yes it can be frustrating to go through the red tape but speaking from personal experience of having purchased a home with two tiled showers that both then leaked after living in the house for 5 years I can assure you that the disapointment of having to rectify someone elses mistake was both costly and avoidable if the initial job had been done correctly. Fixing a waterproof membrane once it has been tiled over requires everything, yes e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g (tiles, gib) to be removed and the job is to be completely redone - OUCH.
If you already have a tiled shower and want to renovate whereby you will replace that shower with another tiled shower you still need consent. The new waterproof membrane requires council inspections - this is not expempt work if you are replacing like for like.
When you are looking to buy a home that has been renovated since construction this is something that you would like to see on the property file to give you peace of mind that the work has a code of compliance certificate for the tiled shower otherwise you might find in years to come that water is in places you dont want it.
If you have an upcoming bathroom renovation we can both design the room which includes choosing fittings and process the consent application
Posted: Fri 05 Feb 2016