Ask Tile Excellence!: SHOWER FLOOR

Ask Tile Excellence!

Tile Installation and Tile Repair DIY and How-To Consumer Help Blog |Tile Excellence. Step-by-step instructional posts from Tile Setter and owner, Chris Lawson, a tile layer for over 30 years, the last 15 years spent serving the towns and cities North of Boston, MA, including the North Shore area, Essex County. Gloucester, Rockport, Hamilton, Manchester, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, Newport, Cambridge, Boston, Ipswich, Georgetown and more.

Showing posts with label SHOWER FLOOR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SHOWER FLOOR. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Copper Shower Pans vs. Rubber Membranes 

shower head
I always want to give my customers and blog followers the best advice on the most economical yet highest quality tile-related installations. I've learned this information from years of hands-on doing of the jobs myself. As you may know from my actual web site I do all my jobs personally and have over 34 years of

In all those years out on the job I have pretty much seen it all. So when I make a recommendation on what's the best way to go, it's because I've weighed 
out the best options for my customers out there on he job. I also do repairs and always have: many in my industry overlook the repairs as not being lucrative enough to warrant their time, so I do get a lot of repairs.

The most costly repair is the leaky walk-in shower panwhich can sometimes be in 

excess of $500. I've done well over 100 of these repairs in my career and only 1 or 2% of these were rubber membrane repairs, while the other 98% were copper pans. In the instances of the rubber membrane repairs it was always improper installation by nails being nailed below the waterline. As we have all heard from the eco criers, it takes hundreds of years for plastic and heavy rubber products to deteriorate in the environment, so it only makes sense that a rubber membrane would almost never be affected by water and would surely last past my lifetime when installed correctly.

The copper pan, on the other hand, is metal and starts the deterioration process

almost immediately when in contact with water. We've all seen a green copper penny, and that green on the copper is just like rust on iron and steel. I have removed so many copper pans that were rusted through (for lack of a better word). I've seen it again and again: tearing out a shower floor and 12 inches up the wall because water was dripping into the living room ruining the ceiling and requiring more costly repairs.

Furthermore, copper pans are very costly even without repairs: most have to be 

custom-made and the plumbing labor is very expensive. The cost is $400 to $800 and even more depending on the layout of the shower floor to be dried in. On the other hand, I install rubber membrane to dry in the shower floor at a total cost of $175 and that includes the concrete in the floor to slope to the drain. I have several contractors who used to use copper who now call me to come out just to dry-in showers for them at a huge savings for a much more reliable and longer-lasting product. Using logic and common sense, it seems obvious that for less money and a longer-lasting, dependable shower floor the rubber membrane is the best call.
I don't supply materials on any of my jobs and don't ever gain monetarily on any of my recommendations: I speak only from experience and the desire for my customers to get the most for their money.
For more answers to all of your tile-related questions, visit my "Ask Chris" blog here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rip out a tub and walk in a shower!

Removing a Tub and installing a walk in shower is not as hard as it sounds. Here in New England 
most old tubs are cast Iron and can be broken up into pieces with a 9 lb sledge and carried right out side and in the truck.

The shower drain doesn't have to have the location moved , just cut it off and add a $12 shower drain for a rubber liner.

Define your shower area with 3  (three) 2 x 4 wood studs nailed on top of each other and screwed into the floor to create the curb.  Rip out the sheetrock or concrete on your walls.

Install your rubber membrane to dry in your shower, 

Install 1/2 inch Hardi Board on all your walls where tile will be installed. Then your ready to lay tile in your new  walk in  shower!

I've added pictures with captions below to walk you through the process . This particular job is in Brookline, Massachusetts, and marble is being used on the walls, there are inset soap boxes and both have marble tile ceilings installed. I don't recommend inexperienced installers to try to install inset soap dishes or lay ceilings  these are difficult undertakings and should be best left to a professional. I wanted to share this job with you for you to envision the process see what it takes and maybe get some ideas for your own  walk in   shower  enjoy  Chris

Cast Iron Bathrub
Cast Iron Bathtub to be Removed for New Walk-In Shower Tile Installation
                                             tub before torn out
Taped off View of Old Tub
Blue Electrical Tape Used to Define New Shower Curb Location
Corner added to curb for shower
30 degree corner added to curb
                                               changed to give 30 degree corner to curb
Flooring Materials for Floors and Walls
Marble Flooring Materials for Floors and Walls
                                          marble to be used for floor and walls
Bathroom Bathtub and Bathroom Walls Torn Out
Bathroom Bathtub and Bathroom Walls Torn Out
                                                       tub and walls torn out
Cast Iron Bathtub
Cast Iron Bathtub
                                          cast iron tub broken into pieces with 9 lb sledge
Rubber Membrane Shower Liner Installed
Rubber Membrane Shower Liner Installed
                                                 rubber liner installed 12 inches up wall
Shower Drain Installed With Rubber Membrane Liner
Shower Drain Installed With Rubber Membrane Liner
                                             drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain Installed With Rubber Membrane Liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                            drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain Installed With Rubber Membrane Liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                                  drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                               drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                                 drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                                            drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                              drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Drain and Rubber Membrane Liner Installed
                                        drain installation with rubber liner
                                            drain installation with rubber liner
Shower Wall Soap Box Insert Prepared by Installing Hardi Board
                                          wall box prepped with Hardi board
Shower Prepped for Tile Installation with Hardi Board (backerboard)
                                                entire shower prepped with Hardi board
Hardi Board Installed Shower Corners Sealed with Silicone II Caulk 
                                         corners sealed with"silicone II" calk
Curb with Hardi Board Top and Front
                                             curb with Hardi board on top[ and front
Hardi Board Installed Ready for Redguard Waterproofing
                                                Hardi board installed ready for "Red guard"
Redguard Waterproofing Applied
                                            Waterproofing applied
Bullnose Tile and Row of Horizontal Marble Tile Installed in Shower
                                       vertical bullnose and first horizontal marble installed
Vertical Bullnose Tile Installed
                                          vertical bullnose installed
Concrete Shower Bed Slant Installed
                                           concrete bed for slant to drain installed
Marble Shower Insert Wall Boxes with Hexagon Pattern
                                               wall boxes with hex marble in back
Shower Wall Before Tile Installed
                                          walls going up
Progress on Marble Tile Shower Installation
                                          more progress on walls
Marble Shower Wall Boxes Prior to Bullnose Tile Installed
                                            wall boxes without bullnose yet
Angled Walls of Shower
                                            ceiling meets angled walls with cuts yet to go in
Ceiling Bullnose Marble Tile
                                           ceiling bullnose where ceiling marble ends
Shower Wall Box Inserts Prior to Bullnose Tile Installation
                                          side view of wall boxes without bullnose
Finished Marble Tile Shower Walls Installation
                                            finished marble walls
Finished Marble Tile Shower Walls Installation
                                              another finished view
Finished Marble Tile Shower Ceiling Installed
                                            finished ceiling
Finished Marble Shower Wall Boxes
                                         finished wall boxes
Finished Installation of Marble Shower Floor with Hexagon Pattern 
                                           installed hexagon marble  shower floor

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I came across your responses to questions re: waterproofing and I appreciate your response as I am about to do a demo of a walk in shower. I will be taking it down to the studs as I am sure it has regular sheet rock and not hardieback as mold keeps coming through the grout. it is tiles floor, ceiling and walls.

My question is: I am removing all walls and tile and installing hardiebacker. I will be scraping tiles off the floor/pan and assume it is a poured concrete pad as the shower is a customer size - pretty long. After I scrape the tiles off the floor/pan and before I reinstall new tiles, will I have to do anything to that pan such as re-waterproof or perhaps even do a whole new pan? If I do, I will probably have to hire a professional as I am not confident that I can pour a new floor/pan. And I am afraid once I start demo, if I have to have a new pan installed, I will be waiting to find a professional to do it and that puts the shower out of commission for a long time. What are your thoughts and/or suggestions? Nothing has been started at this point.

if you remove the tiles from the concrete pan carefully without cracking or gouging chunks of the concrete there is no reason you cant install new tile on it without removing it. If its a little rough or some thin set is left on the concrete you can just skim coat it smooth with thin set then let it dry a day  before you install new tile. There is no reason to remove the concrete and redo the pan if it is not leaking. Another options is to install your new tile on top of the existing tile floor just treat the existing tile with concrete bonding additive so the thin set will adhere good to the old tile lay your new  tile on top of the old tile . As for your drain  remove the drain grate screws and drain grate lay your tile so as the drain grate will sit flat on top of new tile(tile is laid just 1/4  inch inside of drain edge leaving screw holes clear to reinstall grate screws) get longer drain grate screws and screw grate flat on top of dry grouted finished tile.