Instead of asking for a Lower Price… Request a Flood Test for your Tile Shower

There’s plenty of homeowners that are interested in how “cheap” they can get a new tiled shower for…  This does play a few factors on the overall mentality but the words “cheap” and “tile shower” should absolutely NOT be used in the same sentence (oops, but I just did that…)

Why do you think Tile Showers should be cheap (dang it, did it again) anyway?  I’m not exactly sure but I’ll just go ahead and list out some reasonable scenarios on the matter.

  • One day bath outfits or large corporations flood the market with pricing, free installation memes and advertising on quick jobs.
  • Box Stores promote $4.00 per square foot installation.
  • Local flooring outlets promote the same as Box Stores…
  • You may have received a quote from an illegal and unregistered contractor on a McDonald’s napkin.  :mrgreen: (…it actually happens)
  • That same illegal, unregistered and inexperienced contractor knows nothing about waterproofing or any aspect of building a shower…
  • You may have a failed shower and want to fix it cheap because you already spent a boat load the first time.

Confused Yet?

Good!  Now we’re going to talk about cars for a minute – If you were going to purchase a brand new car… would you accept the one you want when the dealership openly says, “…the brakes were not tested…”, and offer a lower price?  Think about that and get back to me.

Just to touch on waterproofing which I’ve done a million times over, it must be there.  The shower area needs to be protected underneath the tile so moisture and water does not attack your structure, framing etc…  There’s plenty of waterproofing materials on the market and a smart contractor should be aware of all of them.  Every contractor that uses them, may only use one brand or a combination of many.  There’s plenty of different situations so the use of a fabric and liquid membrane may be the best approach.  It’s all a matter of how experienced a tile contractor is with using the products.

After your shower is waterproofed, you’d like to know if that waterproofing works, right? (Now go back and re-read my comment about the car brakes)  Well of course the manufacturer says it works but it’s of best practice for the technician to test it out so there are no lost efforts or issues down the road.

Sounds like a huge deal but not really.  Here is how you do it:

  • Get a rubber test ball for plumbing lines.
  • Get an air pump, compressor, bike tire pump or whatever pumps air into something.
  • Put test ball down the drain.
  • Pump air into test ball to close off the line in the shower.
  • Draw line on shower wall or curb and fill with water to the line.
  • Let sit for 24 hours.
  • Make sure water level doesn’t drop.

A prepared tile shower with waterproofing during the flood testing phase of the project.When it’s determined that the shower pan holds water, work can commence and tile can be installed with no fear of leakage.  It’s a simple process but it does tack on to the project.

A decent sized flooding period is 24 hours – townships that do call for this look for at least 2 hours but if you want things to be overkill, it can sit for a few days, as well.  At some point, letting it sit too long can bring on evaporation of water which would bring false readings but it’s mainly just a common sense practice that homeowners should be aware of.

Just some things to think about that will save you both money and stress in the future because the whole benefit of a Home Improvement is to actually improve your home.