There are numerous selections to keep in mind when planning a bathroom project or shower installation and I’ve found one little knicknack that won’t burden your choices in faucet finishes! Tile Top drains (yep, No more plain drains…) have increased in popularity for a custom look and feel to your shower. These drains will allow you to choose any faucet finish or change the faucet finish years later without the worries of replacing the drain grate to match.
This blog shows off one of our shower installations in Hummelstown, PA with a Tile Top drain from Laticrete International. As you can see here, the shower is in the beginning stages where I installed the drain to the existing house plumbing and packed mortar around the flange to level it. I laid some tile in place to show a mock up of what the drain top will look like. How does this thing drain, you ask? There is an opening around the border that will allow the water to channel into the drain body.
When setting a mortar bed over existing concrete, I apply a slurry bond coat (flexible thin set) to the slab. This prevents separation and movement between the two substrates. It’s important that the mud is formed and sloped for proper water drainage.
After the mortar bed cured, I treated the unit with Laticrete HydroBan liquid waterproofing & crack isolation membrane for maximum protection. HydroBan is my go-to waterproofing product for showers and arguably the best on the market! Liquid waterproofing membranes require specific dry times to ensure that the unit will hold water before tiling. A flood test should be performed on every shower before tiling begins. For flood testing, I will make a mark on the wall (1 or 2 inches from the floor), plug the drain and fill the shower base with water (to the mark). This should not be disturbed for at least 24 hours to make sure the water level doesn’t drop.
The upper portion of the drain body is separate which allows me to adjust the drain top so it’s square to the shower floor tile and matching the grout lines (Makes layout a breeze!). Following floor tile installation, I cover the floor to prevent additional mortar from dropping into the grout joints when tiling the walls. A clean job site makes life easier for everyone!
The shower walls are a large format tile that I installed with the Tuscan Leveling System. This tool prevents lipped (uneven) tiles and speeds up installation time. The red gun fastens and removes the straps and caps.
My clients were pleased with the final product! The shower drain is virtually camouflaged into the floor and the drain top can be removed for regular maintenance. The faucets are Moen with a Brushed Nickel finish and can be changed to a different finish at any time. Tile Top drains are also available in Linear versions as well, from manufacturers like Laticrete, Noble Company and My Shower Grate Shop.