Many questions arise from clients with the cost involved in building a tile shower so we’d like to cover some of this key information with you! As there are many different methods to construct a shower depending on different areas, building requirements or layout we will cover the basics with applying a topical waterproofing product.
Tile and grout are not waterproof so your shower must be designed so that when moisture penetrates the surface, the water will drain to the weep holes in the drain assembly or dissipate between the tile and waterproofing membrane. Waterproofing membranes add the extra bonus of blocking the moisture and water from absorbing through the cement boards and mortar beds.
Here’s some of our top choices for your shower
Laticrete HydroBan – A liquid waterproofing membrane that can be applied with a paint brush, paint roller or trowel. HydroBan is applied with 2 to 3 coats and dries to a thick rubber consistency.
Noble Seal TS or Dal Seal TS – A fabric sheet membrane that is applied to walls and floors with a thin set mortar or specially designed glue made by Noble Company. Sheets are seamed together using a caulk type adhesive to create a watertight bond.
Schluter Kerdi – A fabric sheet membrane that is applied to walls and shower floors with a thin set mortar. Schluter also has Kerdi Board which is a lightweight waterproof panel installed to the studs and the seams are to have Kerdi fabric applied to those areas for watertight applications.
These three companies also manufacture tile ready shower kits, niches & benches and different styles of shower drains to choose from, as well as, many other tiling products.
The tile drain should be installed and mortar bed constructed to industry standards with proper slope towards the drain. After the walls are prepared with a cement backer board, niches & seats built and the shower bed is cured is when the waterproofing products are applied to the shower unit. Prior to tiling your shower a flood test should be performed to ensure that the unit will hold water and not leak through to the house structure causing damage, mold and mildew. After flood testing is executed, the shower unit may be tiled and grouted!
A properly built shower should be able to function without grout and all this talk about waterproofing products is something that you should keep in mind when discussing and planning a tile shower project with your local Tile Professional!