View Full Version : custom shower
08-23-2011, 08:31 PM
What is the best base for longevity (no leaks in tiled shower; kerdi; hot mop; or mortar and liner?
08-23-2011, 08:40 PM
Any of them, if done right. If you take into account other factors, my preference is for a surface applied membrane, Kerdi is one that I've used. My personal feeling is that it is best to put true waterproofing as close to the tiled surface as you can. In this manner, there's very little that can either get wet, or if it does, it dries out faster. Both the hot mp and traditional mortar bed with liner have a thick layer that can get damp. Now, if they're done right, it shouldn't accumulate, but, putting that waterproofing embedded in there with lots of additional layers and work on top of it makes it potentially prone to damage during the subsequent steps. With something like Kerdi, you can actually finish the walls most of the way to the floor before you even install the shower pan.
08-24-2011, 06:42 AM
For longevity you need to built the shower properly.
Hot Mop systems are one of the best methods of waterproofing out there but like a linear need a pre-sloped base before starting. The key for the Hot Mop and Linear are the pre-sloping process and insuring the weep holes are not plugged when doing the secondary cement layer.
Kerdi is a good system if you like working with non-modified thinset - personally I, like most tile setters prefer modified thin-sets so I work with Nobel Companies Nobel TS. The flexiblity in setting material choices make it a superior product in my opinion.
If you want to build a proper shower this involves flood testing your work. If you follow Jim's advice you may find your local building inspector asking you questions about the backer board used. Many inspectors inspect not only the shower pan (under flood test) but also the walls.
I do a lot of custom showers and on average construct 4-6 per month. At least half we do with liquid waterproofing products.
The process, the structure and the testing will make for a solid install. Not the product. When it comes to that let the tile selection dictate what you use. You don't want to be using something like Kerdi if you need modified thin-sets - getting approval for this is a PITA.
08-25-2011, 01:46 PM
I checked out the Nobel website and liked what I saw, especially the linear drain. My shower will be 3' wide by 5' with a drop in tub at the end (L-shaped not linear). Are there issues with linear drains?
08-25-2011, 02:17 PM
A linear drain is bigger, thus, if you aren't careful when installing, there's more places it could leak. But, if you are careful and follow the instructions carefully, they should be as reliable as a conventional drain. And, they open up other choices for floor tile (i.e., the possibility of larger tile that wouldn't fit on a concave base). Keep in mind that smaller tile, generally, are a safer option, regardless, since there are more grout joints - this gives you more potential grip while standing there. SOme tile are VERY slippery, and you should choose carefully for any that you want in a wet floor area.
08-25-2011, 09:13 PM
...Are there issues with linear drains?
The only issue here in Vancouver is I can't install them fast enough. I'm fielding sometime three calls a day and the amount of email inquires is incredible.
In many ways a linear drain is much safer than a standard drain. Safer floor grading and the ability to use a larger format tile is one of the real benifits of a linear drain.
As Jim mentions look for a tile with a good slip rating - something rated 'C' is ideal for most people. 'B' can be all right and most likely an 'A' rated tile would be a little unsafe - perhaps you could treat them.
Just because you can use large format does not mean you need to.
A oneway slope with a 1"x1" tile or 2"x2" tile would be a very safe floor for those with poor balance. No curbs, grab bars and transfer benchs safer still.