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Thread: Steam shower Construction

  1. #16
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    Concerning the tile inside the steam shower, the only thing I know is that I am using ceramic on the walls, porcelain on the floor and seat and an accent of some glass tiles. They are all from different manufacturers. I would have thought that Thermasol would know about the thinset. Must these tile manufacturers be contacted?
    Also, I did mention the TCNA book to my contractor. He did not seem to be aware of it but will check into it.

  3. #18
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  4. #19
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    FWIW, porcelain IS a ceramic. My preference would be to use porcelain tile in a steam shower since it absorbs less that conventional ceramic tile. A good porcelain will only absorb 1-2%, some ceramic tile can absorb 10x as much and the resulting time to dry out.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #20
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    I just read the info above that the tile in a steam shower should be porcelain. Does everyone feel this way?

  7. #22
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    That link says, "virtually all tiles work well..." but to discuss with a representative. Do you recommend I change my shower wall and ceiling selection to porcelain? It has not been ordered yet so if you think it's important, I will do that.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    Actually it's a glazed ceramic which I was just told is ok.

  10. #25
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The reasons why porcelain and glass are preferable is that they don't absorb much moisture (often less than 1%). Not all ceramics are created equal, and on many ceramic tile, the glaze does not cover the edges all the way so moisture can wick in from the edges up to the range of 10-20%. This can cause the tile to change color as the ceramic absorbs moisture. Just like porcelain is a ceramic, the construction techinque and materials used in generic ceramic tiles differ, so some may exhibit this, and others may not. If you can get a sample piece, stand it up on edge in about 1/2" of water overnight and see what it looks like. See how far, if at all, moisture wicks up into the tile and look for color changes on the face.

    A quality porcelain normally would not show this effect. Some ceramic tiles will. Some of this depends on how long and often the steam shower is used, and how well it can dry out in between.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    So after only a few hours in the 1/2" of water, the water on the BACK of the glazed ceramic tile "wicked" halfway up. Is this what you mean is not good? You are right about the glaze not being on the edges.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member jla's Avatar
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    And how do I know what a "quality" porcelain tile is?
    On another issue, my steam shower and tub are on the same outside wall. Should the slanted ceiling in the steam shower continue for the length of that wall so also be over the tub?
    Last edited by jla; 08-22-2012 at 06:27 AM.

  13. #28
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Vapor pressure will push that moisture into the walls. Depending on how long the steam shower is used, how well the room is ventillated, and how often, eventually, it can saturate the walls and you'd see a potential color change in the tile beneath the grout.

    You may need to dig for it, but read the spec sheets for any porcelain you may be interested in. Something that has a <1-2% absorbtion rate should be fine - almost all are. Some ceramics can absorb 10-20% or more.

    To work, the steam shower is likely enclosed, so you'd not need to slope that entire area.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #29
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  15. #30
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Post(s) removed by John Whipple
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    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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