Preparation Tips

If you are in the tiling or planning stage, the tips below may help you to avoid the common pitfalls which I frequently encounter at the time I arrive to measure the shower door. As part of my service I am willing to meet at your home while the tile installers are getting started to ensure your project is done correctly. Please view the pictures below and the sketches at the bottom to help you communicate best practices with your installers.

For more information please call (678) 477-1389, we are happy to help in any way.

Below are some examples of good practices while preparing your shower.

Oatley Shower Pan Liner

From my experience over 90% of shower pan construction is improper.  There are two areas of concern.  First, most typical installation issues are with laying a pan liner on a flat subfloor instead of creating a sloping floor system, usually of concrete (other systems are available at most tile centers).  The concrete layer under the tile does get wet so water that saturates this layer must gravitate toward the drain so it will flow into the weep holes in the base of the shower drain.  To allow the concrete base to dry there should be TWO base layers of concrete.  The first is a PRE-SLOPE layer of concrete on the subfloor followed by the PVC vinyl liner, and then a second layer of concrete is applied for the tile to adhere to.  Many tile guys will tell you that a pre slope is not needed with a paintable top coat of water proofer like Red Guard, but this is not correct.

Please see the Oatey Shower Pan Liner Application Instructions illustrated below, or view the PDF in a new tab.

This is the proper construction of a shower pan using the shower pan liner.  The black line is the shower pan liner sandwiched between two concrete layers.  One suggestion I would make that differs from their illustration is to NOT BURY the wall board (like James Hardy or Durock) into the floor to avoid sucking up moisture.  You can leave a void area of about 1/2" above the concrete base.

For more information on proper installation of different types of drains, here is a link to the Oatley Catalog.

Tips for a Great Shower

Wall Mounted Support Bar

One option to increase stability to the shower panel particularly for oversized panels or when hinging a glass door off another glass panel.

Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower
Stacked Stone Shower

Do's & Don'ts

Do's
Don'ts
Do Image

The customer had a boring solid white shower and I was able to make some economical changes by changing the tile on the floor then adding accent pieces toward the top to tie it all together.

Do Image

A solid surface is a great way to avoid grout issues and can also offer design possibilities.

Don't Image Don't Image

Liner on bottom should never be cut at the wall on top of the curb. The liner needs to be folded tightly against the wall.

Don't Image

This is an example of a bad tile job that relates to one of my "don'ts". The glass panel can only be set close to the front of the seat, creating a tight pocket, and will present a cleaning issue.

Don't Image

This is a good example of the edge of the wall not being square with the curb. This adds additional expense.

Don't Image

This is another example of a wall not being perpendicular or square with the curb, requiring custom hinge pins made for this particular angle.

Don't Image

Thin set needs to be consistent and solid behind entire back side of each tile especially where shower door hinges or clamps would be mounted. Tiles are likely to crack when drilling into tiles where there are air pockets behind the tile. Tiles could also break when screws are being tightened because of pressure being placed on the hole.

Don't Image

This is a good example of three different issues with this preparation.

First issue is the wood stud on the left is still rotten. Microbes will continue to deteriorate the wood over time. All bad wood needs to be replaced.

Second issue is the cut vinyl corners on the curb; curb is no longer water tight because the vinyl pan material was cut exposing the stud and underpng materials. The correct method is to fold up the vinyl in the corner so no water can leak through. This is very problematic if a framed shower is installed because the metal channel on bottom holds water inside and can keep this corner constantly wet leaching through the corner grout or sipcone seal.

Third, the pan is laid flat on the floor. The mud bed is expected to get wet so it will hold in the moisture if it doesn’t slope toward the drain. Code requires a pre-slope. Best method is to have the mud-bed laid first sloping toward drain then apply the vinyl with another layer of mud.

Don't Image

Screws in curb is a bad situation, even with Redguard. The vinyl liner is not prepped, so water in the mud bed will not gravitate towards the weep holes of the drain.

Don't Image

Liner on bottom should never be cut at the wall on top of the curb. The liner needs to be folded tightly against the wall.