Tile Shower How to Tips can help you design and install your own ceramic tile shower. There are some mysteries about how you build a tile shower, but the answers to your questions are available. You just have to know where to get the answers. Construction of a shower is done in a step-by-step method starting from the floor up. Here are the basic steps.
Building The Tile Shower Pan
The first section of a tile shower to be built is the floor and shower pan. The floor must be waterproof. Ceramic tile and grout construction is not waterproof so there must be a liner under the tile that stops water and routes it to the shower drain.
The traditional way to build a shower pan is to build a concrete base sloped to the drain first. Then top the base with a vinyl waterproof liner. A special drain is used with drain holes below the surface to which the waterproof membrane is attached. Then the tiles are laid on this second layer and grouted to finish the floor.
Tile ready shower pans can also be installed. You have several different systems to choose from including, Tile-Redi, Schluter, and Wedi. All use a basic pan, of polyurethane, and different ways of mounting the pan and installing curbs, walls, and drains. Emphasis is on “system” since every part of the shower floor is included and some systems include the backing for walls and ceilings.
After the floor is built the ceiling is installed. Will the tile fall on you? No! The adhesive will hold it up, but you can cut pieces of plywood to prop up each row of the tile if you like. It isn’t necessary though. The main problem will be the mortar falling on you. So you’ll need a hat!
The best backing for a shower ceiling and walls is Hardibacker cement board. The tile is installed right over the cement board. The wall should be laid starting in the back and then do the sides and front. Use a level and mark lines to keep on track. Use spacers to keep grout lines even. After you finish installing the tile and grouting, caulk the joints between the floor and walls with silicone caulk. Also, consider caulking in the corners of the walls and between the walls and ceiling.