Monthly Archives: July 2012

1 Waterproof Cardboard Box

Waterproof your shower – Columbia MO Tile Experts

Did you know that before the first tile is set in your shower that you must completely waterproof your shower?  Many installers and Do It Yourselfer’s think that all of the waterproofing comes from the tile installation itself, and that the vapor barriers behind the tile are for “insurance” only.  This is completely false and is what leads to dark and discolored tile around your shower wall base, mold growth, and possible extensive water damage.

If you want to have a custom shower installed, we highly recommend you waterproof your shower with Schluter’s Kerdi Waterproofing system.  Schluter Kerdi is a waterproofing membrane that can go over practically any surface (for proof of that, see pictures below!!).  Kerdi Shower membrane installs quickly and easily and prevents water from seeping into your walls.  You can use Schluter Kerdi with another Schluter product, called Ditra, that replaces the use of concrete backer boards and can also be made waterproof.  Using both Schluter Kerdi and Ditra in conjunction with one another can provide a completely waterproof room in your home.

As a small sample of what these two products are capable of I have made a sample box.  The box is a cardboard box I had lying around (nothing special, but I did paint it black).  For the box “floor” I used Schluter Ditra and for the walls I used the Schluter Kerdi.  I wanted to use both products to highlight how the two work together.  If these Schluter products can waterproof a cardboard box, imagine what they can do for your bathroom or laundry room!!

Empty Carbdboard Box, waterproof your shower

This is the empty cardboard box before any Schluter products were installed.  The only item not cardboard is the thin layer of cork on the bottom because the cardboard flaps did not meet (there is a large gap in the cardboard).  These are the same steps you would take to waterproof your shower.




Schluter Ditra, Schluter Kerdi, waterproof your showerThe floor of the cardboard box is made up of two pieces of Schluter Ditra.  I used two pieces instead of a single piece to show how to waterproof Ditra seems.  To waterproof Ditra, simply thinset a 5″ piece of Kerdi Band or strip of Kerdi over the seem and your floor seem is waterproof.





Waterproof Cardboard Box, waterproof your showerThis final picture is the cardboard box filled about 2/3 full of water.  To waterproof the box I cut four pieces of Kerdi the size of the box sides, then I used 5″ wide strips of Kerdi at all the corners and where the bottom meets the sides.  Finally for the corners I used four pre-made Kerdi inside corners.  To apply the Kerdi, simply mix thinset apply to the entire surface Kerdi will cover, then set the Kerdi into the thinset and smooth out.  Wait 24 hours for all the thinset to cure before testing with water.

If you would like to learn more about Schluter’s Products, check out their website at www.schluter.com.  Don’t forget to waterproof your shower 🙂

Columbia mo waterproof shower custom tile shelves niches

Custom Tile Shower Installation – Columbia MO Tile Experts

I had a customer contact me recently about a custom tile shower installation.  As you will see in the pictures below, his shower had a very poor design which caused mold growth.  The shower was completely enclosed by concrete blocks on four sides and had a small shower door to enter and exit from.  When the shower door was closed after use, the moisture would be trapped and that caused the ceiling to grow mold.  Because the shower was fully enclosed, it also had a very claustrophobic feel.  The last major problem this bathroom had was carpet on the floor. If you have read any of my other posts regarding carpeting a bathroom, you know my feelings on that.

Before we start your custom tile shower installation we fix the problems in the bathroom in several steps.  The first thing we did was to protect the rest of the house from the dust that would be created by cutting out the block wall to make room for a much larger shower door (5′ bypass door).  Once the block wall was removed and the mess cleaned up, we had to prepare the cut surface for the new tile installation. By removing the block wall, we would also make the shower open from curb to ceiling to get rid of the claustrophobic feel.  Inside the shower we installed four custom shelves for storage, used stainless bull-nose tile edging to match the shower door, installed a new ceiling and tiled the remaining bathroom floor to match the shower tile.

As you will see in the pictures below, there is no comparison to what the bathroom is now, from what it was before.

Old Shower Door and wall, custom tile shower installation

This is what the bathroom used to look like.  A very small shower door that did not provide any room to get into or out of.  With the fully enclosed wall system it definitely felt very tight as well.

Bathroom with carpet, custom tile shower installationThe carpet was halfway removed when I got there to give an estimate. The carpet was always wet from the shower not providing a comfortable place to dry off. Because there are several people showering a day, the carpet did not have time to dry out between uses. Save yourself a headache and don’t have carpet installed in a bathroom (if you already have carpet installed, have it replaced).



Shower after outside block wall removed, custom tile shower installation

The shower door has been removed along with most of the block wall it was attached to.  You can see how big the shower is (it’s actually a very comfortable 32″ deep on the inside and nearly 6′ long).  Because the moldy ceiling fell down during the demolition, I don’t have a picture of it.  Before we can begin tiling the walls, we will have to scrape the loose paint off the remaining block walls and do a little more prep work.  Check out our post “Waterproof your shower ” for our preferred waterproofing method.



Tile Installed and Grouted, custom tile shower installation

The ceramic tile has been completely installed and grouted!  Notice the four corner shelves along the back wall for soap and shampoo storage.  There is also a 2″x2″ floor tile installed on the floor instead of the old slick 4″x4″ tile.  We also used metal trim for the bull-nose that matches the finish on the shower door.

Complete Shower with new Shower Door, custom tile shower installation

Completed shower with the new door installed.  You will also notice in this picture the outside walls of the shower have been tiled as well.  Although the floor was not pictured, the same 12″x12″ tile was used on the bathroom floor and all the grout lines line up right into the shower wall.  Call EJ Flooring for all your custom tile shower installation needs.