I was contacted a short time back from a customer in Sarasota, Florida who stopped his plumber from doing the shower pan waterproofing liner when he noticed several problems. He did a little research online and decided to call a shower waterproofing specialist to finish the shower pan waterproofing correctly. He was also nervous of local tile installers that he had out for estimates on the large format tile installation in his upscale NY style condominium. The tile was a 32″x32″ glass glazed China white porcelain tile. Not the usual porcelain tile an installer will work with on a daily basis. Most of the tile contractors he had out didn’t have a large enough wet saw to cut the tile and some never seen a tile like it before. Lucky for him we have worked with large format tile before and especially glass tile. While doing research he came across us, Ceramictec of Tampa a tile contractor & waterproofing specialist. He found us from several blogs we have and numerous other informative posts on the subjects. He felt confident in our ability to do both and contacted us to take a look at his project.
I got to his condo for the estimate and we went in to look at the bathroom showers. One was a hall bathroom with a tub/shower and the other was a stand up shower that will have a pitched tile shower floor. They were both going to have the 32″x32″ glass glazed porcelain tile installed in them but the stand up shower was the one with the waterproof liner problem. The showers were both already gutted and the metal studs we the only thing there. I noticed a few things wrong with what the plumber did with the pan liner. The first was that he didn’t do a pre-slope under the liner. This is needed to ensure a proper slope on the liner so the water makes it into the weep holes and keeps the old water out of the mud bed. There also wasn’t any sealant under the liner at the drain connection, the inside corners weren’t folded and tucked right, he only used 2 stacked 2×4’s for the curb height and didn’t install dam corners at the curb. Obviously this wasn’t done right and would eventually fail and leak. So after seeing the problems with the liner, looking at the tile he wanted installed and taking a measurement I was able to work up a proposal to do the showers correctly. I submitted the proposal to him the next day and the owner awarded the project to us later that week.
The first day I started the job I corrected all of the problems with the pan liner, installed the vapor barrier on the wall & added another stud to the curb height. Also installed the cementboard, mesh taped the joints and installed wire over the curb as to not use nails to puncture the curb liner. The first day is usually prep work and things that need to be done before we start setting tile. We unpacked the most of the 32″x32″ glass glazed porcelain tile and checked to make sure they were all good before we started installing them. We started setting tile are able to get 2 tile on the back wall and a full tile on each side with the small cut to the front hid by the glass enclosure. The thinset we are using to install the tile with is Laticrete Gold 253 in white and spot bonding them with 12 to 15 dots and flat troweling the wall and back of the tile prior to dotting. After the walls were set we grouted them with #44 bright white 1600 unsanded grout.
The next day we started on the shower floor by packing the wet bed and pitching it to the drain. The wet bed is a dry pack (damp) mixture of portland cement and sand. We also put some tile spacers around the drains weep holes to help not get them clogged over the years with hard water or mineral build up. After the pan was packed we mixed up thinset and started to set the 2×2 white porcelain mosaic shower floor tile. I upgraded the shower drain for the owner from the round drain the plumber had purchased with a more elegant square chrome drain from Ebbe. After the mosaics had some time to set up we grouted it with Laticrete #44 bright white 1500 sanded grout. Then we installed some 2×2 opaque glass tile on the outer front of the curb that will match the sinks installed later and also installed Schluter-JOLLY at the shower edge since this large format tile doesn’t have bullnose to finish the edges. We also installed a white Thassos marble curb sill and round corner soap shelves made by thassos.com. Finished off the project by caulking all corners with Laticrete premium latex caulk.
The owner recently told us his newly remodeled modern condo in Sarasota is on the market and can be seen at the following website: http://sarasotameadows.com
enjoy the pictures and Contact Us if your looking to have a tile project like this done.