Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tile a Shower - 3 Tricks You Must Get Right

To tile a shower you must get several steps right to make it work. A tile shower is a thing of beauty. There's just a look and feel of luxury to a well-built ceramic shower. It's not just looks either, these showers are practical and long-lasting too. Unless of course the construction isn't done properly. In that case a shower can be a leaky mess. Installing shower tile may be the most challenging tile project a handy person can tackle, but it can be done. There's one thing you must understand first.

You see a tile floor is not waterproof. Tile will not stop water from passing through. Grout is even worse. Regular masonry grout that covers the joints between tiles is not waterproof at all. Water goes right through the grout. So when you look at a tile shower floor, there's more than meets the eye. The important part of a shower floor is hidden from view.

Part of the hidden part is in the drain itself. You can only see a part of the drain when you look at the floor. The part you can't see is the second drain level that's below the surface. You see the water that leaks through the floor gets routed to the lower drain and then it goes on down the drain. Otherwise that water would go through the shower floor and ruin whatever is underneath the shower. In fact that's just what a "leaky" shower does. It ruins the adjoining areas around the shower. That's expensive.

And how does the water get to the lower drain? That's the actual shower pan itself. If you have a traditional shower pan, the pan is formed from mortar or concrete and is sloped toward the drain. Here's the real trick. The actual shower pan is usually a heavy vinyl sheet which fits around the drain and is glued to the drain. That forms a little pool actually within the shower floor. Any water that gets through the shower floor is caught by the vinyl pool and routed right to the lower drain.

There are several other types of shower pans, but they all have that little secret. The pan is beneath the shower floor. The pan must catch the water that passes through the floor and get it into the drain. Tile setters either get the pan built correctly or the shower leaks.

You can get access to video tutorials showing the professional tricks to tile a shower on our tile website.

Al Bullington invites you to visit http://InstallingCeramicTile.net for answers to your tile questions.

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