Preparing a shower for tile

Preparing a shower for tile-process

After demolition and clean out of the shower space we begin our process.

  1. First we correct the framing to make sure that studs are shimmed out to be plumb.  The outer walls are also shimmed so that they are square to the main wall.  We then frame in the shower curb and add blocking to the walls to support the pan liner membrane.  If this is not done then you will have a hard time installing the tile and having nice clean lines.
  2. We make sure that your shower foundation is pitched at a slope to the drain. We do this because as water works its way to the waterproof membrane which then flows to the weep holes of the drain.  If it is not sloped, then water will just sit in the corners of the shower pan membrane eventually growing mildew that will work its way to the grout joints on the surface.
  3. We then install a vinyl membrane to the shower pan that comes up about a foot on the walls.  The corners are reinforced with a vinyl adhesive to ensure total moisture protection.  We cut out the center drain and apply a silicone bonding agent making sure not to obstruct the weep holes in the drain.
  4. We then install a water resistant tile backer board to the shower walls leaving a 1″ gap at the floor ( Hardibacker ).  We use screws that are coated with plastic to ensure they do not rust out in the future.  We also make sure not to puncture he vinyl membrane.
  5. Next, we use a water proof caulking along all of the gaps, seams, and corners.  This is an added layer of protection from moisture.
  6. After the caulking dries,  we apply a mesh tape to all of the seams, inside and outside corners, and over gaps that have been caulked.  We do this to ensure that there is no splitting in the corners and seams when we apply our waterproofing compound.
  7. Now we are ready to apply a waterproofing material such as Hydro Ban or Aqua Defense to all of the backer board.  We do this because the backer board material is not waterproof until you do this.  If you do not coat it with a waterproofing material, you will have moisture wicking its way into your framing thus causing shower failure.
  8. Lastly we make our dry pack on the shower floor with portland cement and sand.  Making sure all or the outer edges are perfectly level and sloping a quarter inch per foot to the drain.  There is an art to this making sure there are no low spots that will have sitting water.

Your Shower Is Now Ready To Set Tile