Tile Methods

We are often asked about the different tile methods that are used for showers today and why one method may be better than others.

 If quality and longevity are the first concern, a bulit up mortar system is the best. The customer should ask what type of water proof liner,plumbing drain,and wall backer are being quoted then the customer can compare the pricing with the install method and finish product.

A built up system should include a Hot Mop liner this is the water proof membrane that the entire system relies on to funnel moisture into the two piece drain top that will have weep holes in the top section. The moisture that penetrates the shower tile and grout can then be evacuated into the trap protecting the subfloor and walls from rotting out. A water test should be done to prove the pan is water tight by plugging the drain and filling the liner with water to the just below or at the top of the threshold.

 Next the walls will receive a water proof paper impregnated with a water proofing layer overlapping each row. Then a wire lath will be installed the same way layered and nailed to the walls. Then comes the mortar float on the shower walls and shower pan.

Once the mortar sets the tiles will be installed using a cementous material known as thinset, this material can be white or gray in color. After the tile is installed it can be grouted with premium modified grouts of the home owners choice in color to compliment the tile. Then the tile or stone and grout will be sealed with premium silicone sealer. Wa-La the shower is ready for a generation of use and enjoyment. All though the labor is much more intensive this type of system is tried and true  you might hear some one say "old school".

 Another type of installation you might hear about is using the Hot mop liner and mortar float pan but instead of mortar float on the walls the installer might suggest Hardiboard or Durock cement board panels then the tile is installed on the cement board using thin set

 This method is faster than mortar float but only the mortar float method will correct the outages of out of square wall framing and hardiboard will have a lesser life expectancy and should be quoted at a lower price due to less labor and material cost.

 The next type is called DenShield backer board, with thinset installation. Some times the liner will also be different , it might be called a vinyl liner or some other form of fiberglass membrane with a elastomeric water proofing applied over the membrane. A two piece plastic drain with an adjustable threaded drain might be used to compensate for the hieght in the mortar shower pan float.

All tile methods have their place and the price should reflect the labor intensity of the method used. There are as many ways to do a tile job as there are the men and women who create the beautifull artisic creations we all love. But when you want the best ask for Mortar float with a Hot mopped liner. The UPC (Universal Plumbing Code Book) has a lot to say about the approved methods and the Authorities having Jurisdiction (Building Department Inspections) use this book as the guide line. Chapter 4 section 412.5 thru 412.9 and IAMPO Installation Standards for tile lined shower receptors IS4-96 have the requirments clearly stated .

 The Ceramic Tile Institute of America and the Associated Tile Contractors of Southern California,Inc. can also be a good sources for inquiry if you would like to recearch the subject in greater detail.



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