Showers

Did you know that an average shower lasting 12 minutes at 2.5gal/min uses 30 gallons of water? Did you know that 30 gallons of water per shower is equivalent to a 3” rainfall in your shower? How about those 30 gallons per shower per day is 10,950 gallons per year? Or equals 1100” of rain per year? Now….how many showers a day are taken in your shower?

Obviously, that’s a lot of water and it all has to go somewhere….preferably down the drain. What doesn’t go down the drain could stay in your shower floor or walls and create mold and mildew. An improperly built shower not only has a high potential for mold and mildew growth but also will ultimately fail from too much exposure to moisture. It is simply a matter of time.

Tiled showers have always represented a considerable challenge to installers. Typically, an installer must place a mortar bed, sloped to the weep holes in the sub-drain, prior to installing the pan liner. Once the “pre-slope” has cured to the point where it can be walked upon, the pan liner is installed, with its tenuous connections to the clamping ring in the sub-drain, seaming, and carefully fitted corners around the curb area, all of which must be bonded with the appropriate solvent-based bonding agent. Each of these steps must be completed, and the weep holes protected from being clogged with mortar, before the shower pan is ready to receive the setting bed for the floor tiles.

Since shower pan liners are placed below the mortar setting bed in a conventional assembly, moisture is allowed to saturate the mortar bed. This can increase the risk of leakage, cause efflorescence, and foster bacteria and fungus growth. Bonded waterproof membranes, on the other hand, bond directly to the mortar bed and protect it from becoming saturated. The problem is that conventional two-piece floor drains are designed to connect to shower pan liners below the mortar bed and do not allow a secure, watertight connection to bonded waterproof membranes at the top of the drain assembly.

And that’s just the floor! While walls constructed of concrete board are significantly better than plain sheetrock, concrete board, while water resistant (will not deteriorate when exposed to water), is NOT waterproof and will allow water and water vapor to pass through to the wall cavity, encouraging bacteria and fungus growth.  Combine this with the use of mastic to set the tiles, which can re-emulsify (turn back into water) when exposed to water, failure is again only a matter of time.

The objective therefore, is to use a system in which the individual components collectively form a bonded watertight assembly. The Schluter-Systems Shower Assembly (www.schluter.com) is an integrated family of products that achieves this objective. Kerdi waterproof membrane is used to ensure a completely water proof shower.

The Schluter- Systems Shower Assembly using Kerdi membrane eliminates the risk of failures due to both vapor and water penetration, and is relatively maintenance-free, also by using Dilex EKE moldings, we can eliminate almost all caulking from the shower area.

That’s why I use the Schluter-Systems Assembly, and set all tile with thin set, for a long lasting, waterproof, low maintenance shower.