The most exciting thing lately has been the shower. Over the last two weeks our tile setter has been working hard and doing a beautiful job tiling our shower.
Andrea and I decided to invest a lot of our savings from building our bathroom DIY into some nice finishes. Such as expensive, high-end tile. We found out later that the tile we picked out is truly an exclusive item: the factory in Italy went out of business, and we bought the last seven boxes of tile available anywhere.
Since we had a lot invested in the tile, finding a good tile setter was critical for us. We needed a pro who knew how to properly waterproof the shower. If the shower were to leak, our pretty and very expensive tile would have to be torn out to effect a repair. Our tile is irreplaceable, so a shower failure is not an option. We want this shower to outlast us.
Our shower had some challenges that we wanted handled by professionals:
- There is an exterior door in the shower enclosure. Waterproofing around the door would be an important detail, even though we would need to protect the door with a shower curtain.
- The shower floor is supposed to be barrier-free and wheelchair accessible. Because of the flood zone, I was only able to recess the concrete slab floor by 1-3/4″ in the shower area, so the mud bed under the tile floor would have to be thin and a topical waterproofing membrane applied. Read: you need to know what you’re doing with this and use the right materials to reduce the risk of failure.
- The exterior insulation on the outside of the bathroom is “vapor impermeable”, so the wall cannot dry out to the outside. Any moisture that gets into the wall cavity will escape very slowly to the interior. After consulting with a number of professionals, the consensus was that the shower could be and needed to be absolutely waterproof. Read: you need to have amazing attention to detail and use bomb-proof products for waterproofing.
In the end, Toro (the tile setter on our job) did a fantastic job. He showed up to work early and stayed late when necessary. He worked hard and the results are fantastic. But hey, it’s the pictures that tell the real story, so here they are: