roman tiles roofing Tiling a shower the usual way often is left to the pros. It’s easy to see why, when you observe all the details that must be done properly if you build a shower pan using mud, which is the usual way it gets done. Following are tips for picking a tile ready shower pan and how these pans side-step many problems.No Hidden TricksA shower pan liner is a must because all tile floors leak. The water that hits the floor doesn’t all go down the floor drain in a traditional tile shower. Part of it soaks into the grout and maybe the tile and down it goes. The liner is what actually stops the water and it is usually built into the floor to keep the water from damaging surrounding areas.
All that liner is hidden within the mortar floor and somewhat difficult to understand since you can’t see it. That tricky part all is eliminated with tile ready shower pans.Low Mold RiskWhat you may not realize is that the water that soaks into a shower base stays in the base, soaking the mortar and keeping it soaked if the shower is used regularly. Now the liner stops the water, but the mortar above the liner stays wet and provides a perfect environment for mold growth.The newer, no mortar pans eliminate the soaked mortar since the water is captured right near the surface with just the thin layer of tile adhesive potentially staying wet.
That way you get much less risk of mold growth since the floor has a chance to dry between uses and the soaked area is very small anyway.Skip The Vinyl LinerIn a traditional tile shower, a single sheet of vinyl forms the one layer that catches water that makes it past the floor surface. That liner must be installed so that it perfectly seals which presents several problems. See the thick vinyl must be folded into the corners with no leaks. It also must drape over the curb and fold into the corners of the curb with no leaks. Then it must be sealed perfectly at the drain base. It must stay that way for as long as the shower is in use, a serious challenge to be sure.With tile ready bases, all that tricky folding and sealing gets skipped since the base itself does all the sealing.
It’s just a matter of getting the base set in place and you get a sealed surface with out all the tricks of dealing with the liner membrane.Minimum Mud WorkTraditional pans consist of two layers of mortar trowelled in place and a vinyl liner sandwiched between the two. The layers are built with special mortar called deck mud or fat mud. What makes it challenging for an amateur especially is that the layers must be sloped and must be just the right thickness so the finished floor, including the tile, ends up at just the right height to match the drain height. Each step is really quite simple, but there are just quite a few steps.With newer pans, often no mortar work is needed. In some cases the pan sets in a supporting mortar base, but no special skilled work is needed.
It’s just a matter of putting in mortar for the pan to set on.Custom OptionsAn advantage of mortar shower remains that the shower can be built to any size or any shape. On the other hand, ready to tile pans often just come in limited standard sizes. Custom sizes are much more expensive. An option with the Kerdi shower system uses a waterproof liner membrane material laid right over a sloped mortar layer. You skip the multiple layers and skip the built in membrane. You just slope one mortar layer and lay one layer of membrane on top of the mortar.Tiling a shower the traditional way involves several tricks that can be eliminated with more modern tile ready shower pans. Even many tile contractors use these pan systems now and skip the skilled mud required if you build a tile shower using mortar layers and a built-in vinyl liner membrane.