LESLIE: Tom in Texas is doing a flooring project. What can we do for you?
TOM IN TEXAS: Yes, I’m trying to remodel a bathroom in an older home. And I was just wondering what would be the best way to do that. Whether I could tile out the bathroom for a shower or do I need to go another route.
TOM: Well, I think rather than … you’re talking about making a tile shower pan?
TOM IN TEXAS: Yes.
TOM: Probably the easiest thing to do would be for you to put in a modular shower. You know, where you can buy a shower that’s the pan and then the walls and it assembles in place.
TOM IN TEXAS: Oh, OK.
TOM: If you want to put in a tile base, you can; but you’ve got to do it properly. Generally, what happens is you start by framing it out with wood and then the base gets lined with fiberglass or there are other rubberized materials that are made to go underneath the tile itself. Because, of course, the tiles not the waterproof membrane; it’s the rubber or the fiberglass.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Whatever’s below it.
TOM: Yeah, that’s attached to the drain. And then you tile on top of that. But that’s a whole lot of work, Tom. An easier way to do it might be to just install a modular shower where you … where it comes, basically, broken down. You put the pan in and then you set up the fiberglass walls. It can come for a corner unit or a U-shaped unit and they basically lock in place. And it’ll go together a lot quicker.
LESLIE: But you can tile the floor and the rest of the bathroom leading up to the shower. That would make a great addition.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
TOM IN TEXAS: Do I have to do any special preparation or can I just lay that tile on the floor?
LESLIE: Well, what’s the existing floor?
TOM IN TEXAS: It’s wood.
LESLIE: As long as it’s in good shape, you can go right ahead and go on to that. Just make sure that whatever tile you choose for the bathroom floor has a high slip resistance and you’re not using a wall tile for the floor. Otherwise, people will be slipping and sliding; it could be really dangerous.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.