How to Tile a Shower
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Dawn in Nebraska on The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DAWN: Well, we’d like to redo a bathroom that has an old tub and a shower that’s got the kind of a plastic sheeting – it’s not plastic but the – oh, some kind of that gross stuff you glue on the wall. We’d like to take all of that out, including the bathtub, and then tile the shower and the shower floor.
My question is: if we tile the shower floor, do we have to put a lip to keep the water from coming out? Or is there some way – if we tile the entire bathroom floor and shower the same, would you recommend some kind of elevation drop, just a little bit into the shower, so the water does not run out? Or is that just a no-no if we’ve got to have a lip at the edge of the shower?
TOM: OK. You’re missing one critical component of the bathroom makeover you described and that’s a shower pan.
TOM: And so I would recommend you purchase a shower pan and use that to install the bottom of the shower and the drain of the shower. There are shower pans that you can tile over if you don’t want to see the shower pan. But frankly, it’s so small. And when you tile a shower pan, it’s just such a maintenance hassle because all the water sits in there and ends up making the grout look nasty. I would just use a standard shower pan and then tile right down to the pan.
TOM: You can connect the drains to the shower pan. The shower drains will all be integrated there. Then you’d tile right down over the lip of the shower pan and this way, you have a nice, waterproof seal.
DAWN: OK. That sounds good. If you do the soap dish or – I’m not sure what else to call it – in the wall and you want to recess it in so you’ve got an 18×18 area to put your shampoos and such, can that be on an outside wall? Will you not smush your insulation to where it doesn’t work or does it have to be at the inside wall?
TOM: Yeah, that’s a good question. I would tend to avoid that, I think, because, yeah, you would have no insulation in that space. It would end up being very, very cold and I think I would tend to put that on an interior wall.
DAWN: Mm-hmm. OK. Very good. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.