Standard shower floors are inexpensive and easy to install. The expense arises when you are working with a custom shower floor that does not match standard measurements. To waterproof and create a sturdy base, the best option is laying a mortar shower base for waterproof protection and adding your desired tile effects.
Things You'll Need
- Waterproof ridge
- Waterproof barrier
- Drain grate
- Tile nippers
- Wet sponge
- Grout seal
Clean off the shower base surface. Most surfaces typically are either concrete or plywood and should create a completely level foundation surface.
Add the 2-by-2 waterproof ridge, attaching it to the base. If you have a concrete base, use wood-to-concrete adhesive to hold it firmly in position.
Cover the level floor with a waterproof barrier. Make sure that the barrier runs up the walls at least 6 inches to protect the walls from runoff. Cut the waterproof barrier tightly around the drain hole.
Mix and pour the mortar into position. Smooth the mortar over the entire floor surface, creating a 2-inch thick mortar base at the edges and slope the base down to 1 1/2 inch at the drain. This sloping ensures proper drainage. Smooth 1 inch of mortar over the wood ridge to give everything a mortar covering. Let the mortar set for 24 hours.
Install the drain grate so as to adjust for the tile underneath. You’ll want the grate completely level with the tile you are using.
Mix the tile’s quick-set mortar according to the manufacturer’s directions and begin laying the tile from the sides of the shower, working toward the center drain.
Trim the center tiles with tile nippers to fit tightly against the drain grate.
Let the thinset mortar set for 24 hours.
Mix the tile grout and begin pressing it into the tile spaces with a rubber trowel. Let the grout set for 2 hours.
Wipe away any residual grout with a wet sponge. Continue wiping until there is no more haze on the tiles. Let the grout cure for 24 hours.
Apply a grout seal to the grout cracks and allow to cure for 24 hours. Your base is now dry.
Tips & Warnings
- To save time, tile the walls of the shower on the same day that you tile the floor. This way the tiles dry together.
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