Materials and Technical Considerations
The design and waterproofing of the shower pan is a critical consideration. Leaks from a shower pan can destroy timber and require the removal of tilework to execute a repair. Historically the best method of sealing the shower pan was called hot mopping as it required the mopping of hot tar into the shower pan. Although tar was a good sealant it did not stand the test of time and eventually could dry out and then crack. Now flexible elastomeric membranes provide improved sealing characteristics. Elastomeric membranes can stretch should a dwelling settle or experience a nominal seismic event.
We are more than happy to provide you assistance in selecting the most appropriate materials for your tile counters or floor. You may wish to select high fire ceramics or granite for your counters rather than softer low fire materials that can chip, stain and are less durable.
Harder materials such as high fire ceramic tile are durable and stain resistant. Consider matte finish for high fire tiles to reduce slipperiness. Soft materials like marble, limestone and travertine are also excellent choices but do require periodic sealing to resist staining.
Grout sealants minimize the accumulation of oil, soap and stains. You will benefit from resealing grout every year or two.
To maintain the color of porous stones like limestone and travertine you must apply an impregnating sealant. A good quality sealant will not alter the character of your stone surface.
Sealants for soap stone retard water staining and etching that can be caused by acidic substances such as citrus juice and perfume.
It is impractical to seal hard stone surfaces of granite and marble due to their lack of absorbency.
Warming Tile Surfaces
Electric warming mats can be installed between tile and the mortar bed. Although electric mats are more affordable they are not as efficient as more costly hydronic heater systems.