Do’s and Don’ts of Tile Shower Construction: How to Not Build a Shower
John P. Bridge
This is not a how-to article. My intent is merely to demonstrate how a tiled mortar bed (mud) shower should be built using just a few pictures. For a wealth of information on DIY shower building and tiling head to the John Bridge Tile Forums.
I suppose this piece could easily be called How Not to Build a Shower. The first series of pictures reveal the reasons the shower in question had to be torn out to begin with. I sincerely hope that this little presentation will be a warning to homeowners when hiring tile work out. Please demand references and check them thoroughly. While there are thousands of qualified shower builders available, there are that many more who are not qualified. I encourage you to ask questions at the forum referenced above.
Since 2002 I have been building completely watertight and mold-free showers using a method developed by Schluter Systems. For information on my method of shower building (Schluter Kerdi method), please read Kerdi Showers. The mud method depicted in this article is still valid. I don’t use it anymore, but others do. A mud shower, while not completely waterproof, will last a long time.