Non vitreous tiles in Shower Install [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-04-2005, 07:32 AM
Hi again,

I have now read so much material I am so confused. I have read not to use non vitreous wall tiles in the shower, but also that it is not a big deal as the tiles only would absorb water from the back, thus a good grout and sealing job makes it fine to install non vitreous tiles in the shower. Most new homes come with cheap 0.35$ tiles in the showers !

I have a cement board, Kerdi, dry mortar install for my surround. Can i use non vitreous tile ? or do I have to go with a vitreous tile ?

What do you pro's say ?


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07-04-2005, 10:29 AM
I have never used them in a shower but I suppose if you seal it very well and seal it every year it should be fine. Why not get a vitreous tile and be done with it. Also with the cbu you don't need kerdi, just a vapor barrier behind it, poly or 15 lb felt paper.

07-04-2005, 11:31 AM

The non vitreous tiles are glazed (I missed that the first time). Thus, I believe they should be fine for the shower install, the concern was that the rest of the tile can absorb water vs a vitreous tile that would absorb much less, and less of an issue.

Please let me know if my new found assumptions are correct or incorrect.

PS. I am sticking with the Kerdi

Chris the Rep
07-04-2005, 11:56 AM
I don't know where you read not to use non-vitreous tile in the shower, but rest assured that the ubiquitious 4 1/4" bright and matte glaze tiles that we are all familiar with are non-vitreous.

There are issues with using unglazed, non-vitreous tiles in a shower, but those issues can be overcome, for a price. You would need to follow a maintenance regimen similar to that of natural stone. Proper sealing and using the correct products for ongoing maintenance. Sealing the grout on glazed tile will make it easier to maintain. Beyond that, keep it ventilated, and squeegee or dry the walls after using and it will give your years of trouble free service.