Let's Talk Waterproofing
Custom tiled showers are a sizable investment and should last the lifetime of your home. Unfortunately, if you tear up shower tile installed in the 1990s and earlier, you’ll often find a host of catastrophes, including mildew and mold growth as well as failed framing rotted through after long term exposure to water. The culprit is bad building science. From a construction standpoint, the function of a shower is to protect the wood structure of the home by capturing water and directing it into the plumbing system. Old substrate systems fall far short of this goal. The trouble is tile and grout are water permeable, meaning they let water through to the substrate. Without a waterproofing layer, the substrate soaks up water. The idea was everything would dry between showers, but in bathrooms used regularly, it doesn’t happen. The new standard for tile substrates is waterproof, meaning no water travels to the substrate, keeping your house dry and healthy for decades. I decided a long time ago to make my own decisions about tile waterproofing, rather than letting clients make them based on budget or misleading information. While the new products add cost and time to jobs, I want to stand behind the products I use, knowing I’ve done everything in my power to create beautiful long-lasting showers.