Linear shower drain
The home owners of this Montreal suburb house contacted us because their existing shower had full rows of tiles delaminating from the shower floor. At first glance, the cracks and the efflorescence appeared to be due to the absence of movement joints. But as with most of these types of problems, the only solution was to start from scratch again. We therefore demolished the structure and noticed that the previous installer had mismatched old and new installation techniques. That is, a combination of the liquid and the rubber membranes – most tile contractors don’t know how to install the old rubber membrane system and mistakenly attempt to buy themselves some peace of mind by painting it over with liquid membranes… Big mistake! Water found its way into the mortar bed. It stagnated on top of the rubber membrane and gave rise to a migration of mineral salts to the surface. And to make matters worse, the badly sealed rubber membrane allowed water to impregnate the plywood substrate. At the end, the poorly constructed shower curb and basin buckled under the expansion and contraction generated by the continuous infiltration of water.
The home owners had the intention to re-tile the new shower with marble mosaics. But, instead of encouraging the use of natural stone, we introduced them to the linear shower drain and proposed to work with large size porcelain tiles. We actually knew that the previous shower renovation was very recent, and we suspected that the bathroom tiles were still available on the market. Lucky enough they were. Even if a curbless shower was not possible in this case, we proposed to use the same tiles on the shower floor, the shower curb and on the linear drain grate. The idea was to create the illusion of a bigger space through a continuous design. We also proposed the use of a modern rectangular shape ceramic tile on the shower walls to contrast with the decor.
Far from considering ourselves designers or decorators, the clients embraced the design idea and were thrilled with the end result. The new shower now looks more modern, in line with the decor and bigger than its actual size. The linear drain is positioned against the shower curb with an inclined floor towers the shower entrance. The new shower niche is bigger than the old one. It is perfectly centered on the wall and it features full tiles and miter cuts around its perimeter. The old shower swinging door was replaced by a sophisticated sliding glass panel system. This made better use of the available space and added another sophisticated touch to the decor. The new shower is now equipped with only one waterproofing membrane. However, this time around it is properly installed all the way up to the water source. Movement joints also protect the whole tile installation, giving the home owners peace of mind and maintenance free for years and years to come. The only thing that got salvaged was the plumbing which blended perfectly into the new design.