Tips on How to Install a Shower Pan Membrane Liner
By Mark J. Donovan
|One feature to seriously consider when planning a bathroom remodeling project is the inclusion of a custom ceramic tile shower. Nothing beats the elegance and charm of a custom ceramic tiled shower. And surprisingly, they are not as expensive to install as you may think, particularly if you are willing to put some sweat equity into it.
Most moderately skilled DIY homeowners can install their own ceramic tile shower with a little upfront education and planning. The only really critical component of a ceramic tile shower is the proper installation of a shower pan membrane liner.
A shower pan membrane liner is the item that ensures any water that may seep through the ceramic tile shower floor gets funneled into the shower drain.
If installed improperly the shower could leak and you’ll end up having to rip out tile and make time consuming and messy repairs. The improper installation of a shower pan membrane liner on a second floor shower can cause even more damage. So you want to make sure you get this part of the project right the first time.
After the pre-slope mortar layer has setup the flexible shower pan membrane liner is placed on top of it.
The shower pan membrane liner needs to be properly folded into the corners and tacked in place to the wall studs using roofing nails. The nails that hold it in place should be around 6 inches up from the bottom of the shower pan. In addition, a hole has to be cut in the shower pan to allow the adjustable shower drain to pop up through.
Cement backerboard can then be attached to the shower frame wall studs. Cement backerboard is a cementitious material that is ideal for fastening ceramic tiles to. It is also impervious to water. Do not use drywall or moisture resistant drywall in a ceramic tile shower project. Also, it is critical not to damage the shower pan membrane line while installing the cement backerboard. Make sure to put cardboard over the membrane liner when installing the cement backerboard.
|With the shower pan membrane liner and backerboard installed, a final base layer of mortar is poured into the shower pan area to cover the membrane liner.
Again, the gentle slope needs to be maintained with the second mortar layer such that water drains from the shower wall edges to the shower drain. Use your trowel to do this.
After the final base layer of mortar has fully cured, you can then move onto the process of tiling the shower walls and floor. Note that you should use an alkaline resistant tape and thinset mortar to cover the seams in the cement backerboard prior to tiling the walls.
Lastly, after grouting the ceramic tile shower walls and floor, adjust the shower drain assembly so that it is flush with the finished shower floor surface.
For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com. The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.
See HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Ceramic Tile Calculator
See my “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower” Ebook to learn how to tile your own shower: For a detailed set of instructions on tiling a shower floor and walls, including pictures for every step in the process, see my “How to Tile Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Ebook”.
- How to Buy the Right Tile Wet Saw
- How to Tile a Shower Floor and Curb Video
- How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower Video
Additional Ceramic Tile Resources from Amazon.com
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