Waterproofing a shower is pretty expensive; there is often a temptation to skip it altogether, install the tile on the walls, and assume that will be good enough.
I’ve discussed this topic a number of times with clients, including a blog article I wrote here.
I was reminded of how crucial good waterproofing is when we came across a shower completed only a year ago by another local contractor, but is already leaking and starting to rot out framing members on the house. We are building a master bathroom addition on the outskirts of Wichita and like the previous article I wrote, the shower looked fine on the outside, but when we opened up the back side, it looked like this:
You’ll see in the picture above the white square. This is the back of the shampoo niche of the shower. Again, it looked great on the bathroom side, but on the back side you can see how it has been leaking – the shower is only 1 year old and already has done damage to the house. Imagine how much damage this leak would have caused over 10 years! This is why we take extra precautions to waterproof with Schluter Waterproofing Systems to ensure there will never be a leak. See this video that talks about our process in waterproofing a shower.
Many showers that we remove in Wichita have not been waterproofed well. When I first started in the business, I was taught by a former supervisor to install hardiboard and then install the tile over that. What we’ve found over the years from having to remove showers that were installed like this is that it is not a sufficient method that stands the test of time. It was actually in college that I first learned about Schluter products. We’ve been using Schluter Waterproofing System for years now and have had good success with no problems. This has taught me personally the value of Continuous Improvement – one of our core values at Pinnacle Homes. We should always be looking to improve our systems and processes to deliver high quality products for our clients. A beautiful shower like this one we completed in east Wichita last year takes a lot of “behind the scenes” work to make sure this shower will stand the test of time.