Steam Shower base options

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by ccl, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. ccl

    ccl New Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hello all, first time participant in the forums and looking for some advice

    I've built many custom showers before and my preferred method of construction is to use concrete board on the walls with a rubber membrane (RedGuard or Aqua D) to ensure a good waterproof enclosure. I have been asked to build a steam shower for a previous client and I am looking for a review of my plan on how to build it (see below). Note, the shower base is to be a 14 gauge Stainless Steel base, with a centre drain location.

    Walls will be framed and cement board installed around the enclosure (including sloped ceiling)
    SS base will be installed (i typically set it in silicone as opposed to mortar just to help with expansion/contraction and to keep a bit of a thermal break b/w it and the floor)
    Kerdi membrane installed over the concrete board and over the lip of the SS base and sealed to it.
    Porcelain tile to be installed on walls and ceiling and grouted with epoxy grout
    Note: In most cases I will leave the tile about 1/16 - 1/8 off of the base and will caulk with silicone (although I've seen and heard some say to leave the joint free of silicone so that if any water gets behind the tile it has a place to escape.)

    From what I've read a lot of steam showers are built with a tiled base of some sort. So any thoughts about using the SS base and any comments on method of construction to ensure a vapour proof installation based on above would be great.

    Chris :)
  2. Square pusher

    Square pusher New Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Vancouver BC
    I would suggest checking out "noble seal membrane" as it has the best perm rating.
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  4. ccl

    ccl New Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hi John, thanks for the reply. My client has chosen a porcelain tile (12x24 in size) for the steam shower and there will be one vertical strip, floor to ceiling, of a glass accent tile running on two of the walls. So, I think the tile selection appears to be ok. I was planning on using a modified thin set to allow for a bit more movement. With regards to the base option, have you ever done a steam shower with a stainless steel base (or another type of base that is not tiled)? Any tips on the best way to ensure a proper vapour seal b/w the base and the wall?

    Also, on a slightly different slant....have you had any experience with using the Kerdi board that is now available? I thought this might be a good option instead of densshield and kerdi (or noble). Thoughts/experiences?

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