When choosing a shower floor for your home, two primary concerns will come to mind. First, making sure that your shower will not leak is important in preventing costly water damage to your sub-floor. Second, choosing shower flooring that is resistant to slips and falls can prevent serious injury. Shower floors will usually be either a pre-formed metal and ceramic tub, plastic tub, or custom ceramic tile.
Shower Pans: Essential to Water Tight Shower Flooring
A misconception common among do-it-yourself types is that a ceramic tile shower floor will be water-tight. This is simply not true, and not understanding this can lead to serious leaking and water damage in your home. Proper shower flooring installation involves use of a waterproof shower pan underneath the mortar and tile. Even with pre-formed shower floors, use of a shower pan is important.
Shower flooring pans are waterproof membranes designed specifically to prevent water leakage. These membranes used to be made from lead, but would eventually deteriorate and leak. Today shower pans are made from a rubber-like material called CPE. This flexible plastic is water tight, presuming it is installed properly.
To enhance the slip-resistance of your ceramic floor, you can clean and treat it with products that will help create friction even when wet. These products can also strengthen, seal, and preserve your tile surfaces. If preserving the look of your ceramic floor is not a concern, many epoxy coatings can effectively create no-slip surfaces for your shower flooring.