Not really. Are you allowed to install it in your master barrier free shower - of course.
When designing a linear shower drain project, a standard point drain project or any tile project for that matter involving natural stone (slate, marble, travertine etc) you need to understand that the "Tile Fairy" can come and wreck havoc on the install. She might come right away or perhaps a few months done the road. Now the "Tile Fairy" is often a mean mean fairy and she can highlight minerals in Marble for example and turn that beautiful Carrera Marble shower into a rust coloured mess.
The Tile Fairy can also cause your new slate floor to start popping, bring out effloresence and all sorts of nasty problems.
Here is a look at a wonderful steamer we are building in Vancouver. The picture on the right is showing a curbed shower project but the most recent photo I have of a Carrera marble install.
|White Carrera shower floor and walls|
This is a tile in insert and the shower on the left was built by a client of mine State side.
His choice in tile perfect. A flamed Porcelain tile offering up a much better floor traction under normal use.
Even better than Flamed Porcelain is natural slate but with the extra traction comes a whole assortment of other concerns.
Things like cleaning and sealing become harder.
Take a look at this barrier free shower we are wrapping up in North vancouver. We used a 2"x 2" tile in the shower's primary wet zone and 12" x 12" everywhere else.
This shower is totally curbless and the tub is in the shower. The tub will double as a bench for the shower and is a free standing unit.
For this shower we wanted the slate to stand out. All the slate has been sealed and we used a topical waterproofing from Mapei to offer up complete protection for the entire area.
The drain is a simple point drain with a twist. It is a 5" x 5" point drain and like the tile examples above has a tile inset.
I have just encountered a flow rate issue with this new tile top drain and have outlined a way of improving the flow rate of them. Here is a link to the "Anti AirLock I".
The grouting is still fresh in the picture to the left and not yet dried. Something to consider when working with natural stone is to keep the grout selection to a natural grey or white.
These two colour are the most forgiving with soap scum and water deposits. Also effloresence is harder to see when the grout colour matches the effloresence.
This project is under wraps but I'll be by in week to take a few more pictures once we get the tub installed.
When choosing tile for a shower project you should always test them first. Buy a selection 4-6 pieces. Soak them overnight and then allow them to dry somewhere warm. What happens to the marble? Does the slate go spongey? Do the tiles rust? All things you can only find out after soaking the tiles and waiting.
Both the Carrera Marble and Slate in these pictures where tested. Both sourced from good suppliers here in Vancouver.
We are framing a new barrier free no curb shower here in North Vancouver and my new clients asked me about using Travertine in the shower. They love it and they told me they wanted to use it in the shower as well.
Like always I talked about this "Tile Fairy" and reviewed what I think they should do and they did just that. They bought six tiles and soaked them for 48 hours and then removed them. Guess what?
The rust started to show on day three and we saved this from happening in the finished product with only three days of work. By work I'm me placing tiles in water and then removing.
Now finding a Porcelain tile that looked like the natural Travertine took my clients over three days and hours and hours of shopping. The easiest thing for me to do would be to install what the client wants. The easiest thing for the client to do would be to not trust me and tell me to install the Travertine. Neither me nor my client choose the easy path and now we have a plan to use the Porcelain Tile in the shower and set a very low curb to separate the Porcelain from the Travertine. These clients will not have to consider living with a rust filled shower since we aborted that plan before we even got close to installing the Green EBoard on the walls.
When working with natural stone you always run the risk of the "Tile Fairy" coming to your home. Do everything you can to prevent this. To install natural stone with no testing is careless and a huge oversight.
You also need to remember that natural stone requires a floor deflection of L/720 not L/360 like most homes are built. So how do you bring up the deflection rating and still keep things barrier free.
Good question and one to be answered on another day.
If you need any specific questions answered send me an email and I'll try and help you out.
(604) 506 6792