On Location – En-suite Shower Tile Details

In our recently completed case study house, we had to come up with an innovative way to detail the floor and wall tile in the en-suite shower because we had a lot of surface area to cover within a limited budget. What we decided to do is use two types of tile, a more expensive limestone tile on the floor and one wall of the shower and more cost effective subway tile on the the other surfaces. The subway tile covers the majority of the surfaces and therefore helps with the overall cost of the tile.

We also paid careful attention to how we ended the wall tile outside of the shower itself. By extending the framing on both sides of the shower door, we were able to create a drywall return that provided a natural place for the wall tile to end. It is always ideal to have wall tile end on an inside corner, and by creating these stopping points in the drywall, we are able to limit the amount of wall surface that needs to be tile – therefore reducing the overall cost.

Today’s Slides:

  • Konkinsa

    Hi John and Matthew:
    In our basement renovation I really want  to have natural light in the bathroom.  The bathroom already has a window but with our new design the window is now part of a tub enclosure. (the original bathroom had an enclosed shower and the window was outside of that.  Now we have a full tub in the same space with a  window above, not centered over the tub either) Some people say sure you can have a window there but boy the windowsill is going to collect a lot of water from showering and other people say no, you shouldn’t have a window there at all because of the water from showering.  Is there a way to design the window and the windowsill to avoid water collection? Oh yes, and should the window open? Another design minute idea?    Unless you’ve already done:  Windows in Bathrooms.

  • Matthew North

    Hi Konkinsa – good question and good suggestion about doing a Design Minute about bathroom windows! We have placed windows in the tub area. A couple of things to consider – first, a PVC window will perform the best in a wet area – you do not want to use a window with a wood frame that can incur water damage or a metal window that could rust. Second, you should tile the entire wall that has the window is in and have a tile return to the frame of the window – no wood or carpentry trim. Slope the bottom sill away from the window to allow the water or condensation to drain back to the tub. We have also used a stainless steel surround in some applications to create a water resistant and thin profile trim if a tile return will be too difficult to install. An opening window in a shower or tub area is great as well – you can never have too much ventilation in a bathroom. Good luck with the renovation – keep us posted!

  • Konkinsa

    Thanks for the info on detailing
    Hi Matthew:
    Do you have information of ceramic tiles failing in bathrooms?  What I mean is tiles loosing their water resistant particularly on the grout lines.