Corvallis Blog Update (Master Bathroom):
The cabinetry and countertops have been installed and the basic massing of the new space is now complete. Even though the volume of the linen cabinet has been reduced to accommodate the door’s new location, there is plenty of usable space for towels, washcloths and all the other necessary toiletries within the new cabinet space. The new cabinet separates the tub from the shower area and will provide a convenient surface and storage area.
The next step is to prepare for the installation of stone and tile on the floor, walls and tub deck.
The tile contractor uses Brent’s rough framing for the layout of his custom shower pan. He uses a very thick solid rubber sheet, neatly folding all of the corners to create a continuous waterproof membrane with no cuts or holes except at the drain.
He then trowels the grout onto and over the membrane, carefully gauging the dimensions (especially at the curb) in order to accommodate full pieces of tile and create a perfectly square surface. Of course, he builds the proper slope into the shower floor to ensure positive drainage.
The warm-floor wires are next to be installed. First, the cement board is attached to the wood sub-floors. The joints are grouted, creating a smooth, flat and rigid surface. The system we’re installing uses braided wire cables to conduct heat evenly throughout the floor. The metal strips shown in the photo are for attaching the cables to the floor as desired.
The advantage of the cable method (as opposed to pre-fabricated mat systems) is that the installer can easily draw the cables around corners and cabinets to heat any shape the designer wants. Being completely custom, it is also more forgiving in case changes have been made to the floor plan.
The cables are carefully laid out and tested for continuity, an essential step since once they are grouted into the floor there’s no going back for repairs.
After the grout goes down it is trowelled smooth and allowed to cure for several days.
We usually try to schedule this task to be completed on a Friday so the grout cures over the weekend. Monday morning, the tiles will be ready to go down.