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Waterproofing Your Glass Block Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

Curved glass block shower wall.

Curved glass block shower wall.

You might have heard the old Fram oil filter commercial about using the right oil filter now to not pay the mechanic later. The same logic certainly applies to a successful installation of a glass block shower enclosure. Failure to properly waterproof your shower can lead to expensive repairs later. Here’s some simple steps to consider:

  1. Get the right shower base – There are many choices – acrylic, custom mud set pan, solid surface, and expanded polystyrene to name just a few. Acrylic & mud set are the cheapest – but a ready for tile custom shower base of expanded polystyrene has an incredible amount of flexibility.
  2. Choose a backer board and wall surround system that will last – Don’t skimp on what you don’t see behind the finished wall. Popular wall surround systems include acrylic, swanstone solid surface walls, and tile showers. If you use acrylic or Swanston walls a green board or cement board behind them will work. If you’re building a tile shower use either cement board or for a completely waterproof project use extruded polystyrene wall boards.
  3. Use the right bathroom accessories to improve how your shower functions – Shampoo niches, benches, leg ledges and corner seats can all add to an improved function of the shower. Consider the use of pre-made accessories made of expanded polystyrene vs. custom made systems to reduce your costs, time and long term performance of these accessories.
  4. Use prefabricated glass block wall systems to improve quality and the performance of your shower wall – Pre-made block sections can be made for straight or curved showers with a vinyl stacking system which greatly reduces the installation expertise needed to install this product.
  5. For a tile shower use the right grout – The technology to install a maintenance free tile shower wall has vastly improved over the last few years. If you like the look of tile – but not the maintenance hassle associated with the product – consider using waterproof urethane grout for your tile walls and glass block wall or walls as well.

Bathroom remodeling is not the easiest thing to do. Get it right the first time so you won’t have to worry about paying again for it later!

What tips or questions do you have about how to waterproof a shower? Please comment below.

If you need any help with waterproofing your glass blocks shower or want a quotation contact Columbus Glass Block (614-252-5888), Cleveland Glass Block (216-531-6363), or Mid America Glass Block (513-742-5900) of Dayton and Cincinnati.

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Mike Foti

President of Innovate Building Solutions a nationwide supplier and regional (Cleveland and Columbus) remodeling contractors. Some of our product lines include glass counters, floors, backsplashes, glass blocks and grout free shower and tub wall panels

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