We are building a new home and my designer is insisting on a walk-in shower. We had a disaster with the last walk-in shower we had done. It doesn’t seem like tile lasts long in a shower. How long can a properly-installed shower last?
When installed using proper materials, methods, industry standards and techniques, tile installations in wet areas such as floors, walls, showers, pools, etc., can last a very long time.
There are many criteria that support or affect a tile installation that is in a wet area or is submerged or partially submerged. These include: type of tile, type of substrate, type of mortar, type of grout, whether there is a waterproofing membrane, method of installation, expansion joint placement, how well the tile was installed, etc.
If an installation was not designed to wet area standards or installed with materials not designed for use in a wet area, or if it was not installed according to approved wet area methods and standards, there is a good chance of some type of failure within the system after being exposed to standing water for an extended period of time.
If you are not a tile contractor, you will want to locate, interview and hire an NTCA member contractor, NTCA Five-Star Contractor, and a CTEF Certified Tile Installer that can help you with your tile installations. These links will lead you in the right direction: