Concrete Shower Walls

 
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
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Concrete Shower Walls


I had a homeowner mention that he saw troweled concrete walls on a shower surround, he thought it would be pretty cool. I told him that was out of my league but i'd look into it.

We are sticking with tile for now, but I can't stop thinking about it.

I asked around and no one has done it, I haven't googled it since I figure I'd start with you guys.

Has anyone done this?

Would you just use straight portland cement on cement board? Or would you use thinset? Or portland cut with masons mix?

What about sealing it?

Anyone anyone anyone?
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


Seen it once a number of years ago. HO tried several sealers. After 6 months they had it tiled.

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Old 06-13-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


It could be duplicated with the Kerdi membrane. Make it "look" like troweled concrete.



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Schluter-KERDI was developed as a waterproofing membrane to be used in conjunction with ceramic and stone tile coverings. Tiles can be installed directly on Schluter-KERDI using the thin-bed method. Other trowel-applied covering materials, such as plaster, can also be used.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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Originally Posted by griz View Post
Seen it once a number of years ago. HO tried several sealers. After 6 months they had it tiled.
That's what I thought.

I also figured it would just crack and chip like thin concrete does.


Also changing the subject slightly, what about slate in showers?

I have a huge personal issue with slate, I hate it. Not working with it, just the look. something to do with a slate hallway growing up.

Had some people a year or two ago want a slate tub surround, I talked them out of it....... the bottom line was they were going to need to clean and seal it every six months and the soap residue would sit nicely on the cracks and ridges. Unless they were going to hire a professional cleaner every week or get in there and scrub every week it wouldn't be pretty.

Anyone have any thoughts on slate in the shower?
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by fast fred View Post
That's what I thought.

I also figured it would just crack and chip like thin concrete does.


Also changing the subject slightly, what about slate in showers?

I have a huge personal issue with slate, I hate it. Not working with it, just the look. something to do with a slate hallway growing up.

Had some people a year or two ago want a slate tub surround, I talked them out of it....... the bottom line was they were going to need to clean and seal it every six months and the soap residue would sit nicely on the cracks and ridges. Unless they were going to hire a professional cleaner every week or get in there and scrub every week it wouldn't be pretty.

Anyone have any thoughts on slate in the shower?
Slate is probably on of the few stones that I will install in a wet location. ALL stone is porous however, slate has excellent slip-resistant properties and, depending on the actual type, can be fairly non absorbent too. Of course, you need to be picky....cheap slate from HD is not something I would consider. I personally prefer gauged & honed slate. I would do that without question in most circumstances.

I believe there is a way to get concrete walls in a shower. I'm sure it would be expensive. But they use concrete in pools so there is a way. I'm not versed in it but I believe it can be done....doesn't mean it should be done!
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:16 PM   #6
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
Slate is probably on of the few stones that I will install in a wet location. ALL stone is porous however, slate has excellent slip-resistant properties and, depending on the actual type, can be fairly non absorbent too. Of course, you need to be picky....cheap slate from HD is not something I would consider. I personally prefer gauged & honed slate. I would do that without question in most circumstances.

I believe there is a way to get concrete walls in a shower. I'm sure it would be expensive. But they use concrete in pools so there is a way. I'm not versed in it but I believe it can be done....doesn't mean it should be done!
Angus, You are dead on about slate. Biggest problem with most HO's is they are not aware of the up keep. No sealer will keep soap scum etc off the surface. It has to be cleaned.

You are also correct about concrete in a shower in relation to a pool. Unfortunately in the mid 1980's there was no suitable substitute for a genuine looking grey trowled concrete surface.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:57 AM   #7
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


The way i have done it is with concrete panels, large poured sections, installed with thinset over wonderboard, then sealed, GMOD.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:20 AM   #8
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


for you to jump in GMOD,, kept thinking about your concrete floor & HW proj when I saw this post- I suppose it's possible,,,????just an unusual request.

I got a strange question to add,,, you know how they have the stamped concrete and then they add the coloring- I have seen some real nice looking stamped brick DW and then a gloss sealer put on,, looks so nice your afraid to pull up on it, wonder if you could do the same with shower walls,,just a thought, is it possible???
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


I think you could probably do it with GFRC panels. I have seen them sprayed about 3/4" thick into a mold. For a substrate they used cement board with thinset to attach the panels. GFRC is lighter and stronger than traditional concrete. I would still be worried about long-term durability, though. Especially if there is any shifting of the foundation.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by fast fred View Post
I had a homeowner mention that he saw troweled concrete walls on a shower surround, he thought it would be pretty cool. I told him that was out of my league but i'd look into it.

We are sticking with tile for now, but I can't stop thinking about it.

I asked around and no one has done it, I haven't googled it since I figure I'd start with you guys.

Has anyone done this?

Would you just use straight portland cement on cement board? Or would you use thinset? Or portland cut with masons mix?

What about sealing it?

Anyone anyone anyone?
My friend has done it. I don't know what he used as a sealer. Concrete can be troweled on as thin as 1/8''. That said, it must be the correct mix or it will crack. I believe jim used backerboard with the joints taped and mudded first.
A urethane based sealer is what he used as a sealant over some of his concrete work.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #11
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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Originally Posted by catfish View Post
My friend has done it. I don't know what he used as a sealer. Concrete can be troweled on as thin as 1/8''. That said, it must be the correct mix or it will crack. I believe jim used backerboard with the joints taped and mudded first.
A urethane based sealer is what he used as a sealant over some of his concrete work.
Concrete has rocks in it. How can you trowel rocks to 1/8" ?
Walls properly lathed, scratched, floated and browned is probably what they are looking for.
Almost a lost art these days since most guys take the easy way out
and do hardi backer, cement board, green board, densarmor, kerdi or schulster.
Flame on, but that's the facts.

Last edited by skyhook; 06-15-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:25 PM   #12
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


Decorative concrete has no rocks in it. how would you trowel a 1/8 finish on a floor? Not with rocks.

I didn't see him do that, but I'll check and get back to the OP.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #13
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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Decorative concrete has no rocks in it. how would you trowel a 1/8 finish on a floor? Not with rocks.

I didn't see him do that, but I'll check and get back to the OP.
Concrete without rocks is Mortar.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:57 PM   #14
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


try google. its your friend.
Just cause you don't know anything about it, don't mean it ain't so.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:43 PM   #15
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


I think a stamped concrete is a real cool idea,,,,,how the heck would you do that, ,, pre-formed molds,,, colored ,like tiles. and then install them with thin-set, go back and grout the gaps,, sounds pretty interesting,,, something different

any suggestions? I read what you said GMOD,, but "has it been done" ,,love to see some pictures

Bill,
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #16
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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Old 06-15-2010, 07:06 PM   #17
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


Are you serious,,,,,,no joke,, would that work???? , what, and then press form ,,,,ahhhh,,,no.Gmod said pre-form ,, I just want to see what that looks like,, and actually- is it "truly" a viable option- that is the big question to me- will it last????
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:25 PM   #18
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


I've done quite a few slate showers over the years and agree it's a great material for wet locations.

I think the maintenance is not as big a deal as many make it out to be.

Grout is a bigger pain for soap and scum build-up.







I visited the project in that last shower this past year. It had been about 6 years since it was installed. The grout was a mess (homeowner used a color enhancing shampoo that stained it orange), but the slate looked as good as the day it was installed. The homeowner had cleaned and re-sealed every year or so.

I only use epoxy grouts these days.

(Second to last one is the very first shower/bath I did in slate--yes, the alignment of the joints around the tub deck suck... )
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:27 PM   #19
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


A few others:




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Old 06-15-2010, 08:17 PM   #20
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Re: Concrete Shower Walls


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I think a stamped concrete is a real cool idea,,,,,how the heck would you do that, ,, pre-formed molds,,, colored ,like tiles. and then install them with thin-set, go back and grout the gaps,, sounds pretty interesting,,, something different

any suggestions? I read what you said GMOD,, but "has it been done" ,,love to see some pictures

Bill,
Same friend that did troweled shower cast large blocks of concrete with eye-bolts in them, then screwed them to the studs with silicone between them(back only) and then grouted the joints.
His colors are really ugly, but the bath looked good.

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