A beautifully crafted and long-lasting stall shower can take a significant amount of time to plan, bid, and fabricate, but it can be ruined quickly if the tile installer doesn’t watch other trades working in the same space.

The TCNA Handbook and ANSI Specifications provide a clear course of action for the installer. After the tile work has been skillfully completed, the client will usually select a shower door. The problem is that the type of shower door should have been part of the planning process.

This lack of good communication and a clear scope of work can cause problems, as in this example. The tiled shower is complete when the shower door installer arrives to install the door. Unfortunately, the client never informed the tile installer that they had selected a shower door with a pivot-style hinge, which require a hole to be drilled into the curb. With proper planning, they work, but without that being done (as in this case), disaster lies ahead.

Without the knowledge of the tile installer, the door installer drilled a 1/4” hole in the curb which also caused the marble tile to crack as seen in the first photo. The door installer did not realize that the depth of the hole is the crucial difference between success and failure. In this case, the hole was drilled through the marble tile, the thin-set mortar, the foam curb cover and the shower pan membrane. Even though the door installer filled the hole with 100% silicone, the tile installation was compromised as seen in the second photo.  If you look closely at the shower pan membrane, the red circle shows the hole which was the source of the failure.

Tile installers should always communicate effectively with their clients so that everyone knows and understands the full scope of the job. If a pivot door is planned, the hole should always be drilled by the tile installer.