Enhanced style and design sophistication have fully discovered the shower space in recent years. Curves, bends, insets, zero-entry features and even windows are setting bathrooms apart in homes and hospitality spaces, and custom shower areas have become key selling points as homeowners and guests look to recreate the spa experience at home or in their hotel room. While these designs and innovations elevate the look, they also elevate the complexity of shower projects, and manufacturers are responding with shower installation systems and solutions to get the job done. 

Designers, installers and flooring pros are turning to manufacturers for their latest waterproofing projects, ranging from the everyday to the complex, and from showers to outdoor terraces and even swimming pools. 

“As elegant as the shower designs have become, everyone also appreciates an elegant solution for installing them,” said Britton Watson, senior marketing and communications manager, Schönox.

With a goal to handle the maximum number of waterproofing scenarios with the minimum number of waterproofing products, the Schönox waterproofing solutions lineup unlocks designer creativity and equips installers and contractors with everything they need for any project that requires waterproofing. 

The manufacturer’s full waterproofing line integrates with iFix, a rollable waterproofing sealing adhesive, as well as Schönox AB, a sealing and waterproofing sheet membrane, to address the unique features common in today’s custom shower areas, including their turns, curves, and unique shapes. 

“The irregular sizes, curves, and turns of custom shower spaces can also present challenges with shower pans and the water flow to drains,” said Watson. “Custom shower spaces often necessitate custom-created shower pans and floors.” 

Watson says Schönox has considered this need in its product development. Schönox US, cement-based, self-leveling compound, has flow characteristics ideal for creating those custom shower floors and accepts a constant water load. Installers are using Schönox US to achieve innovative results. Regardless of the shower area’s shape, Schönox US can be poured in place, building up the outside areas creating just the right slopes and pathways toward drains. “Pairing Schönox US with iFix and AB creates a powerful product solution, readying spaces for ceramic and natural stone coverings.” 

With large-format tile being the biggest continuing trend of 2020, going strong into 2021, bathroom shower and tub tiles have also turned to this large format style as well. It’s easy to see why this style is so popular throughout interiors—installing these massive tiles means fewer grout lines, which allows for a seamless transition across the surface and creates a sleek and modern space. This is true not only for floors, walls and countertops, but showers and tub surrounds as well. 

“The ever-evolving tile industry requires revolutionary products with exceptional quality and tangible benefits for installers,” said Brian Pistulka, product line manager, Mapei Tile and Stone Installation Systems. 

To meet the high demands of these new tile styles and trends, Mapei introduced the Keraflex family of mortars, which includes Keraflex Super, Keraflex Plus, Keraflex SG and Keraflex RS. These highly versatile mortars are ideal for large and heavy tiles, including ceramic, porcelain and gauged tile.  

“The working features, product application and performance attributes of the Keraflex mortars combine and enhance the individual strengths of the different technologies of polymer-modified mortars and large-and-heavy-tile mortars currently on the market,” said Pistulka.