Grout is Not the Enemy

Me and Sandra building a curbless and waterproof shower {Hey, no butt crack jokes}

Continuing on my post from last week, I am moving towards designing more kitchens and baths – because they are FUN!

Generally homeowners want to remodel a bathroom for aesthetic reasons (as in they a fugly and I am going to tell you why you hate that grout and why you shouldn’t).  But most often I am asked to remodel a bathroom because one or more of the homeowners needs a “barrier free” shower. Tiled showers typically have a curb to retain water in the stall, which can make entry difficult for someone with limited mobility (because they have been injured or because of age).

Barrier-free Tiled Showers

Barrier-free tiled showers eliminate the use of a curb and rely on the slope of the floor to keep water inside the stall, thus improving accessibility. You say to yourself, “I am young and healthy – heck I don’t care about barrier-free, but what if (oops) you break your leg? Then what? Guess what?, barrier free showers are great for other reasons too. First they are freakin cool (ur, I mean) beautiful. Barrier-free showers also allow seamless integration with surrounding tiled surfaces turning the boring ole’ bathroom into a luxurious space.  Secondly, they increase the resale value of your home (yup, as in they are uber desirable). My team and I (oh yaw, I am a team now – Sandra is my new designer on staff) recently attended a 2 ½ day training on Schluter Systems at their headquarters in Reno. We actually built a shower! The training was fantastic and we learned loads about this industry in general and the Schluter products.


Waterproofing is the foundation of successful tiled bathrooms. Moisture-sensitive construction materials (e.g., wood framing, plywood and OSB sheathing, gypsum wallboard, etc.) are common in our building environment and must be protected in wet areas. Wet areas also bring the potential for mold growth if effective moisture management is not provided. The key to mold control is moisture control. Most people (myself included) think that mold is from the water hitting the grout on the outside, but it is actually the vapor on the inside not being able to escape properly and it leaches out into the grout. You can see way having a properly installed and waterproofed bathroom is so important. Schluter Systems make this process almost fool proof.

What the Designer Thinks

From a Designers’ perspective, open concept bathrooms combine style and accessibility and are a trend that is hot, hot, hot (or should I say, wet, wet, wet?)!  With floors sloped to linear drains (and oh how I love the linear drain), shower curbs and shower doors can disappear (do you hate to clean that glass shower door? – then let’s get rid of it) creating gorgeous barrier-free bathrooms that are luxurious, trendy, and add value. Barrier Free Shower

image: Schluter Systems

Are you anxious to remodel your bathroom? We can help! Call and schedule a Remodel Clarity Session and we can get started on your remodel.


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