Material & Supply Calculator Shower Floors
(Also see Mud Bed)
The slope (pitch) is the gradual descent in the angle of the shower floor. Slope is an essential component in shower floor construction because it guides the flow of water towards the drain. A sand-and-cement mix such as MAPEI 4 to 1 Mud Bed Mix typically serves as the material for the mud bed, which is used to create the slope on the shower floor.
Slope is also a critical component in successful exterior installations. It is very important for rain water to quickly drain off patios and balconies. If water remains stagnant, severe efflorescence issues can occur. When the flow of water is not moving away from the home, it can also increase the chance of moisture entering the home, which can create more serious issues.
Note: The industry standard for shower slopes is a range of 1/4" to 1/2" per foot. With certain installations such as ADA barrier-free showers and standard shower stalls with three-dimensional pebble tile and river rock mosaics, the minimum 1/4" per foot slope may be insufficient. A steeper slope may be required in order to facilitate good drainage.
A mud bed (mortar bed) is used to create the slope on the shower floor. A sand-and-cement mix such as MAPEI 4 to 1 Mud Bed Mix can be used as the material for the mud bed. When this type of sand-and-cement mix is mixed with water, it is called a dry pack. The dry pack should be the consistency of wet beach sand, just as you would use to make a sand castle with molded plastic beach toy. This consistency allows you to shape the mix precisely to the required slope.
Properly calculating your project’s total area helps ensure an accurate estimate of the materials needed. The shape of your project space may require combining multiple measurements. Follow the simple directions on our Calculating Total Area page to guide you through the process.
Grout joint widths are also an important factor in a successful tile installation. When choosing spacer size, consider the aesthetics of the installation, the type and size of tile, the edge style of the tile and the type of grout.
3/16" is a standard-size joint width. Wider joints may be needed with installations of very large tiles. Even installations of small tile require a minimum of 1/16" grout joint. Note: Installations with tiles tightly butted together (zero grout) are not recommended and will likely develop serious issues over time.
Many factors should be considered when selecting the right trowel size for a tile installation, but the most important factor is the tile size. As a general rule, after tile is pressed into mortar, mortar should cover the entire back surface of the tile without voids or trowel lines. So, take time to check for proper mortar coverage by periodically lifting a couple of tiles and inspecting them for coverage. If there are voids or trowel lines showing, a larger-sized trowel may be required for the installation. Back-buttering is generally recommended for tiles with any side 15" or greater. Installations of tiles larger than 24" x 24" typically require the skill of a knowledgeable and experienced tile installer. The Technical Data Sheet and product packaging will provide mortar coverage for common trowel sizes.
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Shower Floors Supply List
Congrats, your Shower Floors Project has been successfully calculated. Below you’ll find a list of all the MAPEI products you’ll need to complete your project.