We want to upgrade our bathroom, especially the shower and are considering a greener and DIY approach.

Asked by Judie
Portland, OR

We have looked at a product at Loews by "American Bath Factory" called Sistine Stone and they use it to fabricate kit showers. Can you tell me if this product off gases or if there are any toxic materials used in the slurry to create the stone surface? I am especially concerned about the polyurethane core material but their literature says that the surrounding material is non-porous and so I am wondering if that will protect against any off gassing or not. Our other consideration is to build the shower opening and tile it ourselves which makes me a bit nervous. I do not want to revisit the vinyl/acrylic (not sure which) surround which is what we are replacing as I know how toxic that is plus it is cracked and we will likely be facing mold/mildew issues when it is removed. Your help and advice is appreciated.


Answered by Erik Henry

Brownsburg, IN

ELH Construction LLC

November 27, 2012

You can tile a shower surround yourself. It is a tedious process, and time consuming, so do not put yourself in a rush.

There are a few tools that will make your life easy. If it is a ceramic tile install you can use a tile "Break" and a "Grinder."

Make sure to have a plan for the lay out. Make sure to stay level and use tile shims to make small adjustments. Wait seven days to seal the grout and silicone or color matching sanded caulk the corners and where the tile meets the shower pan. Make sure to leave a joint between the pan and the tile. More important make sure the wall board is a specified water resistant or water proof tile board. Mess tape all seams, especially corners and brush on water proofing like Red Guard or Hydro-Ban.

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