Tile: Sure-footed shower floor luxury

Certain home construction materials in certain applications just naturally provide a secure, confident, luxurious feel, and it’s hard to explain exactly why.

I’d put stone tile shower flooring right at the top of that list.

Beautiful and spa-like, wet stone feels great underfoot. Specially cut and contoured, tile is the top choice when it comes to putting down a new shower floor.

What’s especially dramatic is the difference between standing on a new tile floor, and the old experience of standing in a fiberglass tub bottom or on the hard-painted finish of a traditional cast iron bathtub. The first never feels quite solid, and the second can be dangerously slick. And let’s mention the “up and over” step into a tub can be perilous, not to mention overly athletic, in the drowsy first moments of the day.

Customers routinely tell us it is the easy entry, solid feeling, no-slip excursion into an updated and redesigned shower that is the piece de resistance, the sensual highlight, of a custom bathroom improvement project. It’s no wonder shower/tub combinations are disappearing from master bathrooms in favor of larger, glass-enclosed or even European-style (no shower walls) units that make the bathroom a special, relaxing and cozy sanctuary.

Tile shower flooring can be composed of ceramic, porcelain, glass or other materials beside stone. While standard flooring tiles can be slick when wet, shower flooring is typically contoured or treated to enhance traction. It also tends to be installed in smaller pieces to accommodate shaping for slope and drainage, and the smaller pieces mean more grout joints, which provide even more traction.

Professional installation is nearly a must because water is difficult to contain and persistently goes unwanted places creating mold, mildew and leak issues. Installed improperly, a tile shower floor is a permanent headache. Installed properly, a tile shower floor is a permanent luxury and a sure-footed good vibe.