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Concrete Shower Floor (Pros and Cons & Design Guide)

Here’s our concrete shower floor design guide including pros and cons, what kind of concrete to use, installation steps and waterproofing. Bathroom wet room with concrete floor shower large freestanding tub On the subject of ideal shower floor materials, besides aesthetic appeal, there are several other variables that should be given just as much, if not more, attention.

Where to start? With concrete shower floors. Say hello to one of the most reliable materials you can count on for your bathroom shower floor revamping.

Can You Use Concrete For Shower Floor? 

The short answer? A resounding “yes”! But perhaps it’s the “why” of it that you should understand. Why use concrete for your bathroom shower floor? What are its benefits? And as it has been around since the 1800s, why does it remain a constant in shower flooring construction?

Our experts have narrowed down buying with a design guide to help you finally make the right decision for switching to concrete

Concrete Shower Floor Pros And Cons

Loft bathroom with concrete floor shower Pros

Water Damage Resistance – Many are unaware that concrete does not easily let water seep through it. As long as concrete surfaces are installed and maintained well, the likelihood of them incurring water damage is low. 

With the aid of the best flooring specialists, you can have concrete floors regularly checked so that cracks and fissures are quickly pointed out, covered, and patched up. This will strengthen the affected area and curb the build-up of moisture. 

Durability And Longevity – Aside from resilience against water damage, concrete has been proven to be durable. It can withstand abrasions, chemical exposure, and weathering elements. That, all while maintaining its structural quality and integrity. 

A reason behind its durability, and ultimately, longevity, is how it houses low levels of organic content. Fewer organic content equals a slower rate of deterioration caused by reoccurring natural elements found in the environment. 

Cleaning Convenience – Concrete is fairly hassle-free to clean. In fact, dust and dirt will require little effort from dry-mopping to sweeping, and vacuuming. Every now and then, you can even use a wet mop for deep cleaning concrete. 

Concerning cleaning agents, be sure to ask your supplier about which products will work the best. There are tons of commercial cleaning agents which contain chemicals that discolor concrete and these should definitely be avoided. 

Economical – You’d think that something as durable as concrete flooring materials would equate to hefty price tags. Nevertheless, this isn’t so. Concrete is so cost-effective, it’s considered one of the most economical, in the context of construction materials for flooring. 

Concrete is comprised of simple substances, mainly aggregates (commonly referred to as “rocks”), air, and paste. The “paste” is generally made up of a blend of water and Portland cement.

All of these are naturally sourced and thus do not entail expensive extraction and manufacturing processes. This makes them ideal for large walk-in shower designs. Modern bathroom concrete shower floors

Cons

The Right Surface Finish – The point of the matter is that hitting that “right” concrete finish is usually attainable only with the assistance of expert contractors.

If you’re thinking of DIY-ing this yet have no experience regarding concrete pouring and layering, you might end up with a shower floor that’s either too coarse or too slick to be trodded upon. 

No Sealant Means Hello Staining – Although concrete floors can be cleaned without complications, they can incur staining. And not the artful sort of what we imply by “staining”. But don’t worry as there is a solution to this— sealants. 

What Kind Of Concrete Do You Use For A Shower Floor?

Sand Mix 

Just as the term implies, a “sand mix” is a combination of cement and sand. The latter is what allows “sand mix” that unique appearance and texture. A kind of beautiful grainy finish. 

Barring this, sand lets the mortar gain volume. More volume means higher density, which directly translates to physically expanding the product further. 

Thinset 

Thinset is the preferred pair of cement foundations particularly for reinforcing tile fittings. After your shower floor’s concrete has been laid, Thinset is the next layer to be spread before tiles are put down and arranged. This type of cement is often used for installation of pebble tile shower floors.

Portland Cement

Portland cement is among the most common type of industrial resources utilized in both residential and commercial spheres. It is also very frequently a material included in many other categories of concrete, mortar, etc. Modern bathroom with walk in shower concrete floors and custom epoxy tub

Concrete Shower Floor Installation

Here are some of the steps that revolve around a basic design and installation guide for your brand new shower floor. 

Membrane Fastening 

A rubber membrane should be spread evenly on the floor surface, with its edges stretching a tad beyond the floor’s diameter.

You can use studs to affix them securely on the form board. And a pro tip— leave at least 8” starting at the bottom of the board.

Drain Hole Cutting Plus Drain Plate 

With a utility knife or a similar instrument, cut the drain hole out. Take care that you cut it in the right size. Not-too-large is good enough.

The purpose for this is for it to act as a funnel for those rare instances when water seeps through and needs an outlet to be drained from the flooring.

Subsequently, fasten the drain plate along with the drain. A 1 ¼” allowance is recommended to give the concrete mix ample space to settle. 

Mixing the Concrete

Now comes the mixing of the concrete. This may vary according to the type of concrete material you choose.

By and large, you can pour it in a basic bucket and fill it up until about a third of the receptacle.

Afterwards, alternate pouring water and a bit more concrete, and combine them until they acquire a smoothie-like texture. Likewise, don’t forget to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for this task. 

Pouring And Curing Concrete

The concrete can be distributed via a handheld mortar mixer or a trowel. Follow the aforementioned 1 ¼” leeway closest to the drain. Gently spread out the moist concrete until it is even and smooth. 

How Do You Waterproof A Concrete Shower Floor?

Sealers… In Multiple Coats 

Sealers can be sprayed on concrete floors and serve as a protective film against water seepage and moisture accumulation. On several occasions, epoxies are coated on cement, and sealers are distributed as the final overlay.

A Final Tip For Slip-Resistance 

It will be beneficial to lightly roughen your shower floor to prevent slippage. An alternative is to purchase a grit-filled floor supplement as it will work the same way as roughening concrete.

For more related content visit our gallery of wet room bathroom designs.

One Comment

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  1. It’s great to hear about the economical benefits that a concrete bathroom floor provides. I’m glad that it doesn’t lose any of the benefits that make tiles so popular as a choice for bathroom linings, and yet it’s still somehow cheaper and the more cost-effective solution. I’m planning on getting a gym built here in town and was wondering how I could save money during the construction. It seems that this is a great way to achieve that, I’ll be sure to reach out to any commercial concrete suppliers in town and ask about how they can help me out.

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