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We have three full bathrooms in this new house. What a luxury for just the two of us! In each of these rooms, the shower is tiled — all the way to the ceiling. The guest bath and the bonus bath have tub/shower combinations, and we are using a plain white glazed matte wall tile to surround these showers. In the master shower, however, we got a little fancier. The master shower is a room unto itself. It’s not quite the “family-size” shower we had in California, however, it is large. There is no tub, but there is 20″x20″ porcelain tile (same as our main floor tile) on the walls, matching 2″x2″ porcelain tile on the floor, a built-in cultured marble seat, a built-in shelf/alcove/caddy for shampoo bottles, etc., decorative accent tile, an operable window, and a (soon-to-be-installed) large glass swinging door. We laid out this bathroom floorplan very carefully so that when in the shower, you can look out through the glass door and see the TV that will be on the vanity counter.

Here’s some more technical trivia … see the grey boards stacked against the wall and then applied to the shower walls? This is cement board. Cement board is a combination of cement and reinforcing fibers formed into ¼- to ½-inch thick sheets that are typically used as a tile backing board. In our house, cement board is screwed to the wood studs to create a substrate for vertical tile. It is a good tile-backing board because it will not mold, mildew, or physically break down in the continued presence of moisture or leaks. Cement board is not actually waterproof, but it is highly resistant to absorbing moisture and has excellent drying properties, so, in areas continually exposed to water spray (i.e., showers) a waterproofing barrier (trowel-applied) product is used on the face of the boards behind the finish (tile) system. Aren’t you glad to know this?

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