Tile Fix Direct Blog

October 2013

How To Create Your Dream Walk In Shower

Wet Room

If you are looking for a way to modernise your bathroom, then installing a walk in shower may add just the touch of contemporary luxury that you are looking for. Increasingly popular, they are practical and stylish, combining easy step-free access with fully tiled walls and shower floor. Walk in showers are great for small bathrooms because they make the most of the available space. A walk in shower can be as small as 800 x 800mm or as large as you desire. Larger bathrooms provide even more opportunity to create a luxury space, and a large walk in shower can be added in combination with an opulent free standing bath.

Planning & Designing Your Walk In Shower

Once you have made the decision to install a walk in shower in your home, planning and design is the next important step. Calculate how much you can afford to spend on your project, measure the available space, and decide whether you will just have a walk in shower or will convert the entire room to be a fully waterproofed wet room. This stage is crucial for ensuring the success of the installation, so take the time to think everything through and ensure that your vision will work in your home.

Walk In Shower

When considering the layout and design of your walk in shower and bathroom configuration, we recommend looking online for inspiration, such as on Pinterest or on our wet room design ideas page. The more layout and colour schemes you look at, the more you will understand what you like and what could work with your existing space and budget. If either the space or money you have available is tight, then try to identify what the most important aspect of your walk in shower is and then plan around that. For example, you may have your heart set on a rainfall shower head and are willing to compromise on the type of tiles, or perhaps having a shower screen is a non-negotiable for you.

Whether you opt to convert the entire room into a wet room, or just want to install a walk in shower, we recommend that you waterproof the entire floor if possible. In the design and planning stage, it is important to realise that you will need a variety of important waterproofing products below the surface of the walk in shower and wet room. Whilst these will not be seen in the finished design, it is imperative that the room is properly waterproofed before tiling in order to ensure that the shower area and entire wet room (if relevant) are watertight and will remain so for years to come. Items that are likely to be included in the waterproofing layer include: tile backer boards, waterproofing tape, a walk in shower tray and relevant fixing products.

One of the most exciting (and potentially difficult) design choices you’ll have is the colour and type of tiles that you will use in your walk in shower. Mosaic tiles are popular for use in walk in showers, especially non-slip mosaics on the shower floor. You can choose to have complementary or contrasting colours, create a feature wall, or use the same tiles as the rest of the bathroom. You are likely to only be limited by your imagination and budget, but remember that the tiles will be there for many years so try to be confident that you will still love your choice in five and ten years’ time, as choosing the wrong tiles could prove to be a costly mistake. If you are considering natural stone tiles, find out what sort of sealing and maintenance they will require, as they are not as straightforward to use as porcelain and ceramic tiles.

Tiled Shower Tray

Installing Your Walk In Shower

When it comes to installing your walk in shower and wet room (if relevant) you will need to decide whether you will do any of the work yourself or if you will get tradespeople in to do the lot. Be sure to get at least three different quotes from tradespeople to ensure you find the best fit for you. If you will be undertaking any of the work yourself then we recommend that you read up on the relevant installation techniques and do not attempt to do anything that you are not confident about. At the end of this blog post you will find an instructional video on installing a walk in shower tray and links to Orbry wet room and walk in shower installation guides, which should assist you.

Adding The Finishing Touches To Your Walk In Shower

Bath Products & Tiles

The tiles and accessories that you use for your walk in shower will have a big impact on your enjoyment of it. For example, installing a shower screen helps to create a separate shower enclosure and prevents water splashing out onto the other fixtures and fittings, whilst still maintaining the modern, open feel of the walk in shower. Having a double robe hook over the top of the shower screen is an ideal way to save space and increase the storage – you can have your towel and bathrobe hanging conveniently close to you so that you do not have to drip water across the room when fetching your towel after showering. The type of shower head you use will also have an important bearing on how much you enjoy your new shower. A rainfall head is a popular item and increases the sense of luxury, but be realistic about what will suit your day-to-day needs as well as your budget. To truly create a hotel-like oasis in your own bathroom, it is a wonderful idea to purchase stylish glass bottles that you can decant your hair and body products into to create a designer inspired look.

Tile Fix Direct stocks all that you will need to waterproof a walk in shower and you can purchase a gorgeous range of tiles from The London Tile Co. that will be perfect for your new shower.

Walk In Shower Installation Advice Guides

Orbry Shower Screen Installation Guide

Orbry Shower Screen Brochure

Orbry Stud Wall Fixing Guide

Orbry Solid Wall Fixing Guide

Orbry Floor Fixing Guide

Orbry Waterproofing Guide

Orbry Wet Room Installation Guide

Orbry Underfloor Heating Installation Guide

New BAL Formulations – White Star Plus & Max-Flex Fibre With Fibre Strand Technology


BAL ‘FST’ Fibre Strand Technology

BAL has undergone extensive research and development to create its new ‘FST’ Fibre Strand Technology. In consultation with tile fixers and contractors across the country, BAL has found that product performance can be improved with the right integration of certain raw materials. FST products have special fibres which improve strength, grab and non-slip performance even with extended open times. They have also been combined with new smooth sphere fillers, which provide improved consistency and smoothness in FST products compared with conventional fillers. BAL has included its Fibre Strand Technology in two products that are now available on Tile Fix Direct: BAL White Star Plus and BAL Max-Flex Fibre.

BAL White Star Plus

Newly formulated BAL White Star Plus is a water-resistant, ready-mixed tile adhesive for walls. Containing BAL’s ‘FST’ Fibre Strand Technology with a new type of smooth, lightweight filler, BAL White Star Plus has a higher polymer performance than its predecessor. Featuring an extended opening time of over 30 minutes, the new formulation is highly flexible, strong and non-slip. BAL White Star Plus is ideal for use in wet rooms, bathrooms, showers and kitchens in both domestic and commercial environments.

Using BAL White Star Plus

Ensure that all surfaces to be tiled are flat, clean, dry, sound and free from contamination before beginning. White Star Plus is suitable for fixing ceramic tiles of up to 300x300mm, porcelain tiles of up to 150x150mm, mosaics and some natural stone in dry or wet interior environments. It is not suitable for exterior use or on floors. Ensure the bed thickness is a maximum of 3mm when applying, and allow the product to dry for 24 hours prior to grouting.

BAL Max-Flex Fibre

New from BAL is Max-Flex Fibre, a water- and frost-resistant cementitious tile adhesive that is suitable for walls and floors in wet and dry environments both inside and out. Available in white and grey, BAL Max-Flex Fibre can be used on a wide range of tile types including ceramic, mosaic, porcelain and natural stone, to name a few. Incorporating Fibre Strand Technology, Max-Flex Fibre is a smooth, strong product that boasts better grab and an extended working time, making it a practical and robust option. Suitable for most backgrounds subject to limited movement, BAL Max-Flex Fibre can be used in the kitchen or bathroom, in conjunction with underfloor heating, and even in a swimming pool.

Using BAL Max-Flex Fibre

Prior to use, make sure surfaces to be tiled are flat, clean, dry, sound and free from contamination. Be sure to waterproof the background of shower areas with a suitable tanking product such as BAL WP1. Do NOT use Max-Flex Fibre in temperatures below 5°C and wait a minimum of 16 hours (at 20°C) after fixing tiles before grouting.

Stop Tiles Cracking With Schlüter-KERDI Membrane

Schlüter-KERDI Membrane is perfect for use under tiles in bathrooms.

Schlüter-KERDI Membrane is perfect for use under tiles in bathrooms.

Schlüter-KERDI Membrane

Schlüter-KERDI is a popular waterproof membrane often used in bathrooms and wet rooms. Made of soft polyethylene, Schlüter KERDI Membrane is covered on both sides with a special fleece webbing so that the membrane will securely bond with suitable tile adhesive. KERDI membrane is suitable for walls and floors and creates a crack bridging layer between the tiles or natural stone and the substrate.

Movement in the substrate can happen for a variety of reasons and could cause cracking in your tiles. However, by using KERDI membrane as an uncoupling membrane, any movement in the substrate will not impact on the tiles. It also provides a waterproof barrier and is suitable for use in bathrooms and wet rooms.

Benefits of KERDI Membrane

  • Prevents movement in substrate from causing cracks in tiles.
  • Suitable for both wall and floor applications.
  • Waterproof so ideal for use in bathrooms and wet rooms.
  • Resistant to most chemicals typically encountered in a tiled environment.
  • Will not rot or deteriorate with age.

How To Use KERDI Membrane

It is important that the KERDI membrane is attached to an even, load bearing substrate with a suitable tile adhesive. Tiles can then be fixed directly to the matting using the thin bed method. If the surface that the KERDI membrane will be laid upon is not completely smooth, the unevenness should be levelled out prior to the application of Schlüter-KERDI.

Tile Fix Direct stocks Schlüter-KERDI Membrane from £9.52 +VAT per square metre and offers free daytime delivery to mainland UK on orders over £50.

Stop Pipes Freezing This Winter With DEVI Pipe Frost Protection Cable

DEVI DPH-10™ Pipe Frost Protection Cable

As autumn takes hold, the novelty of colourful falling leaves prevails; however, in the back of your mind you may already have begun worrying about winter and the toll it will take on your home. Pipes are prone to freezing during frosts, and protecting against such an eventuality is an increasing necessity. Now is the time to plan ahead and prepare your home for winter. Water pipes freezing over is a worrying prospect, but one that can be prevented with the right groundwork. DEVI DPH-10™ Pipe Frost Protection Cable is ideal for protecting your condensate boiler and water pipes from the onslaught of wintery weather.

Using a special polymer composite core, DEVI Pipe Frost Protection Cable automatically adjusts the heat provided based on the ambient temperatures around it. The heating cable comes with a 1.5m connection cable and is available from Tile Fix Direct in lengths of 2m, 4m, 6m and 8m.

Water Pipe Frost Frost Protection

DEVI DPH-10™ Pipe Frost Protection Cables are designed to protect water pipes from the effects of extreme winter weather and prevent them from freezing. Burst pipes are a nightmare and can result in water gushing through the floor to the room below and causing untold damage. If you are away on holiday when this happens then the damage may be even more extensive as the water will have more time to seep through walls and floors. Whether on holiday or not, the last thing you want is your home damaged and DEVI Pipe Frost Protection Cable is a far cheaper and less stressful option than frozen pipes – prevention is better than the cure.

Protect Condensate Boiler Pipes From Freezing

DEVI Pipe Frost Protection Cable is also ideal for preventing condensate boiler pipes from freezing over. Modern condensate boilers are highly efficient and remove more heat from the combustion gases, which results in additional water vapour being produced. This is collected within the boiler as condensate and is then eliminated via a condensate boiler pipe to a suitable drain. The current regulations allow for these pipes to be outside or partially outside a building, which leaves them vulnerable to freezing in extreme weather conditions, which could cause your boiler to shut down. Using DEVI Pipe Frost Protection Cable can prevent your condensate boiler pipes from freezing, potentially saving you a lot of hassle and money.

DEVI DPH-10™ Pipe Frost Protection Cables come with a five-year warranty and are available to buy in four lengths from Tile Fix Direct.

DEVIreg Touch iTunes Promotion

DEVIreg Touch thermostat

Buy DEVIreg Touch thermostats and be rewarded with iTunes vouchers.

Buy DEVIreg Touch Thermostats & Receive iTunes Vouchers

DEVI has just launched an exciting iTunes voucher campaign for its DEVIreg Touch thermostat. Running from 1st October – 15th December 2013, the DEVI iTunes promotion enables installers to save up their DEVIreg Touch receipts and then redeem them for iTunes vouchers. 3 DEVIreg Touch purchases equates to £15 of iTunes vouchers, 5 purchases gets £25 of vouchers and buying 10 DEVIreg Touch thermostats entitles the installer to £50 of iTunes vouchers. To be eligible for the vouchers the thermostats must be purchased in conjunction with DEVImat electric underfloor heating mats or DEVIflex underfloor heating cables.

Your DEVIreg Touch thermostats can be purchased in one transaction, or multiple transactions within the promotion period. To claim your iTunes vouchers simply send photocopies of the relevant receipts/invoices along with the official DEVI iTunes promotion application form to Danfoss/DEVI. Claim forms and proof of purchases must be received by DEVI by December 22nd 2013 at the latest and you will then receive the iTunes vouchers directly from them. You can send in as many coupons and photocopies of receipts/invoices as you like during the promotion period. Full terms and conditions can be found on the application form.

Buy DEVIreg Touch Thermostats From Tile Fix Direct

The DEVIreg Touch is an easy to use thermostat featuring a touch screen control. Designed with customers in mind, it comes with an impressive 5 year warranty from the manufacturer. Tile Fix Direct sells DEVIreg Touch thermostats for only £66.65 +VAT or buy 4+ for only £64.98 +VAT each. We also stock a great range of DEVImat electric underfloor heating at terrific online-only prices.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams