Bathing in Concrete

No, people aren't actually standing under a shower head cleaning themselves with concrete. But a shower stall made of concrete is becoming a popular commodity, says Hugh Miller, owner of Concrete Coating and Resurfacing.

Miller's company does both interior and exterior coatings, but 80 percent of the company's business is interior work, Miller says. And 20 to 30 percent of that is shower coatings.

Two years ago, a customer in Lewiston, Idaho, saw Miller's work at a home show and approached him to create a concrete coating for a shower and separate tub surround.

The project took Miller three days to complete. The shower itself was a walk-in shower with a 6 foot by 7 foot floor and two 9-foot walls. The two other shower walls were glass, so Miller had to apply the coating on the support column between the glass walls. This posed a small challenge. "Because it's so small, it's hard to get a good texture on it," Miller says. The ceiling above the shower was also coated.

Miller placed a cementicious backer board over all the areas he was coating. He then placed a rubberized membrane over all the seams before coating.

The coating needed to be applied vertically so Miller used a hopper gun to spray it on the wall and a pool trowel to even it out. To eliminate high spots he rubbed the coating with a stone sandpaper. Next he used fiber glass tape to create the grout lines and tile pattern. He then used the hopper gun again to spray on a heavier layer of the coating.

With a trowel, he gave the second coat a hand-textured finish to create a rougher surface with highs and lows. Finally, he used a grouting sponge to highlight the coating with one color and then a rag roller to add another highlighting color.

Miller used a brush and roller to apply an epoxy sealer to the shower. He says he used an epoxy sealer because it was 100 percent solids and offered a cleaner, healthier sealer, compared to others, for use in a bathroom. Miller adds, "The epoxy is easy to put on vertically. It's a very durable sealer that is completely waterproof."

Miller used Concrete Coatings Inc. products for the project. This included about six different colors - a mix of grays, green and plum - three 50-pound bags of a polymer mixed grout mix and 6 gallons of sealer.

In addition to the bathroom, Miller completed other projects for the homeowner including coatings on floors, kitchen and bathroom countertops, and a fireplace.


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