If you have been thinking about upgrading your bathroom with a tile shower enclosure, then you should read our quick guide that covers installation, cost, customisation, durability, and the maintenance involved in owning a tiled shower in New Zealand.
1. Installation of a Tile Shower Enclosure
We believe that the installation of all types of shower enclosures should be handled by professionals, especially for tiled showers and wet area showers. A failure of your waterproofing system may lead to extensive water damage within your bathroom, which can spread to other rooms of your home, and leave you with a hefty bill to pay.
In some cases, you may be required a building consent by your council, as tiling showers can involve critical building work. You should always check with your builder or renovation specialist if you need one for your renovation or new installation prior to commencing any physical works. The NZ Government also offers a tool called ‘Do I need a building consent?’ where you can cross-check it. Make sure you check the one relevant to your council.
Installing a tiled shower without a building consent may lead to long-term and costly implications. Under the Building Act 2004, it is an offence to carry out work that requires a building consent, if done so, it will be regarded as illegal work. It is commonly costly to set it right and you may put people’s safety and your property at risk. In addition to that, often illegal building works are not covered on your home insurance and can also have a negative impact on saleability of your house. If you have checked with your builder and you do need a building consent, then these are some of the potential requirements your council may be looking at:
- If your bathroom floor structure is built with timber or concrete. This is because usually timber floors often require more careful detailing.
- The type and extent of the waterproof membrane that will be used, as these need to comply with the New Zealand Building clause E3.
- The council may also ask for details of the testing of these products to ensure they comply with the New Zealand Building Code. Even if you don’t need a building consent all works must be completed in accordance with the Building Code.
2. How much does it cost to install a tile shower enclosure?
Tile showers doors and trays can be easily customised to any size, style, and colour. So, the budget can vary greatly for the completion of a project. Because they are a bit trickier to install and involve a greater number of laboured forces, they are usually more expensive than acrylic tile showers. You can expect to pay anything between $7,000 to $15,000. Of course, if you are going for luxury tile showers, then the sky is the limit!
If you are located in the Bay of Plenty, our expert friends at High Level Tiling Precision can give you a quote for tiling your shower/bathroom.
3. How can I customise my tile showers?
As mentioned, the ability to customise your shower enclosure to any shape or size is one of the fantastic advantages of tile showers! With this type of shower, you are able to truly personalise it to your taste. By opting for a tile shower, you are not restricted to standard tray showers, or even the shower glass doors, as you can easily design it to the shape you desire.
Tile showers allow you to use different colours, patterns and materials with different types and styles. Below are some examples of tile showers you can potentially purchase for your project:
Porcelain: These are likely the most commonly used type for showers because they are highly durable, diverse, and water-resistant. This is because porcelain is a non-porous material, and therefore, it prevents the build of mildew and soap scum. Porcelain tiles come in a variety of styles, colours, and shapes.
Ceramic: these tiles are much cheaper than porcelain, and because they are porous, they are prone to the growth of mould and mildew. If you do choose a ceramic tile, make sure they are glazed ceramic tiles. The process of glazing will seal the porous which will help to avoid the growth of bacteria and mould in your tiles.
4. How durable are tile showers?
Most tile showers should be treated with a sealant to form a protective barrier over the tiled surface. This is especially true for porous stone tiles like slate, marble, granite as they tend to absorb spills and stains. Ceramic and porcelain tiles may not need to be sealed but you must always check with your manufacturer.
If your shower tiles have been sealed, then overtime the shower sealant will degrade and need to be replaced.
Overall, shower tiles should be re-grouted and re-sealed every 8-10 years – earlier if any cracks or flaws exist. The durability will also depend on what kind of material you have chosen for your tiles, as mentioned some materials like porcelain will be more durable than ceramic tiles.
5. Are Tile Showers easy to maintain?
Unlike acrylic showers, tile showers are harder and more time consuming to maintain. This is because of the grout, which usually enables the harbouring of mould and mildew. You will have to check with your manufacturer on how often and what sort of products you should use when cleaning your shower tiles.
However, the general recommendation is to have your tiles cleaned twice or three times per week.