Quick Pitch System

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If you’ve ever thought about what goes beneath your tile in your shower; hopefully this information will help you make the right decisions.

The Quick Pitch System is used to build your tiled shower system.  Attach the quick-pitch sticks around the 4″ Center Ring; you slide them in the slots of the center ring.  The sticks are designed to create a perfect slope for your tile to sit; and eventually all water to be directed toward the drain in your shower.

You can use any liner with the quick-pitch system.  However, in my experience I recommend the OneLiner Structured Shower Liner.  Whether your drain is in the center of your shower or off-set to 1 side like the example below – the quick pitch system is designed to slope any shower, even if it’s irregular.  If the length from your drain to any wall or corner is more than 36″ in length, use the quick pitch extensions.

Using the Quick Pitch System with a PVC liner…

You end up with a shower that looks like this below.  Notice that tile is slightly higher on the outside edges than the center of your shower.  This enables the water to make its way to the drain.  This is where the quick-pitch system is very important.  Without a perfect slope toward your drain, you are compromising the integrity of your entire shower system. 

Home Repair Tip:  If you are re-modelling your shower, when you remove the existing tile or fiberglass; the quick pitch system is easily installed and very friendly to the Do-it-yourselfer.  You can save on some of the labour costs if you decide to undertake the project on your own.

The video below gives you step by step-by-step instructions to install the quick pitch in your shower.

 

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Ebbe Square Grates

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One of the most gorgeous drains I’ve come across are the Ebbe Unique Series.  The Unique Style Square Grates  come in a variety of styles.  The below photos are just two examples.  They come in very interesting patterns!  They enhance the look and style of your shower.  If you need to match your fixtures; all the grates are available in Polished Stainless, Brushed Stainless and Satin Stainless.

Why choose the Ebbe Square Drains?

  • Ebbe Square Drains install into new shower installations remarkably easy.  Since it’s a square drain, you don’t need to cut, nip and grind to fit a round drain grate. Simple cuts are easily made, and waste little precious time. Ebbe drains are sized to match standard 1/2″, 1″, 2″ and 4″ tile without cutting.
  • The Square Drain Complete Package, available in either ABS (black) or PVC (white), comes with a 3 Part Drain including a Square Riser with a Construction Cover Plate and a Square Drain Grate to give your shower that finishing touch and great curb appeal.

Twister

Tsunami

I definitely recommend these drains for that elegant appeal!

Tile-Ready Shower bench

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In a shower, a very helpful item is having a bench to sit on.  This adds beauty and a flare to your shower.  This is incredibly awesome for people who have trouble standing, or have some kind of injury.  As you can see, both the rectangular and corner bench are solid right to the ground; this makes the cleaning of your shower much easier!  I recommend either of the two Dix Shower benches:

Dix 32″ Solid Shower Bench

Dix 16″ Corner Bench

The above images feature the rectangular and triangular foam benches.  They come in a 32″ size, or a triangular 16″ size.  Both of these benches can have modifications made to them-if the sides are too long, or the top is too high they can be cut down.  This is very helpful for people with tighter space in your shower body.  You can know that you’ll be able to modify it by simply shimming it down.  Both of these benches are tile-ready.  The benches are made of a high density polystyrene giving you an absolutely waterproof and mold resistant product.   It’s very lightweight which makes it so easy to work with.  To install this just use a latex modified thin-set, silicone the edges, and let it dry.  Then you are ready to tile on top of this bench.  Here is a link to the complete detailed instructions for both the rectangular and corner foam benches.

Hope this got some ideas popping around your head about your shower!

ACO Quartz Plus Promo

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The ACO Quartz Plus Linear Drains are currently on promotion; up to 10% off until further notice.  Don’t miss out on this exciting offer.  Both sizes – 35″ length size, and the 47″ are on sale so call today 1-888-450-0112 or visit Dix Systems to receive your sale price.  Choose from the wavy or square design.

ACO-wavy design

ACO – sqaure design

Shower Pan Liner Sale

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The OneLiner this month.  Take advantage of the promotion on every size, and every shape of the OneLiner.  The prices have dropped down; it’s never a better time to find a size that fits your remodel or new shower build.

This video will introduce Dix Systems’ shower liners; the OneLiner system that is seamless and virtually leak proof. A great choice for those who are do-it-yourselfers, as well as contractors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aO1At-a34Z8

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CertainTeed Vapour Barrier

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In your shower, one of the most crucial things to protect yourself from is mold and moisture damage.  The CertainTeed Vapour Barrier uses an advanced technology of smart vapour retarder and air barrier film.

https://i0.wp.com/www.dixsystems.com/uploads/thumbnails/CertainTeed%20Membraine__160__160__________.jpg

CertainTeed Membrane

Only waterproofing your shower walls does not stop water vapour from getting behind your backer board and into your wall cavity behind.  When you are waterproofing a shower, it stops liquid water from penetrating walls, but not vapour (steam).  This looks like fog, and it happens each time water is used in a shower.  The fog travels all the way outside the actual shower to the rest of your bathroom, forming the evidence on your mirrors.  If enough of this vapour gets into the shower walls,  it gets trapped and mold finds a perfect home to grow.  If enough builds up and when the temperature changes, it can turn back to liquid and run down the inside of your walls causing damage that you’re not even aware of – until you have a huge problem on your hands.
This is quite unfortunate when we see it happen to people that either weren’t informed, or didn’t take the necessary precautions to avoid this.  I provided a link below to the installation video of this vapour barrier.

Here are some reasons why the CertainTeed Membrane outdoes any other commonly found vapour barrier sold in stores:

  • The membrane allows the vapour to dry out with changing temperatures.  This is one of the most important features because temperature change occurs very frequently in all regular showers and bathrooms!
  • It’s excellent for steam rooms:  When you’re building a steam room, you’re purposely creating vapour in a very large amount and forcing it into these cavities like a kettle on the stove.
  • Choose from a variety of different sizes, 96 Sq/Ft, 144 Sq/Ft, 800 Sq/Ft, and 900 Sq/Ft

Help for do-it-yourselfers?

Shower Niches

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One of the most elegant and streamline shower organizations are the shower niches.  The niches are a great idea for people who want to have shower organization that is permanent and easily maintained.

Dix Systems Shower Niche

Shower Niches are made of a structural, alloyed aluminum shell with a sprayed on elastomeric/waterproofing coating.  This gives you a completely waterproof shower niche.  The niches end up sitting in your shower wall as if they are indented.  This allows you to place heavy objects like big shampoo/conditioner bottles on the ledges.

Benefits of the shower niches:

  • The shell backing eliminates the possibility of the membrane penetration and the unit’s vertical mounting.
  • The positive sloped bottom ensures no damming of water inside the unit that would cause any potential for leakage.
  • On top of the niches you can put any ceramic tile, marble, or granite.  Eg:  see the written installation instructions or the video below

Home building tip:  You can also use a floating shelf with either the 14’x14′ or 14’x18′ niches to create a shelf inside your niche.  See the photo below:

Floating shelf in niche

Dix Systems demonstrates the easy installation of this product.  I highly recommend this for people that want gorgeous looking organization in their shower.

Curbsill Thresholds

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Over the years of building shower curbs, I have found the easiest product to building a gorgeous-looking and durable curb are the Curbsill Thresholds.

The thresholds provide an efficient seal for shower doors. You can also use this for any glass doors and get a smooth straight ledge.
The colors that are available are as follows:  Black, Bone, Cashmere, Lite Fawn, Tidal Sand, Tortilla Chip, Walnut Toffee, White, and Whole Wheat.  Click each color to be taken to the official Dix Systems website to place your order.  There are a variety of different lengths to choose from: 24″, 30″, 36″, 48″ and 60″.

Why choose the Curbsill Thresholds? 

  • They are available in a variety of sizes and finishes
  • They install quickly with little or no cutting
  • Enjoy the waterproof, seamless finish that is designed to last.
  • These Cultured Marble Thresholds can be used with our Kirb Perfect kits.

I found this video very helpful for the process of installing this for your shower.  Dix systems always comes through for the Do-it-yourselfers.  Here are the written installation instructions for people who prefer things in black and white.  If you’re a Home Builder or Professional Renovator and would like to order mass quantities of this product, just fill out this confidential form and in the comments you can mention that you’re interested in mass quantities of the Curbsill Threshold.

Piece of mind

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It is well established that shower leaks are one of the most common, and costly, problems that a homeowner may face. In the past, one would tackle a ceramic tile shower installation by going to the hardware store to purchase a 40 mm sheet of CPE (Chlorinated Polyethylene) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) large enough to cover the shower floor.

No instructions would come with this sheet, which is perhaps the problem. How can a person fully understand what they are about to do when there is no process or instruction given?


Throughout my career as a tile setter, I met several homeowners that had the same mindset on installing a tile shower. Their line of thinking was that if a tile shower is installed in the basement and it leaks, damage will be minimal – the water will simply seep into the ground beneath the concrete slab. In a house without a basement the same reasoning would be put into practice –install the shower above a flat concrete slab. Another misconception that I faced was that one should never put a shower liner on a second floor, as damage would be severe if it were to leak. With this logic why depend on your roof to keep you dry when it rains?

While sound in theory, this information does nothing to protect the homeowner in practice. If not properly installed, the basement shower will in fact leak into the bottom plate of the walls and moisture will seep into the adjoining room. Mold and decay that will be unavoidable and in time the shower will need to be replaced. As anyone that has ever had a leak in a shower can attest, the stress, high cost and outright annoyance that comes with replacing a faulty unit is something that should be avoided.

Why then is the traditional PVC or CPE method still used today, if a ceramic tile shower is installed at all? What are the alternatives? Why are builders reluctant to install tile showers? The residential tile industry is largely trade driven with low turnover, and inexperienced tile setters learn on the job from more tenured professionals that pass their methods down over time. Builders are reluctant to use the traditional liner method, given its poor track record, but are also equally reluctant to bring in new systems. Factor this in with the explosion of (mis)information available on the Internet, and the task of building or upgrading a ceramic tile shower can be a daunting one.

In the hopes of adding some clarity and insight to the matter, I am proud to announce a coming series of newsletters/blogs entitled “Piece of Mind” in which I will debunk some of the myths that still run deep in the tile shower industry. Topics will range from determining whether to hire a contractor or tackle the project yourself, handicap shower options, dealing with mould, market trends, and quick tips to increase the value of your home. These articles will be distributed through multiple sources online, and will be posted on http://www.dixsystems.com. We invite you to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions for future articles.

Steve Dix brings over 30 years of experience in the tile industry. He has led countless commercial and residential projects throughout North America and has trained many apprentices during this time. His patented OneLiner system has been used in major installations such as Luke Air Force Base in Litchfield, Arizona and most recently a United States federal penitentiary.

Before Tiling Your Shower

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When it comes to the installation of your shower floor, there are some issues to consider.  If you do not have anything over-top of your plywood when you apply mortar to create your pre-slope; you will compromise your plywood floor as illustrated in the photo below.  Your mortar bed will evaporate into your plywood, eventually rotting your floor.  It’s important to take the right steps to prevent any damage to your shower floor.

There is a solution to this:  Use the Mortar Reinforcement Kit that is installed directly on your floor.  This kit enables you to have full protection of your plywood.   It includes a Synthetic Lath and Tar Paper.

This is recommended to be used when putting mortar on any wooden sub-floor in order to reduce cracking of your mortar bed from moisture being drawn into the wooden sub floor.  You can use the 16 Sq/Ft or the 11 Sq/Ft size

Kirb Perfect

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It is essential to build a curb for any open area of your shower perimeter that is not enclosed by solid-wall.  Your shower door may be the only open area, in which case your curb length will be the same length as your shower door.

However, you may have an open-wall of your shower, facing the inside of your bathroom.  In this case, your curb length will be the total length of your shower door, and the rest of the open wall combined.

It is essential to pay close attention to the construction of your curb.  Many people may forgo giving their curb the proper materials and building technique because they assume a liner is sufficient in preventing water damage.  The curb is equally important to prepare correctly and ensure that proper steps are followed:

Kirb-Perfect is a 30″ in length piece that is designed to cage your 3 stacked 2″ by 4″ pieces of wood for your curb.  You then fill up that cage with mortar and you are ready to tile over top of the cage, creating a perfectly water-sealed curb.  It’s very important to wrap your 3 stacked 2″ by 4″ pieces of wood with Bituthene curb seal.  This ensures that those 3 pieces of wood are protected from any water damage.

Additonally, please visit this video for a complete demonstration to install Kirb-Perfect and build a proper curb with your OneLiner http://www.youtube.com/embed/8uizWiCzjgo

If you are using a PVC liner, instead of the OneLiner, you will require a Curb Waterproofing Kit.  This kit acts as waterproofing for over the 3 stacked 2×4’s.   When wrapping the PVC liner over your curb, there will be 2 small slits at the corners of your curb.  The Dam Corners seal over these holes with the X-15 Bonding Adhesive and make sure you have a watertight curb.  You are then ready to use Kirb-Perfect on top of that.  For more accessories that are used with the PVC liner, click here: http://www.dixsystems.com/liner-accessories.

Why pre-slope?

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The preparation steps of building your shower can be strenuous but it’s one of the most important items;  giving your attention to this will be well worthwhile:

It’s very important to pre-slope a shower.  Forgoing this step could mean the difference between having water damage and mildew in your shower.  There is a possibility that water can go through your mortar bed underneath your tiled floor.   The real question is, where does that water go once it has gone through your liner?  Once water has gone through your liner, it will eventually reach your sub-floor or cement floor.  A pre-slope is necessary because once water has reached there, it needs to be directed to the drain area.  If underneath your liner is flat – without any slope to the drain – this will cause water build-up, eventually causing mildew.  This is water damage that you don’t want to have.  The following photo shows the ceiling with a shower above it that has been damaged by water:

The photo below is the water damaged shower.  This becomes a very expensive fix, and a lot of work.

A little frightened?  The good news is:  there is a solution to this!

The pre-pitch system is designed to build your pre-slope.  This system enables you create your perfect slope underneath your shower liner.  The pre-pitch sticks sit on top of your sub-floor, or cement floor.  (Make sure you prepare wooden sub-floor with a Mortar Reinforcement Kit to prevent your mortar from rotting your wood).  There are a total of 6 sticks that come in a pre-pitch package.  Or, you can purchase a OneLiner Installation Kit;  this would give you 8 pre-pitch sticks.  If you have a larger shower size and need more coverage, you can purchase single pre-pitch sticks, these are a great price; only $5.25 each.

The best thing is that you will have a solid, properly angled pre-slope to go toward your drain.

Tile Ware Shower Baskets

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In a shower, it is crucial to have designated areas that soaps, shampoos and other shower products can be stored.  This makes functioning much easier in the shower.  I have seen so many products from department stores or outlets that look nice but they don’t have the strength or backing to support the basket.  The life of these cheaper-made baskets are very short-lived, it’s not something you can rely on for the long term.  You also cannot clean these baskets; they end up falling apart on you, or even worse, developing rust.  Some baskets that are quite low-quality end up falling off the walls and this creates a very clumsy start to your day, and an unnecessary problem.
You have a solution to all of this:  The products I most recommend are the Tile Ware baskets.  These are made from a strong plumber’s brass.  Each basket is detachable, and washable!
The tile ware baskets avoid any penetrations or intrusions to your tiled shower, or tiled-tub surrounds.  This is very important because water damage can occur with products that puncture either behind or on top of your tile.  The uniqueness of this tile ware is its ability to securely mount the baskets to tiled surfaces without penetration into the interior wall cavity.


Choose from a wide variety of options and pricing:  There are 3 main finishes to choose from: Polished Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze and many different sizes available.  Here’s simple and easy to follow instructions for Do-It-Yourselfers.  Click these hyperlinks and they will take you to the written, printable installation instructions for the rectangular baskets; and the corner baskets.  Do you prefer to watch installation videos?  Click here to be taken to the full demonstration video for these products.

Why choose basket’s made out of Plummer’s Brass?

1. Durable

Brass is a highly durable material. This makes it ideal for works which require a resilient and long serving material. Once installed, fixtures will retain their good condition for several years. They will not easily crack or disintegrate.

2. Versatile

The high versatility of brass fittings gives brass an edge over other metal fittings. These baskets also come in various decorative finishes;  the end result is a pleasant display in your shower.

3. Resilient

When compared to metal, brass enjoys one of the highest resistances to damage.  You can have the piece of mind knowing your product will not rust or damage

Structured Liner vs PVC

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I believe the benefits of the OneLiner outweigh the common PVC liner used today.  A PVC liner will inevitably have folds in the process of assembling your shower bed.  This will cause water build-up in your shower, and it’s something you don’t want.  Often, we use a horizontal piece of wood to go behind the studs, this is commonly referred to as ‘backing behind the studs.’  This is an unnecessary hassle, and the OneLiner doesn’t need it.  As seen in the first photo, the PVC liner is folding, and remains loose and un-stable on the top.

PVC Liner

OneLiner

The OneLiner eliminates this problem.  The walls and bottom are solidly built and this enables the pan to stand on its own.  The polyethylene plastic is also impenetrable, water cannot penetrate the material.  I prefer the OneLiner also because of its 25 year warranty.  This gives me the stability of knowing my shower is protected and I’ve chosen the right product for my family.  I would definitely recommend the OneLiner to anybody considering building a shower.  You should think about your future investment and know that you are doing yourself good-by saving on damage costs or problems in the long run.

Shower Pan Liner

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The Dix Systems OneLiner is used for any tiled – mortar bed made – shower.  The OneLiner can be fabricated to fit any dimension and any size.  There are 15 different pre-fabricated sizes, if no sizes fit your shower, one can order a custom size.  One of the best things about Dix Systems is that it enables the consumer to fit their OneLiner to a specific shower size and dimension of their choice:

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For any tiled shower it is important to build a mortared pre-slope. The OneLiners can be coupled with the installation kit.  When contacting Dix, each agent always ensures your products will be tailored to your specifications.  If more or less products are needed to build your shower bed, they always ensure each customer is getting what is required.  The installation kit comes with a pre-pitch kit to lay underneath the OneLiner.  A secondary quick-pitch mortar bed is also an important step in your shower installation.  The quick-pitch sticks are what create the perfect slope for on top of your OneLiner.

Other pre-formed shower liners have a fixed drain location.  This can be a detriment because you do not have the ability to modify your drain location.  If your drain location doesn’t match the specific location of the liner that is sent to you, you’re stuck.  The OneLiner solves this problem.  It is made with a translucent material that allows you to determine the location of your drain and/or use your existing drain location.

The OneLiner is made of a very durable polyethylene plastic.  This material is designed to withstand the worst construction conditions.  It’s great to know you don’t have to tip-toe around this OneLiner, or worry about any tears or breaks during your installation.

Here is one example of what a custom OneLiner could look like:  See picture to the left.  Notice that the structural integrity of the liner is in tact.  The walls of the OneLiner have absolutely no folds.  The entire shape is completely made to fit the customer’s specifications.  This liner is the only liner, in the market today, that can be made to fit such an irregular shower size.  For somebody with an irregular shower shape such as this example; an advantage of the OneLiner over PVC bendable liners is the fact that installing the PVC with a shape such as this, will create folds.  Folds in a shower liner are what create water build-up.  Any water build-up inside the folds will not evaporate and thus cause you major water damage for the long haul.  The more folds you have in a liner during your installation means a reduction in your liner’s integrity.  The OneLiners play a key role in totally eliminating this problem. You end up with absolutely no folds or seams in your shower liner – because the liner is already pre-fabricated, solidly built like a pan.

Handicapped accessible baths

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When faced with limited mobility it can be very difficult to get around your bathroom.  Dix Systems has introduced our new Handicapped Accessible Baths.

Dix Systems tub-insert

This insert is very helpful to those that need that extra help in mobility:

  • Save thousands of dollars with this quick fix handicapped Tub Insert.
  • You can keep your existing tub.  The installation of this tub insert is remarkably quick and easy.
  • The insert is extremely durable – made out of polyethylene and comes complete with a water tight stainless door panel, to make bathing possible for yourself or your guests.

Other projects that cater to the handicapped become huge and tedious; a very daunting process.  Not to mention that they cost way too much.  This system is very affordable and I found that this is so easily installed and very fast.  Only takes 4-5 hours to install, and you’re ready to use it in 24 hours.

Here’s a video to install this; I trust this is very helpful!

Home Repair Tip:  If building your shower, install a handicapped accessible curb.  This allows people who cannot step over a 5 inch height, to be able to enter their shower.

Drywall in a shower

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I have come across many people that believe they can put drywall up for their shower walls.  This is a common misconception.  Other companies advertise that it is safe for drywall to be put up with their systems.  Here is a photo of what can happen when using drywall in a shower:  The first photo shows your horror show of what can happen underneath your floor of where your shower is, the second photo shows this drywall that has molded due to water damages.  These damages are very unfortunate but they are preventable, if you take the right steps.


Rarely do I come across any drywall that isn’t damaged in some way, when faced with shower repairs or remodeling someone’s shower.It’s a product that absorbs water easily and gives mold and fungus an excellent spot to live, while it’s destroying your home.

This is truly a home repair nightmare.

There wasn’t any type of vapor barrier behind the tiling and the drywall.  We recommend to attach the CertainTeed Vapor Barrier, once this is attached put up a cement board on top. If you only use drywall. once the drywall is wet, it’s not long before mold, mildew and fungus starts the destructive process of destroying the drywall, and wood framing.

All ceramic tile showers need a strong waterproof backer board. We recommend the Hardibacker board.

A cement board will give you the greatest resistance to moisture and mold so your floors / walls are protected.  Look for a  cement board that has the following features:

  • Moldblock Technology: This enables you to achieve perfect score on industry mold tests.
  • Make sure it contains no paper facing, which serves as a food source for mold, or gypsum, which can disintegrate with continuous moisture exposure

Home Repair Tip: This one isn’t going to be easy. I would remove the entire shower and the rest of the damaged building materials, and rebuild it correctly.

ACO Linear Drains

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What’s new this week?

Introducing the new ACO Quartz Plus Linear Shower Drains

These drains are greatly priced – only $214.50 for the 34″, and $260.30 for the 46″ size.  Personally this is one of the most beautiful drains I’ve seen.  It comes in two different designs; Square and Wavy, and two different sizes, the 34″ and 46″.

The grates are made of stainless steel and the body is made of plastic.  For the handicapped, or people that have trouble in mobility this is a quite useful option.  These drains allow for drainage of large quantities of water – you’d be able to put buckets of water down in them.  Of course, for those that must wheel in, this is wheelchair accessible.  You have an option of building this drain with a regular curb, or a handicap curb.

Worried about how you’d be able to install this on your own?  Dix Systems provides do-it-yourselfers all the information you would need in very easy to understand written instructions.