Firstly, I want to give a HUGE shoutout to the creator of this video:
Which saved my wife and I a huge headache in completely restructuring our shower pan. In essence: if your shower pan is free of cracks/damage, and you can still assure that you haven’t compromised the integrity of the original pan (whether it be mud or prefab), it is likely that you can tile over your existing tile or pan without having to remove it.
Given our wonderful experience in removing the wall tile, we opted to leave the floor tile in place and give this epoxy bond material a shot. I won’t go into too much detail, because I feel like the video explains it very methodically, but I’ve included some pictures to show our process:
1. Wipe each mosaic tile down with an impregnator/sealant to prevent the epoxy/grout from adhering to the surface.
2. Dry fit your mosaic tiles, 1) to ensure you have the required amount, and 2) to determine the best way to cut to prevent excess cuts and waste.
3. Mark and cut the outline of your drain any mosaic sheets that will interfere; this was our most labor intensive task as it required a lot of cuts across the interior of a sheet. To make life a little easier you can cut individual tiles off your sheet to fit as many as possible around the drain before cutting the outline portions.
4. Once all your tiles are cut to size, order them in such a way that will allow for easy installation (I flipped them upside down with the top-left tile on the top, bottom right tile on the bottom, and the near-drain cuts last.
5. Mix and spread your mortar; if you have your tiles cut/organized/ready, you shouldn’t have any issues with the mortar drying out before you install them.
6. Install mosaic sheets, and let dry the required period (normally 12-24 hours).
7. When ready to apply the grout, follow instructions for epoxy-grout mix (see link to video above).
8. Apply epoxy grout with a epoxy float (rubber float will work just fine); ensure you get into the corner seams and areas near the drain where water can collect and seep.
WARNING!!!! This epoxy-grout is not your average grout. It will stick (and remain) to any surface you apply it to, so don’t go too bananas around your corner seams or you may be stuck sanding/scraping/acid washing your tiles to remove the residue like we had to. By all means, take your time to apply the material, but do your due diligence in the wipe up, and you’ll save yourself A LOT of pain.
9. Allow 72 hours before use; this should give you time to finish off any tiling on shower curbs and niches if required, though, as with any tiling project, I would recommend avoiding the area as much as possible to prevent shifting of the or interference with the epoxy bonding process.
Next up, that trick-sy shower niche…