Saturday, June 25, 2011

Technical Advisory - TCNA Steam Shower/Room Assemblies

This week’s Technical Advisory deals with the two TCNA Steam Shower/Room assemblies

STEAM SHOWER/ROOM; MASONRY/CONCRETE – SR613 (Ceramic, Porcelain and Glass Tile) - pages 179 & 180

There is a fundamental departure in the design and use of steam rooms in the new manual. In previous TCNA manual editions, there was no distinction in performance between the two installation methods. Method SR613 is now the only method approved by TCNA for commercial applications. It achieves a Res 4; Com 4 environmental classification. This method is much more detailed and comprehensive than in past editions. Attention is drawn to the fact that steam shower installations are highly specialized applications that require an understanding of temperature and humidity control, insulation, the behavior of the waterproofing membrane and how it integrates into / with many of the other installation elements within the tile assembly. An optional “bonding flange” cut away floor / base detail is now also part of the method.

STEAM SHOWER/ROOM; MASONRY/CONCRETE – SR614 (Ceramic, Porcelain and Glass Tile) - pages 181 & 182

This method is now positioned as a residential only method achieving a Res 4 environmental classification. This method is unique in that provision is made to build this method with cement backer board walls or with lath and plaster walls. The method requirements list similar design criteria as the previous method. In addition, specific instructions are listed that pertain to the use of cement backer board as the wall cladding and for lath and plaster walls. An optional “bonding flange” cut away floor / base detail is now also part of the method.

We have already started to receive calls on the limitations of this method. A common question is; ‘Will LATICRETE warrant method SR614 when used in a commercial setting?’

Our answer has been:

Yes. Provided that the Design Professional understands the limitations and concerns with the installation of steam showers and the critical elements required therein. We have many successful steam shower projects installed in accord with method SR614. As with other critical installations / methods, attention to detail is necessary. We ask that the Design Professional and the Tile Installation Professional follow the installation methodology carefully in order to prevent any problems with the installation. Both of these methods are so detailed, that one can literally go down the list of requirements to double check if all of the major issues / concerns have been addressed with the design, specification, the installation and maintenance of the steam shower.

Read more about this subject of Steam Showers  in the Laticrete Technical Design Manual on this subject:
Tiled Steam Room and Steam Shower Technical Design Manual
The goal of this manual is to provide the necessary information to help ensure a proper and long-lasting tile installation in a steam room or steam shower environment.
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