Before you start to tile your shower floor you’ll want to be sure that your subfloor is properly pitched to your drain, and the shower pan or membrane is properly installed.
Pre-pitching a shower floor will direct water that would ordinarily accumulate in the shower pan to the weep holes located on the flange of the shower drain.
Weep Holes are necessary in a shower drain to allow water in the pan to drain. Without them the pan would fill up with water and migrate to the surface of the shower floor. This could create excessive efflorescent on your shower floor. Water staying in the pan can promote an environment for bacteria and mold.
The shower pan (which acts like a tub) is necessary to catch the water from the shower. Copper has always been the material of choice installed by plumbers, but with the increase in the cost of copper and the development of new materials, copper is now used less frequently.
Today, waterproof membranes are the material of choice.
The advantages in using a membrane versus other materials are many. Shower stall membranes are inert and will not react with a cement/sand mixture. Unlike other materials, membranes can be rolled, tucked and flattened to conform to any shape of your shower stall. This feature will help to protect the shower curb as the membrane can be rolled up, over and down the face of the shower onto the bathroom floor. The seam where the curb meets the bathroom floor is critical and should be well protected.
Waterproof membranes can also be used to protect Jacuzzi decks, shower niches and any vertical or horizontal joints for added protection.