About | Tundra Finish Works

  Hi Folk's..... It's Erik ........ It is true I strive for high quality tile stone and marble installation's from start to finish. I am looking at every detail and focusing on my clients vision,  I am guided by the  Tile council of North America ( TCNA) standards and follow ANSI for material specifications. Always meeting and often surpassing local building code.
   Together WE will work to make your project come to life.....

   I offer custom tile / stone and detailed Trim finish carpentry installation's for the discerning Minneapolis /St. Paul homeowner. I can help you design your custom space, select materials, and better understand the how and why's of the process... 
    As added value we are partnered with A Master Plumber in Trenk Mechanical, and Master electricians at MJ Electric these folks take great care with our bathrooms and are experts at their crafts......You can find some recent client reviews at our Houzz page.........

  Feel free to "Scroll" down thru pages of various projects of our work, there you will find  details of HOW we build and the process in which we work.

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin ...

"We install large format tile floors and walls "
"Before TFW arrived !"
"12x24 porcelain herringbone"

Call us today @ 952+239+0084


Minneapolis enforces tile shower pan Flood testing | Finally


  The push for Mandatory shower pan flood testing is starting to take hold in the twin cities. Here is A great article from Structuretech's Reuben Saltzman written for the Star tribune.
  We have had countless homeowners call in A panic with A leaking tile shower, You may be surprised to know these leaky shower pans in many cases are BRAND NEW ....What? yep new. There are A lot of handymen and craigslister's out there and until NOW there is very little needed to pass yourself off in Minneapolis as A Tile shower pan installer and well some of these foks are actually expert at selling.

  We all know many bathrooms are built without building permits and without A Licensed plumbers permit. And until very recently even properly permitted projects were largely left unchecked or "Not flood tested" unless the inspector saw A red flag or could tell the builder was off track and doing it wrong.

  Enter 2016 and WOW there are dozen's of new shower pan systems, waterproofing products and when mixed with A novice installer that is not "Up to speed" with current Industry standards this can be disastrous and VERY costly . So many people get lost in the gardenweb of bad online information, taking advise from random forums and chat rooms and worse? youtube videos or tile shop sales agents and just get poorly informed as to how a shower pan is built.

 If you are building or having A tile shower built in Minneapolis you are spending upwards of $5-$20K and you and your contractor should be insisting on A flood tested shower pan. If there is a new P-trap, drain riser, or venting needed it should be permitted and inspected before the tile shower pan is built and flood tested..

  What is A shower pan flood test anyways?


Iron and Oak | Staircase on a budget

    Here's a peek at A recent Minneapolis area staircase repair we completed..... Flat/quarter/riftsawn 3/4" custom oak treads, paint grade risers, site built oak newels and ornate iron baluster's. We had to take this staircase down to the stringers to rebuild .. All our treads and risers get Scribe fit onsite.......The faux patina stain and painting courtesy of the client....I think she did A great job....!

   We Do Wood Too!

"Blending well with/existing floors ?"

"Carpet to tread conversion"


Is Marble tile trending | 2016 ?

      Isn't it always trending???      We are starting off 2016 with A Marble master bathroom for A very skilled builder in the Lake Harriet area of South Minneapolis......We have been seeing A trending of marble inquiries lately, specifically Bianco Carrara, Calcutta and Marmara... We love working with stone!!!!!
   In this custom suite we installed marble from Carrara Italy, Turkey, and China.......... polished and honed!  12x12 wall tile, linear mosaic accents, pencil cap and edge details, mini versailles mosaic floor and custom radius corner shelves. 

   Thanks to Greg Schmidt @  

"Italian Carrara 12x12 beveled edge"

"Mini Versailles mosaic floor"

"Linear marble mosaic and pencil inlay"

"Enjoy the challenge!" 


Can you relax in travertine ?

                      "A Look back at an Older bathroom project from 2011"

    Honed Travertine master bathroom project we did for A Minneapolis Design Build firm..... Really enjoy the randomness of this travertine oasis.
    I am always learning, improving and perfecting my skillset while staying on TOP of the fast moving tile industry You learn so much as you go, Its always neat to go back and look at your old work..........

"12" x 12" Honed Travertine in A running bond layout"

  "Frameless 3/8' tempered shower glass"

  "2 custom shampoo/soap Niche's and 4x4 marble inlay detail"


Random Snapshots of our work

 " Chromotherapy steam shower"  
"We install FLAT flat flat ! tiled floors"

"We design & build custom steam rooms"

"Waterproof wetroom installations"

"We do wood ! Custom Floating vanity & built ins"

"Steam shower mechanical installations"

"Yes we install tile backsplash's"

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin ...


Rustic Powder Bathroom

  This Minneapolis area powder bathroom addition was A real design collaboration with A few skilled homeowners. Total gut and reno by Tundra Finish works... Stop over at our  Houzz  site where you can also check some recent reviews of our work!

"Chevron Barn door"
"Mutina rectified porcelain floor"

"Black walnut slab counter"
"Undermount fabrication by Paperplane"
" We install large format tile "


Custom Rain Shower

    It was very, very hard "NOT" to pull the cord. Ill bet these vintage rain heads look awesome in action.!!!


Modern Minneapolis tiled bathrooms

Twin cities, take a look at this amazing custom bathroom !
      Our clients are wrapping up with the painting...while we wait for doors to be delivered...A big thanks to the homeowners for their amazing patience and adventurous material choices.  "Credit where credit is due"  While TFW built and realized this complete bathroom remodel, A Lions share of the design and material choices were made by Bianca (homeowner) ......

    This eclectic Master bath features A curbless recessed shower, With A Tile-in linear drain , Hansgrohe fixtures, Marmara marble and large format porcelain tile from porcelenosa. We opted for frameless fixed panel 3/8" starphire glass.

    The floating vanity and counter we recycled and reused (made from solid jarro wood (refinished by the homeowner). Custom birch pantry built ins, and A large slate hexagon tiled floor with matching base........Other finishes from Kohler / Toto.

"Recessed shower design"

"Tile top Linear drain"

"large slate hexagon floor"

"Custom Jumbo shower Niche"

" Recycled custom floating his / her vanity"

"Hansgrohe Rain head shower head and body shower"


Houzz "Best of" Award

Call today to discuss youre Twin Cities leak free or leakproof tile shower project.
  We have been getting more and more clientele thru our Houzz page inquirie's.....very proud to say  The Houzz team has given us A 2015 and 2016 "Best of" Award for customer service....... A small step in the right direction you can visit our houzz site here:

"Linear Glass and stone mosaic"


Shower pan flood testing

     Our client is now tiling her own shower with a little guidance from us and some smart material coices.....she also just left us a glowing review on our Houzz site. Thanks Alison/Tim.

  Heres a hybrid Custom neo angle 4x4 flood tested install. In Europe, Canada, Australia and many US cities Tile shower pans must be Flood tested for a 48-72hr period before any tiling can commence. This Guarantees the homeowner there are no leaks.

"Does your shower smell mildewey? Mouldy?

"here we are flood testing the shower pan"

"Protecting weep holes is critical"

A quick HOW To measure a proper shower flood test:

   The goal is to verify that the pan is watertight, this means all the corners (inside and outside) and the drain to waterproofing (liner) connection. As well we must make sure the weep holes are allowing water to pass if you are building a full mortar bed pan . Most new modern waterproof shower builds are what we call "Topical or Surface applied" membrane showers that do not employ weep holes. (Pictured above is A mix of the 2 methods and this version is called A thinbed that employs A weep hole divot for the clamping drain.

  **** NOTE: Let me preface by saying the water test is done PRIOR to tiling. If you are building the above mentioned Full mortar bed older type shower pan it is done BEFORE the top layer of mud screed is poured. There is little chance youll get an accurate reading when the mortar bed is soaking and wicking water and that goes for cement board walls as well. The pan should be tested at the Liner stage with no mud bed and no wall boards touching the water level as we don't want those elements giving a false read.  The test shown above is A topical waterproofed shower so we are able to test at this stage for an accurate reading with this type of build. ******

  1. The drain should be plugged with a test plug BELOW the actual drain connection ( i.e. Mission coupling or glue connection) and down into the riser pipe this way we are checking the actual plumbing drain connection as well as the tile membrane/liner to flange connection.

 2. The shower should be filled with water up to the finished dam height just spilling up onto the curb or threshold. You should be testing the shower dam inside/outside corners but many guides will mention you need to fill the shower no more than 2" deep and this in many case will not fully test the threshold or "curb".

3. Most industry specs call for 48-72 hours of full flood test but your inspector may settle for 24 hrs and we all know the inspector Wins!.

4. Utilizing an additional Evaporation test to monitor loss in conjunction with the filled shower pan. (2 tests)
    - this means we are also looking at ambient room temperature conditions as well and comparing the 2 tests for evaporation. It is not uncommon to lose A VERY SMALL amount of water level if its an unusually dry or windy environment. I.E. fans/air movement love to throw these tests off so keep that out of the equation as this can throw the measurement off and give you a false reading .
   - This second test can be as simple as A tupperware dish or sauce pan filled with water and left in the bathroom next to the shower pan flood test. Now we have 2 points at which to compare any small loss. 

  - OK how do we measure accurately?? Great question.  

    As pictured above we use multiple "Carpenter squares" in both tests similtaniously to take pictures of the levels on a ruler that needs to stay in place throughout the process. We take measured readings throughout the process and we may need access to the shower at any time during the test to monitor for any leaks and abort the test if needed to make corrections.

****Tip: Once you verify the shower is watertight and you pass your inspection you need to make SURE ALL the water drains and that there are no "Bird baths" or low spots  in the showers grading ( preslope ) holding back or pooling any water, The pan should completely drain and dry out rapidly. 

Call Tundra finish works today @ 952-239-0084 to discuss your tile shower pan flood test


Curbless or Barrier free custom showers Minneapolis / St.Paul

"Behind the scenes of A recent project  !! "
   If you are in the Twin cities area and looking to build a "curbless or barrier free"  waterproof bathroom Tundra Finish Works can help. !
  On this project we were hired to prepare the master bathroom for tiling. Here we installed A thermal break under the hydronic floor heat, Screeded mud floor, recessed shower pan, linear drain, and the showers waterproofing getting this barrier free bathroom thru city inspections and "Tile ready" for our clients to tile.

   We worked with a very skilled and experienced builder/Architect that had custom designed this bathrooms framing to facilitate this 4'x7' level access entry. 

 "Bonded thermal break & heated floor"

" Hand mixed 32 bags screed mud onsite"

 "Finished floor screed and shower pan"

"Flood testing linear drain shower pan"
"Waterproof barrier free & Linear drain shower buildout"

  90 sq.ft. mud floor screed over a heated substrate that flows into a custom recessed shower pan and finally into the 46" linear drain placed at the back wall. A project like this takes a lot of preparation and forethought. Luckily our client had done all the necessary designing well in advance...

    Just A few of the ways we can help:

* Our field experience can help you save time and costly mistakes.
      - ( Streamlining your project )
* Planning for and preparing the substrate
       -( Recessing and raising subfloor )
* Customizing the bathrooms grading & shower pan
      - ( Mud screed / ridgid materials )
* Drain choice and placement 
      - ( linear trench drains or standard primary)
* Customized waterproofing
     - ( CPE sheet and liquid applied membranes)
* Flood testing our work
     - ( We flood test our shower pans guaranteeing no leaks )
* City Inspections 
     - ( We can help you get thru your city shower pan inspections)


Porcelain Wood Floor Tile

  "Minneapolis area wood look tile installation"
    We have been installing more and more Faux Wood look plank Porcelain Tile lately.

    Look close at the tile you purchase, These tiles are famous for being cupped or "Bowed" and can result in tile lippage or high low points throughout the installation...... The Imaging quality also varies greatly and is usually reflected in the purchase price. Many MFG will specify the percentage of stagger recommended for their tile that will yield the best results.. we cant always set these random, sometimes they need to be set at 33% offset......


Basement tile Steam Showers : Always a challenge

"Recessed slab shower"
"We prefer to frame our own showers"

"72 Hr flood test in progress"

"Added property value"
" 12x24 rectified porcelain tile "

            Winter is here in Minnesota..........Its a good time to hunker down on a challenging "Custom" basement linear drain steam shower.. These ( low 7' overhead ) basement shower pans often times have to be recessed  6+ inches in order to maintain code compliance with  7' of  headroom.. There is A lot of dirty structural slab work and plumbing groundwork that happens deeper...you only get one shot at this costly plumbing layout and you must do your math ( we suggest : measure 3 times,  cut once!!)
          There is a good amount of pre project decisions that need to be made before all else....This curbless shower has .... steam, chromatherapy lighting, proline linear drain, rain head, 7' long bench, shadow box niche, and custom shelves.........  Here:  Tundra finish works  handled all the project design and planning for the homeowners based on their visions........