+ We build to code, follow ANSI and TCNA specs... Flood testable Shower Pans & Subfloors prepared right the first time +


St. Paul Linear Drain Steam Shower

"Underneath it all is whats important here.  How was your steam shower built from point A-Z ?   What methods and materials?  What standards, code and mechanical specs were followed? Steam showers require many special details " 

"A Big thank you  to Paul, Jodi, Nick & Felix !"

     Tundra finish works recently finished this recessed / barrier free linear drain steam shower in the Como Park neighborhood  of  St. Paul. Our clients had a small prefabricated steam shower previously and thought a little extra elbow room was needed! They can now lay down on their 7 ft bench !! and bask in the soft chromatherapy lights and steam all winter long!!

    Function over fashion ?  ( see our detailed post below on the build details of this project )

     this 4 ft  x 7 ft custom steamer has a few bells and whistles......Nobleseal TS  vapourproofing, bold low vitrosity 24 x 12 porcelain from florida tile throughout with black travertine accents.  Amrec Steam and chroma lights, Quick Drain USA Linear drain,  Delta Rain head &  Hansgrohe handheld, 7 ft long wall bench,  custom shelves / window sil,  niche,  3/8"  frameless glass & transom. 

    Custom tile steam showers require A more detailed design and installation approach, product knowledge and skill set. Additional detailed framing, specialty vapor / waterproofing, electrical and plumbing concerns /requirements are just a few.

   Call us today BEFORE you get ahead of yourself in the decision making process. Our experience can save you valuable time, eliminate costly mistakes, as well as help streamline your custom tile shower project....

Tundra Finish Works can help you with all your steam shower details  952-239-0084


Porcelain Wood Floor Tile

   We have been installing more and more Faux Wood Porcelain Tile lately, and as you can see some of our clients like to get creative with their grout color choices!

    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 and can effect the end result.


Tile Shower Tune Up!

     Here Tundra Finish Works  repaired 2 failed curbless or barrier free tile showers....... Simply put the grading at the entry was inadequate.... It takes special attention to details at the grading stage to achieve a proper curbless entry.
  Our client had been fighting these shower entry leaks , resulting in a runaway  pool of water outside the showers after each use. Many drywall and perimeter repairs later we were asked to come up with a creative repair approach.

  YES YOU GUESSED IT !!!   From curbless to Shower Curbs!  These showers had both failed in the same way and the Bldg.Association  Mgmt. / client wanted a  topical non evasive repair Without compromising the concrete slab or tearing out the shower pan. ( this cannot always be achieved) .... 

  Both showers were in bad shape, WE first did a thorough vapor/steam cleaning of all grout and tile, we then treated the shower pans for bad efflorescence buildup, and finally we added topical waterproof curbs. We then let both showers dry out for weeks before resealing the grout and adding 100% silicone at all changes of plane.

    A cost effective repair solution for our happy client! 

rough tile work, bad efflorescence, and lack of silicone joint

 New low profile curb and tune up.

New low profile curb and tune up!

Call Tundra Finish Works today for all your custom Tile shower needs @ 952-239-0084


Basement tile Steam Showers : Always a challenge

Here's a behind the scenes look at a recessed basement steam shower and 1/4 bath

          There is a good amount of pre project math, layout, and dozens of decisions that need to be made before all else....This shower will have.... steam, chromatherapy lighting,  linear drain, diverter to A rain head,  long bench,  niches, grab bars, etc......... this all requires extra pre project planning and layout.(experience and know how).

Planning & layout is critical

Recessing shower pan / Re-routing all plumbing

We prefer to frame our own showers

Flood testing shower pan ( The Whipple Method shown here!)

Steam showers require many details like this sealed slip joint

This Nobleseal TS &  Proline linear drain system  was installed  to TCNA and ANSI specs We referenced Noble Companys mechanical drawings throughout. It is important to understand the way in which the whole system is installed and that the mfg. guidelines are followed. 

            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.. Theres 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!!)

          Although we cant always get the drain p-trap as low as we want.......on this Steam shower, thanks to our plumbing/mechanical crew ( and our clients budget ) we will end up gaining 4+" of  much needed headroom to create a "curbless" drop in or "barrier free" linear drain steam shower..............

         Customized framing should be specified before hand. A steam shower requires more than a basic framer would build in most shower situations starting with the proper grade lumber... Perimeter blocking at top and bottom plates & ALL changes of plane.( bench to wall, wall to ceiling, all and any seams in backer board , Customized pitched ceiling with either a strapped or  ledger system capable of carrying the load in which it will facilitate.

  Here:  Tundra finish works  handled all the pre project design / project planning  for the homeowners based on their visions........A neat well informed residential client couple  that has the budget to realize their dream steam shower as these buildout's are tricky time consuming and expensive.

Thanks To these fine folks: 

Frank Gardner Construction  http://www.basementwindowguy.com/

M.J. Electric  http://www.electricians-mn.com/

Trenk Mechanical LLC 


We Do Wedi Showers !

Recent 3'x4' Honed Travertine walk in shower

Heres a very nice yet basic travertine tiled shower for our happy "Repeat client" in Bloomington, MN.

This shower was flood tested for 3 days prior to tiling.

    There is an overwhelming amount of ways to build waterproof Tile showers. Every shower is custom and different and Tundra Finish Works can adapt to every situation via experience! 

   While Wedi waterproof showers are not the best for every situation, they can equate to speed and quality plus a full system warranty.... If you are in a hurry  to get your bathroom back ! Wedi just may be the system for your home. ( this is an ideal choice for condo/high rise & fast track situations as well).

    Some tile contractors offer up 1 way of doing things. Tundra Finish Works is experienced in 100% waterproof custom tile showers and steam showers.  Here are just a few systems we endorse and use regularly.

 + Laticrete + Noble Company  +  Schluter  Kerdi  + Wedi +


A pretty good fit w 2x2 Travertine

We tiled her floor a year ago

 Almost After!

   Installed properly any of these systems can give you, the homeowner "peace of mind" knowing that when water gets thru your grout or porous tile (and it will if you do not maintain your investment) it simply has nowhere to go but directly down to the drain  never having a chance to penetrate the wall or ceiling cavity.

   Please call us today @ 952-239-0084 to discuss your  Minneapolis or Saint Paul and surrounding area tile shower .


Glass mosaic tile shower considerations

  On this custom St. Paul area waterproof  Tile shower we again used Laticrete's Hydro ban  (our favorite shower waterproofing system). The shower pan is A Noble TS  bonded  thinbed system. The Drain is from Ebbe America................ 


"Different than a traditional full mortar bed shower, Thinbed showers retain little to NO  water and have the ability to dryout between uses, thus "minimizing"  stagnant water that can allow and facilitate mildew/mold growth."

     There is a lot to consider when installing Glass Mosaic tiles.....especially on A shower floor, curb or threshold ....    You MUST use the proper thinset mortars for the specific glass and substrate in question  ( in this case a water submersible flexible mortar).... also consider expansion , contraction, and deflection..

  It's also important to educate the homeowner on maintainnig their investment with simple measures such as using a small window squeegee after each shower use. This takes the user  less than one minute and can greatly expand the life cycle of the shower.

Weep divot

Ready for the Topical Membrane..


Laticrete's Hydro Ban Linear Drain

A complete waterproof system = Laticrete


This recently completed Hydro-ban shower is Located in The Lowry Hill / Lake of the isles area of Minneapolis . Thanks to Laticrete, and of course the client/homeowners  Peter/Marla .... 





                        Call us today to discuss your Custom tile shower needs. @ 952-239-0084


Riverstone Salon & Spa..........

riverstone salon spa
    Visit our friends at   http://riverstonesalonspa.com/   in South Minneapolis and check out their brand new location and recent renovation..... (and  take a few pictures for me please!).

     Riverstone is a family affair and this family project came to us through referral..... Say Hi to Tamie, Scott, Angie, Art and Ben for us.!

   Riverstone has A new 1300 sq' laminate wood cutting floor, and a neat gauged rough slate floor with ceramic and glass mosaic wainscot walls in their tiled bathroom.... recently installed by Tundra Finish Works.... on this project we were able to work within our clients buildout budget and use materials they had already chosen....... 

  When were not building a custom tile shower.....Tundra Finish Works does smaller creative commercial projects such as restaurants & storefronts in addition to mostly residential tile and stone installations as well as laminate and hardwood flooring and finish trim work.


Minneapolis Shower Pan Contractor

        Maybe you want to build your own tile shower...we can help with that .........You are going to need a "Flood testable" Shower pan built to code   or better yet well ABOVE local codes that only meet the bare minimum.......... YES.......You may consider this the most important step of tile shower preperation. It takes a certain skillset, experience, product knowledge and know how.

      We choose to use the best and endorse these shower systems : Laticrete Hydro Ban, Nobleseal TS,  Schluter Kerdi,  Wedi.   

    Tundra Finish Works can build you either A Thinbed (preferred) or A Full mortar bed ( pre slope/ bladder) shower pan with A 100% concrete curb or better yet Curbless . We can work with standard clamp ring drains, kerdi and linear drains.

    Its true the City of Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs are cracking down on Tile shower pan  inspections. (In many states a tile shower is flood tested for 24-72 hrs prior to moving forward with tiling the shower. (This makes it hard for unskilled handymen and even many skilled yet unqualified tile contractors to build showers for half price (in half the time) )

shower pan contractor minneapolis

 ......I recently did A tear out of another leaky shower pan that was never inspected or flood tested. It took a few months before the problem was evident to the home owner, (water trickling down from the ceiling to the dinner table).......

  "Homeowners" that have had to go thru this horror....... have no problem paying the second time for quality skilled shower buildouts".

  In the end The price wasn't right. They lost over $1800 in wasted labor and materials, plus the now added expense of rebuilding the pan, curb, and perimiter tile. 

Their handyman assured them he can build a tile shower for under half the price of their bids from Qualified Licensed contractors............

     Our avg. 3x3'  Flood testable thinbed shower pan costs aprox. $800* ( installed w/materials*).
     Our avg. 3x3'  Complete tile ready waterproof shower costs aprox.  $1800*       

linear glass mosaic shower
  Please Call Tundra Finish Works today to discuss your tile shower pan needs @ 952-239-0084


Minneapolis Kerdi Tile Shower

minneapolis tile contractor
Prepping for pan......
thinbed kerdi shower pan
Ready for drain & tile....
subway tile shower
Get In and enjoy....

....This South Minneapolis client was overdue for a new Waterproof tiled shower. Here we had to replace a lot of water damaged rotted out framing and rebuild part of the subfloor...... To Insure our client has no repeat of this in the future we upgraded a few materials and made some smart decisions. Tundra Finish Works built a 3x3 thinbed waterproof shower with traditional clamp ring drain. We used Nobleflex and Nobleseal TS as our pan membrane and weep divot.. and schluter Kerdi on walls...We also used ditra as a slip sheet for our pan.

"All of these options come at a cost and are considered "upgrades" in comparison to a more budget minded buildout (which is exactly how their last LEAKY MOLDY shower was built and why costly water damage to their home followed)"

For TILE we kept the cost down with affordable classic subway that mathched the origional period vintage hex floor...we used glass and metal mosaic accents and Carerra marble hexagon for the shower pan floor. The curb is honed from A slab of marble that had been hidden in their attic for decades...our client opted for quality frameless 3/8" tempered glass.....

Tundra finish works is well versed in SUSTAINABLE quality shower buildouts and can tailor your budget with a myriad of material choices and price points.... call us to discuss your Mpls/St. Paul area tile shower project today @ 952-239-0084


Travertine & Oak

travertine tub surround
tile details
trim carpenter minneapolis
travertine ditra floor
Oak stair bannister
Heres a Nice condo bath remodel and red oak stair Bannister for our HAPPY Minneapolis area client.

Our client was hyper focused on her details and.... well, so are WE!. Here Tundra Finish Works waterproofed the tub surround, and installed Mocha Honed travertine tile with linear mosaic and marble accents focused on the shower valve wall, we finished off the shower with 2 piece Kohler glass.... For the Floor...We rebuilt this substrate & subfloor to ensure The deflection rating would support soft stone such as travertine which we installed over Schluter Ditra... (Does your tile crew understand Deflection ratings ? can they calculate this and explain it to you....BEFORE your floor falls apart with cracked tiles and loose grout...???)

WE also installed this red oak Stair bannister as well as other finish trim work (hung doors, baseboard, casings etc.) Tundra Finish Works offers these services as well as custom tile and stone work.... We have extensive carpentry/trim finish skills and the eye for these important details. Call us today to discuss your Trim and tile projects...@ 952-239-0084.......


Linear Drain Steam Shower

linear drain shower minneapolis steam shower contractor shower bench curbless shower
If you are in the Minneapolis St.Paul area Call us today to discuss your custom tile shower needs @ 952-239-0084

This Linear Drain "ALMOST Curbless"!!!! Steam shower project was a challenge we enjoyed from start to finish.

Tundra Finish Works designed and built this steam shower. The drain is A Noble Freestyle Linear drain  set in A thin-bed installation which alllows us to use large format tiles for the shower floor... Waterproofing by Laticrete Hydroban and Nobleseal TS...

A few bells and whistles

Mr.Steam chromatherapy lights, Amrec steam generator, Mr.Steam transducer speakers and semi frameless Tempered 3/8" glass complete with transom..

For Tile we chose Florida Tile "Progetto" series for its, thru body color, useable edge, and nearly IMPERVIOUS vitrosity levels (.5%) which is extremely important when building A Steam shower... as vapor transmission and perm ratings are your biggest concern. Basic & contemporary tile layout & design. We used grouts and silicone from TEC.

Thanks To these fine folks!!!!!
Lynn and John from Minnesota Tile and Stone.

Erik and Richard from (Noble Company)

John Whipple (By Any design LTD).

And of course the biggest! THANKS to our friends the Arundel's for the oppourtunity to realize this project from start to finish


Minneapolis tile shower repair

tile shower preslope
Clogged weep holes

No Preslope
shower building mistakes
tile shower expert
Waterproofed and ready to tile

This clients Tile shower was salvageable from about 12 inches up!!...We were able to offer a cost effective solution to repair this shower Properly within our clients budget

This shower pan was built improperly and had a nasty stagnant mildew smell permeating the pan floor and drain....

You can clearly see 2 MAJOR mistakes the builder made here.(among others)

#1. The weep holes in the clamp ring drain were never properly protected when the pan was poured.

#2. The pan liner has no preslope built under it.

Possibly the worst combination of mistakes for a shower build

Here Tundra Finish Works started by correcting the poor framing job, adressed the subfloor for deflection, New P-Trap & clamp ring drain with weep hole protection, a proper pre-slope under the new bladder, deck mud pan with a CBU backer and Laticrete hydroban for waterproofing. The shower will now DRAIN PROPERLY to the weep holes and last longer than the upper half of this poorly built shower.

If you are in the Minneapolis twin cities metro area Tundra finish works can help you properly build a Shower pan system utilizing the newest products available with a solid understanding of older tried and true methods achieving A lasting waterproof shower