Friday, January 22, 2010

Piece of Mind

It is well established that shower leaks are one of the most common, and costly, problems that a homeowner may face. In the past, one would tackle a ceramic tile shower installation by going to the hardware store to purchase a 40 mm sheet of CPE (Chlorinated Polyethylene) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) large enough to cover the shower floor. No instructions would come with this sheet, which is perhaps the problem. How can a person fully understand what they are about to do when there is no process or instruction given?

Throughout my career as a tile setter, I met several homeowners that had the same mindset on installing a tile shower. Their line of thinking was that if a tile shower is installed in the basement and it leaks, damage will be minimal – the water will simply seep into the ground beneath the concrete slab. In a house without a basement the same reasoning would be put into practice –install the shower above a flat concrete slab. Another misconception that I faced was that one should never put a shower liner on a second floor, as damage would be severe if it were to leak. With this logic why depend on your roof to keep you dry when it rains?

While sound in theory, this information does nothing to protect the homeowner in practice. If not properly installed, the basement shower will in fact leak into the bottom plate of the walls and moisture will seep into the adjoining room. Mold and decay that will be unavoidable and in time the shower will need to be replaced. As anyone that has ever had a leak in a shower can attest, the stress, high cost and outright annoyance that comes with replacing a faulty unit is something that should be avoided.

Why then is the traditional PVC or CPE method still used today, if a ceramic tile shower is installed at all? What are the alternatives? Why are builders reluctant to install tile showers? The residential tile industry is largely trade driven with low turnover, and inexperienced tile setters learn on the job from more tenured professionals that pass their methods down over time. Builders are reluctant to use the traditional liner method, given its poor track record, but are also equally reluctant to bring in new systems. Factor this in with the explosion of (mis)information available on the Internet, and the task of building or upgrading a ceramic tile shower can be a daunting one.

In the hopes of adding some clarity and insight to the matter, I am proud to announce a coming series of newsletters/blogs entitled “Piece of Mind” in which I will debunk some of the myths that still run deep in the tile shower industry. Topics will range from determining whether to hire a contractor or tackle the project yourself, handicap shower options, dealing with mould, market trends, and quick tips to increase the value of your home. These articles will be distributed through multiple sources online, and will be posted on We invite you to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions for future articles.

Steve Dix brings over 30 years of experience in the tile industry. He has led countless commercial and residential projects throughout North America and has trained many apprentices during this time. His patented OneLiner system has been used in major installations such as Luke Air Force Base in Litchfield, Arizona and most recently a United States federal penitentiary.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Changes to

Since the last post, many things have changed. The Dix Systems showroom is now in the final stages of completion. Barnwood trim now accents the walls of the showroom, and a OneLiner shower pan cross section has been installed at the east end which showcases our Recess-It and Better Bench shelves. We have also introduced cultured marble thresholds in a variety of finishes, which are available for purchase by visiting us at 15131 110 Ave, or at

Our website has also seen some minor changes which we hope will improve its ease-of-use, and the OneLiner now features an industry leading 25 year limited warranty. In addition to this, we are now able to offer radiant heating kits by Warmly Yours specifically designed to work with our 14 standard OneLiner sizes. In other words, it is now possible to have a tile shower installed that features a heated floor that can be programmed to meet your specific needs. For more information on this, call Mike Pabian at 888 450 0112.

Stop by our testimonials page at to see what our happy customers have been saying about us!

Our next post will look at how installing a tile shower can increase the value of your home.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Renovation Focus Shifts to Interior Alterations

November 28 2008

Dix Systems Inc. is shifting its focus from exterior building alterations to interior alterations at its head office, located at 15131 110 Avenue in Edmonton, AB. The summer saw new shingles on the roof, a new driveway installed (manually, in 32 degree heat no less), a completely demolished and refinished front fascia, new windows and doors, and finally a sign proudly listing our business name on the exterior. These repairs and alterations have been received well by the members of the surrounding community, who are happy to see a once vacant and heavily vandalized building being restored.

With the coming winter, we have shifted our focus to the interior of our building. The arrival of our new Sales Manager, Michael Pabian, necessitated the creation or a new office to the west end of the showroom. All interior walls have now been covered and painted, and aged barnwood has been installed to cover ceiling bulk heads.

At this time, Dix Systems Inc. is also pursuing new and exciting business relationships with a major hardware retailer, as well as a plumbing retailer that services all of Western Canada. We will keep our customers updated as developments arise.

This blog is open to the public, and we welcome any questions or comments that you may have.