One outstanding feature of the house so far is the ferrocement shower.¬†Ferrocement is a thin (generally between 1/2″ and 2″) shell of cement mortar on a steel matrix. It’s a remarkably strong and durable material that can take any shape imaginable, and has been used to create boat hulls, wild sculptural houses, and dinosaur roadside attractions, among other things….

 

We detailed the build as if we were doing a tiled shower, but hung up steel lath and mortar instead of tile. It was a fun process, although tying the metal lath was tedious and applying the first coat of plaster was a challenge.
We began by framing out the partition and curb, then I laid a mortar bed that sloped to the drain and installed this pvc liner. The liner will keep moisture that makes it’s way through pores and tiny cracks in the cement away from the house framing.

Then another mortar bed for the shower floor.

This was followed by installing glass block, hanging tarpaper on the walls, and attaching steel lath.

 

I made every effort to keep the the shower waterproof. I sealed any vertical tarpaper seams with asphalt goo, sealed staples, and siliconed behind and around the shower hardware.

 

 

You can see by comparing the above and below photos that some time passed between the first coat and finish plaster.
Greg needed a headlamp to make our last mix of finish plaster after dark. We used white portland cement and mortar pigment to get the sunny yellow color.

 

Now that I just finished sealing the shower, I’m looking forward to trying it out! (probably after we get the hot water heater installed)