Alternative to Stone and Tile in the Shower

I’m sure it’s no big surprise that we are not using traditional materials such as stone or tile in the master shower. I have a serious issue with grout. I know that today’s grout is supposedly mold resistant and much easier to maintain but I have spent way too much time in the shower scrubbing walls with a toothbrush. We could’ve used floor to ceiling slabs of marble which could have been fabulous but we didn’t go that route. We’re using a cementitious (big surprise) product called DecoPoz to coat the entire shower. This is what the shower looks like now after the DecoPoz application.

ShowerRight Wall

Right Shower Wall

Left Wall

Left Shower WallThe shower was formed with dry wall for bathroom applications and then we hired a stucco subcontractor who applied the DecoPoz. The material was then sanded to get a smooth finish. Two cut outs for windows were made and wrapped with the same marble that was used for the baseboard. The other inset on the right wall is for shampoo and body wash.

Here’s where my part of the job comes in…adding a bit of color! Are you surprised? No. Didn’t think so. Anyways, there’s a product called SoyCrete that is a soy based concrete stain. It’s really simple to work with. It’s a two part product, one part is the base and the other part is the tint. One tint comes free with the base and I purchased another so I could create my own mixture. I am mixing different proportions of Charcoal Black and Concrete Gray to create a color that will accent the marble in the bathroom.

SoyCrete ColorsThis is what the colors looked like as I was mixing them together. I thought it was so cool I had to take a picture.

Mixing SoyCrete Colors
Here’s a video that instructs how to apply SoyCrete.

Seeing that I’m not working on a floor I’m going to mix up a few different cups with varying proportions of the colors and apply the SoyCrete with a sponge so I can easily wipe away excess. After the color application we will seal everything with Richard James Specialty Chemical Epoxy/Urethane System which will waterproof the shower. Stay tuned for finished project photos…


About designnsuch

I am a just turned thirty, diy maven in the midst of a major home renovation.
This entry was posted in Bathroom, The Great Renovate and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Alternative to Stone and Tile in the Shower

  1. Marcy says:

    You are a design diva! I love it!

  2. Miz D says:

    I love the mix! This is a great idea for the bathroom and I would be stoked to play with the stain too!

  3. Scott says:

    Cool project!

    We just stained our concrete floor with SoyCrete and we’re going to use Deco-Poz for the bathroom floor. We’ve been shopping for tile, and I started wondering about Deco-Poz on the shower walls and floor.

    What did you do to make the waterproof shower pan? Did you use a liquid membrane? And did you do the same on the walls before applying the Deco-Poz?

    • designnsuch says:

      Thanks Scott!
      The shower process went like this…
      Install water resistant durock (it’s purple) to form walls of shower.
      A cementitious waterproofing system called Acryl Thoroseal was applied on top of the durock and all joints were taped with a special membrane tape.
      Then the Deco-Poz was applied. We are now going to seal that with a two part Epoxy sealer from V-SEAL called StoneLok E3 used in tandem with StoneLok E2.

      The shower pan is a rubberized shower pan and concrete was applied over that to create the slope of the shower floor. It was then finished with the Deco-Poz.

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

  4. Scott says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    Thoroseal seems a good choice for this. The Hyrdo Ban is a liquid “rubberized shower pan” that you can attach tile directly to, so I think it will also work in this application.

    Interesting that concrete was used for the slope instead of mortar, and that they placed the concrete over the waterproof membrane. From what I’ve read, the waterproof layer should go over the “pre-slope”, then you can put more mortar over that, or just tile. You might want to check about that.

    I’m wondering why you’re using the StoneLok instead of the products from Ecoprocote (makers of Deco-Poz.) Have you seen this link?

    • designnsuch says:

      Honestly, my brother in law is the contractor on the job so I trusted whatever he did without asking too many questions. We’ll see what happens with the shower pan in the future. I have a friend that just had to deal with a leaking shower pan so I hope I don’t have to deal with that.

      I chose the StoneLok product because it was recommended by the vendor who I bought the Deco-Poz from. I actually just sealed the shower this morning and I can tell you the V-Seal product is pretty toxic. I wish I had done more research about sealers instead of relying on someone else’s recommendation. However with the Ecoprocote you still need to use a separate epoxy based product on the shower floor. Whatever you decide to use make sure the person applying the product wears a mask and there is adequate ventilation.

  5. Robby says:

    Hi guys,
    I was curious as to how the shower (more specifically the stain/seal/color) has been holding up after extended exposure to water. I work with Soycrete and Deco-Poz exclusively in my business but have been reluctant to use it in a shower; the manufacturer actually warned me not to use it in a constantly wet environment. Thanks in advance!

    • designnsuch says:

      Wish I could tell you but the bathroom is just now done so we haven’t even christened the shower yet. We sealed the Decopoz and Soycrete with the Richard James Epoxy/Urethane which is supposed to be waterproof. I had used that same sealer on our concrete countertops in the kitchen and had a “complete fail” which is when the product does not adhere and it all peeled off. I’m hoping the same thing doesn’t happen in the shower but only time will tell. I’ll try to remember to update you after we’ve used the shower for a bit. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      • Scott says:


        I also did a Decopoz/Soycrete shower in our new master bath this past summer. I finished it with Eco-Tuff AQ from Ecoprocote, the manufacturer of the Decopoz and Soycrete. AQ stands for “aqua” — it’s waterproof, typically used in pools and spas. The shower is looking and working GREAT! I’m in the process of doing another shower in our new guest suite using the same process. Email me if you want pics or process details.

        That’s weird that Ecoprocote warned you off from this application; they tech I talked to there was fine with it, as long as we used the AQ formula Eco-Tuff.


  6. The Deco-Poz eco-blend cement microtopping is a concrete mixture. It may be installed virtually anywhere just like concrete. If your application requires specific protection such as waterproofing, you simply choose the applicable sealer/finish for its intended use. The EcoProCote brand has a full line of protective finishes, including the Eco-Tuff AQ Clear Coat as referenced for submersible applications. There are no problems or reluctance with using Deco-Poz in showers as long as it is sealed properly to avoid water penetration that may affect the bond between the Deco-Poz and the substrate material.

  7. designnsuch says:

    Hey Scott,
    Just wanted to let you know I couldn’t see the pictures.

  8. Travis says:

    Hi Scott, thanks for replying. I was unable to view your pictures. I did call ecoprocote support and they assured me it can be used in showers as long as it’s properly sealed with Eco-Tuff AQ. With Kristin pictures and Scott’s recommendations, I’m going to install a shower using Deco-Poz! Now, I just need to decide on what color!

  9. designnsuch says:

    Nice! You’re gonna love it!!

  10. Travis says:

    Now I’m thinking about using Deco Poz on the bathroom floors as well.
    My master bath is on the second floor and has a plywood substrate floor that is currently covered with old linoleum. Can I pull up the linoleum and use Deco Poz over the wooden floor? Has anyone tried it?

  11. Scott says:

    I did the upstairs bathroom floor with Deco-Poz. I put down Schluter Ditra underlayment ( over the plywood subfloor and floated thinset over it. Over that I applied the Deco-Poz, then stained with Soycrete and sealed with Eco-Tuf AQ, first coat with traction grit. (I had to use more coats of Deco-Poz than I expected because I used gray thinset and the squares in the Ditra showed through.) I added floor pictures to the shower album here: (Looks like I didn’t get any pics of the Ditra.)

  12. designnsuch says:

    Hey Travis,
    Regarding the use of Ardex SD-M on the counters, just be careful which sealer you use. We had a problem with our floors because the contractor didn’t use the entire system which is recommended and our floors were staining. We had to re-seal the floors with another product in order to protect them properly. The blog you mentioned uses another Ardex product, not the SD-M.

  13. Sandi Friel says:

    Hi there,
    We have just finished installing Deco-Paz in our mud bath shower. It looks so cool! I like the natural gray concrete color, but wouldn’t be opposed to a bit darker or more interesting. I’m wondering if you have any pics of how your shower turned out after staining. Thanks!

  14. fitzsikAnn says:

    Hi Design n plus : I loved your idea as I HATE HATE HATE tile and the cheap plastic shower surrounds even more….this looks like a versatile solution. How is it wearing? Is it easy to clean? Are you getting mold? I’m so excited there is hope for a cool looking shower…..

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