How To Lay Tile On Shower Wall – Learn the time and cost involved in installing tile around a tub shower, including step-by-step instructions for professional installation.
3 out of 5 Bathroom tiles with moderate placement are not that difficult, but it takes careful planning, proper preparation and good work habits to achieve professional results.
How To Lay Tile On Shower Wall
Tile is the most popular choice for walls in new and remodeled bathrooms because it is waterproof, highly stain resistant, easy to clean, and available in dozens of colors, sizes, and styles. With the right tools and materials—and the patience to lay the tiles properly—tiling a shower or bathroom is a job most homeowners can do.
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For the project shown here, we enlisted the help of tile contractor Joe Ferrante, who laid the tiles
The first and most important step to tiling bathroom walls, insists Ferrante, is to start with a clean, stable substrate. Next, he fills the baseboard layers with a thin mortar and places the fiberglass mesh tape in the masonry. Finally, to ensure a strong and long-lasting bond for the new tiles, Ferrante goes a step further and applies thin plaster over the entire wall.
For this installation, Ferrante used 4¼-inch square ceramic tile, the most common and easiest to install bathroom tile. However, the methods shown work on any wall tile, including stone and glass. Ferrante attached the tiles to the backsplash with latex tiles, not thin mortar. Mastic is much stickier than mortar, so you don’t have to worry about tiles sliding off the wall.
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Pro2ProTip: If the mastic begins to lose its tack, or “peel”, clean the wall and apply fresh mastic.
Get the latest that old house news, tips, tricks and solid DIY Smarts projects from our experts – straight to your inbox. How to install a master bathroom shower surround and floor wasn’t a blog post I was going to write?
However, now that it’s over, I’m a happy girl. It’s good that I don’t make all the decisions. 😉 #myhusband rocks
Cost To Tile A Shower
The original plan in our master bath was to order a 6′ tub/shower surround, use LVT (luxury vinyl tile) flooring, and redo the tub vanity with sink. If only some of those plans went ahead. Huh!
This was a hard concept for me to grasp the first 200 times there was a lag or problem or “problem”. Good thing I had 4,739 more times to review it. 😉
Ok, now I’ll let my handsome husband walk you through the process of How to Lay a Shower Stall. Good for home projects!
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First things first – it can be quite labor intensive and you need to give yourself plenty of time to tile your bathroom. Be patient with yourself and your wife (or husband).
The photo above is the only “before” photo we have of the pins. We used 1/2 inch cement board for the shower walls and ceiling.
Paint walls and shelves with plaster. Be sure to use the coat up to your bathtub. We also put tape, plastic and cardboard on the pot to protect it from damage. Mortel gets everywhere and is quite difficult. It can scratch your tub, so be careful!
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I used a laser level to get everything level and centered. This laser rotates (see images below) so you can see the line on all three walls. This will help you get and keep your tiles all aligned and where they meet at the corner.
We decided to make shelves ourselves. It was the 2×4 material when the nails were bare, then they were covered with cement board and smooth coat as well. We had chosen a random height for the shelves which was not smart, no measurements were taken other than what I felt comfortable standing in the shower.
Technically, the shelves are the perfect height if you’re 6’1″, but at 5’3″, Sam thinks they’re a bit high. However, she will be the first to tell you that they are very easy to clean as no water or soap residue touches them.
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So in the end we decided it was actually a good thing she wasn’t around when my friend and I were figuring out the details. You’ll also find that it works perfectly because the top edge of the shelf is flush with the tile line.
Just in case you want to buy these tiles too, here is a picture of our galvanized charcoal tiles from Lowes. We used nice large tiles on our walls, 12 x 24 inches. Make sure you get a grout that matches the size of tile you are using.
You need a mortar for large heavy tiles (apparently there is a difference between mortars). This will ensure that the heavy tile sticks to the wall and stays where you place it.
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Finally you can see the laser bar in use here. This tool comes in handy when building a house, let me tell you! Make sure your first row starts as horizontal as possible, filling in gaps and uneven spots or imperfections in your tub. Our tub was new and well installed, so we had very few imperfections to deal with, but we did have to add some tiles to get a straight line on the first row.
Promotion is very important. You will want to have equal pieces cut on both sides. So you have to do some math. When doing this remember to include the size of the adapter, we used 1/4 inch.
Here you need to consider several times. You don’t want to mix so much that it becomes difficult until you reach the bottom of the bucket. I used a 1/4 inch trowel to apply the grout to both the wall and the tiles.
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Above are the 1/4 inch adapters we used. Although you can use any size, we used this size to compliment the larger tiles.
Be sure to use a tile saw that matches the tile you are cutting. This saw was almost too small, but we made it work. Be patient with the tile cutter, don’t force it, if it is cutting slowly just let it do it or change the blade. You will regret it if you rush and shred the edges. This is always fun. No!
It was a handy little kit that attaches to the plate and guides the piece down into place.
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Make sure your tiles are nice and dry before attempting to attach the cup. Fill the cup with water and make a hole!
Take some measurements where the hole should be. I placed the cup on the face or finished side of the tile to make sure it didn’t chip or chip the finished piece.
We decided to cut some plates and also drill holes in some plates for valves and nozzles.
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We chose sandblasted grout from Lowes in Pearl Grey. Remember to only put between the tiles, not the areas between the ceiling and the tiles, or the pot and the tiles. You should use the same sealer color (Pearl Grey) as the grout to do these areas where you don’t want the grout to crack over time. This pre-made grout sealer tube allows for expansion and looks exactly like the grout mix bag shown above.
After all the grout has dried, be sure to seal the grout with grout sealer. Sam made two coats. We then attached our wrap to the valves and called it good! Our Delta fixtures, diffusers and rain shower heads were all ordered from Amazon and we have been quite happy with them.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT How To Lay Shower Tile Surrounds, BE SURE TO LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM! Related Post: DIY Barn Doors Related Post: Rustic & Industrial Stairs Baniste1. After the demolition of the old tiles is complete, a cement board should be placed on the shower area.
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Have a professional install a shower curtain and shower tray that fits the space. In our project, the shower pan is poured with concrete.
Save time by placing several tiles at the same time. Before you start laying the tiles, take some measurements and see how all the tiles will lay.
2. In our project we used Crema Marfil, an Italian rolled marble slab. Tiles come in different sizes, pre-laid on mats. We used 2″x2″ tiles on the shower ceiling and floor and 2″x4″ tiles on the shower walls.
Matching Tile Floors And Walls In The Bathroom
In our project, we first installed tile for the wall opposite the shower door. Measure the top and bottom of the shower wall (ours is 82″ long) to make sure it’s straight and doesn’t lean in or out. Tip: plan your design layout in “panels,” increments of three horizontal rows of tiles.
Next, dry-lay the tile panels, including the trim, to see how they fit vertically on the wall. This will allow you to see how many panels can fit, where you need to cut and where to start
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