Even the most seasoned handymen may feel uneasy when faced with the prospect of installing tiles in their own homes. Even I am guilty of this! And after finishing my first tile project, I can surely see why; tiling is no joke. Nonetheless, you can certainly complete the mission on your own.
Which begs the question: should you try doing it yourself, or should you hire a professional? To that end, what specific details are crucial for you to know if you intend to handle everything on your own?
The process of learning the proper method for tiling a shower, let alone finding simple DIY solutions, can be daunting. On the other hand, you can avoid the trial and error involved in tiling a beautiful shower without sacrificing quality. All of the tedious tasks have been completed by us. Tile installation for the shower floor and/or walls can now begin after you've selected the perfect tiles for the job. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can streamline the entire process of tiling your shower.
Due to the widespread belief that elaborate shower designs would inevitably result in leaks and expensive maintenance, the majority of older showers were barely more than enclosed enclosures. Modern tiling materials, especially flexible waterproof membranes, can put these concerns to rest, nevertheless. This article will help you tile a shower so that you may confidently instal a bench or other structure that will make your bathing experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
Building a tile shower bench, shelf, and alcove are all covered in this article's detailed construction guides. You can modify any of these features to meet your own requirements. We'll go over the essentials of planning a shower, including waterproofing the space and tiling it with materials and methods tailored to wet environments. No one with no experience in tiling should attempt this. You should have substantial experience in the art of tiling before attempting a project of this complexity. However, let's assume you know your way around a hammer and have tiled floors before. In that case, the advanced techniques we present here will equip you to carry forwards with a shower tiling project like this one, whether it involves merely tiling the shower's surround or its backsplash.
If you follow the steps we show here, tiling a shower will take you about four days. Two days will be needed just to tile the shower. Using common tiles in the shower will run you about $600 for materials. A little bit of elbow grease is going to be required if you're set on having sophisticated glass tiles as accents like the ones we show here. Because of its high cost, glass tile should be used primarily for aesthetic purposes. Rental or purchase of a tile cutter with scoring and snapping capabilities is recommended if you want to work with 4-inch-by-4-inch tiles.
If you're laying tile for the shower wall and you're using natural stone or larger tiles, and if your design calls for a lot of cuts, especially notches, renting a tile saw for the day is a fantastic option. Glass tiles (only small mosaic tiles) can be broken with a score of 3 or higher, but only roughly every ten tiles. If you carefully arrange your tiles, this won't be too much of an issue. Looking for the best tiling renovations? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
FAQs About Tiles
If there are any drawbacks to this durable, elegant flooring, it is that it can be hard and cold and is somewhat tricky for DIYers to install. Ceramic tiles have a hard, solid surface, that does not attract or hold onto dirt, dust, pollen, or other allergens.
Ceramic and porcelain tile floors can be notoriously slippery. The very feature that makes tile easy to clean—its smooth, non-porous nature—also means that it is slippery underfoot. Add extra tile glazing, water, and dress shoes, and a rush to get to work can mean a trip to the emergency room instead.
Ceramic tile is one of the top choices for the bathroom floor. It's impervious to moisture, stands up to stains and won't absorb bacteria or odors. It's a great choice for a bathroom that gets a lot of traffic. Ceramic tile comes in a wide range of colors and designs for a sleek, luxurious look.
Tile floors last between 75 to 100 years on average since most of them are ceramic. However, they can last longer or shorter depending on how well they are maintained. Other types of tile flooring, such as those made out of natural stone like marble or granite, can last even longer than 100 years.
Matte tiles don't show grime the way glossy tiles do. The reflective surface of the glossy tile will show soap scum and water stains very quickly. If you're someone who doesn't like to clean the shower in-between uses, matte tile is the best way to go.
I'm Debating Whether to DIY or Hire a Professional to Instal My Tiling.
This is a crucial question, and the answer depends on three variables: cost, timeliness, and quality.
The role that money plays is crucial. Tiling is an expensive home improvement project. The usual cost to have a professional tile a shower surround like ours is between $800 and $5000. Costs vary widely based on variables such as the tile style you choose and your location.
Doing it yourself can save you a lot of money if funds are limited. Since traditional white subway tiles are among the cheaper options, we opted to use them for our project. The total cost of the job was only a few hundred dollars, which included the price of the tile, adhesive, grout, caulk, and basic tile cutting tools because we performed all of the labour ourselves. We did all the physical work, therefore it was doable.
However, there is the issue of time constraints to consider. It can take a long time to set up a tile floor. In this context, "aeons" is an appropriate term. Seriously. It took me a whole month to tile our tiny shower because we could only do it on the days my husband was off work. (You should not have small children in a room with tile. (Just go with me on this.) We could have finished the tile in a few days if we had worked on it nonstop for eight hours a day, but that's still a long time. Tiling is a time-consuming operation that isn't very difficult in and of itself. The task may appear daunting at first, but we have no doubt that, with experience, you will find the going to be a lot smoother and quicker. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional if you don't have much time to work on it or if your renovation deadline is approaching quickly.
How to Prep for DIY Shower Tile
Is it time for a change in the style of your subway-tiled bathroom shower? The first step is to remove the old shower wall, whether it's made of tile or fibreglass. This is a dusty job that necessitates plastic sheeting over doorways, a dust mask, a drop cloth, and good air circulation. Moving blankets should be used to cushion the tile and prevent it from scratching the tub or the floor.
How to Tile a Shower
Arrange the Furniture
Plan the frame and tile scheme for each wall on rosin paper cut to the appropriate dimensions for each wall.
See if you have enough space in the shower to accommodate a bench. In order to move freely while in the shower, at least three feet of space is required. The 5-foot tub in this bathroom has been removed and replaced with a 4-foot wide shower base. This allowed for a depth of just one foot for the bench and the lofted storage room to coexist at the shower's exit.
When learning how to tile a shower, it's crucial to visualise the space with the tile you intend to use for the best results. You may use the tile as a measuring device to create precisely sized seats, alcoves, and even wall thicknesses. As a result, you'll be able to use fewer pieces of tile and get the benefits of using full tiles.
One tried-and-true technique for installing shower tile is to first make a full-scale template of each wall using rosin paper (Figure A and Photo 1). The thickness of the backer board and any plywood needed, such as for the bench seat, should be accounted for in the blueprints of the walls. Then, you can designate the alcoves by making marks on the existing studs. Shower elements like benches, alcoves, and shelves all have specific dimensions, which may be determined by laying down the tiles on the template.
To the extent possible, you should aim to fill in or completely outline those elements with your tiles. Don't forget that the floor around our nook is tiled all the way out to the wall. The location and size of the alcove were determined by the tiles. (The tiles that line the alcove's rear are considerably easier to work with when it comes to cutting than the ones that flank it.) It's also worth noting that the bench's precise height prevented any tiles from needing to be cut in order to tile around it.
It's important to get the wall and ledge thicknesses just right for using full tiles. The 24 wall was given a furry appearance with the help of halfinch strips. Plywood so that the glass tile can be fitted over the end without any trimming. The framing and sheathing thicknesses were settled upon in order to achieve the same result as the shelf edge. Plan the tile for the huge wall expanses so that you have columns of tiles with the same width on both ends of each wall, if at all feasible. For an in-depth analysis of this situation, please refer to Figure A. Eventually, you'll have to cut some tiles. The tiling process should be simplified as much as humanly possible for the benefit of the worker. In order to make tiling a shower as easy as possible, it is important to put in as much preparation time as possible beforehand. The quality of your floor tiling work will likewise be a source of pride.
Install a Frame Around the Shower's Tiled Walls
The top and bottom of the alcove should be blocked off, and the sides should be shimmied as needed. Back space can be filled with foam board. We recommend framing the end wall first, then installing the bench.
Start this video on how to tile a shower by framing a wall from floor to ceiling between the shower base and the wall, if there is one. Screw the wall to the drywall first, and then run a bead of construction adhesive all the way around the ceiling plate if there is no framing behind the ceiling to hold it. The alcove must now be framed in. Using your template, you can measure the top and bottom to find the appropriate height for blocking. To instal tiles of the proper size within and around the opening, you may need to remove the relevant side(s). If the alcove is on an exterior wall, use foam insulation with a thickness of one inch to seal the space between the sheathing and the studs.
Construct the bench's framework out of 1/4-in. Make a slope so water doesn't pool, then add a finishing layer of at least.75 inches. The plywood was fastened together with 1-5/8-inch screws. Screws. Finally, anchor any shelves that need it and add blocking to any interior corners that are lacking.
Tile backer material DensShield, which is quite similar to drywall, was utilised to construct the walls of this tile shower. The walls of a shower are typically tiled on cement board tile backer. In spite of being only slightly more expensive, cement board is much more challenging to deal with. It's very much like drywall in that you can use a utility knife to score, break, and cut it.
No matter the material, 1-1/4 inches must be used for the anchor. Cement board screws were every 4 inches apart at the seams and every 6 inches apart in other areas. If you are using a prefabricated shower base, make sure the bottom row of backer board is flush with the top of the shower stall. To direct water into the base, the shower tile will dangle over the rim.
The next step is to apply fibreglass mesh tape made for thin-set mortar to seal all of the cracks and joints. It's sticky on one side, but many adhesives aren't particularly sticky or don't stay on for long. Staples can be used to keep it in place if you're having difficulties with other methods. Create a thin-set mortar paste with a quart of water until it reaches the consistency of creamy peanut butter, and then trowel it over all of the seams with a taping knife that is six inches long.
A good rule of thumb to follow while learning how to tile a shower is to avoid making any hefty accumulations. A flat tile won't stick to the wall with them. Check out our range of tiling renovations Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions.
Use a Membrane That Prevents Water From Penetrating
Every exposed part should have two coats of the waterproofing material applied.
If you want to know how to tile a shower wall properly, you need to know that you must first apply two coats of a brush-on waterproofing membrane to any surface that will come into prolonged contact with water (available at some home centres and all tile stores). Use disposable paintbrushes, and wait until the first coat is dry before adding a second.
The stuff we're showing you goes on pink but dries red, so you can apply a second coat without worrying about ruining the first. Focus on the corners, horizontal bench surfaces, and recessed alcoves that will absorb the most water from the showerhead. It is also a good idea to coat the screw heads in the sections of your tile shower that will get wet, as this will help prevent any rusting or corrosion. Keep your buildups to a minimum, just like the thin-set do.
Embedding Tiles Into the Niche Wall
The back of the alcove needs to be thin-set with a bead measuring 1/4 inch. With a notched trowel, the mosaic tile can be set into the adhesive.
Use the template to guide you in drawing lines for your tile pattern with pinpoint accuracy. To begin, mark off the spaces between the rows of tiles that will encircle the alcove. The next step is to dry stack the tiles and take exact measurements to establish how high the first row of tiles will be from the alcove floor.
After marking off a level line, a half ledger can be screwed to the wall for support. In addition to ensuring that the tiles don't slide down the wall before the glue has cured, the ledger is essential for laying a flawlessly straight bottom course. (The ledger will be taken out once the lowest row of tiles have been installed; these tiles can be trimmed to fit if necessary.)
Get the thin-set ready a quart at a time (follow the directions on the bag). Thin-set should be combed onto the alcove's back using a trowel notched to 1/4 inch. The mosaic tiles are then pressed one by one into the thin-set. To ensure that each little tile is uniformly embedded with its neighbours, give the tiles a few light taps with a grout float. Grout that comes loose from between tiles should be cleaned up as quickly as possible using a moist towel, as dried grout is much more difficult to remove.
Get started laying the field tile by following your drawn layout lines. Giving each tile a little tap with your fist after you've set it down can help keep it in place. Tiling materials should be wetted down before being applied to the wall in order to create a firmer bond with the thin-set. Make it a habit to regularly check the alignment of the tile rows. Even out rows by pushing a level against numerous tiles at once while the thin-set is still new. If you can manage it, do this just after you have your thin-set. You should complete tiling the wall and adjust the top row of tiles as you continue your research into how to tile a shower. Take out the supporting row of tiles for the shelf.
The bottom of the alcove should be tiled first, followed by the walls, and finally the ceiling. Thin-set should be piled up on the backside of the sill tiles to create a slight slope in the direction of the shower, which will aid in drainage. If you line up the bottom tile with the row above it and scribe the angle with a complete tile, you can make the slope on the side tiles match. You can accomplish this by taping the lowest tile flush with the row above it.
Put tiles on the bench's face first. Cut the mosaic tiles into strips if you need to modify the spacing to create a better fit with less trimming.
Start tiling the bench's face from one end and work your way to the other. If there's room at the opposite end of the mosaic, divide it up into strips and widen the grout lines between the rows. A little variation in line width between the different tiles in this shower tiling example won't be noticeable. The grout line width between the tile on the seat and the tile on the bowl face should be decided prior to tiling the bowl face. Then, beginning at the front, instal the seat tile, taking care that the grout lines are parallel to the face tile. Seat tiles shouldn't be backset or overhanging, and their edges should be flush with the surface of the face tiles. Wrap up your tiling of the field above the bench until you reach the shelf.
Put the Shelf up and Tile It.
There is a shelf built into your tile shower that has to be framed. The bottom should be encased with backer board, and then the sides should be screwed into the blocks after the tile has been set in place. The 3/4-inch increment should be included. Any bare wood should be covered with plywood and backer board.
Make the shelf 1/8 inch narrower than the hole so it may be tipped into place. Remove the plywood and replace it with a backer board, but leave the top alone. Screw the shelf to the blocking behind the backer board using two screws measuring three inches each, positioning the shelf so that it rests on the field tile. Next, using the 1-5/8-inch screws, secure the 3/4-inch plywood top to the frame. Screw the backer board into place along the top and front edges.
Install the tile first, then secure a ledger to the underside of the shelf using screws. After an hour, take out the ledger and finish tiling the bottom, the top, and the field tile right above it. Finally, you'll want to replace the 1/2-inch ledgers with a row of tiles. Regrouting the shower's wall tile is also a great way to keep it looking brand new for the long haul.
Helpful Advice for Shower Tiling
Verify the Wall Studs
Placing tile or simply preparing the backer board in a shower requires first ensuring that the stud walls are plumb and level. Put a 4-foot-long level across all of the studs to achieve this result. This procedure needs to be carried out in a straight line, a zigzag, and a zigzag.
To ensure the walls are watertight and to keep the tiles from looking uneven, especially in the corners, it is important to check that the studs are plumb and level. According to the data presented by Home Repair, the easiest way to straighten up studs is to put a second stud immediately to the one that is crooked. After fastening the new stud to the old one with deck screws or 3-inch finishing nails, double-check that it is plumb and level.
Arrange the Backer Board
Tiling a shower floor or wall is a labor-intensive project that calls for meticulous planning ahead of time. The first step is to remove the existing tile. Next, place a cement backer board to serve as a base for your shower tiles. At this point, you should make sure that the cement backer board is in fine shape and can withstand the loads that will be placed on it.
If the cement backer board is not properly put into place, you will need to remove the old backer board before installing the new one.
Arrange the Tiles in a Predetermined Pattern
Making a plan for the placement of your tiles will prevent you from wasting tile on the ceiling or in the corners and will provide you with a distinct direction to follow as you work. A pen, some paper, and a measuring tape are all you need to finish this stage.
Layout-wise, a good place to start tiling the shower is the second row up from the bottom. In many cases, the top of the tub or the shower floor will not be perfectly square, which might lead to a crooked tile installation if you start there.
Mask off the Edges With Tape.
Once you've finished prepping your walls, the first step is to apply mesh tape. Use this tape to cover and secure the cement board's seams. Then, use painter's tape to completely cover any remaining gaps. A drop cloth can be laid out over the shower pan at this stage to facilitate concealing the surface.
Hold the Shower Pan in Place
Tiling a shower on your own is a difficult task. The project will remain very straightforward if the current shower pan can be salvaged. A shower pan can be built from scratch using tile and mortar. Alternatively, you might use a prefabricated fibre glass baking dish. Pans are inherently leaky, therefore if these solutions are used, the project may face some new obstacles.
Locate the Midpoint and Take Accurate Measures
One of the most important steps in tiling a shower is taking measurements to ensure you have enough tiles to cover the entire floor. Always ensure you have ten percent more of the required materials on hand than what is needed to accomplish the project. This will protect you if you make any mistakes when tiling the shower (as well as the walls).
When you are ready to begin tiling a wall and have obtained the appropriate measurements, find the exact centre of the wall and mark it with a pencil. DIY Network suggests taking things a step further by also drawing a plumb line to use as a reference point after the level line has been established. Before drawing a line, make sure it is level by measuring up 13 inches. You can think of this as the height of one row of tiles plus the grout line. When first laying out shower tiles, start with these two defined lines as your primary guides.
Make Sure to Use a High-Quality, Thin-Set Mortar.
When tiling, use a premium thin-set mortar to cover the area where the first row of tiles will go. Shop for the more expensive, pre-mixed mortar sold in buckets. Instead of purchasing the cheaper powdered mortar, which is messy and comes in a smaller container, opt for this instead.
In this case, we advise that you opt for ARDEX X77, a superb sagless thin-set mortar. Always be on the lookout for it. This mortar is great for tiling ceilings, as it prevents tiles from falling from the wall when placed properly.
We provide a wide variety of tiling renovations in Melbourne to give your property a modern appeal.
Make Sure Your Joints Are Narrow
Keeping your tile shower's upkeep to a minimum is as easy as possible by using grout joints of just 1/8 inch to 1/16 inch in width. Most hardware and home improvement stores carry these grout joints. Smaller grout joints are preferable because larger ones have a propensity to grow over time; this is true whether you're talking about aesthetics or practicality.
Don't worry about whether or not you're competent enough to tile a room to a good standard on your own. Putting in tiles is not a very challenging process, but it is very time-consuming and requires careful attention to detail. If that's the case, you might be capable to tiling the floor on your own. Even though I had no prior experience with tile installation, it turned out quite well, if I can say so myself, because I am a total nerd and we prefer doing things that involve a lot of repetition and attention to detail. (And lest you think I'm being too modest, the contractor who came over recently expressed his utmost admiration to my husband.)