Even the most seasoned DIYers may feel uneasy when faced with the prospect of installing tiles in their own homes. Even I am guilty of this! I had no idea how difficult tiling would be until I finished my first project, and now I know why. However, you can certainly complete the mission on your own.
So, the question arises, should you try to do 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?
Learning the proper technique for tiling a shower, let alone finding simple DIY solutions, can be difficult. 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. You can now begin tiling your shower, floor, and/or walls after you've selected the perfect tiles. It is recommended that you keep the following tips in mind before beginning to tile your shower.
Because of the widespread belief that elaborate shower designs are more likely to end in a leak and expensive repairs, showers of yesteryear were often little more than enclosed enclosures. However, these concerns can be put to rest with the help of modern tiling materials, in particular, waterproof membranes that can be laid out. Read this guide on how to tile a shower and you'll feel comfortable installing a seat or other structure to improve your showering experience.
We'll show you how to build a bench, a shelf, and an alcove in your tile shower. Everything here is adaptable to your specific requirements. We'll go over the essentials of planning a shower, such as waterproofing the space and tiling it with materials and methods tailored to wet environments. Anyone with no experience tiling should not attempt this. You should have substantial experience in the art of tiling before attempting a project of this complexity. Even so, let's assume you know your way around a framing tool and have no trouble tiling a floor. In that case, you can move on to a more complex shower tiling project, such as this one, from the basic shower surrounds and backsplashes we've covered so far.
To tile a shower using the method we present here will take about four full days. Two days will be needed just to tile the shower. You can expect to spend around $600 on tile and grout if you go with the industry standard for shower tiling. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you want to add decorative glass tiles like the ones we show here. Given its high cost, glass tile should be used primarily for aesthetic purposes. A tile cutter with scoring and snapping capabilities is a must if you plan on working with 4-inch-by-4-inch tiles. If you're using natural stone or larger tiles and your shower wall design calls for a lot of cuts, especially notches, a tile saw is a good tool to rent for the day. It is possible to score on and break glass tile (only small mosaic tiles), but you can only expect to break one tile every ten shots. If you carefully plan the tile layout, you'll likely only have to cut a small number of tiles, so this won't be a major issue.
Looking for the best tiling renovations? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Should I install my tile or hire a professional?
This is a crucial question, and there are three main considerations in answering it: cost, timeliness, and quality.
The role that money plays is crucial. Tiling can be expensive. Depending on the size of the shower, the cost of having a professional tile the surround of a shower like ours can range from $800 to $5000. The costs are, of course, subject to a wide range of variables, including such things as the type of tiles you choose and your location.
Money may be tight, but if you can do it yourself, you can save a lot. With so many different tile options out there, I settled on using standard white subway tiles for our project due to their relatively low cost. The total cost of the project was only a few hundred dollars, and that included the tile, adhesive, grout, caulk, and basic tile cutting tools. All the work was done by me, so it was possible.
However, there is the issue of time constraints. Tiling a room is a labor-intensive project. This is on the scale of aeons. Seriously. It took me a full month to tile our tiny shower because I could only work on it on the days my husband was off from work. (You should not have young children in a room with tile. Believe me.) To finish the tile would have taken me days, even if I had worked on it nonstop for eight hours a day. Tiling is not difficult per se, but it is a time-consuming process. The task may appear daunting at first, but I have no doubt that, with experience, you will find the going to be much 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
Do you want to give your shower with subway tiles a new look? To get started, take down the old tile or the fibreglass shower wall, whichever is applicable. Because this is a dusty job, you should cover your doorways with plastic, wear a respirator that is designed to protect against dust, cover the floor with a drop cloth, and ensure that there is adequate ventilation. Also, given the weight of the tile, it is important to lay down some moving blankets in order to prevent damage to the tub and floors from stray pieces.
How to Tile a Shower
Plan the layout
The framing and tile layout for each wall should be planned on rosin paper that has been cut to the correct dimensions for each wall.
You should first determine if there is adequate space in your shower for a bench. At least three feet of clearance is recommended in the bathroom's shower. We removed the 5-foot tub from this bathroom and installed a 4-foot shower base in its place. A one-foot deep niche was thus made for the bench and the aforementioned overhead storage at the shower's exit.
When learning how to tile a shower, it is crucial to plan the shower with the actual tile that you intend to use. Make use of the tile to precisely locate benches, alcoves, and even wall thicknesses. In doing so, you can use fewer pieces of tile and save time and effort.
For accurate tile placement in a shower, the tried-and-true method is to first make a full-scale template of each wall using rosin paper. The thickness of the backer board and any plywood needed, such as for a bench seat, should be accounted for when drawing the walls. After that, you should make a note of the studs that already exist to define the alcove openings. You can then arrange the tiles on the template to figure out the dimensions of the shower's benches, alcoves, and shelves.
If at all possible, you should aim to fill in or completely cover those features with tiles. Keep in mind that the floor around our nook is entirely tiled. The final placement and dimensions of the alcove were determined by these tiles. Because of the bench's precise height, tiling all the way around it necessitated no tile cuts and was much easier than dealing with the tiles that bordered the alcove.
Make sure the wall and ledge thicknesses are modified so that full tiles can be installed. The 2 by 4 wall now has a furry appearance thanks to the use of half-inch strips. Plywood so that the glass tile can be fitted over the end without any additional shaping. We settled on a frame and sheathing thickness that would allow us to achieve the same effect at the shelf's edge. If at all possible, when laying tiles along long sections of wall, do so in such a way that the ends of each wall have a column of tiles with a width that is consistent with the rest of the column. Refer to Figure A for an illustrative example of this. Sure, you'll have to break a few tiles here and there. Workers should be given as much assistance as possible when tiling. Spending more time planning out the shower tiling project will make the actual installation of the tile a breeze. Your hard work in tiling the floor will pay off handsomely, as well.
Frame the tile shower
The top and bottom of the alcove should be blocked in, and the sides should be shifted as needed. The empty space in the back should be filled with foam board. We recommend framing the end wall first, then installing the bench.
To begin this how to tile a shower tiling project, if there is space between the shower base and the wall, you should frame a continuous wall from floor to ceiling, as shown in the video. Screw the wall to the drywall first, and then run a bead of construction adhesive around the ceiling plate if there is no framing behind the ceiling to anchor it. Building the alcove's framework is the next step. With the aid of your template, you can calculate the required height for the top and bottom, and block those areas accordingly. When installing tiles inside and around the opening, it may be necessary to remove a portion of the wall. If the alcove is on an exterior wall, instal foam insulation with a thickness of one inch by adhering it to the exterior sheathing using a specialised foam adhesive.
The bench's frame should be built using a 1/4-in. Add a 3/4-inch layer at the top and slope it so water drains off. Plasterboard, fastened with screws that measure 1 and 5/8 inches. Screws. If any shelves require anchoring, as well as any interior corners that are lacking blocking, add 2x6 lumber to these areas.
DensShield, a tile backer material with properties similar to drywall, was used to construct the walls of this tile shower. In the bathroom, the walls are typically tiled with a cement board tile backer. Despite being only slightly more expensive, cement board is much more difficult to work with. It can be cut, snapped, and scored with a utility knife, much like drywall.
Regardless of the material, 1-1/4 inches should be used to secure it. Every four inches along the seams, and every six inches in between, cement board screws were used. If you're using a prefabricated shower base, make sure the lowest row of backer board is flush with the outer edge of the stall. The shower tile will hang down below the lip, directing water into the base.
Then, apply a strip of fibreglass mesh tape made for thin-set mortar over all the joints and corners. It's sticky on one side, but many adhesives aren't very sticky or don't stick for very long. Stapling it down can help if you have trouble keeping it in place. One quart of thin-set mortar should be mixed to the consistency of smooth peanut butter; once ready, it should be troweled over the joints with a six-inch long taping knife. When learning how to tile a shower, it's best to avoid making any hefty accumulations if at all possible. Because of these, the tile can't be laid flat.
Check out our range of tiling renovations Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions.
Apply waterproofing membrane
Any places that could get wet should have two coats of the waterproof membrane applied.
Two coats of a brush-on waterproofing membrane should be applied to any area of the shower wall that will come into prolonged contact with water before beginning to tile the wall (available at some home centres and all tile stores). Use disposable paint brushes, and wait for the first coat to dry before adding a second. A second coat of the product we show you can be applied after it has dried from its pink initial appearance. Focus on the corners, horizontal bench surfaces, and recessed alcoves that will be subjected to the bulk of the showerhead's output water. To further safeguard the screws in your tile shower from water damage, you can coat the heads of each one. Like the thin-set, you should try to stay away from excessive accumulations.
Tile the alcove wall
One-fourth of an inch of thin-set bead should be spread along the alcove's back wall. To finish, use a notched trowel to press the mosaic tile firmly into the adhesive.
Create carefully measured lines for your tile layout using the template as a guide. You should start by marking off the spaces between the rows of tiles that will surround the alcove. Take precise measurements from the base of the alcove to the top of the first row of tiles after they have been dry stacked. Make a level line, and then screw a half ledger to the wall. Using a ledger will help you lay tiles in a straight line along the bottom course and keep them from sliding down the wall before the adhesive is dry. After that, you can take out the ledger and lay the base row of tiles, trimming them to fit if necessary.
Create small batches of thin-set, roughly a quart in size (follow the directions on the bag). To apply thin-set to the back of the alcove, use a trowel with a notch no larger than 1/4 inch. After that, adhere the mosaic tiles to the thin-set using a firm but gentle pressure. Give the tiles a few gentle taps with a grout float to ensure that each tiny tile is securely embedded with its neighbors. Any grout that comes loose from between the tiles should be cleaned up as soon as possible with a damp rag, as it becomes much more difficult to remove once it has dried.
Following the previously drawn layout lines, begin tiling the field (wall) areas. Giving each tile a light tap with your fist after you've set it down will help keep it in place. A stronger bond between the tiles and the thin-set can be achieved if the tiles are wetted down before being applied to the wall. Repeatedly check the tile rows for plumbness. It is possible to level out rows by pushing a level against multiple tiles at once while the thin-set is still new. The thin-freshness set's is crucial for this method to succeed. In your ongoing effort to master shower tiling, you should complete the wall and adjust the top row of tiles as needed. Get rid of the tile row that is holding up the shelf.
Tiling should begin at the alcove sill, progress up the sides, and finish at the ceiling. Thin-set should be piled up on the backside of the sill tiles to create a gentle 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 full tile, you'll have a pattern that's consistent with the slope of the side tiles above it. Bringing the lower tile up to the same level as the upper row can be accomplished with some tape.
Tile the bench
In the beginning, tile the front face of the bench. Cutting the mosaic tiles into strips first will allow you to adjust the spacing between them for a better fit with less cutting.
Tile the bench's face, starting at one end. If there is room at the opposite end of the mosaic, divide it up into strips and widen the grout lines between the rows. The slight variations in line widths that occur during this shower-tiling demonstration are not noticeable. The final grout line width can be determined by laying tile on the seat and comparing it to the tile on the bowl's face. Afterward, set the tile for the seat, again working front to back and checking that the grout lines are parallel to the face tiles. It's important that the seat tiles' edges are flush with the face tiles' surfaces and not backset or overhanging. You can finish tiling the field above the bench by continuing until you reach the shelf.
Mount and tile the shelf
You can decorate the tiled shower by framing the shelf. When installing tile, first secure the bottom with backer board, then secure the sides by screwing them into the blocking. The 3/4-inch increment should be included. In order to protect the wood from the elements, it is recommended to cover it with plywood and backer board.
Make sure the shelf is only 1/8 inch wider than the opening so it can be tipped into position. Get rid of the plywood and put in a backer board, but leave the top as is. To instal, set the shelf so that it rests on the field tile, and then screw it to the blocking behind the backer board with two screws measuring three inches each. The 3/4-by-1-5/8-by-1-5/8-inch plywood top is then screwed down onto the framework. Install the screws, and then fasten the backer board to the leading edge and the ceiling.
When you're finished tiling the edge, you can support it with a ledger that's been screwed into the shelf's underside. After an hour, take out the ledger and tile the bottom, top, and field tile directly above it. Last, but not least, take out the 1/2 ledgers and replace them with a row of tiles. Shower wall tile can be regrouted to help keep it looking brand new for years to come.
Important Tips to Make Tiling a Shower Easier
Check the Stud Walls
Before you start laying tile or even preparing the backer board, you should make sure the shower stud walls are plumb and level. A level four feet in length should be placed across all studs to achieve this. This procedure must be carried out in a straight line, a zigzag, and a diagonal.
Waterproofing the walls and preventing the tiles from looking uneven, especially in the corners, both necessitate checking to see if the studs are plumb and level. Home Repair Tutor suggests directly attaching another stud to the off-center one as the simplest method for bringing it back into alignment. Once you have used deck screws or three-inch long nails to secure the new stud to the old one, you should double-check the level and plumb of the structure.
Prep the Backer Board
Prepare the shower floor and walls as thoroughly as possible before beginning the tiling installation process. The first step is, of course, to remove the existing tile. Next, instal a cement backer board to serve as a base for your shower tiles. Now is the time to make sure the cement backer board is in fine shape and can withstand the loads that will be placed on it.
Cement backer board that is not properly fastened in place will need to be removed before the new cement backer board can be installed.
Plan the Layout For the Tile
Making a plan before you start laying tiles will keep you from wasting tile on the ceiling or in the corners and give you a sense of direction as you work. A pen, some paper, and a measuring tape are all you need to complete this stage.
Plan to start tiling the shower two rows up from the shower's base when you're doing the initial layout. As a result, it's not uncommon to find that the shower floor or tub rim is not perfectly square, setting the stage for a crooked tile job if you start there.
Apply Tape and Mask Edges
After you've finished prepping your walls, the first step is to tape them with mesh. Use this tape to cover and seal the joints between sheets of cement board. The next step is to use painter's tape to cover any remaining gaps. At this stage, laying out a drop cloth over the shower pan's surface will facilitate masking the pan.
Keep Your Shower Pan in Place
When you're on your own, tiling a shower can be especially difficult. If you are able to use the previously installed shower pan, your project will remain relatively straightforward. A shower pan can be built from the floor up using only tile and mortar. As an alternative, you could use a prefabricated fibre glass baking dish. Pans are inherently leaky, so if these solutions are implemented, they may introduce new complications to the project.
Find the Centre and Measure Properly
One of the most important steps in tiling a shower is taking measurements to ensure you have enough tiles to cover the entire floor. Never start a project without having ten percent more of the materials on hand than you think you'll need. This will protect your reputation in case you make any mistakes when tiling the shower.
Once you have all of your measurements and are ready to begin, you should find the exact centre of the wall you will be tiling and mark it with a pencil. DIY Network suggests taking it a step further by drawing a plumb line alongside the level line for added accuracy. If you want to draw a straight line, you should measure up 13 inches to make sure it's even. It is the height of one row of tiles plus the grout line. These two marked lines will be your primary guides as you begin tiling the shower.
Use Nice, Expensive Thin-Set Mortar
For the first row of tiles, use a thin-set mortar that meets industry standards. You should buy the premixed mortar in buckets, which is more expensive but already mixed. You should get this instead of the cheaper powdered mortar, which is less convenient because it comes in a smaller container and is more difficult to work with.
One such product is ARDEX X77 superior sagless thin-set mortar, which is specifically recommended by Home Repair Tutor. You need to be on the lookout for it. If used properly, this mortar will prevent tiles from slipping off the wall and is also a great option for tiling ceilings.
If you're looking to give your Melbourne home a facelift, we have a wide variety of tiling renovation options available to you.
Keep Grout Joints Small
The tile in your shower will last longer if you use grout no larger than 1/8 inch wide and 1/16 inch thick, as recommended by Home Repair Tutor. You can buy these grout joints at any hardware or home improvement store. In addition, grout joints tend to grow larger over time; using smaller grout joints can be helpful because they look better and last longer.
Your confidence in your ability to tile a room to a high standard should be the last thing on your mind. While the actual process of laying tile isn't particularly challenging, it is time-consuming and requires careful attention to detail at every stage. You can probably tile your own floor if that's the case. Even though I had never done it before, the tile installation turned out quite well, if I do say so myself, because I am a total nerd who enjoys doing things that require a lot of repetition and attention to detail. (And if you still don't think I'm bragging enough, our contractor recently stopped by and told my husband how impressed he was.)
DIY instructions for tiling a bathroom or kitchen floor. Master the fundamentals of shower design, waterproofing, and tiling using methods and materials optimised for use in damp areas. If you want to make your showering experience more comfortable, this guide will show you how to put in a seat or other structure. If you're going to be cutting 4-by-4-inch tiles, you'll need a tile cutter that can score and snap the tiles. Renting a tile saw is a good idea if you plan on using natural stone or large tiles for your shower wall design and plan on making a lot of cuts.
An undertaking of tiling a room is akin to a laborious task on the time scale of aeons. It's suggested that a shower's head has at least three feet of space. Plastic sheeting and a respirator should be used to keep dust at bay during this task. The tried-and-true approach to precise tile placement in a shower involves first creating a full-scale template of each wall using rosin paper. A plywood bench seat, for example, would require the thickness of a backer board in addition to the plywood itself.
This shower's tile walls were built using DensShield, a tile backer material with characteristics similar to drywall. Make sure the bottom row of backer board is level with the perimeter of the shower stall if you're using a prefabricated base. To make one quart of thin-set mortar, combine all of the ingredients until they reach the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Then, cover all of the seams and nooks with a layer of fibreglass mesh tape. Any area that will get wet should have two coats of a waterproofing membrane painted on with a paintbrush.
Using the template as a guide, draw carefully measured lines to create your tile layout. With the aid of a ledger, you can ensure that your tiles stay in place along the bottom course of your wall. The alcove's sill should be tiled first, followed by the walls, and finally the ceiling. By laying tile on the seat and comparing it to the face tiles, the final grout line width can be established. It is possible to regrout tile on a shower wall to make it look like new for many more years.
Check that the stud walls are plumb and level before installing the tile. Unsecurely fastened cement backer board will need to be replaced. If you take the time to plan the shower's layout before you start laying tiles, you'll have a better idea of where you're going with this project. Make sure you have enough floor tiles to cover the whole floor by carefully measuring the area. Don't begin a job without at least 10 percent more of any given material.
When installing the initial row of tiles, the Home Repair Tutor from DIY Network recommends using thin-set mortar. The recommended size for grout joints is 1/8 inch wide and 1/16 inch thick. We offer a large selection of tiling renovation options if you're interested in giving your Melbourne home a new look. Tiling a room takes a lot of time and effort because of the need for precision. Smaller grout joints have the dual benefits of being aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. I'd say the tile installation turned out pretty good, considering I'd never done anything like it before.
- Read this guide on how to tile a shower and you'll feel comfortable installing a seat or other structure to improve your showering experience.
- To tile a shower using the method we present here will take about four full days.
- Two days will be needed just to tile the shower.
- When learning how to tile a shower, it is crucial to plan the shower with the actual tile that you intend to use.
- You can then arrange the tiles on the template to figure out the dimensions of the shower's benches, alcoves, and shelves.
- To begin this how to tile a shower tiling project, if there is space between the shower base and the wall, you should frame a continuous wall from floor to ceiling, as shown in the video.
- Building the alcove's framework is the next step.
- In the bathroom, the walls are typically tiled with a cement board tile backer.
- Then, apply a strip of fibreglass mesh tape made for thin-set mortar over all the joints and corners.
- To further safeguard the screws in your tile shower from water damage, you can coat the heads of each one.
- One-fourth of an inch of thin-set bead should be spread along the alcove's back wall.
- After that, adhere the mosaic tiles to the thin-set using a firm but gentle pressure.
- Following the previously drawn layout lines, begin tiling the field (wall) areas.
- Tile the benchIn the beginning, tile the front face of the bench.
- Tile the bench's face, starting at one end.
- You can decorate the tiled shower by framing the shelf.
- Prepare the shower floor and walls as thoroughly as possible before beginning the tiling installation process.
- Plan to start tiling the shower two rows up from the shower's base when you're doing the initial layout.
- A shower pan can be built from the floor up using only tile and mortar.
- Once you have all of your measurements and are ready to begin, you should find the exact centre of the wall you will be tiling and mark it with a pencil.
- It is the height of one row of tiles plus the grout line.
- For the first row of tiles, use a thin-set mortar that meets industry standards.
- You can buy these grout joints at any hardware or home improvement store.
- While the actual process of laying tile isn't particularly challenging, it is time-consuming and requires careful attention to detail at every stage.
- You can probably tile your own floor if that's the case.
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.