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How to Tile a Shower

New tile can really brighten up an outdated bath or shower. Patience is required to learn how to tile a shower. Time is needed between steps for the mortar and grout to dry and cure. As you do this job, make sure that you wear a mask when cutting tiles. You do not want to breath in tile dust.

If you live in the Delaware Valley or at the Jersey Shore and been considering a bathroom remodel, contact the experts at Oliver today. We can turn your outdated bathroom into the oasis you’ve been dreaming of.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pry bar
  • Wire cutters
  • Shop vacuum
  • Measuring tape
  • Power drill
  • Paddle mixer attachment
  • Angle grinder
  • Hole saw
  • Caulking gun
  • Heavy-duty stapler
  • Level
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Sponge
  • Tile saw

How to Tile a Shower Step by Step How to Tile a Shower

  1. Take off all shower fixtures. You may need a screwdriver or wrench to complete this task.
  2. Tear out existing shower walls. This step will involve a hammer, pry bar, chisel, and maybe wire cutters if you encounter metal mesh.
  3. It’s best to break out the shower walls in small sections.
  4. Leave the shower pan in place.
  5. Once the walls are demolished down to the studs, vacuum up all dust and debris.
  6. Take measurements and cut cement backer board to fit the shower enclosure.
  7. Use an angle grinder for cutting the backer boards.
  8. Working on the long wall of the shower, attach the backer board to the studs with 1-1/4-inch cement board drywall screws.
    1. Leave 1/8-inch gaps between panels.
    2. Boards must line up with the tile lip of the base.
    3. Use composite shims behind the boards if necessary to make boards flush with base.
  9. Along the seams, place screws every 4 inches.
  10. In other areas, space the screws 6 inches apart.
  11. Repeat the same process for installing backer board on the back wall of the shower.
  12. When cutting backer board for the front wall, use a hole saw to make holes for the pipes.
  13. Continue to place installation screws as specified in Steps 11 and 12.
  14. Staple fiberglass mesh tape over all seams and corners.
  15. Spread thin-set mortar over all mesh tape.
  16. You need to put two coats of water-proofing membrane paint on everything.
  17. Allow paint to dry between each coat.
  18. Mark a level line around the shower enclosure where the SECOND row of tile up from the bottom will go.
  19. Temporarily tack into place a straight board along and below the level line.
  20. Attach the paddle mixer to a drill and mix the thin-set mortar.
  21. Let the mortar rest for 7 minutes.
  22. Mix it again until it has the consistency of peanut butter.
  23. Wet the backer board with a sponge.
  24. Get some mortar on a trowel and spread it on for a single row with the notched edge.
  25. Place your first tile on top of the temporary guide board at the bottom.
  26. Press the tile into the mortar.
  27. Stick a tile spacer next to the tile.
  28. Press in the next tile.
  29. Insert spacers and tiles until the row is complete.
  30. At the end of the row, cut the last tile to fit.
  31. After completing the first row, let it dry until the next day.
  32. Continue tiling, using spacers, and cutting to fit corners and fixtures as necessary.
  33. Check your work with a level as you go.
  34. After adding all of the tile, remove the guide board at the bottom.
  35. Spread mortar and cut and fit tiles for the bottom row.
  36. Fit tiles so that they overlap the bottom edge of the backer board by up to 1/2 inch.
  37. Let the tile and mortar cure for a whole day.
  38. Working upward, apply grout to the tile with a runner float.
  39. Let grout dry for 10 minutes and then wipe tiles clean with a wet sponge.
  40. After grout dries some more, clean off tiles with haze remover.
  41. After three days, apply a sealer.
  42. Caulk all corners and edges.

Oliver Can Remodel Your Bath

Since 1971, Oliver has been a trusted home services company in the Delaware Valley. We can transform your bath into a new and functional space. As licensed plumbers, we can take care of any problems with old plumbing while tiling a shower. Contact us today to learn more about our bathroom remodeling services.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

Contact us today at 1-888-810-2681 Get a Free Estimate
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