Before We Start
I will show you how to tile a shower wall in this article through video and I will also talk you through it. There are a few things that need to be discussed before digging into the project.
If you would like a list of the tools and supplies that you will need and where I get them Click Here. I will also provide links to other articles and videos that may help you. These links should cover questions you might have and explain things in greater detail.
If there are questions that you can’t find answers to, then please contact me in the comment section below.
1) Cover the Tub
Step 1 of how to tile a shower wall-
I was working on a tile installation that needed demo done to the walls. This was the first time that ever had to do this and actually, I was still a rookie. I was trying to avoid taking the step of covering the tub to save time.
I started to do the demo and I was trying to be careful, but a few tile pieces of tile fell into the tub. After the demo was done, I cleaned up my mess. It was then that I noticed there was a lot of tiny dings in the tub!
It costed me several hundred dollars to get it fixed, not to mention how embarrassed I was.
The point is cover the tub! Even if there is not any demo, I highly recommend that you cover it. Watch this video below and I’ll show you a few tips.
2) Demo the Existing Tile
Step 2 of how to tile a shower wall-
Now it’s time to remove the existing tile. The easiest way to do this is to cut sections of the wall out. This will allow you to carry out the tile and the backer board or sheet rock in panels.
This method is a lot easier when it’ sheet rock, but it can still be done if it’s a cement board.
Watch this video and then we will move on to the next step of how to tile a shower wall.
3) Install the Cement Board
The next step in how to tile a shower wall is installing the cement board.
Installing the cement board is actually a pretty easy process. the key is to use materials that are easy to use and very reliable. I use Durock Next Gen.
This stuff cuts EASY! It doesn’t fall apart when you are cutting it either. I use a utility knife to cut it and it is just plain good stuff. You can buy it just about anywhere, so it’s my number one choice.
I really would not accept any imitations.
Check out this video. I will go through the basics of installing cement board.
4) Water Proof Your Shower!
Step 4 of how to tile on a shower wall-
This is a very important step. You do not want to skip this. If anyone tells you you this step can be skipped, I’m here to tell you that person doesn’t have a clue!
Let me ask you this. Why would you put all this money, all this effort and all this time into your project and not do it.
I know it’s a tub surround and the water doesn’t hit most of the tile. The water also flows down the wall, so why would you need to do this.
I’ll tell you why! If water can find a way, IT WILL!! Moisture always finds a way to destroy. So, just take precaution and do it, you can thank me later.
Here is another quick video of ” How to Tile a Shower Wall” that demonstrates how I do this.
5) Layout the Wall Tile
The fifth step in how to tile a shower wall is not as hard as you might think.
However, This is really a step that you should take your time on.
If you can get this part of the installation right, then the rest will go well. It’s not something to be afraid of though, I will guide you through this and everything will be just fine.
The very first time I installed tile on a shower wall, I just went for it. No lines, no measuring, I really did just did go for it! Well, it was a disaster! The good old days of being a rookie.
Now it’s been many years since then and I’ve learned lot’s. Yeah, a lot of it was the hard way, but for me it was the best way!
You definitely want to do some measuring and yes we will be snapping some lines with a chalk line. Get your level, tape measure, chalk line and pencil and let’s get going.
Layout Part 1 and Part 2
6) Cutting and Installing the tile
Now that the layout is done, it’s time to start cutting and installing the tile. This is where all the hard work that you have done will payoff.
You now have the lines to help keep the tile straight and to guide you while measuring the tile cuts.
You will need spacers and wedges together to keep the tile straight. Just follow the lines that you have snapped on the walls. These are what you will adjust your tile to. It will keep them level and straight the entire installation.
I also want you to take notice of the thin set. Watch how I spread it on the wall and also notice how my thin set isn’t too dry(thick). This is very important so you do not have any tile failure because the thin set was not mixed correctly.
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We are now at the last step of how to tile a shower wall. Grouting the wall tile is really a messy job, so make sure that still have the tub covered in this step.
Grouting the walls is a slow going process. I would only mix a half bag of grout at a time. It can harden in the bucket pretty quick, so this will help not wasting any.
You never want to add more water to the grout after your original mixing is done. Adding water can change the color and it can harden even faster after you are done remixing it.
What you can do is this, keep mixing the grout with a margin trowel every five minutes. This will help keep it loosened up in the bucket.
You can mix it with a margin trowel by hand to loosen it up.
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