My Project Planner – Tile Edition is really the first step in any installation. It will help guide you with the materials, supplies and tools that you will need for your installation.

It also covers how to estimate how much materials and supplies you will need.

You will learn how to measure so you can add and subtract for waste. There are also a bunch of checklists in there so you can be sure you have everything you need.

So I recommend starting there first!!


Step 1-

Prepping the Walls for Cement Board

Now I am assuming that you have all the demo done in the shower and you are down to the bare studs. If you are looking for some help with the demo, watch this video on demo in the article I wrote –  How to Tile a Shower Wall

Prepping the Walls for cement board is the first step I always  take. This will save you so much time and a lot of frustration during the installation. I wouldn’t skip this step

There will be other ways to prep the walls and floors that we will cover later on, but for now check this out.

This content is for Tile University members only[although you will see the steps, the clickable links are unavailable to non members]

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Tile University

How to Prepare the Walls for Cement Board – watch this video first



Step 2-

Installing Cement Board on the Walls. In this step there are several types of cement board out there on the market. I have videos on two of them-Durock and Hardi Backer. I will just tell you now that I highly recommend using Durock. It is very user friendly and it is high quality.

I waterproof all cement board and you should too. So don’t buy hardi backer only for there claim to having the best moisture resistance.

I will show you how to measure, cut and install cement board. I have many tips in these videos that will help with the  difficult areas, so watch these video all the way through!

Installing Cement Board on Walls- watch these videos

You would  also install cement board on the ceiling at this time if you are tiling the ceiling. Be sure to watch my Tile on the Ceiling video on the members dashboard page.


Step 2A

Planning for a Niche or also known as a built in shampoo shelf.

This is the time to plan where the niche is going to be located. You want to be sure to install this in an area that there is not any studs in the way and if you are going to install this in an outside wall, there is some additional things you need to do.

There is a Niche that I highly recommend. It’s very easy to install and it comes in many varieties. You can install it pretty much anywhere. It is called – EZ Niches click on this link to check them out.  Then click on one of them and you can see how easy they really are to install.

If you install this in an outside wall,  then you will need to frame the area in where you plan to install it.  The reason for this is so you can staple the vapor barrier to the studs. Then you will need to fill in insulation behind the niche.

Anywhere else you install the EZ Niches you don’t need to attach it to studs. It just needs to be attached to the cement board with an adhesive. Then you smooth out the flange with thin set and your done. Ready to Tile.


Step 3

Building a Shower Pan

Now that the cement board is on, it’s time to build the pan. Don’t worry though, this is really easy with the methods I am going to show you.

There are a few steps to this and I have it broken down in separate videos for you.

  1. What type of drain should be installed
  2. How to mark the location of the curb
  3. Building the curb
  4. Marking where the pan ends(getting the proper slope)
  5. Mixing the Sand Mix(deck Mud)
  6. Building the Pan

My videos explain it all, be sure to watch them all and you will have a successful pan installation.

Click Here for Building a Shower Pan videos 


Step 4-

Installing Cement Board on the Floor

After the pan is built you will need to let it cure for a few days before the waterproofing can be done. This is where I move onto the bathroom floor. So in this next step, we are going to  begin Installing Cement Board on the Floor.

This is usually a pretty quick step and can be done in a day, depending on the size and layout of your bathroom floor. If it is a smaller floor, than you could also begin the layout of the tile on the floor.

Watch these Videos –

 Prepping the Floor for Cement Board


Dry Laying Cement Board on the floor and Fastening Cement Board to the Floor

How to Mix Thin Set Video

Step 4a-

Prepping the Walls after Cement Board is Installed-

This is a great time to get the walls ready for the waterproofing membrane. You need to wait at least 12 hours after the pan is installed before you can walk on it. But after that, then prepping the walls can be done. You will need to allow dry time for the walls and the pan and getting this prep done during installing the cement board on the floor is very helpful.

This is why I like to do the steps in this order. Than there is no waiting – which means no down time!

Here are the videos you need to watch for this step – 

Prepping the Walls after the Cement Board is Installed and Final Prep on the Walls


Step 5 –

Floor Tile Layout- Building a Grid

I like to install my floor tile this early in the installation for a few reasons-

  1. Because it fits in with the down time of waiting for the pan and the walls to dry.
  2. Because I want the tile on the walls and the curb to be installed on top of the floor tile.

After the tile is installed, I cover it to protect it with either rosin paper or card board.

So let’s get started with the layout. I have several videos that will guide you through this process. The method I am going to show you will really give you many benefits to an easier and a professional looking tile installation. Take your time and go through all the steps in this process.

If you have any questions, contact me through the comments section at the bottom of any page.

Watch these videos for instructions on Floor Tile Layout.


Step 5a

Measuring Tile Cuts Using the Grid

You are going to find that now that the grid is completed, the rest is going to be much easier. I have several videos that explain how to use the grid, measuring tile cuts and installing the tile using the grid.  You do not want to skip these videos, they will help you a ton.

Measuring Tile Cuts

Cutting Tile Videos

Step 5b-

Installing Tile Using a Grid – 

Next is installing the tile. Using the grid,  this is also simplified. All the hard work is now behind you and now you will see it payoff. Here are a few more videos that will explain how to install the tile using the grid.

Installing Tile Using the Grid

The Next Day-

Cover the floor with either cardboard or rosin paper. We will grout later

Step 6-  

Waterproofing the Shower- 

If you still have some prep work to do on the walls, that’s okay. You can do that and then you can waterproof the pan while you are waiting for the walls to dry. I always try to squeeze in the prep work while I’m working on the bathroom floor, so then by this time the entire shower is ready to be waterproofed.

Its time to grab the fiberglass mesh tape and get started.

What you will need-

  1. Water Proof Membrane( I highly recommend using Hydro Ban it’s just simply the best!)
  2. Paint roller(3/8 inch nap)
  3. Paint pan
  4. Paint Brush
  5. Fiber Glass Mesh Tap(Backer Board Tape)

In Most Showers You Will Need 1 1/2 Gallons of Waterproofing Membrane


Step 7-

Installing Tile on the Ceiling and Installing Tile in the Shower Pan

If you are installing tile on the ceiling , than this should be done before tiling the shower pan. The video for tiling the ceiling is located on the members dashboard page.

You are only going to tile the pan in this step. We will be coming back to the curb in a later step. This is really not as hard as it can seam. I actually have a very simple method to do this. I have been installing for many years now and to this day, I still use this method.

There are 4 videos that you should watch-

  1. Tiling a Shower Pan – Layout
  2. Tiling a Shower Pan – Marking the Tile
  3. Tiling a Shower Pan – Cutting the Tile
  4. Installing Tile in a Shower Pan


Step 8-

Installing Wall Tile-

There are a few steps that we will cover in Installing Wall Tile and they are –

  1. Wall Tile Layout
  2. Measuring Tile cuts
  3. Installing Wall Tile

Step 8a-

Wall Tile Layout- 

Most of you already have done the floor layout and have built a grid. A grid for a wall is a little different, because now you have to use spacers. That’s okay though, because I cover this in depth in this video series. These videos will walk you through the entire process.

Be sure to watch these 3 videos-

  1. Step 1-Finding a starting point
  2. Step 2-Wall Tile Layout
  3. Step 3- Wall tile Layout

If you are installing shower shelves, now is the time to plan for them.

Installing a Shower shelf

Step 8b-

Measuring Tile Cuts-

This would be a good time to watch these videos again and if you haven’t seen them, then you really need to watch these.

Another video you may need to watch again is the Tile Cutting Series


Step 8c-

Installing Wall Tile-

In these videos I cover a lot of stuff. They are packed with information and Tips. You will find the answers to many of the problems or situations that you will come across during your installation.

There are 10 videos in this series.

  • Starting Wall – Installing the bottom row
  • Starting Wall- the main field
  • Wall #2
  • Wall #3 The Wet wall(the plumbing wall)
  • Completing Walls 1,2 and 3 to the Ceiling
  • Wrapping Tile around a Corner – Part 1
  • Wrapping Tile Around a Corner – Part 2
  • Wrapping Tile Around a Corner – Part 3
  • Wrapping Tile Around a Corner – Part 4
  • Installing a Deco band

All of these Videos explain a lot and you will gain much from them.

Step 9- 

Installing Tile on a Curb-

You are getting close to being finished. The curb isn’t hard to tile, but it’s slow going and it’s meticulous work. The feeling you get when it’s done, is so worth it.

Here are a few videos that you will need to watch.


Step 10-


YOU DID IT!!!!! and I am really proud of you!

Now you are ready to grout. This is a messy, but easy job. These videos will cover grouting a ceiling, walls and the floor.  When ou are all done with this, then you must wait at least 30 days to apply a grout sealer. Then I would recommend sealing the grout once a year. this is a very simple process and here is what I use and recommend-
Grout sealer I recommend

Grout sealer Applicator

Here are the videos that I have on grouting-

Grouting 101


When you are all done grouting, the corners need to be caulked, you can also use silicone. There are two ways to do this.

During the grouting you can fill the corner with grout and then scrape them with a margin trowel to square them off. Then apply clear silicone or caulk over the grout.(this is the method I use most).


Just apply a caulk to the corners. Most grouts will have the same color caulk that you can buy. This should be available from the same place that you purchased your grout. I will warn you that it is never a perfect match. This is why I prefer the first method.


If at anytime you have questions you can post them in the comments section at the bottom of any page on my site. You can also use the contact us tab at the top of the page.

Please, put some pictures of your progress on my facebook page. I will be creating a gallery page on my site and would love to put your pictures on there.


Joe Letendre

Remember this, if you are really having some struggles with your project, take a minute and ask Jesus for the wisdom, knowledge and the skills to get you through. That’s what I do!! and Yes, IT WORKS!!