26 / January / 2018
How To Tile A Shower: A Beginner's Guide
One of the best bath upgrades is tiling or re-tiling your shower. We've outlined each phase of the process for creating a custom shower space with all the aesthetic and practical enhancements that come with tile. But it's a bigger job than most homeowners realize, so do it right the first time.
Choosing the Right Tile
Before you do anything, take a moment to think about what sort of tiled surface you would like in your shower. Aside from shape and color of the tiles (the fun stuff) there are the fundamentals: Are you doing the walls or just the floor? Do you want tiles on the ceiling? Who will be using this show, just you? Kids? An older parent? These are important considerations for determining what type of material is best for water resistance, anti-slip surface, and drainage.
Design and Pattern
This comes down to preference but if you need inspiration check out our recent post on 2018 interior design trends to see what leading tastemakers around the web are saying. Some might say the tiles should complement the overall look of the bath but if you want your shower to be the centerpiece, maybe it’s better to go with something that sticks out. For the more daring DIYer, we found some really novel designs here.
The styles offered and sheer number of retailers offering tile can be overwhelming but we found some tips for picking out one that’ll work for you plus good-to-knows that will make your choice even easier.
What You Need
- Tiles. Get 10% more than needed. Tiles break, need to re-cut, lose adhesion.
- Tape measure. Determine approximately how many tiles you'll need per wall.
- Level and pencil. To mark and get even the baseline for each row of tile.
- Mortar. Get pre-mixed kind. It's more expensive but you'll thank us later.
- Spacers. So grooves between each tile are even for when you fill in with grout.
- Edged trowel. To rough up mortar texture so it sticks better to shower pan.
- Grout. The cement-like mix to fill in the spaces between the tiles.
- Circular (wet) saw. For cutting tile squares to fit around drains, corners, etc.
- Silicone sealer / caulk. To waterproof the grout lines.
- Sponge. Wiping off excess grout.
- Rubber hammer. To tamp down tiles to make even.
If you have prepped correctly, the work is straightforward. Cutting tile to fit around drains, corners, or irregular surfaces is the finesse part of job and your work will look amateur if you're not precise or consistent. Go here for a step by step process. We really like the level of detail and the reasoning provided for each of the steps.
What To Avoid
Think you got this? It won't hurt to get a few reminders on what not to do in this critical area of home improvement.
Why (Re)Tiling Is A Good Move
Think about it. This is the most used room in your house. Shouldn't the place where you spend so much time be as beautiful and practical as possible? But if you're not ready to take the plunge, just plug in your zipcode to find a list of contractors.
No shame in hiring a professional. After all, you just want a beautiful bathroom.
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