How To Tile a Shower Wall

How To Tile a Shower Wall

We’ve finished the prep for our shower walls
and now we’re ready to tile. Don’t skip the prep if you want your shower
tile to look good and last a long time. If you haven’t already, check out the previous
video, How to Prep for Shower Wall Tile at This is part of a total bath remodel, so we
also replaced our tub with a fiberglass shower base. We installed that first because we want
our tile to overlap the base. We’ll cover our floor so it’s protected while we work
on the walls. Now we’re installing our tile in a running
bond pattern. We actually start the installation at the second row up. That’s because the shower
base might be uneven, and we might have to cut the tile to fit. We’ll fill in that bottom
row last. So, I’m going to attach a straight board along my starting line. This will help
keep the tile level and in place as I’m working. Now for the thinset. Mix it according to the
directions, typically a paste-like or peanut butter consistency. Spread it along the guidelines
in a small work area. Don’t cover too much. Then with the notched side of the trowel,
comb over the thinset in one direction, and put the excess back in the bucket. Take a
tile and gently press it onto the mortar, lined up with your guides. Then add the next
piece using spacers. When you get to a corner you’ll probably need
to cut the tile to fit. Just mark and cut. Finish the row and move up to the next one.
It’s a good idea to periodically check that the tiles are level and straight. And take
one off to see if the thinset is sticking. If not, use a larger notched trowel. If you
need to cut the tile to fit around plumbing, use nippers or a hole-saw designed for tile.
Continue setting the tile. For exposed edges, use bull-nosed edge tiles if available, or
finish off with trim pieces. When you’ve installed all the tile, you can
remove the support board. Then install the bottom row. Remember, you’ll most likely have
to cut the pieces to fit, and leave room for expansion. Keep placing the tile until you’re
done. After the thinset has dried for 24 hours you’ll
want to remove the spacers and get ready to grout. You’ll want to use a grout recommended
by your tile manufacturer. Just mix enough—following the directions—to
work in a small area. Apply the grout with a rubber float. Work it into the joints dragging
the float in a diagonal motion. After about ten minutes, wipe away the excess with a wet
sponge. And try not to wipe the grout out of the joints. Continue grouting in small
sections until you’ve got the whole thing done. When the grout has dried there might be a
slight haze on the surface. A haze remover will take that off. Then, after a few days apply a grout sealer,
and silicone sealant to the corners, edges, tub, and floor joints. Wow, talk about a transformation — check
out how different this looks. But we have lots more to do, so check out the rest Find
other videos in in this bathroom series at

38 Replies to “How To Tile a Shower Wall”

  1. The only thing that I would say might need to be corrected is that the vast majority of videos that I've watched and sites that I've visited say to notch the thinset horizontally, not vertically. That way, if any moisture does happen to get back there it can't drip down throughout the length of the wall inside the grooves. Otherwise, this is a great video.

  2. You just created a mold sandwich. You never water proof both sides of the backer board. If moister gets in it can't escape. this will speed up wood rot and mold growth. I personally prefer 2 coats of red guard on the out side

  3. Shouldn't the holes you put into your water barrier when you put the support board on be filled and resealed? That should have been made clear.

  4. Regarding tile layout I noticed that there is a skinny tile on the right side and a larger tile on the left – I am thinking that good design would have made them equal on both sides, that skinny tile really looks crappy.

  5. Their tile looks like a huge mess. The pieces on the edge look really annoying and un-even. It would certainly drive me crazy. And for the record, how many people are going to take the time to remodel their entire bathroom? They're just going to hire someone. I mean, this is a good series, some of your videos are very satisfying, but the tiling is very sloppy. I think you should have spent a bit more time planning.

  6. How is moisture behind the tile supposed to escape when there is caulk sealing the bottom? Seems like any water back there is there forever.

  7. Eww! Commercial work looks crappy, those corners are horrible, won't take such..always even the the tile by doing a good math from the center..Nice tiles though 🙄

  8. I don't get that waterproofing paint. How is the thin set supposed to adhere to the cement board with that barrier?

  9. Too many steps have been missed in this tutorial. These tiles are too large and heavy not to be back buttered. In addition they should be washed before thin set is applied. The tile will literally suck the moisture out of the mortar. When the back buttered tile is applied, it should be moved slightly when set to the wall. This allows for the best adhesion. We are looking for 100% coverage.
    There is a high possibility that these tiles will literally fall off the wall, if this technique is used.

  10. Ha I like how shes says: "check out how different this looks" as opposed to check out how good this looks with these tiny pieces of tile on the ends like I said not to do in the previous video.

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