How to tile a walk in shower
Adding tiles to a shower will always add beauty and increase the durability of the bathroom area; the process also enhances the value of your home and allows you to enjoy every showering experience. Even though many people consider this to be a grueling task which demands effort and time, if you love DIY projects, it will be a pleasant experience. In the section below, we shall examine some of the key steps you should take when installing tiles on a shower floor.
Steps in laying out the tiles
1) Preparation. Before you start laying out the tiles, you should determine how the tiles will fit and line up with the drain in the shower area. It is advisable to clean the entire area before you start fixing the tiles. Some of the essential materials and tools required for this job are listed below:
- Tape measure
- 4' level
- Wet saw
- Buckets (at least 2)
- Paddle mixer
- Grout float
- Drop cloth
- Tile & thin-set adhesive
- Painter's tape
- Grout mix
- Grout sealant
- Mesh tape.
2) Laying out tiles. The tiles should be laid out as you would want them to look in the shower. The area should also be level or flat; do not rely on the walls because they may not be straight. Determine the lowest level of the shower area and mark one tile height above, then mark a line around this point using a spirit level. Next, measure the exact number of tiles to be installed on each side of the wall. Thereafter, fix wooden battens on the wall with the edges touching the line once you mark the positions of the end tiles.
3) Cut the tiles to fit. Sometimes, the tiles will not fit the entire area, so you will have to cut some of them. For instance, if you want to lay them diagonally, then you will have to cut them into halves so that they can cover the edges. Naturally, tiles are hard glazed and brittle so you have to cut them carefully. You should ideally keep them facing upwards and mark a line on which to cut; this should be matched with subsequent tiles. After cutting, press the tile downwards to allow a clean snap. To create uniform cuts, smoothen the edges with sandpaper or nip the extra tile.
4) Cut out the drain. Next, mark and cut a hole for the drain carefully, one tile after the other. Once you are done, lay them back to make sure that cuts fit exactly around the drain. Also, tiling around fixtures should be maintained at the same level.
5) Glue the tiles down. Apply adhesive with a trowel to the ceramic tile and stick them down one after the other, starting from around the drain. Press the glued tiles firmly on the surface, and avoid sliding tiles. Start at the bottom row as you work your way to the top. Remember to keep the spacers in-between tiles. As you lay them, allow the adhesive to stick before grouting. Also, check the levels of tiles from time to time to avoid creeping.
6) Grout the Joints. Once the tiles have been affixed on the wall, remove spacers and then cover tiles with grout in within the next 12 hours. Rub the grout into the joints using a sponge and ensure that it penetrates completely. The grout should cover the entire area including spaces between tiles. Next, wipe the excess grout with sponge and leave it to dry for about 2 weeks before you use the shower. Once you are done, use a tile sealer to seal the grout according to instructions given by the manufacturer. Finally, polish the tile surface with a dry cloth.
A well-tiled shower area certainly enhances the looks and value of your shower. Contrary to popular belief, it is quite easy to tile your shower area if you are passionate about DIY projects around the home. Before you start installing tiles, you will need to spend some time to plan the actual layout. Clean the surface and gather all necessary tools and materials to facilitate a smooth installation. By following the steps above, you can be assured you will end up with a professionally done installation that is worth your time and money. This project when completed by a bathroom remodeling contractor runs about $6500 with the custom built shower doors installed. When doing a tub to shower conversion it can be more.