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How to Tile a Shower

Updated on December 4, 2011

Brief Introduction

Tired of the same plan white or off white tile in your shower? Installing tile in a shower is not as hard as one may think. This weekend project will have you so happy with the results you would want to take showers three times a day. Here is how to tile a shower.

Things You'll Need:

  • tile of your choice
  • measuring tape
  • grout
  • sponge
  • tile spacers
  • cement backerboard
  • staple gun
  • notched trowel
  • mortar for tiles
  • tile spacers
  • tile cutter

Step 1

First, remove existing tiles using an utility knife. Start with the grout to loosen the tiles. If you already have some loose tiles, start with those first. Hopefully, the others will begin to fall. You may want to wear gloves so the sharp edges won't cut or scratch your hands. After the old tiles are stripped away, you should see the the bare drywall with the studs.

Step 2

Now, cover the walls that are to be tiled with a cement backboard or waterproof drywall and staple it to the studs using a heavy duty staple gun. Don't forget to cut a hole for the shower head and the water faucets.

Step 3

Now with a sponge, dampen the backboard.

Step 4

Next, starting at the top, begin applying a coat of mortar with a notched trowel. Start placing the first tile on the mortar by pushing it gently and evenly so it will not be crooked. Stand back and make sure it is not crooked before applying the rest of the tiles.

Step 5

Continue placing tiles on the wall with spacers in between. If you get to the a point in the corner where a whole tile will not fit,measure the space and then cut the tile with a tile cutter to fit in the space including cutting tiles to fit around the shower heads and faucets. More than likely your bottom row space will not be the same size as the tile and will have to be cut to fit.

Step 6

Once you are done with placing all of the tiles on the wall, let the tile set for 2 days.

Step 7

Now that the tile has set for 2 days, take off the spacers and apply the grout in between the tiles with a rubber float except for the corners. You will use caulking instead. Pack the grout in between the joints throughly. Wipe away any access grout with a wet sponge.

Step 8

Last, wait about two weeks before sealing with a sealant that will protect from mildew. Do use the shower during this two week period.


  • Take your time and do not be afraid to ask for assistance.
  • Your local home improvement store may offer workshops on tile installations.
  • Use a grout that matches your tile.
  • When shopping for tile, ask to see the tile on clearance. It may be what you are looking for.


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