Custom tilework can drastically transform the look and feel of your shower. Beautiful tiling can increase the value of your home, enhance your shower experience, and allow you to match the style of your shower’s interior to any bathroom décor that you may have outside of the shower, such as other bathroom fixtures, wall paper, rugs, towels, or countertops.
This article provides an overview of how to install a tile shower floor and give you the shower of your dreams.
What You’ll Need
In order to successfully tile the floor of your shower, you will need the following items:
- Large bucket
- Utility knife
- Mechanical drill
- Whip attachment for mechanical drill
- Grout Float
- Tile sheets
- Tile nipper
Overview of How to Install a Tile Shower Floor
This overview is not meant to be a complete installation guide, as it is more of a summary than a detailed set of instructions. However, if you are planning to install a tile shower floor, this article should give you an idea of the project’s difficulty level.
Please do not attempt to install a tile shower floor if you are intimidated by what you read here. In your case, the job may be best left to the professionals.
First, you will need to mix your thinset in a large bucket. Thinset can be ordered from an online store, such as Tile Pro Depot. Use your mechanical drill’s whip attachment to achieve a homogenous mixture that is pasty, but still malleable.
If you are planning to install a tile shower floor atop a cement mudbed, please note that the mudbed should already be waterproofed prior to tile installation. Assuming your mudbed is waterproofed, use the straight edge of a trowel or another smoothing tool to grind away any ridges and leave a smooth surface.
Arrange your tiles in the space that you are planning to tile. Make sure you have enough tiles to fill the area. At this time, you may need to use a utility knife to divide your tile sheets into smaller sections. You may also need a tile nipper to cut individual tiles.
Use a damp sponge to thoroughly wipe off the prefab shower base or cement mudbed surface onto which you intend to install the tiles.
Apply a 1/8” layer of thinset to the area that you are tiling. Remove any excess, as the layer should not exceed 1/8” in depth. Apply thinset using the straight edge of a trowel or another spreading tool.
Lay your tiles by pressing them gently into the wet thinset. Be sure to lay them out just as you did in Step 3.
If your new tiles have a backing (i.e., mosaics) – remove the backing from your freshly pressed tiles. Do this by wetting your sponge, letting it sit on top of the backing for a few minutes, and then scrubbing the moist backing off the tiles.
Allow thinset to cure over the course of 24-48 hours. When the thinset is cured, the final step of your tile shower floor installation will be grouting.
Apply grout into the joints between tiles. Many installers find using the small end of a grout float useful when packing the grout into the joints while utilizing the long end of the grout float to scrape off excess grout after the joints have been filled.
Allow your new grout to set – not cure – per manufacturer’s instructions. Using a damp sponge – remove excess grout from the tile surface and smooth the all the newly filled grout joints.
When your grout has cured – as per manufacturer’s instructions – your new tile will be ready to use.