Tiling a shower might sound like a daunting home improvement task but in fact it has grown in popularity in recent years as many UK residents struggle to keep up with the cost of hiring a professional. If you lack DIY experience, however, this doesn’t mean that going ahead and tiling a shower yourself is a good idea; always hire a professional tiler if you’re in any doubt.
How to Tile a Shower
- Prepare the area. To begin with remove everything from the bathroom that might get in the way; To help you assess your DIY skills and ability, or to see if you’ve got what it takes, just look over the following step-by-step instructions on how to tile a shower wall or cubicle:u’re already facing a small working space so make it as clutter-free as possible before you start tiling a shower. If necessary, remove the pan and ceiling of the shower cubicle as well before getting started.
- Count your tiles and gauge the space available. Make sure you have enough tiles before you begin – you don’t want to be left in the lurch midway through the project, as you have to time laying and drying pretty accurately. Think about where you will sit/crouch/stand during the laying and make sure there is enough room so you can get to all your materials (which should be readily available in the bathroom) as and when you need.
- Fit your sturdy cement board backer. Like dry-wall installation, this cement backer will help you to keep your tiles level while providing a strong framework for the laying process. Mark your desired layout with pencil first, and remember to leave at least a 1mm gap between each tile for grout application. Cut holes for the shower head, tray and other fittings, and leave to dry for at least forty-eight hours after completion.
- Lay the tiles. Mix and apply your (water resistant) tile adhesive in a single row first, then start at the bottom of the cubicle or area and work your way up. Always follow the instructions on the pack provided when tiling a shower cubicle, and dampen your backboard with a wet cloth beforehand to prevent the laid tiles from becoming brittle too quickly. Always leave each row twenty-four hours to dry before starting the next one.
- Grout the applied tiles. Grout comes ready-made in most application tubes so shouldn’t take more than a few hours to do. Use a soft sponge to smooth the grout into all the joints, and wipe off any excess before leaving to dry and set for at least three days.
- Clean the area. Once all that is done, your shower should be fully tiled and almost ready to use. Before you turn the tap on, however, give the area a quick clean to scrub off any chemicals left-over from the application.
Remember, although applying and laying tiles yourself will save a fair bit of cash off your final shower tiling bill, DIY isn’t for everyone; and if it will only result in a shoddy job that will have to be re-done anyway, then you’re only wasting your own time and money. Be confident that you have the skills and experience before getting started; and if not, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional builder or contractor to do the job for you. They are trained to use all the correct equipment and necessary materials, and can even throw in extras like tiling a shower tray or laying shower floor tiles as part of a package deal – so don’t jump on the DIY bandwagon unless you’re absolutely certain you can pull off the desired result!
If you are seriously thinking of taking a DIY approach we highly recommend watching the following three videos