Tiling a Shower

A shower that is fully encased in tile is far more beautiful than a basic shower encasement unit. If you own your own home you may choose to increase the beauty and value of it by doing a bathroom remodeling project. And, retiling that old shower may be at the top of your remodeling list. It is possible for you to tile the shower yourself, but you need to be familiar with this type of project so that you are able to create a leak free shower in the end.

Prepare for the Project

The first step of any home renovation project should always be to research the job, even if you're just painting the doors. Go to the library and check out home renovation books that may offer tips for bathroom remodeling. And visit your local home improvement store for any literature on this type of project. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.

Before you can begin to tile in your shower you will need to properly prepare the space. Do this by gutting the shower area completely down to the studs. Determine also if you need to remove the ceiling and shower pan from the area as well so that they can also be replaced. Then in the open space you will need to install a vapor barrier to prevent mold and mildew from building up over time. The last step of preparing your shower to be tiled is to hang cement board and use silicone calking to seal any seams or gaps between the panels.

Create a Design Blueprint

Next you will want to chart a plan for your tile that is visually appealing. It is likely that not all of the tiles that you are using are identical and you will want to create a pattern that looks great for the space. To do this you can create a rough design on a piece of paper that you can use as a guide as the project moves forward. You can also measure and mark areas on the cement board so that you can easily stick to your design as you install the tile. Remember to use a level as you mark off areas so that your finished project will be straight and level.

When you mix your first batch of thinset, make sure to only make enough to do a small amount. This will prevent the thinset from drying out before it is able to be used. If you mix too much at a time it may dry out and you will have to throw it away and buy more. This is such an unnecessary expense.

You should start at the bottom of the wall and begin tiling around the space on all of the walls. By starting at the bottom you are creating a solid foundation for each row that will rest above it. Also be sure that you always use spacers between the tiles so that they are evenly spaced apart creating a nice even look. When you are done a row you can mix more thinset and move on to the row above it. It is a good idea to periodically check to see if your work is still level.

Once you are done with all of the rows and all of the tile is in place, you will want to let the thinset set for at least 48 hours. This will help it all to dry completely. You may want to keep a fan going in the area to help the drying process. After this, you are ready to move on to the grouting process of tiling a shower.

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