If your bathroom needs a fresh look, you should try your hand at installing shower tiles. The project will take a weekend at most, and at the end you will have a sparkling new shower to look at every morning.
Before you start your project, plan out exactly how many tiles you will need, and what types of tiles you will need. Curved tiles will be necessary for areas where the edge of a tile will be visible. It is a good rule of thumb to purchase extra tiles, just in case you make a mistake while you are installing shower tiles.
Preparing Your Shower
Installing shower tiles cannot begin until you take the necessary precautions to protect your bathroom and shower. It is always a good idea to protect your tile floor and cabinets with plastic or paper.
Cover all exposed area around the shower stall with a protective layer to avoid scratching the surface of your floor tile. If your shower is near cabinets, cover those as well. When you are removing the old tile, there will be some amount of flying debris, so it is best to cover areas that might be affected.
The next step to take before installing shower tiles is protecting the floor of your shower. If your shower floor is made from an un-tiled shower pan, you can cover it with a protective layer and begin your work. If you have a tiled floor, you will remove those tiles along with the rest.
You will also want to block the drain with rag or tape a thick piece of plastic over the opening. This will prevent debris from entering and clogging the drain and your pipe system. If you are installing a new shower pan at the same time, just make sure that the drain is covered.
Before you begin installing shower tiles, you must first remove the old tile. Remove as much of the grout surrounding the old tile as possible. Then use a hammer and cold chisel to remove the tiles. Be sure to wear eye protection and gloves during this process.
Installing your Tiles
Mark your empty shower with horizontal and vertical references lines. Make sure you will not have small slivers of tiles in the corners, and that tiles are evenly distributed throughout the shower. Make sure your curved tiles will fit adequately around the corners of your shower, and that you have planned how tiles will be cut around the drain. Trim any tiles that you need to with a tile cutter. Take time on this process because it will help you avoid mistakes when you are installing shower tiles.
To begin installing shower tiles, apply your adhesive with a notched trowel. Make sure not to cover over your reference lines and then place the tiles on the wall. Give each tile a little twist and pressure as you apply it.
Wipe away any excess adhesive right away. Continue with the next tile and wipe away as you go. If you are retiling the shower floor as well, save that portion of the project for after you complete the walls.
Give your tiles at least a day to set before installing the grout. Apply your grout with a grout float, and wipe away any excess with a rag.
Clean off the tiles several times with a rag to make sure that no grout is left on the surface of the tiles. The last step to installing shower tiles is applying bathroom caulk to the inside corners of the shower.