Tiling a Walk In Shower

Bathroom renovation can prove to be extremely tricky because it is one of the most technical areas of your home in terms of the DIY expertise that is required. With so many water features and so much pipework present in the room, it is extremely easy to make a mistake.

However, it is not just the water appliances that can cause problems. The practicality of the shower, for example, may also be problematic. Tiling walk in shower walls and floors is not as easy as you may think. In fact, it can be incredibly awkward if your shower is set in an alcove rather than in an open corner of the bathroom.


Before you begin tiling your walk in shower, you will need to get the correct equipment and also prepare the area well. This is essential if you are to do the best job possible. Tiling a walk in shower is a complex and time consuming job that requires a lot of concentration so the last thing you need to be doing is trying to find tools half way through your job.

You will need a pencil, a profile gauge, a tile cutter, a grouting trowel and a notched trowel as well as the tiles, tile adhesive, grout, tile spacers, a vapour barrier and a sponge. All of the above are absolutely vital in ensuring that you do the best job possible.

Before beginning your tiling job, you do need to remove all other materials from the shower (minus the shower itself, which should stay in place because installing it afterwards could cause damage to the tiling). It should literally be striped to the studs to ensure that you have a smooth wall to tile.

If you do have any excess grouting on there from previous tiles then you will need to remove that using fine sandpaper. You may also want to remove the shower tray as well to prevent any damage to it. After all, you will have to replace it entirely if it is cracked.

Installation Method

    1. Before starting to install the tiles, you must install a vapour barrier. You can find them at any good DIY store. Simply choose one and fit it according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. It is possible for the water from the shower to seep through the grouting so make sure that your wall is protected.

    2. Dampen the vapour barrier with the sponge and then allow it to dry for 30 seconds to ensure it will grasp the adhesive.

    3. Layer tile adhesive at the bottom of the shower, making sure there is enough on it to place the first row of tiles on there safely.

    4. Spread the adhesive with the notched trowel to make sure that it is even before placing the first tile on the wall and holding it in place for a few seconds.

    5. Use tile spacers to ensure that there is enough of a gap and then place the next tile on the wall. Repeat until the first row has been laid and then leave it overnight to allow the adhesive to dry as that will form the basis of the tiling.

    6. Begin tiling the remainder of the wall the following day, using the method outlined above. When all of the tiles have been placed on the wall, leave it for 48 hours to set.

    7. After the 48 hours has passed, grout in between the tiles, removing the spacers as you go. Leave it for 40 minutes before wiping it all over with a damp sponge. The following day, your shower is ready to be used again.