After purchasing or building a home, there are things that only you as the homeowner can change much to your liking. For instance, you cannot rely on technicians to install your tile showers for you every time you want something changed or improved. Additionally, if you choose a technician to help install the shower tiles, chances are that you will incur extra costs, ones that you could have avoided by installing them yourself. After seeing many people struggle with this simple task, I have decided to address the issue in this article. I take you through all the steps that you need to take to ensure that you get it right when tiling a shower.
For a simple tiling of your shower walls, you will not need any complicated tool. If anything all you need to have is a tile cutter and a tile saw and you are good to go. That is aside from your preferred shapes, sizes, and colors of tiles. If you have no idea on the type of shower tiles to install, you can visit your local hardware and look at the available samples. You will also need the right trowel and motor for your project. Remember, what I provide here are general steps, but you can customize them to fit your needs.
Just like any other DIY project, you need thorough preparation when tiling your shower if you are to be successful. Prepping the wall is the most important thing to do during your preparation. The prepping prepares your walls for easy tiling. Additionally, you must install the shower base first because the wall tiles always overlap the base. Remember to cover the floor so that it is protected during the tiling process.
1. Begin the Installation Process
After the preparation process, begin the tile installation process by installing the second row up to keep the running bond of your tiles’ pattern. It is advisable to start from the second row up because the base might be uneven and may cause uneven patterns. You will finish with the bottom row because it will require tile cutting to fit.
2. Attach a Straight Board
To start a line, it is advisable that you attach a straight board that will help keep the tiles level and allows for easy installation. Many technicians have other alternative methods for this step but it is advisable for a beginner to stick to attaching a straight board.
3. Mix the Thinset
You have to be very careful when mixing the thinset because it will determine whether you will be successful in your case or otherwise. Depending on the instructions provided by the manufacturer, your mixture should be pasty or have a consistency similar to the one formed by butternut.
4. Fix the Tiles on the Wall
Take your mixed thinset and spread it along the guidelines on your wall. However, you should be careful not to spread too much thinset as that will make your installation process challenging. Take the notched part of your trowel and use it to comb over the thinset in a specific direction. Also, use the trowel to remove any excess thinset and put it back into the bucket to avoid wastage. Take the first tile and press it onto your motor that is lined up with your guidelines. Use the spacers to add the rest of your tiles while adhering to your guidelines for uniformity.
5. Pay Attention to Corners
When tiling your shower, chances are that you will get to corners or other smaller spaces that your tile might not fit. When this happens, you have to take the right measurements and cut the tiles to size using a tile cutter. All you need to do to be successful at this stage is to mark and cut the tiles carefully.
After clearing the first row, proceed to the next one and keep an eye on the levels of the tiles. Make sure that they are straight and that they align correctly. Also, you can try to take out a piece of your installed tiles to make sure that the thinset is sticking. If not, you might have to make a heavier paste or make changes depending on the guidelines provided by the thinset’s manufacturer.
If you have to cut your tile to fit any plumbing works on your wall, it is advisable to use tools such as nippers or hole saws. These are designed to make holes in tiles without damaging their overall designs. Again, here you will have to take the measurements keenly to avoid cutting out a huge chunk of your tile/s.
For exposed edges of your walls, you use bulb-nosed edge tiles to cover them. Alternatively, you can use the trim pieces to fit the exposed parts.
7. Install the Bottom Row
After installing all the above tiles, it is time to deal with the bottom row. Take away the support board and start cutting tiles to fit the row while remembering to leave room for expansion at the same time.
8. Remove the Spacers
After leaving your tile for about a day to dry, it is time to remove the spacers and brace yourself for grouting. At this point, it is advisable to use a grout recommended by the manufacturer of the tiles that you have installed.
After mixing the grout, use a rubber float to work it into the joints. For the best results, drag the rubber float diagonally. Continue with the process for about 10 minutes before using a clean cloth to remove the excess grout. It is also possible that after your wall has dried, you will notice some haze on the surface. Using a haze remover will leave your surface clean and ready for use. You can apply a silicon sealant on the edges after a few days.
Just like any other DIY, you have to get it right when tiling a shower. The shower is one of the most important parts in any and it too deserves some attention. By following the steps above, you put yourself in a good condition where you can cut costs and improve your home to one of your dreams.