How to Tile a Shower

Are you in the market to tile a shower yourself, but not sure where to start? Have you watched video tutorials, read articles, and examined diagrams, but are still uncertain of the best methods and techniques? Do you feel intimidated by creating a tile shower that you desire, unsure if you have what it takes to become an experienced DIYer?

If these questions sound familiar, then you've come to the right place. With some research, tools, and materials it is possible to take on the task of tile installation with confidence. Here we will explore all aspects of tiling a shower - from preparation and planning to select materials for optimal results - that will leave you well on your way to becoming an expert in no time.


  • Working Time - 3 to 4 days
  • Overall Time - roughly 1 week
  • Estimated Cost - $500-$1000
  • Skill Level Recommended - intermediate to advanced

Shower Wall Tile or Shower Floor Tile

When it comes to tiling your shower, it's important to understand the difference between floor tile and wall tile. First, know where you will be tiling, and then choose your tile.

If you are tiling the shower floor then get a tile that is slip-resistant. You do not want to be slipping and falling as you are scrubbing so use a tile with a substantial amount of grout lines for traction. This could either be mosaic tiles or any porcelain tile. Using larger tiles that are textured and have a grip to keep you on your feet and are great options as well. The main focus for the shower floor tile is making sure it is slip-resistant.

If you are tiling the shower wall, there is more freedom in choosing what tile you want since you do not have to worry about slipping and falling.

Step One: Preparation

The first step in tiling a shower is the preparation work. Before beginning any tile installation, it is important to make sure you have a layout you want to follow and that the shower wall and floor are prepared for tile. Inadequately preparing the surface could lead to poor adhesion and water damage, which can be costly and time-consuming to repair down the line. If there is preexsisting tile we strongly recomend removing the tile so you hava a fresh clean start.

Planning Your Tile Layout

It is important to plan out what your shower is going to look like. Knowing what shower tile you will be using, the shape, and the tile pattern will help you through your tiling process and keep everything in order.


Protecting your bathroom as you are remodeling will save you clean-up time and any unnecessary damage to the rest of your bathroom. You can protect your bathroom by taping cardboard, any type of tarp, or plastic to the entire floor.

Step Two: Removal and Replace

Remove any Old Tile

Before starting, make sure you have all of the necessary tools on hand such as a hammer and chisel, heavy-duty gloves, eye protection, a dust mask or respirator, and tiling accessories like spacers and wedges.

To begin the process of removing old tiles, going from top to bottom start by tapping lightly with your hammer along each edge of the wall tiles until they chip away. As you work, use your wedges or chisel where needed to break up larger pieces into manageable chunks.

Remove Shower Items

Remove the shower head from the shower wall to make your shower tiling project easier. If you have glass doors or any type of door remove those as well.

Replacing Old or Deteriorated Material

As you remove the old tile from the shower walls, you may find a damaged structure underneath. Whether that looks like mold or deterioration in the wood, you will have to replace these items.

It begins with removing the old shower structure, which may require some demolition work depending on the age and condition of the unit.

Once the old structure has been removed, it is important to properly measure and install a new support system for the tiles prior to adding any caulking or grout around them.

Cement Boards

Cement boards, also known as cement backer board, are made up of Portland cement, aggregates, and glass mesh that is combined together and then formed into large sheets that can be cut down to size. Knowing when your cement board needs to be replaced is critical for the longevity of the tile installation.

Generally, a cement board should be replaced if there is any visible damage – including cracking or moisture saturation – or if the cement board has been installed for more than 10 years.

Step Three: Prepare Your Shower Space Before Tiling

At this stage, after you have removed the bad tile and any bad wood and replaced it with good wood to have a good structure, you are ready to start preparing for the shower wall tiles or shower floor tiles.

Now is the time to double-check measurements and make sure everything is ready before installing your tile. Organize your materials and tools to be prepared for when the time comes to put everything together. If you want to ensure the safety of the materials underneath add a thin layer of the waterproofing membrane around all the seams. You can do this by using a paint roller.

Shower Pans

The first step in preparing your shower for tile is putting down a shower pan liner. A shower pan liner is a waterproof barrier that is placed in the shower or tub stall before the tile is laid. It serves two main functions: to provide an effective moisture barrier and to protect the flooring beneath from leaks and water damage. The shower pan liner is made from highly-durable plastic material, making it resistant to tearing during installation. It should be measured accurately and installed correctly for maximum protection of your shower stall and subflooring.

How to Install a Shower Pan Liner

Installing a shower pan liner is a relatively straightforward process. First, check the shower pan to ensure that it is properly sealed and free of debris. You'll then need to measure and cut the shower liner so that it will fit in your shower pan.

Make sure the shower liner extends up the wall, at least 6 inches or more above the shower pan. Once you have the proper dimensions, secure one end with an adhesive or sealant and move on to the other end of the shower liner. You may have to adjust or trim this side of the shower liner as well before securing it with an adhesive or sealant. Use a stapler gun to hold everything in place by stapling the shower pan liner into the wooden beams. Test the shower pan liner by pouring water into the shower base and checking for leaks.

Shower Pan

Before installing a shower pan, it's important to ensure that the shower area and walls are properly waterproofed. Plumbing work should also be installed and inspected prior to the shower pan installation, including shower valves and fixtures. Make sure the shower pan liner is installed properly and there are no leaks.

Now, to install the shower pan, start by attaching a pre-formed shower base to the floor with mortar on top of the shower pan liner. If a curb is required for shower pans without integral curbs, use bricks and mortar or tile to create one after leveling the shower base. Finally, ensure shower thresholds are level while attaching them securely with sealant.

Installing a Cement Board

Firstly, make sure that your cement board is the correct size for the area you are tiling; measure twice to ensure accuracy. When applying cement board to walls, you must first ensure that the wall surface is completely flat and free from debris. Next, use galvanized screws to fasten the cement board to the wall every 8 inches and seal any gaps with the cement board joint compound.

Once you have set the cement boards in place, it is ready to be taped. Use cement board backer tape and tape the seams between the cement boards and the shower walls as well as in between the cement boards. This will prepare the boards for the next step.

Step Four: Tile the Shower

Congratulations, all the preparation work has been completed and you can now lay tile. Now before you can do any of the tile work, you must add a thinset mortar to the entire wall so the tile can stick to the shower wall.

Before you move on make sure you check that your subfloor is suitable for tiling: if it's uneven or has too much moisture, you'll need to level it or address the moisture issue before laying any tiles.

Add Thin-set Mortar

First, begin by mixing the thin-set mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, spread the thin-set mortar over both surfaces with a notched trowel in an even layer to make sure there are no crevices or air pockets remaining. Do this by going up the wall in a diagonal motion with the notched trowel to avoid as much spillage as possible.

Place Your Tile

At this point, you should buy your tiles from a tile store if not already. Whether you chose a glass tile, ceramic tile, small mosaic tiles, or any other type of tile according to where you will be tiling.

Creating a layout of how you want your tile to look goes a long way. This will provide you with knowledge of your tile. If you have to cut tile, you will know what tile to cut.

Lay the tile pieces one by one onto this base and press down firmly, but not too hard, spacing each piece accurately in order to keep proportionality across your entire design. For extra stability, use spacers between each piece.

First, complete the main section of your shower, then complete the edge, and finally finish at the shower drain.

Step Five: Finish the Job

Finish the job by grouting the tile that you have applied to the shower wall or shower floor.

Preparing and mixing grout according to directions is the first step, after which the tile needs to be wiped clean. Now the grout can be applied with a grout float and pressed into the joints between each tile. Once this step is complete, excess needs to be immediately wiped away with a damp cloth or sponge. Finally, allow it some time to dry before admiring your finished work!

Final Thoughts

Now you figured out how to tile a shower and we are so proud of you. Following these steps will help you create your dream tile shower. If after reading through these instructions you still feel intimidated by this process, then we suggest hiring a professional. Give us a call and we will be sure to help you in any way!

  • 7+ Years Of Experience

    At Floors & Tile In Style, we have more than 7 years of experience in the tile industry.

  • Reliable & trustworthy

    We pride ourselves in customer satisfaction & trust. If you are not satisfied with the job in the end, we will make it right.

  • High quality material

    We only use high quality industry grade material that lasts. No need to worry about your tile being made out of cheap material that isn't durable.

  • Fully Licensed

    We are registered & licensed in the state of Washington.

Does Floors & Tile In Style Offer A Lot Of Material Choices?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style offers a wide selection of materials that are suited for any style or budget. We carry high-quality tiles in ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass, and mosaic styles. Our team of experienced professionals is always ready to help you select the perfect material for your project. With our large selection of colors and textures, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for!

I Want To Start A Tile Project? Where Should I Start?

The best place to start is by determining what type of material you need for your project. Consider both the look and feel of the tile, as well as any special considerations such as moisture resistance or avoiding a slippery surface if it’s in an area with high foot traffic. Once you’ve nailed down your preferences, our helpful team can help you pick out the perfect tiles for your project!

Can I Use My Own Tile With Floors & Tile In Style?

Yes, you can use your own tile with Floors & Tile In Style. You just need to make sure it is a material compatible with our installation services. We will provide assistance and advice during the selection process to ensure that the tiles you choose are suited for your project needs.

Can I Just Regrout My Existing Tile?

Yes, you can regrout your existing tile with Floors & Tile In Style. We offer a variety of services to help you regrout and repair any existing tiles in your home. Our team will assess the area carefully before beginning work to ensure that any necessary repairs are made correctly and your tile is ready for use afterwards. Depending on the size of the project and any additional repairs needed, we will provide you with an estimated cost as well as a timeline for completion so that you can plan accordingly.

Does Floors & Tile In Style Offer Tile Removal?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style offers tile removal services. Our experienced team can carefully remove your old tiles and dispose of them in the most eco-friendly way possible. We use specialized tools to carefully break and remove the tiles, ensuring that no damage is done to your walls or floors while minimizing dust and mess. Once the area is prepared, we will install new tiles with ease, making sure they are laid correctly for a perfect finish every time!

Does Floors & Tile In Style Offer Tile Repair?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style offers tile repair services. Our experienced team can identify and fix any issues with your tiles, such as chips or cracks. We use specialized tools and materials to make sure that the repair is done correctly and your tile looks like new once again! Depending on the damage, we can either fix the existing tiles or suggest replacements for a more durable solution.

Does Floors & Tile In Style Offer Tile Installation?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style offers tile installation services. We will work with you to select the right tiles for your project and provide expert advice on their installation. Our team is experienced in all aspects of tile installation, so you can rest assured that your project will be done correctly and efficiently. We take pride in offering a high-quality service and ensuring that our customers are satisfied with the final results!

How Fast Can I Get A Tile Estimate?

We can provide you with an estimated cost and timeline for your tile project within 1-2 business days. Our team will assess the area carefully to determine the scope of work required, and we’ll also provide advice on selecting the best materials for your project. We strive to make sure every customer is completely satisfied with their experience, so don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote today!

Does Floors & Tile In Style Offer Tile Sealing Services?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style offers tile sealing services. Our experienced team can apply a sealant to your tiles in order to protect them from moisture and dirt buildup, as well as make them easier to clean. We use specialized products that are designed for various types of tiles, so you can be sure that your project will be done correctly and efficiently. Contact us today for more information on our tile-sealing services!

Do You Provide Floor Leveling Services Before Installation?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style does provide floor leveling services before installation. Our experienced team can use specialized tools and materials to make sure that your floors are level and ready for the installation of your new tiles. We take extra steps to ensure your tile is installed correctly so it looks great and lasts for years! Contact us today for more information on our floor leveling services.

How Long Will My Tile Project Take To Complete?

The length of time your tile project will take to complete depends on the size of the project and any additional repairs that may be needed. We will provide you with an estimated cost as well as a timeline for completion so that you can plan accordingly. Contact us today for more information!

Can I Get An Estimate For A Custom Tile Design Or Patterned Installation?

Yes, Floors & Tile In Style can provide you with an estimate for a custom tile design or patterned installation. Our experienced team will work with you to determine the best layout and materials for your project, and then provide you with an estimated cost and timeline. Contact us today to get started on your custom tile design!

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