Tiling a shower wall – Do it yourself like professional

bathroom with white tile walls

Tiling a shower wall is a principal part of the bathroom build. The shower wall is one or two walls near the shower cabin or bathtub. That means it is always face to the water attack and a more moisture wall in the bathroom.

So when you build a bathroom, you have to do your best waterproofing and cover for the shower walls.

You can use tile or panels to cover your bathroom walls. And in the market has a lot of materials to use for it. However, most use tile, panels, titanium, or cement cut. Cause they are the best water-resistant materials that we have.

But you can use any suitable material that you love and available.

So in this article, I mainly focus on the tile and how to prepare shower walls for tile.

Continue reading.

Select a tile for tiling a shower wall.

Bellow, you will find the best tile materials that you can use for the shower wall, floor, and shower cabin. You can use one of them to tiling a shower wall.

However, most materials work with bathrooms, but these are made for moisture and humidity more than other materials. 

In this list, you will not find heart pine or engineering tiles.

Ceramic tiles for tiling a shower wall.

The best tiling option for the bathroom is ceramic tile, and there is no surprise. 

Cause ceramic tiles have been used in tiling a shower wall for decades and are also a popular choice for bathrooms.

They can be very smooth, so you should always pay close attention to the texture and size of the surface.

Mosaic tiles are the best option for shower walls, and they are coming in many colors and designs. And you can even pick up tiles on a mat, making installation easier and cutting ceramic tile easier.

These tiles can also use walls and floors. However, when you use to floor, make your attention to go with mat tiles.

Porcelain tiles.

Porcelain behind ceramics is often finding in sinks, tubs, and other furniture. Also, porcelain fires at high temperatures than ceramic. So both are made by the mixture of clay and porcelain are significantly more durable.

So porcelain tiles are the best option for tiling a shower wall. And if you wish to tile a shower wall with large tiles, this is the best way for you.

Another advantage of porcelain tiles, porcelain tiles are making by body construction. That means you won’t see the color change from the mechanical.

It is another popular material for tiling a shower wall. However, as a slippery material, it is not suitable for the bathroom floor. Working with porcelain tiles can be hard work, so you need to remember it if you try DIY.

Stones for tiling a shower wall.

If you are looking for something different for your bathroom, the stone tiles should be kept top of your list.

The right kind of stone tiles can use for shower walls and floors for a long time if you use your bathroom carefully. And today, there are more than a dozen stones in bathrooms, with marble, travertine, slate, granite, and limestone being the most common.

If you compare with ceramic tiles, you won’t have many colors like ceramic tiles. But if you consider the feeling and tone with stone tiles, you are in the right way.

Stones are more expensive and require more care overall but will give your bathroom a unique style. However, the stone is the best option for tiling a shower wall.

Luxury vinyl tile.

The luxury vinyl tile is not 100% suitable for bathrooms. It is not making for showers. However, it will bring new life to any boring shower wall and is unlimited in the fashion department of your choice.

Need a tile like wood or a pale natural marble wall? You can have it with luxury vinyl, compared the cost with traditional alternatives.

These materials are easy to work with but not durable as traditional tiles. So you have to seal well if you use this material. However, we do not recommend vinyl for tiling a shower wall.

Tiling a shower wall – Linoleum Tiles.

Linoleum is considered a classic compared to a vinyl tile. It is another product that is not found on bathroom floors and is very popular in bathrooms.

It is an eco-friendly material that is biodegradable and is one of the most affordable tile styles on our list.

Intricate patterns, dark colors, or light-textured linoleum floor tiles can come in a solid shade. However, if not seal properly, stitches can still be a problem, but they handle water well. And you can find more about this on the internet before selecting for tiling a shower wall.

Waterproofing for tiling a shower wall.

A standard bath is a wet place on Earth equal to 2500 inches of rainfall per year.

It means that proper water protection in the shower is not only a recommendation. It is also essential to protect your home or commercial structure from the effects of water.

The water infiltration to the wall cavities can cause expensive structural damages and invite mold growth. And that conditions can make an unsafe environment of your house or building.

So that’s why you need proper waterproofing before tiling a shower wall.

Before start the waterproofing process, it is critical to prepare the substrate for bathroom walls.

First, make sure your foundation is solid.

Read:- Foundation waterproofing.

The floor and foundation must build with industrial standards. And then manage and planning the drainage system to away the rainwater. In addition, check the level and pitch to ensure adequate drainage.

Contrary to popular belief, ceramic tile and grout themself are not waterproof. Also, water can penetrate through cement-based grout and can damage the substrate.

So before tiling a shower wall, you need to understand what are the options of waterproofing methods.

To prevent water damage, we have to install the waterproofing layer under the tile layer. And in the industry, you have two types of waterproofing membranes, sheet, and liquid options.

Sheet Membranes.

Sheet membranes are plastic or elastomeric sheets that must bond to the substrate before tile installation. Some sheet has an adhesive, and some sheet needs separate adhesive or mortar. 

However, we can use these two types of sheets for waterproofing shower walls for tile. And as I mentioned before, waterproofing is the most critical part of tiling a shower wall.

Pressure-sensitive adhesive films almost always require a primer to be applied to the substrate. And the primer may take one hour or more to dry.

Other membranes should bond using a cement-based thin layer mortar, and it will take time to cure.

When you install a sheet for tiling a shower wall, keep in mind to treat and seal the joints of each sheet. And it will help to keep a better waterproofing layer.

Pay your attention to every transition and change of sheet for a continuous waterproofing layer. And prefabricated membranes are typically not easy to install as advertise by the companies.

Before starting the installation, all components (membranes, prefabricated corners, bonding mortar, primer, and sealant) must assemble and the sheets cut. Also, sheet membranes are typically costly and require more labor and time to install.

Liquid Membranes

Liquid membranes eliminate most of the hassle of installing prefabricated sheet membranes of tiling a shower wall. Because there is no need for primer, no joint to treat or seal, and no transition worries about up and sidewall corners.

You can find a lot of liquid membranes with a lot of company names. It can also use for steam-resistant steam rooms and gang showers. And liquid membranes can apply to brush, rolling, or spraying, what you easy.

And keep in mind to apply the second layer to close all voids in the shower walls. You can get better results using fiberglass mesh into the liquid layers.

However, if you do not specialize in this, get professional help for this task.

Start to tiling a shower wall.

You can complete the perfect tiling of a shower wall if you follow these steps.

Don’t let you stress out tiling a shower wall where to start. So follow these tips on how to measure, planning and layout tiles on your bathroom.

Preparation for tile layout.

Setting out for tiling
Credit:- lever.ae

Use a tool to measure a row of tiles to determine the layout. And if you use spacers to create grout lines, insert them between the tiles before measuring.

Use the gauge as your tile layout calculator to determine if you need to change the layout to get the corner width tile. And use it to determine the tile layout for the end shower walls.

Draws wall level and plumb layout lines to guide your installation before tiling a shower wall.

Measure a row of tiles to determine the location of the plumb line on the back wall.

Subtract the 3/4 inches from your tile layout and locate the level line above the shower unit.

Read:- House layout: The ultimate guide for new house design

No skinny tile strips in edges

Do not place a tile strip in the corners. Design as wide a corner as possible for more creative tile work.

Locate the starting plumb line to lay the same size tiles at each end.

Lay the tile on the wall and use the back wall measurement to know how wide the corner tiles will be.

If one end of the entire tile is in the center of the back wall left at one end, replace the plumb line by half the width of the tile. It increases the size of the corner tiles.

Tiling a shower wall – Start from out level

Attach a board directly to the level line and attach the tile to the board. When you have finished laying the tiles on top of the board and the tiles are firmly in place, remove the board and cut the first row of tiles to fit.

Leave a space of 1/8. The infinity between the wall and the tile allows for the mounting of the flexible bead of caulk.

When tiling a shower wall, does not start by putting the first row of tiles against the tub or shower.

It causes trouble because most tubs and showers are not directly or level.

If your tiles go out of the plumb and are incorrectly grooved, grout lines will be the only solution you have.

The tile extends beyond the tub.

Plan the tile layout, then extend a strip of tile to the end of the tank. Use the method shown in the “Mock and Measure” photo above to determine how wide the corner tiles should extend beyond the tile bowl.

Plan to extend the tiles beyond 2 or 3 tubes and, if possible, place at least half the tiles along the wall.

Do not stop the tile with the end of the tub. It can damage the front walls of the tub and make the tile not look finished enough to spread to the floor.

Bottom line.

In this article, we try to teach you about how to tile a shower wall. However, when we write this article, we have to go into depth about the tiling techniques. So you can learn more details about tiling rather than tiling a shower wall reading this.

If you have any questions, use the comment section to discuss them.

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