How to Tile a Bathtub with a Ledge


Adding a ledge to a standard 5-foot bathtub or a tile surround with a ledge to a drop-in tub can increase the tub's functionality and visual appeal. A tile ledge can be used to store bathroom accessories, create ambiance in the bathroom by providing a place for candles and wine glasses or provide a place for the user to sit while waiting for the tub to fill. To gain these positive attributes and more, include a tile ledge in any bathtub installation.

Things You'll Need

  • Tile
  • Bullnose or edge tiles
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Tile saw
  • Trowel
  • Setting material
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Caulk
  • Measure the area to be tiled and lay the tiles in a dry layout of the same sized area to determine cuts. A dry layout consists of laying the tiles in an area equal to the size of the area to be tiled without setting material and before cuts are made.

  • Lay the tiles, beginning with a full tile in the back center of the ledge. Lay the next tiles equally out to the sides and front, and mark the tiles that will need to be cut with a straight edge and pencil. Lay bullnose or edge tiles on the open edges or areas of the ledge where it changes direction in a 90-degree downward angle.

  • Cut the tiles that have been marked on a tile saw, and again lay them in a dry layout to be sure of the fit.

  • Use a trowel to spread a thin layer of tile mortar over the area to be tiled. Begin laying the tiles from the back center of the ledge and work outward in equal measure until the area is covered. Add the bullnose tiles to cover the edges and begin tiling downward with a full tile, burying the final cut tiles at the bottom.

  • Grout the tiles using the grout float to pack the grout in between the tiles. Do not grout the areas where the tile meets the tub, floor or walls.

  • Place a bead of caulk into areas where the tile meets the tub, walls or floor, and smooth the caulk into place to act as an expansion joint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the same color and type of caulk as the grout.

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