Installing a shower stall is a fairly simple and inexpensive way to save space in your bathroom and update its look. The floor of the stall needs to be durable and waterproof. Tiling this area will ensure that it keeps moisture from the substrate underneath, while adding a desired aesthetic by matching the bathroom color scheme.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- T square
- Chalk line
- Thin set mortar
- Notched trowel
- Wax crayon
- Plastic tile spacers
- Safety gloves
- Safety goggles
- Wet tile saw
- Tile scriber
- Tile nippers
- Rubber float
- Damp cloth
- Caulking gun
Measure the length and width of the shower stall and multiply these two numbers to attain the area of the stall floor. Ensure that you have as many tiles as you will need to cover the area, as well as 10 percent more to cover damage to the tiles during cutting or installation.
Snap a chalk line across the width of the stall floor, using a T square to ensure that it is perfectly perpendicular to the wall. Snap an intersecting line across the length of the stall floor, again using the T square to ensure that it is perpendicular to both the wall and the first chalk line. The intersection of these two lines will serve as a guide for the placement of the first tiles.
Mix the thin set mortar according to instructions on the package. Only mix as much thin set as you can spread in a half hour, as thin set mortar loses adhesiveness if allowed to dry out. Use the smooth edge of the notched trowel to spread the mortar, using the intersecting chalk lines as a guide. Spread enough thin set to cover the space of several tiles. Go over the spread mortar with the notched side of the trowel, creating grooves that help the tiles adhere using suction.
Lay the first tile at the intersection of the chalk lines. Apply even pressure with both hands, and a slight wiggle, which will help push the air bubbles from the grooves in the mortar.
Place plastic tile spacers on all sides of the tile. Continue to spread mortar and lay tiles until you finished your first row.
It may be necessary to cut tiles in order to fit them at the end of rows, or around the drain. For straight cuts, mark the tile with a wax crayon. Using the wet tile saw, carefully cut the tile along the line. To cut a curve into the tile to install it around the drain of the shower, first mark the curve with a wax crayon. Then, use the tile scriber to etch a groove into the surface of the tile along that line. Finally, use the tile nippers to carefully remove bits of the tile from around the curve until you have a smooth edge left. Install these last tiles in their places.
Allow the thin set mortar to set according to the instructions. Remove the plastic tile spacers from the spaces between the tiles.
Mix the grout according to the instructions. Use a rubber float to spread the grout into the spaces between the tiles, ensuring there are no gaps or air bubbles. This step will determine how waterproof the shower stall will be. Remove any excess grout from the tile surface with a damp cloth.
Allow the grout to cure according to the package instructions. Use a damp cloth to remove any haze left on the tile face from the grout.
Load the water-resistant caulk into the caulking gun and apply it around the edges of the stall and around the drain. This will ensure that the stall stays water resistant. Allow the caulk to set for at least 24 hours.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not use the shower for at least a week to ensure that the tiles are properly set and cured.
- Always wear protective goggles and gloves when operating a wet tile saw, tile scriber or tile nippers.
- Photo Credit Shower image by Semfamily from Fotolia.com
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