How to Install Diagonal Tile on a Shower Wall


Most tile installations begins with installing a base row on the edge of a shower base or a ledger board. The tiles must be supported, as the weight of the tiles increases as you install additional rows. Tiling on a shower wall uses the shower base as the support. However, installing diagonal tiles poses a bit of a problem. The key is to cut several tiles in half to start the installation. Tile spacers are still used to obtain the proper gaps for the grout.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Tiles
  • Tile wet saw
  • Marker
  • Straight-edge tool
  • Notched trowel
  • Premixed thinset mortar
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Measure one of the tiles from corner to corner. Add the size of the tile spacer you will be using, such as 1/4 inch, to the measurement. Measure the shower wall from side to side. Divide the length of the shower wall by the adjusted measurement for the tiles to identify the approximate number of tiles that will be installed along the base wall.

  • Mark each tile to be installed along the base with a marker using a straight-edge tool to draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner. Cut the tiles along the line with a wet tile saw, which is available for rent from most hardware stores. Cut only enough tiles to accommodate the calculation from Step 1, creating half tiles for the first row.

  • Spread premixed thinset onto the wall with the trowel to a depth of approximately 1/4 inch and a height equal to one or two tiles. Drag the notched edge of the trowel across the thinset at an angle to the wall to create horizontal grooves in the thinset.

  • Press the first half tile into the bottom corner of the shower with the cut edge pressed down against the shower base. Press the second half tile adjacent to the first but spaced slightly apart. Insert a tile spacer between the two joining corners to obtain the proper distance. Continue along the base in the same manner until the bottom row is installed.

  • Press the first row of full times into place right above the half tiles. Insert spacers into the joints between adjoining tiles to obtain the proper spacing.

  • Add additional rows of thinset and tiles until the wall is complete. Cut tiles as needed with the tile saw. Allow the thinset to dry according to drying times listed on the container. Remove the spacers.

  • Spread premixed grout into the gaps between tiles with the trowel. Drag the trowel over the tiles at an angle to the joints to press the grout into the joints. Work in 2-foot-square areas at a time. Wipe excess grout off the tiles with a sponge dipped in a bucket of water. Continue to apply grout and clean the tiles until all the joints are filled properly.

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