How to Tile Shower Walls

Shower walls have to be covered in material that is completely waterproof and preferably in something that’s easy to clean. Glazed tiles fit the bill on both counts, which is why they remain a popular choice even in this age of fiberglass shower surrounds and other modern options. Tiling a shower wall is similar to the process of tiling other walls, except that you have to deal with the shower fixtures, which means making curved cuts. This requires a tile saw rather than a standard tile cutter.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Thinset mortar
  • Notched tiling trowel
  • Wall tiles (glazed)
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile saw
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Caulk

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Measure across one shower wall horizontally and mark the middle. Draw a vertical line from top to bottom using your pencil and level.

Apply thinset mortar along the bottom half of the wall with your notched trowel.

Press the bottom course of tiles in place along the bottom of the wall, beginning at the middle and working to the sides. Put spacers between the tiles, and also below them, to separate them from the floor.

Use a tile saw to cut the tiles at the two ends of the line as needed. Install those tiles with the cut sides facing the walls.

Install the next courses in the same manner, starting each course at the center and working to the sides. Go up the wall course by course. Cut the tiles around the shower fixtures with your tile saw, as needed. Do the whole wall and the adjacent walls.

Let the tiles set overnight. Remove the spacers.

Grout the walls, working from the top down. Press the grout into the spaces and scrape it off the surface. Wipe up the excess grout with a damp sponge. Let it set 24 hours.

Run caulk beads along the floor where it meets the walls and up the vertical corners where the walls meet each other. Let the caulk dry for 24 hours.

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