A Detailed Process for Efficiently Tiling a Shower Stall

Tiling a Shower Stall
Tiling a shower stall is not as difficult as we thought it to be. In fact, you can do it on your own by following the installation guide properly. Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to tile a shower stall.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Shower enclosures, also known as shower stalls, are cubicles in bathrooms with a shower installed in them. They have become very popular amongst the homeowners, which is partly because of the hectic lifestyle that we are leading today. One may not have time to bathe leisurely in a bathtub, rather he/she would prefer to take a splash under the shower. Coming to the choice of shower enclosures, a tiled stall improves the aesthetic value of the bathroom and is very easy to maintain.

How to Tile a Shower Stall

The size of a shower stall may vary from 34 x 34 inches (from wall to wall) to much smaller dimensions. Basically, there are two options of shower enclosures - prefabricated and tiled. The former type is a ready-to-install shower stall made of fiberglass (acrylic); whereas, in the latter case, one needs to install frames with cement-based boards. Let's take a look at the DIY tips for tiling a shower stall.

Tiling the shower stall starts with proper planning and gathering the required materials. There is no room for negligence in the measurement of the bathroom dimension, floor setting, fixing shower pan membrane, and installing the tile. Accordingly, keep the required materials ready before executing your project. The actual process of tiling a shower enclosure is preceded with installation of the shower pan.

As we all know, shower pan is an important feature for draining water, which otherwise will accumulate and cause unwanted problems. For shower pan installation, first you need to set the floor. Buy mortar mix and prepare the mortar according to the provided instructions. Lay the mortar bed uniformly by using the edge of a non-grooved mortar trowel. To ensure proper drainage of water, make sure you create a gentle slope towards the drain. Let the mortar bed set for some time.

Once the bathroom floor is hardened, you can proceed to the next step of laying the shower pan membrane. You should fix the membrane in such a way that it runs up the walls by at least three inches. So, measure the floor carefully and cut the shower pan membrane. Lay it on top of the mortar bed and adjust (if required). While doing so, you can fold the corners of the membrane and secure them in the walls with staples or galvanized nails.

After securing the membrane, lay another mortar bed on top of the membrane. As soon as the mortar bed is hardened, you can start with placing the ceramic tiles. It is always better to start tiling from the center of the stall and progress outwards. This way, you don't have to fix a cut tile in the center, giving the floor a better look. You can make use of a wet saw for cutting tiles. With this tool, you have the advantage of getting accurate cuts and minimizing tile waste.

If you are done with tiling, allow the tile to stand for at least 24 hours (for a better result, you can wait for 48 hours). Once you are sure that the tile has set properly in the mortar, apply grout in between the tiles. With this, your home improvement project is accomplished. If possible, you can make use of a good sealer (after curing the grout for 3 days) to minimize water seepage in the grout lines.

In terms of durability, scratch resistance, and versatility, a tiled shower stall is the best. In fact, simple cleaning is all it requires for maintenance. However, as ceramic tile flooring is slippery, there may be risks of falling. Another option that has been widely used is installation of both; a fiberglass shower pan with a tiled bathroom wall.

Regarding the shower stall wall, using cement board backer is also a good option. Finishing a cement board is the same as putting drywall; you can cut the board according to the dimension of the wall and fix it by screwing with studs. Whichever floor and wall type you are interested in, analyze the pros and cons of the materials before making a final decision.