Installing Wall Tile for a Shower

shower tilesToday we’re going to be talking about installing wall tile. So some of the first products we’re going to need is adhesive, in this case I’m just using a non mortar type of adhesive, it’s all because we’re not in an area that’s going to have a lot of water contact, we’re actually trimming around the shower, not in the particularly, shower, so this product will be fine to use on there.

You’ll also need a notch trowel, whatever type of product for your glue that you’re using will specify the type of trowel, depending on the tiles you’re using as well. In this case I’m using a 3/16ths by 3/16ths notch trowel. You may also want a pair of tile nibblers, this is just for making small adjustments, small trim, work around the tile. They are just simply like a pair of pliers once you square the tile. Snap the pliers off. If you got to drill any holes through the tile, you’ll want a simple adjustable hole saw that you put in the corner’s driller and to drill, you can adjust the size of the hole by sliding this piece one way or the other. So that’s a good thing to have.

I also like to use this stone file. Sometimes you need to just take a slight amount off as you cut or maybe it’s not quite perfect cut, you can kind of cleaning up a bit. This works well for that. And then, when you’re doing just straight cuts, probably all you’re going to need is a snap and score, scores and snaps great and you simply can take your tile, in this case we’re using, of course, porcelain tile; slide it in the machine wherever you need it, make your measurement, there is a small heel down here and as I’m sliding it across the tile, it leaves a score mark, this little foot here, this heel, you push down and snap the tile off. Perfectly scored.

For what we’re doing today, that’s all we’re going to need. Okay. So the situation we have here is we’ve got a pre-shower stall installed in this bathroom right now. You’ve always got this transition from dry wall to the stall itself, some people will bury this flange, I don’t know if you could see that, but they will put this flange behind the drywall, I’ve seen few different things done. What I like to do is leave it exposed and actually trim this off with a nice tile, I just think it really finishes off really nice and you don’t have any ugly painting to do up against the tile or anything.

shower wall tilesSo for this particular bathroom, we chose a simple 6×6 white porcelain tile, nothing fancy about it, but it’s nice and clean and it goes well with the shower finish, then I’ve also bought these tiles that are 3×6 as well. The 3×6 we’re going to place along the front edge and the 6x6s are going to go across the top. So we’re going to have this type of look. You could if you wanted, and I’ve done it in the past, you could just buy all 6x6s, cut them down to do this; I’m just saving a little bit of time by not having to cut and you get a nicer edge as well.

So, we’re going to start out, first with this initial 6×6 and because we are doing such a small area, normally I would apply the Master or the glue on to the wall, but it’s a little difficult to do with a bigger trowel on small area, so I’m going to actually butter on to the back of the tile, trying to cover the whole back as well as you can, once you’ve got it on there, leave the strokes so that it actually leaves the glue on the tile and that’s ready to apply. Another thing that’s a good idea, it’s not such a big deal on small tiles, but I usually like to apply so that the lines on my glue are vertical, you have a little less in that way, sometimes when you put it like this, this little lumps will roll down the wall and you’re having your tiles sag, so just practice few, apply them in that manner.

So you want to press it to your wall, run it to your guidelines which I forgot to mention, press it to your guidelines, get good contact with the wall and just make sure it’s nice and straight. The guidelines that I use, I simply used the level and made a measurement out from the shower, mark myself a plum and square lines to run by. Just little easier to try to follow the shower, this way if there is any inconsistencies at a joint or something, you could easily fix that up with some, when you’re grouting with silicone. So we’ve got that on there and I’m going to put the 3×6 down the side here, same idea when I applied the adhesive on the back, give it nice stokes so we get nice lines in there.

A good way to know whether you’re getting enough Master on there or getting good contact, is to try to put one on , peel it off. You should have a good 75% contact on the wall and then you know you’re getting the right pressure on there.

There’s more to come in part 2, so keep reading…

Kevin Mills