How To Prep and Tile a Shower

How To Prep and Tile a Shower

We’re in the middle of a total bathroom remodel.
And now we want to replace this tub with a walk-in shower. These walls are going to go and we’ll replace
them with this beautiful new tile. In this video we’ll show you how to do the
prep. For the installation, check out How to Install Shower Wall Tile on You’ve got many choices with wall tile. Whatever
you like, Lowe’s has all the styles. Just be sure to follow the instructions that
come with your tile. For our project you can find the steps, tools,
and materials on our website—along with some helpful tips. One thing… since we’re installing in a shower,
we’re going to have a few extra steps than you would if you were tiling, say, a backsplash
or another wall area. Before you get started, figure out how much
tile you’ll need. Measure each wall area, length times height, add ’em up and add 10%
for extra. All right, here comes the fun part—demo.
We have to get rid of all this old tile. You’re in luck if you’re starting with bare walls.
Remember, don’t start tearing into anything until you’ve turned off all the power to the
room—and adjacent rooms—just in case. And if you’re doing a wall that has outlets
or light fixtures, remove those. If you have old tile over concrete backerboard,
sometimes you can remove just the tile with a hammer and chisel. But typically it’s best
to remove everything to the studs and start fresh. This can get messy, so remember to protect
your tub and floors. OK, so we’re down to the studs. At this point,
if you need to reroute any plumbing or electrical, now’s the time to do it. Now this is important. If you see any black mold in the walls—stop
and call a pro to remove it. Now, we installed the new shower base and
removed the old tub using the instructions the manufacturer gave us. Since the shower is a wet area, we’re going
to install a moisture barrier over the studs. Plastic like this will work just fine. Hold the plastic just over the shower base,
making sure it hangs inside the base, and staple it to the studs all the way around
the surround. Now, cut the bottom of the plastic so it still
overlaps the flange and just touches the base. Next step—putting up cement backerboard. This is going to provide a strong foundation
for our tile. We’re installing our backerboard about six feet high, and it will be flush
with the drywall at the edges or just outside the shower area. At the bottom it will be about a 1/4- to 1/2-inch
above the shower base. For an average DIYer, hanging this stuff is
a two-person job. Hold it in place against the studs—shims below keep it at the right
height—and secure it with cement board screws. Put in a screw about every eight inches. If you need to cut the pieces to fit—score
it and snap it. To cut curves for the plumbing, use a jigsaw with a carbide blade. Cut this
stuff outside. Install all of the cement board, keeping the
pieces tight together. After the cement board is secured you need
to tape the joints. Apply the cement board tape, then another coat of mortar, and let
it dry overnight. After the mortar has cured, it’s smart to
apply a waterproof coating that acts like a membrane to the cement board. Brush it on
the seams and joints, let it dry, then apply two more coats with a roller. Each coat takes
about 30 to 60 minutes to dry. From this point on the installation is the
same as putting tile on drywall, like you would for a regular wall or backsplash. On to the layout. Check your horizontal layout by marking a
line in the center of the work area. Set the tiles along the wall and check the ends. If
the tiles are too thin, adjust the layout to get wider pieces at the sides. Next, check the vertical layout. This is where
it can get tricky. Plan on full tiles at the top and cut tiles
at the bottom. Since we’ll cut the tile to fit, it’s best to start one row up from the
bottom because the shower base might not be level. To determine where to mark the starting line,
use a level to find the lowest point. Hold a full tile there, with a 1/4-inch gap at
the bottom and spacer at the top, and mark it. Extend this line level on the wall. All right, next you’ll want to see where the
top tile will sit. Try this trick. Take a straight board and mark it using the
tiles and spacers in the vertical layout. This is called a jury stick. Just hold it
up to the wall to mark the location of the top tiles. If you need to adjust the layout, move it
down if you can. Cutting a little bit off the bottom row won’t be noticeable.
Once you have a good layout, extend your starting line along each wall. OK, got all that? Our layout is set, which
means it’s time to install some tile on this wall. Check out the next video, How to Install
Shower Wall Tile at

30 thoughts on “How To Prep and Tile a Shower

  1. I went here because I need to remodel a shower. But now I think I'm in love with this lady. Can you please do my shower? Also need the ventilation from bathroom to roof done. Thanks any feedback appreciated.

  2. I think the tile council requires the membrane that you applied with a paint on method even if you have the plastic sheeting behind the backer board. I doubt they endorse the plastic membrane you stapled in place and ran screws through. As far as keeping the mold from starting in the first place you can't hope to do that since there are mold spores in most everything you touch. Guaranteed there is mold in your finished product. The real issue is to keep the mold count in parts per million/billion by avoiding creating an environment where they thrive (or even reproduce with regularity).

    I loved your video. But, I would never install the poly sheeting you recommend. Never.

  3. this seems like so much work. i cant do this thing by myself or someone else who dont know crap on how to do it DIY. Going to hire a Professional, sadly to say it may be expensive but still can be bargained. Time to go see another vid. ta taaa.

  4. NEVER install backer board against each other. Should always leave at least an 1/8 in gap. This will allow flexibility when your wooden studs move (expand/contract) throughout the year due to temperature changes! Otherwise, your backer boards can push into each other and possibly causing tenting of your tile (pushing your tile away from the wall). You don't want that, surprised Lowe's doesn't communicate that!

  5. I already have a back splash on my bathroom wall. I was wondering if I could lay tile on top with out removing the back splash.

  6. thank you for responding to my question, it's just a regular back splash in my bathroom and I wanted to add more of a tile look it

  7. can you apply the Aqua Defense water proofing on the dry wall prior to paint them for the remaining walls that are not being cover with tiles?
    I am planing on redoing my bathroom by removing all the wall tiles and just tile the wall around the bathtub, the remaining walls i am going to paint, but since its a bathroom i want to protect the walls from moisture.

  8. I'm not sure why there's 2 moisture membranes. From everything I've read, that's frowned upon in the industry because it can trap in moisture between the 2 layers. Also I'm surprised that you lined up your cement board seams on the 2 adjacent walls, instead of staggering them, which would have made them a lot more solid.

  9. I use the Ditra shower system for all my shower installs. You can also kerdi wall board or kerdi membrane over drywall or backer board.

  10. Never install Drywall, *AKA, Sheetrock* around a shower!

    Water could make it get mold, droop, and make a big mess. We do NOT want that in our home, Other than that, good video.

  11. There is an error on the video when you say next to the vertical layout….you really meant horizontal

  12. I stumbled across your channel mate, absolutely love the content. Subscribed straight away, We should connect!

  13. I have seen videos and read articles of using or not using a plastic moisture barrier behind the backer board. The argument is that using it prevents the wall from breathing and invites conditions for mold. Can anyone please state which method is correct? It seems like once you paint the seams and board with the waterproof membrane the moisture barrier is a waste of time and effort anyhow. I am planning to retile my shower area and do not want molding down the line because of a moisture barrier, however, cannot understand how the wall will breath once the membrane and the grout sealer is applied anyhow. Will Lowe's or others please comment on this?

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