Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bathroom Remodel Part 3: Tiling a Shower

Last night we tackled tiling the shower (both of us tiling for the first time ever), and were pleasantly surprised to find that it's quite straightforward and easy to do. Simple tiling requires patience more than anything else, and we were able to bang out the whole shower in a few hours.

First Josh mixed the mortar, aka thinset, which adheres tile to vertical serfaces when applied directly to the wall and scraped with a special tool to create a texture for the tile to grab. We mixed 2.5 quarts water with 25 lbs of Flexbond, stirred the mixture for 5 minutes, then let it set for 5-10 min before applying to the wall in sections.

Next we screwed a wood plank into the wall at the bottom of the shower wall and made sure it was level. We started our first row of tile right up against the plank to make sure we'd get a level line with our rows. Here's how it looked as we got started:

Little by little we added more thinset to the wall, then tiled it over, making sure not to apply the thinset to such a large area that it would dry before we reached it with the tile.

We opted for a two-over-one subway tile pattern, which meant that every other row started with a piece cut in half. Josh used a wet saw from Home Depot to cut the half pieces ahead of time so they were ready to go. We still have some custom cuts on the left edge and the grouting to complete, but here's how it looks right now:

The natural slate floor tiles we picked up at the quarry a few weeks ago will cover the shower curb as well as the bathroom floor. We are still undecided on a tile for the shower floor. The shower enclosure will be two simple unframed sheets of glass, one with a door on a hinge.

My inspiration for the shower design came from the below photo found on decor pad. So far I think we're doing pretty well. No, we don't have the fancy, extra long subway tiles or recessed lighting inside the shower, but I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve that I think will make the space really nice. Have any of you ever built & tiled a shower from scratch? Any lessons learned or handy tips to share from your experience?

My bathroom project for today is sanding the chipping paint off the old bathroom radiator with a wire brush bit attached to a drill. When the metal surface is sufficiently smooth I'll repaint the whole thing with a heat resistant paint. Once the radiator is done we'll move on to painting the walls before finally tiling the floor and shower curb. So excited to be making tangible progress down in the basement!


  1. How beautiful, bright and full of goodness. A tiled shower adds beauty and durability and value to our home. You have done really nice work. Thanks for sharing this informative post.
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  2. Tiling can be a very intricate and time consuming process, and as such, it's important to get it right. This begins initially with the right knowledge, but also the right tools. Posts like this are an incredibly valuable resource as they give those the information they need regarding technique, tools, and process.
    Very well written, great work.

  3. “Simple tiling requires patience...” - It really is, not only in tiling but the whole remodeling process. Overall, it looks great. I'm have doubts with painting my wall gery before because it may darken the room, but this definitely proved me wrong. Anywho, it's been months, are you finished with your project? -->Ryann Hoyer @

  4. Looks amazing! I was wondering if, when remodeling, you ran into any leaks?

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  8. Good Work. Nice glass wall and magnificent bathroom shower wall tile ideas. Its all are amazed.There are many reasons to consider a bathroom renovation project Shower remodeling Austin

  9. This is awesome! I've been trying to do some bathroom renovation , and this gave me some great insight for things to try. Thanks for sharing!

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