We’re in the middle of a total bathroom remodel. And now we want to replace this tub with awalk-in shower. These walls are going to go and we’ll replace them with this beautiful new tile. In this article we’ll show you how to do the prep. For the installation, check out Howto Install Shower Wall Tile on Lowes.com.
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 withsome helpful tips. One thing… since we’re installing in a shower, we’re going to have a few extra steps thanyou 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’rein luck if you’re starting with bare walls.
Remember, don’t start tearing into anythinguntil 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 witha hammer and chisel. But typically it’s best to remove everything to the studs and startfresh. 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 instructionsthe 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, andstaple 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 backerboardabout six feet high, and it will be flush with the drywall at the edges or just outsidethe 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 againstthe 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 boardtape, 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 likea membrane to the cement board.
Brush it on the seams and joints, let it dry, then applytwo 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 youwould 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 thetiles along the wall and check the ends.
If the tiles are too thin, adjust the layoutto 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 tofit, it’s best to start one row up from the bottom because the shower base might not belevel.To determine where to mark the starting line, use a level to find the lowest point. Holda full tile there, with a 1/4-inch gap at the bottom and spacer at the top, and markit. 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 thetop tiles. If you need to adjust the layout, move it down if you can. Cutting a little bit offthe bottom row won’t be noticeable.
Once you have a good layout, extend your startingline along each wall. OK, got all that? Our layout is set, which means it’s time to install some tile on thiswall. Check out the next article, How to Install Shower Wall Lowes.