Custom Tile Shower Wall Installation

Water spraying from a shower head in tiled shower
  • 10-40 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-2,000
What You'll Need
Tile
Mortar
Grout
Trowel
Grout spreader
Pail
Water
Paddle mixer
Drill
Wet saw
Skill saw with carbide tip
Cement backerboard
Plastic spacers

Giving a bathroom some of your own personality can be accomplished with a custom tile shower. Installing such a shower gives you the freedom to express yourself via the bathroom you've always wanted. Tile installation is a challenging project. You need the right tools and close attention to detail. Follow these steps to install a custom tile shower.

Step 1 - Measure Shower

Once the rough-in for your tile shower has been completed, measure the entire surface area. Measure the height and width of each wall. Multiply each measurement then add them to each other. Do the same for the floor. Add it all up to determine the total square footage.

Step 2 - Buy Materials

multi-colored glass tiles

Take your measurements to a home improvement store and buy the appropriate amount of tile, mortar, and grout.

Step 3 - Lay Out the Tile

Since you are installing custom tile, you can design it in any way you want. Choose the tile that will best suit your personality. Dry fit it to the shower floor. Start at the center and work your way to the edges. Use the wet saw to make any necessary cuts.

Step 4 - Add a Thin Layer of Mortar

Pick up the tiles and set them aside. Trowel a thin layer of mortar which covers the floor. Use caution to not cover the drain pipe.

Step 5 - Install Backerboard

installing a white tile shower wall

Cut the backerboard to size with a skill saw and lay the backerboard on the mortar. Press it firmly into place and secure it with masonry screws.

Step 6 - Apply Backerboard to Walls

Apply mortar to the walls, then the backerboard. Cut holes for the shower head and the shower knobs.

Step 7 - Lay Tile

Lay another thin layer of mortar and begin installing the tiles according to your design. Use plastic spacers to keep a uniform amount of space between each tile.

Step 8 - Apply Grout

grouting a wall of white tile

Mix the grout according to the directions and spread it over the floor tiles. Work it into the spacings and remove the plastic spacers as you reach them. Just before the grout is completely dry, wipe it from the tiles with a damp sponge.

Step 9 - Repeat for Walls

Once the floor grout has dried, begin installing the tiles on the walls. Do so the same way as with the floor. Press the tile firmly into the mortar and hold it for a few seconds to make sure it forms a tight bond. Grout the finished area and wipe it clean. Let it dry thoroughly. Your new custom tile shower will soon be ready for use!