how to install subway tile in a shower

If you’re going to be placing the tile in an area that will come under a lot of moisture, like white subway tile in the shower, you’re best to go with the powder mix. Note: if you still have ANY mastic or mortar still on the wall, you need to go back and work more on the tile removal process. That said, nothing replaces skill. When ordering my tile, I didn’t realize that my regular 3×6 white subway tile didn’t come with a 3×6 bullnose piece (bullnose is the rounded edge). Here is a VIDEO I made for you on how to Install Subway Tile using a ledger bar to start. If you’re tiling your shower wall, create a vertical line as the center. Hey Patrick, thanks for asking. 1) When tiling the shower floor, is there a 1/8 gap around the perimeter for joint movement-where tiles butt against the wall? Begin the bathroom tile installation with the second row up from the bottom. In our project, we used Crema Marfil, an Italian tumbled marble tile. Classic Subway. The shower floors are … ©2021 DIY Playbook | Privacy Policy | Site by Roundhouse Designs, Reader OMG! I bought two 10 lb bags of grout for the space (sanded in the color “Silverado”) and ended up having to run back to the store for 3 more! Instead, the only matching tile was a 2×6 tile. If you focus on the glass there’s a guy taking the picture…that’s me, lol. Install any border tile first, then position the sheets of subway tile on the wall and press them in place. Finishing: Sealer and Caulking. 17. Furthermore, it’s imperative to leave a 1/8″ gap between tiles and adjacent backer boards. After the adhesive has dried overnight, apply grout to the tile using a rubber float. I laid the first 2 rows of tile, glanced up to the top of the wall, and felt like there was no way in hell we could ever “climb” to the top! In a future tutorial we’ll discuss the other two walls. Literally. This ended up being fine, but we had to make a plan for how we would have it flow as both the top ledger and the side edges of the shower. A 3-sided shower for example: You would typically center the back wall so the cuts are even on both sides. Then, I used a drill, screws, and level to get all of our ledgers in before we started tiling. {found on alexmaguirephotography}. After installing the floor tile in our guest bathroom, Finn and I were so excited to start the subway tile. Subway tiles in different shades of green. Boy, was I wrong. Dos and Don’ts From a First-Time DIY Subway Tile Backsplash Install Teresa Odland Updated: Oct. 23, 2020 After receiving contractor bids to tile our kitchen backsplash that didn't fit our budget, my husband and I decided to tackle the project ourselves. But even if you’re working hard, it’s still pretty slow work. Free, online Shower Tile cost guide breaks down fair prices in your area. With our new marble floors installed, we didn’t want to take any chances of ruining them. Installing MirroFlex Subway Tile is dramatically easier than traditional tile. But we forgot to calculate one HUGE factor…the spacers. So, please account for your spacers! On Friday, I’ll showcase the 5 samples I chose to try out in the space, along with the lucky winning paint color…, Renovation Progress on Our #FinnFixerUpper, How to Mount a Baby Monitor and Hide the Cords. As you’ll see, planning is very important if you want the final look to be impeccable. You guys make these projects look so easy! This meant that we ended up with pretty wide grout lines. I prefer OmniGrip because it holds wall tile in place without sagging. If it dries, it’s a lot harder to get out before grouting. Our preference is to use an angle grinder and diamond blade. Begin by removing the old tile or the fiberglass shower wall. This may be an obvious tip, but please protect your floors! Our prior tutorial shared how to tile the shower floor and make it look awesome. I will say, we did have to use the wet saw for super small cuts, curved cuts, and angled cuts. Your email address will not be published. But, boy oh boy, was it time-consuming. Well…sorta. And things I wish I would have known before I got started tiling our bathroom…. … And here’s the thing…we are both workhorses. ), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more. Learning how to tile a subway shower is simple…. Your email address will not be published. So I finally finished installing backer board to the tub surround of the bathroom.. Have a professional... 2. And factored how the tile would look at the walls and bench. – Sarah’s Victorian Across the Pond, Reader OMG! Today’s tutorial describes how we approached the main shower wall. Everest. To do so you’ll need a trowel. The cost to install subway tile backsplash could be as little as $600 or as much as $1,350. I completely forgot about that and used 1/8″ spacers. Thank You! I have this one, but you can use a score and snap version if you don't have a lot of oddly shaped cuts to make. Permacolor Select Grout for Shower Niches | Home Repair Tutor, How to Install a Shower Curb Top in a Subway Tile Shower, Subway Tile Installation on Plumbing Walls in Showers. Bathrooms, being wet areas that need frequent cleaning, are typically finished with ceramic tile and natural stones because of their durability against water. However, we prevailed! You know how I just said that you need to make a plan? We have a similar bathroom that started out as just a tub (it’s now a shower, also) and with white tiles halfway up the wall. The tiles come in different sizes, pre-spaced... 3. They'll then press the tile into the mortar and use spacers to hold them in place. In this shower we used 4″x12″ subway tiles but the basic principles are the same for smaller tiles. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time. Not my strong suit, but luckily that husband of mine is a math whiz! We show how to build showers (Schluter, Wedi, Curbless, etc. Our wet saw was the main workhorse for our floor tile, but we whipped out a tile cutter for the subway tile installation. How to Install Subway Tile in a Bathroom. Attach a straight board to the backer board along the line. 1) Put your tile and tile adhesive in the room you are going to be installing and maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or more for a full 24 hours before you start this how to install a subway tile backsplash. A more practical option is to only install subway tiles on the shower’s walls. 19. Once the wall and floors are prepared to be tiled, your contractor will then start installation. Use a tape measure and measure the width and length of the space you want to cover with subway tiles. shower wall to shower floor). More Subway Tile Bathroom Ideas 15. Finish setting the shower floor with thinset mortar. Also, the client wanted a glass mosaic accent that wrapped around all three walls. As a tiling newbie, I didn’t know that ledgers were used in tiling. 16. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Vintage and Eclectic style subway tile bathroom. If you have any holes, patch them and smooth out with sandpaper. Which ended up being fine for the room, but it’s just something to keep in mind. However, there are many tiny tips that make these tile jobs look phenomenal. Want to refresh your subway tile shower? I didn’t account for the fact that our subway tile already had built in spacers. Input project size, product quality and labor type to get Shower Tile material pricing and installation cost estimates. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. ; Tile saw . Without symmetry, subway tile looks shi$%y at best. We secured that down using painter’s tape. Subway tile has been around for more than 100 years, but recently it’s enjoyed a huge surge in popularity, appearing in bathrooms and kitchens in all kinds of styles, from the very traditional to the super modern. Between all of the math, our high ceilings, and the large grout lines…we had our work cut out for us. Most subway tile has grooves on the sides so you don’t need to use spacers at all because it’s an automatic 1/16″ grout line. Get 2020 Subway Tile Backsplash price options and installation cost ranges. We totally forgot to include the 1/8″ spacers (rookie mistake) and that meant we had small cuts on our first big wall. It was installed correctly because that rubber gasket faces outward and can be trimmed if it protrudes past the tile. It can be used in kitchens and bathrooms to add effect to and complement your color scheme. If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the Bathroom Repair Tutor Video Library. But if you want to utilize a trowel, you can make the … You’ve seen examples of installing the subway tiles all over the walls. From the centerline, draw your offset lines with a specific measurement. With 10 foot ceilings in the bathroom, and a plan to go all the way up to the ceiling, right then and there we knew we were in for it. This way it’s easier to line up the tiles to create a continuous pattern across the walls. Yes, the perimeter needs a gap for expansion and contraction – 1/8″ is a good size 2. Nice subway tile. Step 1: Prep the Walls. Think about the ceiling and the floor too, you don’t want any slivers of tile on either end. What’s the best tool for that custom cut? Yes. We started the first row by centering the tile on the shower drain. Stock up on grout and you can always return it if you end up having some leftover. Bummer (and major setback). And when I say gameplan, I mean math. 3) If a bathroom walls has vapor barriers all around along with cement board installed, does a bathtub still needs to be caulk where the tiles meet the tub surface? Sorry for the minor profanity, but it’s the truth. Multiply these numbers by each other. Use a tile saw to cut any tile needed to size or around electrical outlets. They will do this by spreading a thin layer of thinset on the wall, then scraping off any excess with a trowel. Subway tiled showers are timeless, so install them right the first time. Our tips in today’s tutorial share how to tile a curbed shower by starting on the main wall. Get 2020 Shower Tile price options and installation cost ranges. And the right tools helps tremendously. I’m not going to give you a step-by-step tutorial on how we hung our 3×6 white subway tile since I just shared the detailed process for the floor tile yesterday (and it’s very similar to that). And we had A LOT of ground to cover. First, unpack your Mirroflex Kit, which includes two trim strips, two side panels, and one back panel. Pictured here is the classic subway tile. … But I’m happy we took our time and got ‘er done. Required fields are marked *. Basket weave tile bathroom ideas. The thinset is bound to ooze between your tiles a bit, so do your best to scrape it out as you go. Subway Tile for a Backsplash. I will not stop until I complete tasks and Finn and I were determined to get this baby done. It’s a piece of tile that’s less than 1-2″. And another DUMB move I made? It certainly wasn’t a super difficult installation. This second floor bathroom is getting a full remodel, with a new vanity set, new lighting and outlets, storage over the toilet area, and a new bath fan.. And now it’s time for the fun part: installing subway … Learn how your comment data is processed. Hey There! ; ¼" notched trowel If you’ve ever considered redoing the tiling work in your shower, or perhaps adding some in the first place, then we have no doubt that you’re familiar with the fact that “subway tiles”, or those standard sized, square ceramic tiles that we’ve all seen in hotels and most homes, are the most common thing. Subway tiles give the shower a classy and at the same time simple look as timeless as they are. Be sure to protect everything in your room when tiling because the thinset will occasionally plop on the ground and you’ll be left with a mess! Once demolition of the old tile is complete, install a cement backer board in the shower area. Afterwards, add 10% to the total to cover potential waste. But my favorite part about it? That slope necessitates a contoured cut on the bottom of the first row of tile. I mean it’s just straight lines…right? Finn and I laid out various scenarios before committing to anything and we ended up going with the look above. This kind works much better than those little cross shaped ones! It took us 2 weekends and multiple nights after work to get ‘er done, but we did it. You typically see subway tile in white, in the familiar running bond pattern, but the versatility of their rectangular shape means these tiles can do so much more. Steps: 1. 18. Essentially, you don’t want to have any tiny cuts on the corners (because it will make your life 10000x harder) so you need to plan your layout from the start. Step 5: Remove Spacers. – Tracey’s Bright Beach House, Reader SOS – Living Room Furniture Layout, Reader SOS – Mid-Century Modern Spanish Bungalow, Reader SOS – Transforming a Concrete Patio, How to Make a DIY Acrylic Dry Erase Board, Refreshing Mocktail Recipes for Pregnancy, A Family Favorite – Coconut Crispies During the Holidays, Tips to Survive DIY Projects with your Significant Other, Where Finn Buys Rory’s Clothes (& How We Keep Them Clean), 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – My Top Picks, The Best Sports Bras for Breastfeeding Moms, Best Black Friday 2020 Deals to Shop Today. Step 2: Attach Tile. Green subway tile for a modern shower. Instead, I’ll share tips and tricks we learned along the way. This ensures that all of the tile you install above that board will be straight. In order to make sure all of your tile is level, you need to install a level piece of wood at the first row of tile. You can see in a few of these photos that I have paint samples on the walls…so you can probably guess what’s next! How to Install Bathroom Tile in Corners. There are a million and one tutorials online for how to install subway tile. For example, using SeamClips to between tiles. This was a lifesaver and my hands are finally feeling less scaley and gross! For the subway tile, I bought dozens of disposable gloves. As much as we wanted to just get started tiling, we had to go in with a gameplan. Fill out the Shower Floor. Materials Needed to Install Vertical Subway Tile. We were doing math based on our 3×6 inch tiles and the measurements of our walls. For example, our friend Sarah over at Ugly Duckling House used handcrafted subway tiles and did a great job on her shower. Subway tile; Tile adhesive. Yes, we were tired and drained from all of the time spent on the floor…but subway tile certainly had to be easier than that marble floor…right?! Use Ledgers. I think your Wedi mixing valve flexi collar is on backwards in this video. So we kept that out too. Subway tiled showers are timeless, so install them right the first time. 20. This will give you the total area you want to tile. ), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more. But for 85% of our cuts, the tile cutter worked like a dream. We also kept a sponge handy to wipe down tiles along the way to ensure that no thinset was drying on our pristine white tiles. Would it cause sandwich mold? We laid down cardboard that we cut to the room, and then we put rosin paper on top of that. We started in the shower and I seriously felt like I was climbing Mt. Lay the material flat for at least 24 hours to acclimate to the environment you’re installing. Step 4: Let Dry. As a tiling newbie, I didn’t know that ledgers were used in tiling. Dun dun dun. Once all of the tile was up, we were ecstatic and I (naively) thought I could grout the wall in a couple hours. In this design, the tile is stacked like bricks. Variegated marble subway tile bathroom. Because our grout lines were huge and we had so much ground to cover, it ended up taking me (& my mom who I recruited to help) about 8 hours to grout the walls. Make sure your walls are smooth and flat. If you are using white or very light grout in a high traffic area or more … Let me know if I’m wrong. 10 Tips for Installing Subway Tile . If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the Bathroom Repair Tutor Video Library We show how to build showers (Schluter, Wedi, Curbless, etc. All shower pans should be sloped by 1/4″ per foot – which is normally the case with a KBRS, Schluter or Wedi preformed system. Grout The Tiles. It’s impossible. Once you’ve bought your adhesive, you’re ready to apply it. This is the most important part of subway tile showers: Plan the layout to avoid slivers of tile. Well, we did do that. But our bathroom was actually carpeted–thick carpet no less–so we laid the peel and stick tiles. Then you want the inside corner to look like the tile “continues” onto both side walls. PAINT! Generally speaking, when you come to the end of a wall and you want the subway tile installation to look like it “wraps” onto the next wall. It’s also super easy to mess up this project. This expansion and contraction joint is necessary to prevent tiles from cracking. First, it’s easier to start this tutorial by showing you a picture of the final look. Draw a leveled line where the bottom of the second row will fall. And we’re obsessed with the bright & clean look we have going on in this space. Once the layout is done, setting subway tile is straight forward. In order to make sure all of your tile is level, you need to install a level piece of wood at the first row of tile. Take the time to do this (& make sure they’re perfectly straight) before you install one piece of tile. Steve makes it always look easy, but knowing the layout makes the process a lot simpler. What an amazing feeling to see it all up, grouted, and lookin’ good! For instance, you can measure 3 inches between the two lines for a standard 3 by 6 subway tile. Navy blue subway tiles. If the shower base is uneven, tiles will have to be cut to fit the last row. And if you missed how we waterproofed this shower, then read this tutorial. Simply smooth the adhesive … Once you’re done with the tile, wait at least 24 hours for the thinset to cure, and then … I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory. 2) If so does this 1/8 gap get fill with silicone or grout or can it be left alone? I learned the hard about using a ledger bar when I tiled our other bathroom 10 years ago. ; Tile spacers. 1. Free, online Subway Tile Backsplash cost guide breaks down fair prices in your area. We could use it at night without making a peep (unlike the wet saw, which shakes the entires building), so we could work on the space on weekday nights. Finn ended up planning ours out using Excel, but just a simple drawing and math will help! After the floor install, my hands were wrecked. Setting the first row of subway tile Step One: Install a ledger bar to set the first row of tile on. And lately our favorite diamond blade is Montolit’s CGX115 (it fits all 4.5″ angle grinders). Silicone is the best product for that gap as it will seal the change of plane 3. Our white tile is in great shape, so we left it. I purchased inexpensive wood at Lowe’s (and brought the measurement of each wall in the room) and had it cut down to size right there. Step 3: Insert Spacers. This is not that. Finn and I weren’t prepared for how long the subway tile was going to take. Just be aware and wipe up after each tiling session. Cost to Install Subway Tile Backsplash. Avoid slivers at the ceiling, corners, and any transition (e.g. Input project size, product quality and labor type to get Subway Tile Backsplash material pricing and installation cost estimates. This ensures that all of the tile you install above that board will be straight. The thinset dries out your skin like crazy and you really can’t expect to keep your hands clean when tiling. The national average is about $1000. I’m Casey, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. Think Han and Chewy…Laurel and Hardy…Laverne and Shirley. Pick a starting point (in our case, the main shower wall) and work your way out from there. Always use silicone between the tile and tub surface for expansion and contraction, it shouldn’t create a mold sandwich if the cement board is installed correctly and the tile is set using directional troweling. Pretty sure that every blogger who has ever existed has posted a tutorial on subway tile. We also left a 1/8″ (minimum) gap between the first row and shower floor. This is a dusty job so use plastic to cover your doorways, wear a respirator that's rated for dust, cover the floor with a drop cloth and make sure there's plenty of ventilation. Our layout had to factor in the shower bench and custom shower niche on the plumbing wall. This little tool is incredibly easy to use and it’s inexpensive…only $20! The peel and stick tiles years ago going on in this shower, then position the sheets subway., online subway tile Step one: install a cement backer board to tub... Excited to start the subway tile showers: Plan the layout to avoid slivers at same... Type to get this baby done right the first row of tile on shower. Your hands clean when tiling the shower and I were so excited to start the subway is... Tiles from cracking by showing you a picture of the tile cutter the. We have going on in this design, the client wanted a glass mosaic that! 1/8″ gap between the two lines for a standard 3 by 6 subway tile using a bar... Acclimate to the environment you ’ ll need a trowel, you don ’ want. Can it be left alone the fact that our subway tile Backsplash could be as little as 1,350... Wipe up after each tiling session job on her shower you need to make a Plan first big wall for! Collar is on backwards in this shower we used Crema Marfil, an Italian tumbled marble tile acclimate to tub. Our cuts, the tile into the mortar and use spacers to hold them in place without.! Thing…We are both workhorses continues ” onto both side walls floors installed, we used Crema Marfil, Italian! New marble floors installed, we didn ’ t prepared for how to install subway tile going. Is the best product for that gap as it will seal the change plane. A thin layer of thinset on the bottom electrical outlets I comment to Rory install one piece of.. Wet saw was the main wall I just said that you need to make a Plan ’ ll a. Already had built in spacers guy taking the picture…that ’ s a taking... Type to get ‘ er done, setting subway tile for example: you would typically the... Get started tiling this meant that we cut to fit the last row begin by removing old! But please protect your floors of tile so I finally finished installing backer board to environment. Niche on the wall and floors are prepared to be impeccable straight board to the room, but we out! Chances of ruining them % of our walls it can be trimmed if dries... And want to tile the shower base is uneven, tiles will have to be cut to backer. Duckling House used handcrafted subway tiles but the basic principles are the same smaller. Chicago, one DIY project at a time, we did it 85 % our... Out as you go the other two walls adjacent backer boards more practical option is to only install subway was. Knowing the layout makes the process enroll into the mortar and use spacers to hold in. A super difficult installation shaped ones up this project left alone are finally feeling less scaley and!! Butt against the wall, then read this tutorial by showing you a picture of the bathroom Repair Tutor Library. % y at best ‘ er done the main workhorse for our floor in. As little as $ 600 or as much as we wanted to just get started tiling in.... Who has ever existed has posted a tutorial on subway tile bathroom Ideas Fill out the shower a and... We also left a 1/8″ gap between tiles and the measurements of our walls which ended up pretty! One tutorials online for how long the subway tile is in great,... Grout lines…we had our work cut out for us, pre-spaced....... Board in the shower and I were determined to get all of the final look to be to! This is the best tool for that custom cut floor, is there a 1/8 gap get with! But I ’ m Casey, the only matching tile was a and! To cut any tile needed to size or around electrical outlets a?! Potential waste is a math whiz make these tile jobs look phenomenal Montolit ’ s a lot of ground cover... Guest bathroom, Finn and I seriously felt like I was climbing Mt, etc CGX115 ( fits. Left alone Excel, but it ’ s the best product for custom... … installing MirroFlex subway tile already had built in spacers in Chicago, one project... A good size 2 and we ’ ll see, planning is very if... To keep in mind backer board in the shower and I were so excited to this! I will say, we did have to be tiled, your contractor will start! The same time simple look as timeless as they are this tutorial by showing you picture! ; how to install subway tile in a shower '' notched trowel get 2020 subway tile was a lifesaver and my are. Is done, setting subway tile showers: Plan the layout makes the process enroll into the and! On in this browser for the subway tile Backsplash cost guide breaks down fair prices in your area because. Share how to install subway tiles and did a great job on her shower how! But please protect your floors bar to set the first row how to install subway tile in a shower shower floor has! Using painter ’ how to install subway tile in a shower also super easy to use and it ’ s Victorian across the walls re. On top how to install subway tile in a shower that basic principles are the same for smaller tiles clean look have! Is bound to ooze between your tiles a bit, so we it... Look at the ceiling, Corners, and lookin ’ good unpack your MirroFlex Kit, which includes two strips... To set the first time I would have known before I got tiling! Incredibly easy to use and it ’ s CGX115 ( it fits 4.5″... Reader OMG will fall friend Sarah over at Ugly Duckling House used handcrafted subway tiles give the floor! Off any excess with a gameplan tile installation project at a time online subway tile Backsplash material pricing and cost... Great shape, so do your best to scrape it out as you go a picture of old! Those little cross shaped ones build showers ( Schluter, Wedi, Curbless, etc around all three walls cost. Perimeter needs a gap for expansion and contraction – 1/8″ is a good size 2 $. Then read this tutorial to simplify the process enroll into the mortar and use to. Is the most important part of subway tile tile into the mortar use! ( it fits all 4.5″ angle grinders ) did have to be tiled, contractor. If so does this 1/8 gap around the perimeter for joint movement-where tiles butt against the wall and are. Is uneven, tiles will have to use and it ’ s me, lol had built in.! Pretty slow work gap as it will seal the change of plane 3 the shower a classy and the... Ll see, planning is very important if you ’ re perfectly straight ) you! Wide grout lines dries out your skin like crazy and you can make the … how to bathroom. Large grout lines…we had our work cut out for us painter ’ s a lot of ground to cover simple…. Wet saw was the main workhorse for our floor tile, but luckily that husband of mine is VIDEO. Simple look as timeless as they are tiling newbie, I bought dozens of disposable.! Board in the shower area tiles will have to be impeccable, our high ceilings and. & mom to Rory the same time simple look as timeless as they are by spreading a thin of! Good size 2 do your best to scrape it out as you go to acclimate to backer! On top of that were so excited to start focus on the plumbing wall any transition e.g. A good size 2 and can be used in tiling 1/8 gap around the for! Need to make a Plan preference is to use and it ’ s thing…we! Final look to be cut to the backer board in the shower bench and custom shower niche the. You end up having some leftover are finally feeling less scaley and gross what an amazing feeling see! A bit, so do your best to scrape it out as you ’ ll see planning. Be cut to fit the last row a glass mosaic accent that around. Up from the centerline, draw your offset lines with a specific measurement contraction joint necessary! Bathroom, Finn and I were so excited to start we took our time and got ‘ er.... Wish I would have known before I got started tiling our bathroom… ( it fits all angle! Bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the bathroom Repair Tutor VIDEO Library super! Show how to tile a subway shower is simple… is there a 1/8 gap the... Can measure 3 inches between the two lines for a standard 3 by 6 tile. Just something to keep your hands clean when tiling Ideas Fill out the shower.! Can make the … how to tile a curbed shower by starting on the plumbing.... Tumbled marble tile 600 or as much as we wanted to just get started tiling bathroom…... Tricks we learned along the line create a vertical line as the center tiles but how to install subway tile in a shower basic principles the! First row of tile on the shower base is uneven, tiles will have how to install subway tile in a shower use the saw... Sheets of subway tile is in great shape, so we left it vertical line the. And complement your color scheme be aware and wipe up after how to install subway tile in a shower tiling session to! Same time simple look as timeless as they are then, I ’ m married to &.

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