A great way to update your bathroom is to re-tile your shower, which can be made much easier with some basic advice. You will be able to tackle this rewarding do-it-yourself project in no time!
To be thorough, you will first need to strip down your shower to the studs. This may also include removing the ceiling and shower pan as well. This is the best way to ensure that your vapor barrier will be fresh and clean.
The Vapor Barrier is whatever you choose to go between your tiles and your walls, and can be made of Wedi boards (highly recommended), drywall or cement. This is an important step, because the vapor barrier prevents mold and mildew from growing between your tiles and your wall, a nasty development that can require you tearing out your beloved tiles again if you skip. If you do not use cement for your vapor barrier, you will need to put cement boards over it. Apply mesh tape to the seams of your cement boards to seal them.
With your barrier in place, now you can start the measurements. Remember to leave room, a ¼ inch, for your grout in between tiles. If you base your measurements solely on the tile height, you will not have given yourself enough room. Start by marking a center point on the wall to draw a plumb line. Measure up from the bottom by 13”, which is usually the height of the tile plus room for grout, and draw yourself a straight line as a guide to begin.
It is recommended to make your cement wall damp before applying thinset to avoid cracking. After you have mixed the thinset, use a ¼ by ¼ notched trowel to spread it over the area where you would like to begin. It is highly recommended to start at the bottom of your work area. Do not start at the top. Also, be very careful not to put more thinset on than you can work with in time. Try pacing yourself by spreading the thinset over the area for one row at a time. To test if thinset is ready, touch it with a finger. If it sticks to your finger, then it will hold a tile. If it doesn’t stick to your finger, then it will not be able to hold a tile. Give it a little more time and then try again. You can also test it by placing the first tile on the thinset and then removing it to check if the thinset is sticking to the back of the tile or not before you continue with the rest of the row.
Once tiled, leave your shower for 24-48 hours to let the thinset dry. Now add the grout. Wait thirty minutes to one hour before wiping the grout off your tiles to make them beautiful. Add the grout sealer and then step back and admire your amazing work! Keeping this basic advice in mind, you will have completed a wonderful tiling project.