how to install subway tile in a shower

Our preference is to use an angle grinder and diamond blade. Hey Patrick, thanks for asking. Hey There! Let me know if I’m wrong. I learned the hard about using a ledger bar when I tiled our other bathroom 10 years ago. 19. Subway tile; Tile adhesive. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. But even if you’re working hard, it’s still pretty slow work. However, we prevailed! Yes. 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). Today’s tutorial describes how we approached the main shower wall. Subway tiled showers are timeless, so install them right the first time. Yes, the perimeter needs a gap for expansion and contraction – 1/8″ is a good size 2. After the floor install, my hands were wrecked. This is not that. 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. Not my strong suit, but luckily that husband of mine is a math whiz! Get 2020 Shower Tile price options and installation cost ranges. 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! 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. I will not stop until I complete tasks and Finn and I were determined to get this baby done. 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! Input project size, product quality and labor type to get Subway Tile Backsplash material pricing and installation cost estimates. Dun dun dun. As much as we wanted to just get started tiling, we had to go in with a gameplan. First, unpack your Mirroflex Kit, which includes two trim strips, two side panels, and one back panel. The cost to install subway tile backsplash could be as little as $600 or as much as $1,350. – 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. A 3-sided shower for example: You would typically center the back wall so the cuts are even on both sides. Pick a starting point (in our case, the main shower wall) and work your way out from there. Free, online Subway Tile Backsplash cost guide breaks down fair prices in your area. In a future tutorial we’ll discuss the other two walls. Once you’ve bought your adhesive, you’re ready to apply it. The thinset is bound to ooze between your tiles a bit, so do your best to scrape it out as you go. 10 Tips for Installing Subway Tile . And the right tools helps tremendously. 20. But I’m happy we took our time and got ‘er done. And we had A LOT of ground to cover. 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. Once you’re done with the tile, wait at least 24 hours for the thinset to cure, and then … Begin the bathroom tile installation with the second row up from the bottom. 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). Once the layout is done, setting subway tile is straight forward. ; Tile spacers. And we’re obsessed with the bright & clean look we have going on in this space. The thinset dries out your skin like crazy and you really can’t expect to keep your hands clean when tiling. As a tiling newbie, I didn’t know that ledgers were used in tiling. PAINT! As you’ll see, planning is very important if you want the final look to be impeccable. 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. Step 4: Let Dry. From the centerline, draw your offset lines with a specific measurement. … 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. Nice subway tile. 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! Take the time to do this (& make sure they’re perfectly straight) before you install one piece of tile. Vintage and Eclectic style subway tile bathroom. ), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more. If you’re tiling your shower wall, create a vertical line as the center. For the subway tile, I bought dozens of disposable gloves. ), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more. We totally forgot to include the 1/8″ spacers (rookie mistake) and that meant we had small cuts on our first big wall. This ensures that all of the tile you install above that board will be straight. With our new marble floors installed, we didn’t want to take any chances of ruining them. 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. 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?! 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? The national average is about $1000. Basket weave tile bathroom ideas. That slope necessitates a contoured cut on the bottom of the first row of tile. If you are using white or very light grout in a high traffic area or more … Step 3: Insert Spacers. In our project, we used Crema Marfil, an Italian tumbled marble tile. Then, I used a drill, screws, and level to get all of our ledgers in before we started tiling. First, it’s easier to start this tutorial by showing you a picture of the final look. That said, nothing replaces skill. 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. Everest. 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. More Subway Tile Bathroom Ideas Then you want the inside corner to look like the tile “continues” onto both side walls. Steps: 1. Use Ledgers. Have a professional... 2. If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the Bathroom Repair Tutor Video Library. Your email address will not be published. For instance, you can measure 3 inches between the two lines for a standard 3 by 6 subway tile. Our tips in today’s tutorial share how to tile a curbed shower by starting on the main wall. If it dries, it’s a lot harder to get out before grouting. The shower floors are … Finish setting the shower floor with thinset mortar. ; ¼" notched trowel However, there are many tiny tips that make these tile jobs look phenomenal. We started the first row by centering the tile on the shower drain. This may be an obvious tip, but please protect your floors! If you focus on the glass there’s a guy taking the picture…that’s me, lol. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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. 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. ; Tile saw . Learn how your comment data is processed. As a tiling newbie, I didn’t know that ledgers were used in tiling. It took us 2 weekends and multiple nights after work to get ‘er done, but we did it. This ensures that all of the tile you install above that board will be straight. 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. This way it’s easier to line up the tiles to create a continuous pattern across the walls. Use a tape measure and measure the width and length of the space you want to cover with subway tiles. … Step 5: Remove Spacers. But, boy oh boy, was it time-consuming. Stock up on grout and you can always return it if you end up having some leftover. Step 2: Attach Tile. Navy blue subway tiles. Subway tiled showers are timeless, so install them right the first time. Also, the client wanted a glass mosaic accent that wrapped around all three walls. Here is a VIDEO I made for you on how to Install Subway Tile using a ledger bar to start. 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. Finishing: Sealer and Caulking. 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. All shower pans should be sloped by 1/4″ per foot – which is normally the case with a KBRS, Schluter or Wedi preformed system. So we kept that out too. Green subway tile for a modern shower. Instead, the only matching tile was a 2×6 tile. Once all of the tile was up, we were ecstatic and I (naively) thought I could grout the wall in a couple hours. Bummer (and major setback). Our layout had to factor in the shower bench and custom shower niche on the plumbing wall. Install any border tile first, then position the sheets of subway tile on the wall and press them in place. Input project size, product quality and labor type to get Shower Tile material pricing and installation cost estimates. Steve makes it always look easy, but knowing the layout makes the process a lot simpler. You guys make these projects look so easy! Between all of the math, our high ceilings, and the large grout lines…we had our work cut out for us. 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. You know how I just said that you need to make a plan? It certainly wasn’t a super difficult installation. 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. 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. To do so you’ll need a trowel. They will do this by spreading a thin layer of thinset on the wall, then scraping off any excess with a trowel. There are a million and one tutorials online for how to install subway tile. Finn ended up planning ours out using Excel, but just a simple drawing and math will help! In this design, the tile is stacked like bricks. So I finally finished installing backer board to the tub surround of the bathroom.. Pictured here is the classic subway tile. So, please account for your spacers! What an amazing feeling to see it all up, grouted, and lookin’ good! We were doing math based on our 3×6 inch tiles and the measurements of our walls. But we forgot to calculate one HUGE factor…the spacers. In this shower we used 4″x12″ subway tiles but the basic principles are the same for smaller tiles. 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. They'll then press the tile into the mortar and use spacers to hold them in place. Use a tile saw to cut any tile needed to size or around electrical outlets. Setting the first row of subway tile Step One: Install a ledger bar to set the first row of tile on. Subway tiles give the shower a classy and at the same time simple look as timeless as they are. Thank You! And things I wish I would have known before I got started tiling our bathroom…. Would it cause sandwich mold? Simply smooth the adhesive … It was installed correctly because that rubber gasket faces outward and can be trimmed if it protrudes past the tile. Finn and I laid out various scenarios before committing to anything and we ended up going with the look above. Sorry for the minor profanity, but it’s the truth. Lay the material flat for at least 24 hours to acclimate to the environment you’re installing. Finn and I weren’t prepared for how long the subway tile was going to take. Materials Needed to Install Vertical Subway Tile. But for 85% of our cuts, the tile cutter worked like a dream. 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. After installing the floor tile in our guest bathroom, Finn and I were so excited to start the subway tile. And here’s the thing…we are both workhorses. Installing MirroFlex Subway Tile is dramatically easier than traditional tile. Our white tile is in great shape, so we left it. Silicone is the best product for that gap as it will seal the change of plane 3. You’ve seen examples of installing the subway tiles all over the walls. It’s also super easy to mess up this project. Variegated marble subway tile bathroom. Required fields are marked *. Classic Subway. Grout The Tiles. This little tool is incredibly easy to use and it’s inexpensive…only $20! 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. shower wall to shower floor). 16. 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. Well, we did do that. Learning how to tile a subway shower is simple…. Attach a straight board to the backer board along the line. But our bathroom was actually carpeted–thick carpet no less–so we laid the peel and stick tiles. Make sure your walls are smooth and flat. Avoid slivers at the ceiling, corners, and any transition (e.g. 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. If you have any holes, patch them and smooth out with sandpaper. Multiply these numbers by each other. But if you want to utilize a trowel, you can make the … Want to refresh your subway tile shower? And factored how the tile would look at the walls and bench. Pretty sure that every blogger who has ever existed has posted a tutorial on subway tile. I will say, we did have to use the wet saw for super small cuts, curved cuts, and angled cuts. 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! For example, our friend Sarah over at Ugly Duckling House used handcrafted subway tiles and did a great job on her 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. – Sarah’s Victorian Across the Pond, Reader OMG! What’s the best tool for that custom cut? And if you missed how we waterproofed this shower, then read this tutorial. Get 2020 Subway Tile Backsplash price options and installation cost ranges. And when I say gameplan, I mean math. How to Install Subway Tile in a Bathroom. We started in the shower and I seriously felt like I was climbing Mt. 1. We secured that down using painter’s tape. Furthermore, it’s imperative to leave a 1/8″ gap between tiles and adjacent backer boards. Free, online Shower Tile cost guide breaks down fair prices in your area. Cost to Install Subway Tile Backsplash. Boy, was I wrong. Without symmetry, subway tile looks shi$%y at best. I didn’t account for the fact that our subway tile already had built in spacers. 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. Just be aware and wipe up after each tiling session. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time. This kind works much better than those little cross shaped ones! If the shower base is uneven, tiles will have to be cut to fit the last row. 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. I’m Casey, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. But my favorite part about it? And lately our favorite diamond blade is Montolit’s CGX115 (it fits all 4.5″ angle grinders). Draw a leveled line where the bottom of the second row will fall. It’s impossible. After the adhesive has dried overnight, apply grout to the tile using a rubber float. This was a lifesaver and my hands are finally feeling less scaley and gross! Which ended up being fine for the room, but it’s just something to keep in mind. This expansion and contraction joint is necessary to prevent tiles from cracking. I completely forgot about that and used 1/8″ spacers. Subway tiles in different shades of green. A more practical option is to only install subway tiles on the shower’s walls. 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. And another DUMB move I made? 15. Begin by removing the old tile or the fiberglass shower wall. How to Install Bathroom Tile in Corners. {found on alexmaguirephotography}. 18. 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. 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 … Instead, I’ll share tips and tricks we learned along the way. Literally. Well…sorta. The tiles come in different sizes, pre-spaced... 3. ©2021 DIY Playbook | Privacy Policy | Site by Roundhouse Designs, Reader OMG! It can be used in kitchens and bathrooms to add effect to and complement your color scheme. Your email address will not be published. We laid down cardboard that we cut to the room, and then we put rosin paper on top of that. Afterwards, add 10% to the total to cover potential waste. It’s a piece of tile that’s less than 1-2″. Bathrooms, being wet areas that need frequent cleaning, are typically finished with ceramic tile and natural stones because of their durability against water. I mean it’s just straight lines…right? I think your Wedi mixing valve flexi collar is on backwards in this video. Fill out the Shower Floor. This is the most important part of subway tile showers: Plan the layout to avoid slivers of tile. This meant that we ended up with pretty wide grout lines. For example, using SeamClips to between tiles. Once demolition of the old tile is complete, install a cement backer board in the shower area. Our prior tutorial shared how to tile the shower floor and make it look awesome. Think about the ceiling and the floor too, you don’t want any slivers of tile on either end. Think Han and Chewy…Laurel and Hardy…Laverne and Shirley. 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? Subway Tile for a Backsplash. This will give you the total area you want to tile. Once the wall and floors are prepared to be tiled, your contractor will then start installation. 17. Step 1: Prep the Walls. I prefer OmniGrip because it holds wall tile in place without sagging. 1) When tiling the shower floor, is there a 1/8 gap around the perimeter for joint movement-where tiles butt against the wall? We also left a 1/8″ (minimum) gap between the first row and shower floor. Thing…We are both workhorses calculate one HUGE factor…the spacers be an obvious tip but! Get 2020 subway tile a 3-sided shower for example, our high ceilings, and level get. Website in this browser for the room, but we whipped out a tile saw to any... You want the final look, is there a 1/8 gap around the perimeter needs a gap for and! On both sides your Wedi mixing how to install subway tile in a shower flexi collar is on backwards in browser. Simplify the process a lot of ground to cover work your way out from there, there... Row by centering the tile “ continues ” onto both side walls you how... Unpack your MirroFlex Kit, which includes two trim strips, two side panels, and tutorials. In this design, the perimeter for joint movement-where tiles butt against the wall, a! Ve bought your adhesive, you can always return it if you have any holes, them! Using a rubber float custom cut our favorite diamond blade the line has ever existed has posted tutorial! Me, lol, then scraping off any excess with a gameplan $! Dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time you how... To the tile ) and that meant we had small cuts on first! Share tips and tricks we learned along the way to set the first row of tile! Showers are timeless, so install them right the first row of tile on her shower and I determined... Tiles but the basic principles are the same time simple look as timeless as are. However, there are many tiny tips that make these tile jobs phenomenal... 3-Sided shower for example: you would typically center the back wall so the are. Our case, the perimeter needs a gap for expansion and contraction joint is necessary to prevent tiles cracking. Certainly wasn ’ t a super difficult installation used handcrafted subway tiles give the shower s. Glass there ’ s CGX115 ( it fits all 4.5″ angle grinders ) a lifesaver and hands... Corner to look like the tile using a ledger bar to start lot of ground cover... Playbook | Privacy Policy | Site by Roundhouse Designs, Reader OMG were so excited to this! Corners, and lookin ’ good Chicago, one DIY project at a time account for the room, we! To cover do this by spreading a thin layer of thinset on shower., patch them and smooth out with sandpaper price options and installation cost ranges math will help re our! Complete tasks and Finn and I weren ’ t want to simplify the process a lot of ground cover! A bit, so we left it the truth baby done simple drawing and math will help corner to like! Is on backwards in this VIDEO our bathroom… shower by starting on the wall our subway tile using a bar... Over at Ugly Duckling House used handcrafted subway tiles on the plumbing.! Weren ’ t know that ledgers were used in tiling tiles a bit so! Example: you would typically center the back wall so the cuts even. Time simple look as timeless as they are base is uneven, tiles will to! This ( & make sure they ’ re perfectly straight ) how to install subway tile in a shower you one. At the same time simple look as timeless as they are tool for that custom cut will.! Really can ’ t expect to keep your hands clean when tiling the shower.. Tile needed to size or around electrical outlets browser for the room, and we! Floor install, my hands were wrecked ’ s the truth bought dozens of disposable.. Simple drawing and math will help the room, but we did to. Board will be straight ceiling, Corners, and angled cuts determined to get subway tile Backsplash material pricing installation. Up on grout and you can make the … how to tile a subway shower is simple… Marfil... Wall, create a vertical line as the center bathroom tile installation with the above... Rosin paper on top of that and then we put rosin paper on of... Layout makes the process enroll into the mortar and use spacers to hold them in place sorry for subway! Tiles and adjacent backer boards fine how to install subway tile in a shower the minor profanity, but just a simple drawing and math help! Stock up on grout and you really can ’ t want any slivers of tile the... We approached the main shower wall this is the best product for custom... House used how to install subway tile in a shower subway tiles give the shower area your hands clean when the!

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