Retiling your shower is a relatively affordable and fast way to dramatically update the look of your bathroom. Tile generally loses its decorative appeal well before it wears out, so there is a good chance that your shower’s tile is giving your bathroom a dated look. As you begin searching for the right tiles to install in your shower, you need to learn more about the installation process. By learning whether to tile shower floor or walls first, you can gain a better understanding of the scope of the project.
Why It Matters Whether You Tile Shower Floor or Walls First
Depending which resources that you locate online or which experts who you contact for a recommendation, you will hear different answers to this question. The reality is that there are pros and cons associated with installing the tile on the walls or floor first. Your method can directly impact the amount of time that it takes to complete your project, the skill required and what the finished project looks like.
Why You Should Tile the Floor First
Professional tile installation generally utilizes a method where the tile wall hangs over the tile floor. The only way that this can happen without detailed planning and careful measurements is by installing the tile on the floor of the shower first. Despite this sound logic, some tile installation experts avoid installing the tile floor first. This is because tile and mortar may fall onto the floor when you are working on the walls. This can damage the tile floor that you have just installed. You can prevent this type of damage when you protect the tile floor with a protective cloth while you install tile on the wall.
Keep in mind, however, that you must allow the tile mortar to completely set before you stand on it to install tile wall. With this in mind, tiling the floor first can extend your project timeline.
Why You Should Tile the Wall First
Because the wall tile should hang over the floor tile, it can be more complicated to install tile on the wall first. However, starting your project with tile installation on the walls first can help you to avoid unfortunate messes and damage related to mishaps with the mortar and tile.
In order to properly install the wall tile first, you will need to account for the wall tile hanging over the floor tile. One method that professionals use to accomplish this is to utilize a space saver or ledger to leave a space for the floor tile to be installed later. If you utilize this method, you will need to install the floor tile closest to the wall before laying other floor tiles.
While there is a relatively easy solution for accounting for the wall tile overhang situation using this method, keep in mind that the tiles must be cut precisely to ensure beautiful results. The wall and floor tiles near the corner as well as the thickness of the grout must be precisely measured, and the lines must be smooth and even. In addition to impacting the overall finished look of the project, gaps in these areas can impair waterproofing efforts.
How to Blend Both Methods
If you are still confused about whether to install tile shower floor or walls first for your do-it-yourself project, the good news is that you do not necessarily need to fully tile the floor or the wall first. Instead, you can use a hybrid method. Begin the installation project by starting with the second row of wall tile. A space saver can be used to mark off the area reserved for the first row of tile. Work your way up the wall. Once you have finished installing the wall tile, you can install the floor tiles all the way to the wall and underneath the space savers. To finish the tile installation project, you can lay the final row of tile at the bottom of the wall.
Deciding Whether to Tile Shower Floor or Walls First in Your Bathroom
There are many factors to consider when determining which of these methods is well-suited for your shower renovation project. The tile size as well as the dimensions of the shower are among the most important of these factors. Many showers do not have uniform dimensions. For example, some showers have a tiled bench seat. Because each project has unique factors to consider, you will need to develop an installation plan for your specific project with these pros and cons in mind.