Steps
6
Difficulty
Moderate
Time Required
3days
Estimated Cost
$$$
A tiled wall for your bath or shower can add colour and design to your space. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of colours and shapes, and are easy to maintain, sturdy and durable. Ceramic tile can last up to 50 years, making it one of the most sustainable options for your bathroom.

What You Need for This Project

before you start

You’ll need to create a design plan before you start installing the tile. You can install the tiles straight, typical with subway tile, or in a diagonal or chevron pattern.

Determine how much tile you’ll need by measuring each wall area and calculating the width times height. Add 5% for tiles laid out in straight lines and 10 to 15% for a diagonal layout.

When buying your tiles, try to find boxes with the same dye lot number to minimize colour variation between the tiles.

Look through our patterns for inspiration!

prepare the walls

Do a quick, dry fit of your tiles along the wall to make sure the pattern fits and looks even. If you will need to cut tiles, try to position them towards the bottom of the wall or next to the shower or tub where it is less noticeable.

Mark the measurements on the walls as a guide, using a level to ensure your lines are straight.

TIP: If your tiling layout is more complex or includes special patterns or borders, you can draw a tiling plan ahead of time and transfer it to the wall.

apply tile mortar
Mix the thinset mortar then, using a notched trowel, spread the thinset over a small section of the wall. Using the notched side of the trowel, make horizontal grooves in the thinset.
start applying tiles

Apply adhesive to the back of the first tile and place it at the base of the wall, using your tile plan and level to ensure it is positioned correctly. Twist it slightly into the thinset to make sure it adheres properly. Once you are happy with the placement of your first tile, you can lay the rest of the tiles.

TIP: Use tile spacers to help make sure your tiles are spaced apart in equal distances. Don’t push the spacers in too deep, and leave them in place while the adhesive dries.

add the grout

Once the tiles are all set, use a damp sponge to wipe off the excess thinset and remove the spacers. Let everything dry for 24 to 48 hours before you begin grouting.

Mix the grout, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Dampen the tiles with clean water, which will make the grout easier to apply and less likely to stick to the surface of the tiles. Apply the grout section by section by pouring the grout directly onto the tiles and working it into the joints. Wipe off the excess quickly, as grout dries quickly.

Once you’ve finished, clean the surface with a damp sponge. Rinse the sponge regularly but do not add too much water, as it may dilute grout.

apply grout sealer
After 24 hours, the grout should be completely dry. Then you can apply a grout sealer to the joints. Wait 30 minutes for the sealer to dry, and then apply another layer.

Cleaning Tips

When it comes time to clean your bathroom, you can use eco-friendly cleaning products on your tiles and grout. Start by removing as much dirt and dust from your grout as possible by scraping in the grooves with an old credit card. Mix your non-abrasive cleaning product with hot water and apply with a rag or sponge to the tiles. Buff dry with a clean cloth. For the grout, use a grout cleaner and let it sit for ten minutes before scrubbing with an old toothbrush or other small scrub brush.

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