How to Install Bathroom Wall Tile

8 Materials
$500
2 Weeks
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Today I am going to share with you how I installed new wall tile above my daughters bathtub, which was literally coming away from the wall.

After we moved in to our new home it didn't take long to realize that the tile in this bathroom wasn't going to last long. It got to the point where I literally had to put duct tape on it to keep water from going behind the wall!


So my husband and I demolished all the tile. It was a big job, he knocked all the tile off and I carried it in small boxes up the stairs to the garage. I certainly got my leg workout in that day!

So after we got all the tile off this is what we had. Now we added backer board. Backer board isn't hard to install, it's a lot like drywall. But to cut around the faucet and shower head you have to score it and using a hammer break a hole in it. This wasn't too hard but cutting a piece in half wasn't so easy. I highly recommend getting a backer board scorer, it made the job so much easier!


Screw the backer board up and using specific tape and mud for backer board and tiling cover all the seams and screw holes. This is to water proof it so water cannot get down behind the backer board.

We got all the pieces done except this one! UGH, back to Home Depot!

Finally, it's all up and now to tape and mud everything.

We are prepped and ready for tile!


Using the same mortar as you used on the tape and screw holes scrape the mortar onto the wall, using the smooth side.


Once you have a good amount on use the notched side and got through all the mortar.


Place your first tile on the wall. I started at the bottom center. Using a level, make sure the first row is perfectly straight. Also leave a quarter inch gap at the bottom between the tile and bathtub. Later you will caulk this to seal it up from water.


In between each piece of tile put a spacer. They come in several sizes, it's up to you how thick you want your grout.

You need a diamond drill bit to cut around shower heads and faucets.

Let all this dry for 24 hours.


Now it's time to grout! I talked my husband into this part. I had trouble reaching the top and I am better at cleaning up so I did that part.


Using the grout color of your choice put it on your float (that's the name of the tool used for grout) and spread it on. It's a lot like icing a cake really! Go at a 45 degree angle and make sure the grout gets into each gap.


Come through after about 5-10 minutes and using a damp sponge wipe away the excess. This is a bit messy.


If after you clean off all the grout you see the tile looking a little hazy, use the damp sponge again on the tile and that should take care of it.


Action photo, hubs got a little blurry. He would say he is just that fast!

And there it is, I had just wiped the tile off so you can see it's a little damp here. Let this dry for another 24 hours.


Now it's time to caulk all the corners and around the bottom of the tile where it meets the tub.


Put up a shower curtain or sliding doors and you are good to go! Most importantly there is no more damage being done behind the walls.

If you liked this post check out how I added a reclaimed wood look to my kids family room.

Suggested materials:

  • Tile  (Floor and Decor)
  • Tile cutter  (Home Depot)
  • Grout  (Floor and Decor)
See all materials

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