How to Tile a Shower
You’ll learn how to tile a shower from a professional contractor: from laying out tile with the appropriate tools, to proper installation methods using both backer board and traditional mud techniques, to waterproofing floors and walls.
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Train with a Pro
Spanish Subtitles Available
22 In-depth Lessons
Certificate of Completion
22 Video Lessons · 2H 29M
Adam Esparza, a professional tiler in California, explains different methods of setting tile: using tile backer board, which is speedy and effective, and using the traditional mortar bed (also known as “mud”), which emphasizes craftsmanship and detail.
2. Using Backer Board: How To Use a Story Pole for Tile Layout
Adam lays the ceramic tiles on a story pole—a board that shares dimensions with the wall—so he can take measurements and envision the finished product.
3. Using Backer Board: Floor Tile Layout
Repeating the same story pole method he used for the floor tiles, Adam reviews the layout, then measures and marks the tiles before installation.
4. Using Backer Board: Waterproofing Shower Walls
Learn how to waterproof shower walls by installing foam backer board, cloth, and a crack prevention membrane.
5. Using Backer Board: Waterproofing Shower Floors
Learn how to waterproof shower floors with an uncoupling mat, V-notch trowel, and thinset. Plus: how to mix and apply thinset.
6. Using Backer Board: Final Layout
Before installation, Adam reviews the offset tile layout one last time, then safely cuts the tiles with a water saw.
7. Using Backer Board: How to Install Wall Tiles
Using a laser level, thinset, and notched trowel, Adam installs wall tiles and creates precise grout joints with tile spacers.
8. Using Backer Board: How to Tile Inside Corners
Learn to arrange, measure, and cut tiles for a clean, continuous pattern where two walls meet.
9. Using Backer Board: How to Install Floor Tile
Adam ensures each floor tile receives full and even thinset coverage.
10. Using Backer Board: How To Grout Tile
Adam notes the differences between various types of grout. He shows how to evenly grout tile and wash up for a professional finish.
11. Mortar Bed: Waterproofing Walls
Adam creates a mitered shower niche in the wall framing and installs waterproof paper and bituthene to protect the walls.
12. Mortar Bed: Wall Foundation
Learn how to apply metal lathe to the shower walls, which helps grip the mud and keep the tiles in place.
13. Mortar Bed Wall Scratch Coat
Using a notch trowel and cement mix, Adam mixes and applies the first coat of mud on the foundation, called the “scratch coat.”
14. Mortar Bed: Waterproofing Subfloor
Learn to waterproof a subfloor, which involves installing waterproof paper and metal lathe to create a sealed barrier.
15. Mortar Bed: Leveling with Dry Pack
Adam shows how to dry pack the floor: Apply a thick layer of cement and sand over the lathe to create a level bed for the tile.
16. Mortar Bed: Final Wall Coat
Adam mixes and applies the final mud coat to the shower walls. He explains which ratio of sand to lime to cement is best for a final-coat mixture.
17. Mortar Bed: Wall Installation
Learn to install wall tiles from top to bottom using a laser measure, thinset, and trowel.
18. Mortar Bed: Miter Niche Exterior Installation
Learn to install tiles around a mitered shower niche for a seamless pattern.
19. Mortar Bed: Shower Niche Interior Installation
Adam tiles the back interior of the mitered shower niche, measuring, cutting, and placing the tiles in a continuous pattern.
20. Mortar Bed: Shower Niche Side Installation
Learn to install tile inside the mitered niche by using thinset and mud for tightly sealed corners.
21. Mortar Bed: Floor Installation
Adam shows how to tile a mortar bed floor, which includes applying thinset, laying tiles, and cutting the pieces so the layout fits the space perfectly.
Patience is key to honing one’s craft. Adam shares advice for becoming a professional tiler, and how to follow your passion.
Who it's for: This course was designed for individuals seeking an entry level installer position or working professionals interested in learning how to complete a proper tile installation from start to finish.
Using tile backer board
Installing tile in mortar bed
How to lay out tile
How to tile corners
Tiling a shower niche
Waterproofing tile floors
Overall rating of 8 students
5 out of 5
Mar 12, 2023
5 out of 5
Mar 04, 2023
It was such an easy course to take on my own time. Being a visual learner, the video ,method of teaching was such a great learning experience for me! The instructor is knowledgeable and explains with...Read More...
5 out of 5
Jan 14, 2023
5 out of 5
Jan 10, 2023
Great course! Very informative and great demo.
5 out of 5
Apr 13, 2022
What an awesome course! Anybody who's doing tile work or even just thinking about doing it could definitely learn some really useful tricks about the whole process. I really loved the parts about the...Read More...
4 out of 5
Feb 12, 2023
I think the course overall was great. My only issue was with the wording oof a few questions. Particularly adding an all of the above option to a question that asks you to select all answers that...Read More...
4 out of 5
Jan 02, 2023
3 out of 5
Feb 20, 2023
The course, while well presented, does not include any information on projections through the tile (e.g. Shower valve), base gradient, or drainage.
Growing up with a father who specialized in laying tile with mortar helped Adam Esparza fall in love with the craft early on. As an adult, he quickly realized the corporate world wasn't for him and he set out to learn all he could about tiling. In 2013, Adam launched his small contracting business, ALE Tile, in Orange County, California. Recent projects have included tilework for OQ Farm, a 500-acre farm near Woodstock, Vermont, and the kitchen of a mid-century bungalow in Laguna Beach. Adam reveres the spirit of quality custom craftsmanship, which he hopes to pass onto the next generation of builders.
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