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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. 


  • Access to course material for 30 days.
  • Train with a Pro

  • Spanish Subtitles Available

  • Mobile Access

  • 22 In-depth Lessons

  • Certificate of Completion

  • Practical Resources

Lesson Plan

22 Video Lessons · 2H 29M

  • 1. Introduction

    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.

  • 22. Conclusion

    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.

Key Topics

  • 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

4.6 Out of
5 stars

Overall rating of 9 students

Become Job Ready

This course will increase your knowledge for jobs like:


Tile Installer


Tile Setter


Tile Helper


Tile Apprentice



Search for these jobs at:

Team Pricing
> 6 seats
Save $5 per seat
$70 per seat

Common Questions

  • What is MT Copeland?

    MT Copeland helps you further your career in the building industry with expert-led online education that will make you a better, smarter tradesperson.

    Our training courses give you a foundation in construction fundamentals and trade skills with real-world applications and best practices to help you grow on the job.

  • What do courses include?

    Online courses include professionally produced videos taught by leaders in the trades and supplementary learning material such as quizzes, assessments and downloadable materials to help you acquire new skills. Watch anywhere, always at your own pace. We keep lesson videos short so they’re easy to watch after work or on your lunch break. You can finish a course in one sitting, or space it out over a week or two.

  • Can you learn with MT Copeland outside of the u.s.?

    Yes! You can take MT Copeland courses from anywhere in the world. Our courses are online, so if you have access to the Internet, you can watch our training videos. Courses are taught in English, with English captions and Spanish subtitles available.

  • Where did the name MT Copeland come from?

    MT Copeland was named after a legendary educator who promoted the idea that training in a specific trade paired with a knowledge of general business principles opens up a whole new world of career possibilities. We believe in the same powerful combination of skills and knowledge.

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