The most visible choice you make for your bathroom remodel is going to be your choice of tile. This is the moment where you can add a special style that you can enjoy each time you enter into the bathroom. The tile is also going to play its part in your waterproofing strategy, while you may have established a formidable water resistant barrier behind or over the tile substrate, the tile surface itself will be the cause for a large majority of that moisture to remain in the shower area. Whether it’s a partial or complete bathroom remodel, your tile choice and a good installation is going to be the culmination of all the planning and hard work.

Your choice of tile adhesive at first glance does not seem to be an important component for your installation, in fact, not all adhesives work the same, and some are not effective where they will be inundated with moisture. There are varying types and combinations of tile adhesive available in order to provide you with an option that best fits into your installation. The tile adhesive will be the bond between your tile substrate and each tile piece, if it has strength and flexibility, it will provide you with a long lasting installation.

Your choice of tile to be installed onto your shower walls should not only follow your overall design, but it should also fall into your waterproofing strategy. The many tile types, such as ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone, each have their own water resistance levels, while others might require further sealant applications to minimize moisture seepage. Understanding what vulnerabilities each has and how they impact your waterproofing efforts, will cause you to make a choice that best fits for your long term enjoyment.

The standard decorative for finishing a tile installation is the use of a bullnose tile piece at wall, shampoo niche, window opening, and shower curb edges or the use of the same tile in an offset pattern to provide a contrast to the layout design. You may want to add a much more elevated style to your tile installation by incorporating finish pieces that provide color, texture, or type contrast. These decoratives come in the form of a baseboard, pencil trim, or chair rail trim, and mosaics. Adding one or multiple decoratives will add your personal style to your tile installation.

Your tile installation should not be a testing ground for new innovative ways of applying and setting each piece, the products that support the installation have gotten better, but the methods remain the same. The standards for a successful tile installation are basic and repetitive, understanding these and the products used in the process, will ensure that your installation will remain sturdy and yet flexible as needed.

As soon as you have installed the last tile piece on your shower walls and outside the shower area, it is important to be sure that the tile adhesive has properly cured, you will then proceed with filling in the joints with grout. Your grout choices will all contain a Portland cement base and depending upon the width of your joints, you will need to choose from a sanded or un-sanded version. Your goal will be to fill these joints with as much grout as necessary in order provide a solid bonding between each tile piece and providing less of an opportunity for moisture to enter to behind each layer.


You may have a design pattern in mind for your tile installation, but you need to also think about how to go about setting each tile, an entire row, and how many in a given day. The finish pieces also need to be given a good deal of consideration since they will coincide with full and cut pieces of tile. There are strict methods for planning, leveling, starting, aligning, and scheduling that you can follow to cause the best completed installation.


You don’t want to be the next tile installation mistake story, therefore, learning from the mistakes that others have experienced will help you understand the potential pitfalls you will need to avoid. Realistically, if you plan well, you can finish with a great tile installation. The problems begin to occur when there is a lack of understanding of each step that is involved in the proper setting of the tile onto the tile substrate. See the mistakes beforehand will give you a better advantage of identifying the precursors that cause the mistake in the first place.