Tiling Your Shower? Get Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

Renovating your bathroom with a new shower can be an exciting endeavor, but let's face it: tiling isn't always as straightforward as it seems. With so many tile types, grout options, and installation techniques to consider, it's easy to feel confused. 

Questions like "What tile size should I choose?" or "How do I prevent my tiles from cracking?" are common roadblocks you need to address before you can confidently start your project.  

Aside from boasting a big selection of products, our tile stores in Hialeah, Florida, have a team of tile experts and design consultants ready to guide you through the process.  

If you’re about to tile your shower and bathroom, here’re useful answers to some questions you might be having! 

What Tile Size Is Best for A Shower? 

When selecting the tile size for your shower, you will need to take into account the size of the space, the overall aesthetic you're trying to achieve, and the practicality of the tiles. 

For example, larger tiles aren’t always suitable for smaller showers because they can overwhelm the space. Conversely, smaller tiles may not be the best choice for larger showers, as they can create a busy and cluttered look. 

Large Format Tiles 

Large format tiles, with dimensions like 24x48 inches, 30x60 inches, or 48x96 inches, are a popular choice for shower walls and floors. Since they have fewer grout lines, they give your space a sleek and modern look and make it feel more open and spacious. 

Moreover, bigger tiles usually mean less upkeep since there are fewer grout lines for dirt and grime to gather. 

Small Tiles 

Smaller tiles, such as mosaic or subway tiles, offer a different set of advantages for shower design. For instance, they allow for more intricate designs and patterns, adding visual interest to the shower walls. 

Additionally, smaller tiles are more flexible and easier to work with when it comes to shaping around curves, corners, or irregularities in the shower space. 

How Do I Prevent My Tiles from Cracking? 

Preventing tiles from cracking requires careful planning and proper installation techniques. Here are some tips to help keep your tiles intact: 

Substrate Preparation 

Before laying tiles, ensure that the substrate, such as the shower base or wall, is sturdy, level, and free from any debris. A stable substrate provides a solid foundation for the tiles and helps prevent movement or shifting that could lead to cracking. 

Use the Right Adhesive 

Select a high-quality, flexible thin-set adhesive that is suitable for the specific type and size of tiles you're using. The adhesive should have a strong bond and offer sufficient flexibility to accommodate any movement or stress on the tiles. 

Proper Tile Installation 

When laying tiles, make sure to evenly distribute the adhesive and firmly press each tile into place. Use spacers to maintain consistent spacing between tiles and ensure straight lines and uniform grout joints.  

Remember to avoid applying excessive pressure or twisting motions, which can cause tiles to crack.  

Here’s an instructional video from the National Tile Contractors Association on how to trowel adhesive during installation: 


Allow for Movement 

In areas with temperature fluctuations or structural movement, such as showers, it's smart to incorporate expansion joints or movement joints into the tile layout.  

Expansion joints are small spaces left between tiles during installation, and they’re often filled with a flexible material like silicone or caulk. These joints absorb stress and prevent cracking by allowing the tiles to expand and contract without resistance. 

Grout and Sealant 

After installing the tiles, grout the joints using a flexible grout that is appropriate for the tile material and shower environment. Properly grouting and sealing the tile stops water from infiltrating, which can weaken the adhesive and cause cracks to appear. 

Regular Maintenance 

Once your shower is tiled, be sure to maintain it properly to prevent damage and prolong its lifespan. When possible, inspect the grout lines, check for signs of wear or deterioration, and reseal them as needed. 

Always avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals or abrasive tools that could damage the tiles or grout. One way to keep your shower stain-free is our Concentrated Cleaner. All you have to do is mix the product with water per instructions and you’ll have a safe cleaner for you and your tiles. 

white bathroom made with tiles from our Tile Stores in Hialeah Florida

Can I Tile Over Existing Shower Tiles? 

Tiling over existing shower tiles can be a tempting option to save time and money on a renovation project, but it's essential to consider a few factors before proceeding. 

Assessing Existing Tiles 

Before tiling over existing shower tiles, assess the condition of the current ones. If they are cracked, loose, or water-damaged, it's best to remove them to make sure you have a stable surface for the new tiles.  

Tiling over damaged tiles can result in an uneven surface and may cause the new tiles to crack or become loose as time passes. 

Thickness Considerations 

The thickness of the existing tiles will have an impact on the final height of the shower walls or floor. If you install tiles over existing ones, you might end up adding extra bulk, which may require adjustments to fixtures, trim pieces, and door clearances. 

Be mindful of any potential changes to the layout and appearance of the shower space. 

Adherence and Stability 

Make sure the old tiles are stuck firmly in place and give a strong foundation for the new tiles. If they seem loose or shaky, it's better to take them out and fix any problems underneath before starting the new tiling job.  

Professional Consultation 

If you're unsure whether tiling over existing shower tiles is the right choice for your project, consider talking to one of our showroom consultants. They can connect you with a tile contractor who can assess the condition of the existing tiles, provide recommendations, and make sure the tiling process is done correctly. 

How Long Does It Take to Tile a Shower? 

Size and Complexity of the Shower 

A small, simple shower with standard-sized walls and floors will naturally take less time to tile compared to a larger shower with custom features or intricate designs. 

If you're working with a particularly large or complex space, factor in additional time for measuring, planning, and executing the tiling layout. While smaller showers might take a day or two to complete, larger or more detailed ones could extend the timeline to several days or weeks. 

DIY vs. Professional Installation 

DIY projects often take longer because you need to learn new skills, deal with unexpected challenges, and work at a slower pace. 

On the other hand, hiring a professional installer can expedite the process, as they have the expertise, tools, and resources to get the job done in an efficient way. The latter may come with a higher upfront cost, but it can save you the hassle in the long run, especially if you're short on time or have a complex project. 

Steps Involved in Tiling 

Tiling a shower involves several distinct steps, each of which contributes to the overall timeline:

1. Preparing the surface: The preparation phase involves cleaning the shower area, ensuring the surface is level and free of any debris, and applying a waterproofing membrane if necessary.

2. Tiling: Next comes the actual tiling process, where you or your tile installer will lay each tile while checking for proper spacing and alignment. Once the tiles are in place, you'll grout the joints to fill in the spaces between the tiles.

3. Sealing: Finally, sealing the tiles and grout helps protect them from water damage and stains, which will keep them looking great for years. 

Allowing for Drying and Curing Time 

Rushing the process of drying and curing can lead to issues like: 

Therefore, you should try to be patient and follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Drying and curing times also vary depending on temperature, humidity, and the type of adhesive and grout you use.  

In general, you'll want to wait at least 24 to 48 hours after grouting before using the shower, and several days to a week for the tiles and grout to fully cure. 

Average Timeline 

On average, a shower tiling project takes anywhere from one to three days to complete, assuming everything goes according to plan. However, every project is unique and there are many variables that can impact the timeline, such as: 

  • The size and complexity of the shower 
  • The skill level of the installer 
  • Availability of materials 
  • Unexpected challenges or obstacles encountered during the project 
  • Weather conditions, particularly if working outdoors or in unheated areas 

By planning ahead, being patient, and allowing for flexibility in the timeline, you can ensure a successful and stress-free tiling project that transforms your shower into a beautiful and functional oasis. 

white bathroom made with tiles from our Tile Stores in Hialeah Florida

Visit Our Tile Stores in Hialeah, Florida, for Help with Your Shower Renovation 

Looking to elevate your next project with premium tile products and expert advice? Look no further than D&B Tile. With our extensive experience and top-tier selections, we're equipped to exceed your renovation expectations. 

Our showroom consultants are also ready to get you in touch with skilled contractors who can assist you with calculations and tile installation. 

Don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team today for all your tiling needs!