How To Retile A Shower Floor

There can be a point where your shower or bathroom becomes outdated, which takes away the appeal and aesthetic value of the house, you need to know how to retile a shower floor. When this happens, it’s a good time to update the bathroom.

A bathroom is usually the most used room in a house. If you’re expecting guests or relatives you haven’t seen in a while, you might want to have it look splendid.

Retiling your shower will not only take out the old and broken tiles but also give you a whole new look in the bathroom. In this guide, you’ll learn how to retile a floor.

Steps for tiling a shower floor

Here are the steps for retiling a floor.

Take out the old tiles

It would help if you started by removing the old ceramic tile since you can use them in the shower once they are cleaned. Using putty knives and grout removing tools to remove tile grout will serve this purpose very well.

Once you’ve removed the grout and ceramic tile, it is time to pry them up. Use a putty knife to wiggle back and forth beneath the ceramic tiles to make them easier to pry loose. Most should come up without too much effort.

For tiles that aren’t pulling up easily, a little bit of force is needed. Do this carefully since ceramic tiles can break easily. To pry up those tougher tiles, use a small hammer. Once the first tile is gone, the others should come easily.

Examine the shower floor base

After you have removed all of the old tiles, you should check underneath the shower subfloor for any leftover adhesives. If any adhesive is still visible, it can be removed with a paint remover and elbow grease.

It is absolutely crucial to ensure the floor is as flat and as free from any adhesives before moving on to the next step. A flat and smooth surface is essential for the proper installation of the flooring tiles.

It may be necessary to repeat the process several times to make the floor smooth and clean.

Examine the water barrier

Once the adhesives have been properly removed from the shower floor, it is now time to look at the condition of the water barrier in place. The water barrier is a thin layer of material that prevents water from soaking down into the shower floor.

In case the water barrier looks fine, then you can move on to the next step. If the barrier is broken or damaged, you must repair or replace it before moving on.

Thinset mortar application

Mix the thin-set mortar exactly as directed by the manufacturer. Don’t stray from this under any circumstances. Once it is completely mixed, apply a thin coat to the floor where new tiles will be installed.

You should not apply the thinset mortar onto the whole floor all at once. It will set before you can install the tiles and will require removal before you can reapply it.

Installing the tiles

It would help if you combed the thinset mortar before installing the tiles since coarse mortar will adhere much better to the tiles than flat mortar. Again, you need to ensure that the tiles sit as firmly and flatly as possible.

Lay your first row of tiles over the thinset mortar using a small hammer and gently tap each tile into place, ensuring they are evenly resting. If necessary you can also place a flat board over top of the tiles to ensure that they are all settled evenly.

Make sure to use tile spacers

To install your new tiles at an even spacing, you may want to pick up a tile spacer at your local hardware store. Best of all, they’re inexpensive so don’t worry if you don’t already have one.

Lay all of the tiles in that row and verify any defects that may have occurred. Make the necessary changes. Remember, you are doing it one row at a time. The thinset mortar has to set before we can tile the entire floor.

Putting in the finishing touches

Make sure to let the thinset mortar dry completely before applying the tile grout. No matter what type of grout you choose, follow manufacturer instructions carefully to avoid mishaps.

Install the tiles using a grouting towel, and remove any excess grout with a wet sponge. Once everything is thoroughly cleaned and wiped away, the shower tiles are ready for use.

Best tiles for your shower floor

Here are the best tiles for your shower floor.


Ceramic tiles work best in bathrooms, which is not surprising. They have been used for decades both shower stalls, and they are a popular option for flooring. Despite the fact they are slick, ceramic tiles must be carefully selected for their texture and size.


Porcelain ranks right behind ceramic, a similar material used for sinks, bathtubs and various other kinds of home décor. It’s extruded at a much higher temperature on purpose than ceramic, which makes it stronger.

Porcelain tiles are included in shower stalls because of the through-body construction, which means they won’t show a color change due to a chip. Additionally, porcelain tiles are tougher to work with.


When you are looking to upgrade your bathroom, stone tiles will be what you’re looking for. Stone can be used to cover walls, floors, and shower stalls provided it’s sealed and not sloppy.

Although there are several types of stone found in bathrooms today, those most predominant are marble, travertine, slate, granite, and limestone. You won’t get the same colors as you would with ceramic tile, but the textures and patterns more than compensate for this.

Even though stone is more costly and needs more maintenance, it can add a distinct style to a bathroom.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

One reason why Vinyl Tile isn’t best for bathrooms overall is that it’s not made to be used in showers. However, they will completely transform any boring bathroom, and you can have virtually endless style choices.

It is possible to get a wood-like tile floor or a floor that looks like pale marble for a fraction of the cost of traditional alternatives. Luxury vinyl is easy to work with but less durable than ceramic or stone. Therefore, you will need to seal some segments when installing it.

Linoleum Tile

Compared to vinyl tiles, linoleum is another option that’s not found on shower floors but is very popular in bathrooms. This eco-friendly material is biodegradable, and it is also one of the more affordable alternatives to tiles.

There are numerous shades of linoleum floor tiles, which can come in either solid colors or patterns of different hues. Linoleum tile floors perform well with water, although seams may still be problematic if properly sealed.

Cork Tiles

Cork flooring is warm to touch and very comfortable on the feet, and it is tinted in a range of colors and sizes. The flooring is great, but you should expect to apply multiple coats of polyurethane to protect against moisture penetration below. Installation of cork tiles is usually done with toweled adhesive, but you can also opt for click-in-place floating floor products.

Plastic Laminate Tiles

Laminate flooring is another good option, especially if you plan to remodel it. Much like the laminate used for kitchen countertops for several years, laminate doesn’t raise the height of the existing floor much, so it’s more straightforward to transition from one room to the next.

Even though laminate is durable and easy to clean, it has a shortcoming when it comes to moisture. Standing water can cause fiberboard cores to expand and buckle, which makes it one tile that is better suited to half-baths than full bathrooms.

When installing laminates, it’s crucial to caulk gaps along the walls, around the toilet, and underneath the tub to stop water from infiltrating. Additionally, laminates aren’t quite as variable as ceramic and vinyl.

Tips for retiling a shower floor

Here are the tips that will make your tiling job simpler.

  • You need to turn off every possible water supply to avoid getting yourself soaked. Also, use a grinder as you remove any existing grout between the tiles. The job will be much quicker.
  • You should wear safety glasses, gloves, and long sleeves when working around broken tiles. Bits of tile will fall in various directions at different speeds, and you don’t want to get hurt.
  • It is crucial that you get rid of excess mortar from the walls completely because the better you remove it, the better the new mortar will adhere. After meticulously removing mortar, wash the surface with water to remove the dust and even out the texture of the surface.
  • The height of tiles should be measured and marked with a chalk line just above each tile. Mortar should be applied below the chalk line, which will help the next layer of mortar adhere properly.
  • When everything is completed, make sure to apply a coat of grout sealant. This will ensure the grout holds well. Should it not hold well, it may erode due to the water, ruining your design.
  • When replacing the tile, you might want to consider a new shower head and custom shower doors that will match the look and color of your tiles. Remember that a shower caddy is another small ornamental item that can greatly transform your bathroom.

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