Oct 16, 2013

Re-tiling the Shower

Once the cement board was fully cured, it was time for tile. Luckily this went fairly quickly since we’ve done this before and it was a fairly small area. We actually had to do it in 2 parts - part 1 was putting up all the tiles that fit late at night after the baby went to bed. Part 2 was the next night, cutting the tiles that needed to be trimmed down with a wet tile saw.

When the thinset had fully cured, we finally grouted the tiles around the shower hardware. It went fairly quickly, but we completely forgot how messy grout is. And of course we totally underestimated the time commitment and told ourselves, “Oh this will take 10 minutes! Tops!” So of course we didn’t start until rather late in the evening and had to finish it very close to the middle of the night… but the most important thing was that it was DONE. And looked really good. I love grout because it really camouflages all tiling sins. We also caulked once between the tub and the tile, but we need to do it a second time since caulk shrinks as it dries. While we're at it we'll also caulk all the way around the tub again too - fresh caulk is always a good thing!

Here you can see our new shower hardware. It's not very pretty and I loved the old set so much better, but in this case function is so much more important than form! I'd much rather have a working shower. Next steps are to clean up all the construction gunk and mess covering the bathroom (yellow dust, bits of old grout and cement, gray dust, gray grime, yellow grime, chunks of old cement board, bits of tile... YUCK!) and then when everything is pristine we'll seal the grout. Grout needs to cure for at least 48 hours before sealing - we'll do 2 coats now and then again in 6 months for the best results.


  1. This may be a dumb question, but did you remove the old caulk around the rest of the tub?

    1. No it's a good question! To remove old caulk you just need a utility knife, some pliers and brute force to pull it out. It usually comes out in big pieces. If it's really stubborn, they also make caulk remover to soften it (3M makes one). The last little bits can be scraped out with a putty knife. If there's mildew involved, it's good to wipe everything down with a bleach solution before adding new caulk.