When it comes to installing slate tiles in the shower most people think that the job is best left to the professionals; but for those DIY’ers who would rather install their slate tile themselves, this guide will help walk you through the process, also teaching a valuable skill at the same time.
To determine how many slate tiles are needed for the shower you will need to measure the dimensions of the shower walls and floor, then calculate the amount of slate tile that you will need. This, of course, will depend on the size tile that you choose. It is a good idea to purchase a few extra tiles to allow for breakage or mistakes. Slate tile has different colors running through them, and having a few extra tiles allows a little more versatility when laying the tile out. It is best to buy all of the tiles you need at the same time. This will ensure the color and shading of the slate tiles that you desire.
The tools that you will need for installing slate tiles are:
- Tile saw
- Carpenter’s level
- Bucket/sponge or soft cloth
- Safety glasses
- Paint roller
- Notched Trowel
- Grout float
The materials that you will need for installing slate tiles are:
- Drywall tape and/or waterproofing compound
- Tile adhesive
- Slate tiles
Make sure and remove towel racks or other fixtures that are in the shower area to be tiled. Cover exposed areas and nail or screw holes with drywall tape to help keep the moisture out; then with a paint roller, apply sealer or waterproofing compound to the walls. This step seals the walls so that they do not get wet. Moreover, you can learn more tricks from ImpactDriverGuide to make sure that you get the very best results with your slate tile installation project.
Before installing your slate tiles, do a dry run on the floor to get the shading matched on the tiles the way that you want them. At this point, I take a pencil and number the tiles on the back, so when I put them on the walls, they end up in the position that I want them. This is also a good time to make any cuts in the tiles that you will need; especially for the tiles that will go around accessories. That way, there will be no need for stopping once you start to lay your tiles.
I find it easier when tiling a shower, to do the walls first, and then the floor because I don’t have to wait for the floor tiles to set before I stand on them to do the walls. It saves a lot of time.
With a trowel spread your adhesive on about a 3′ x 3′ square; butter the back of each tile with adhesive. With a rubber mallet, gently tap each tile into place. Insert the spacers so that they are standing up. It will give even spacing throughout the installation process, and they are easy to remove once the tiles are set. As you are laying the slate tile, make sure you use a level periodically, to make sure your rows of tile are even. Use a damp, soft cloth or sponge to remove excess mortar. Continue laying your tiles section at a time until the job is done.
After the tiles have set about 24 hours, remove the spacers, and fill the spaces with sanded grout; it works best with slate tiles. This is done by taking some grout and spreading it into place with a sponge float. Tilt the float to a 45° angle, and work the grout back and forth over the slate so that it goes into the joints. It is also a good idea to use a damp cloth or sponge to keep the grout wiped off the tiles as you go, rinsing frequently. Once you have all of the groutings finished, you can shape the grout with a grouting tool, by running it over the joints.
Allow the tile in the shower to set for about 30 days before sealing. It is important that you do not seal the tiles and grout in the shower before everything is completely dry.