How to Tile a Shower - Installation Tutorial Part 2
(If you haven't already read the first section of How to Install Tile in Showers, we recommend that you do so.)
After the hot mopped shower pan has cooled down, we filled the shower pan with water up to just below dam height. A measurement was taken (9 5/8”) to establish a known point and the pan was left overnight for a recommended water test.
The next day, we checked the area below the new pan for leaks; based on checking the measurement we determined that no water was missing.
Next install a suitable solid backing unless a scratch coat is desired. The solid backing here consists of ½” water resistant gypsum board (“green-board”) that is fastened to the studs, appropriately joint taped, and which has one coat of drywall compound on the joints and screw-heads.
We applied 15 pound roofing felt over the drywall from the top of the dam to the ceiling complete with 4” overlapping joints.
Allow the ceiling paper to overlap the wall paper if the ceiling is to be tiled. Make sure the felt overlaps the hot mop at least to dam height.
Fill in the areas between the float strips and use a metal straight or feather edge to cut off the excess mortar.
Set the lower side-wall float strips using a framing square to keep the back-wall and side-walls square to one another.
Set the upper float strips with the 6’ level in the same manner as that of the back-wall. Fill in the areas between the float strips as described above. Pull the float strips out of the mortar beds prior after filling and fill and smooth the beds.
After the mortar beds have cured, the layout begins. In this case the back-wall was a full tile installation. The only layout necessary was to establish the wall center-line and where the ledger boards would be fastened to stack the tile in fresh thin set mortar.
Next measure up from that mark to provide the proper slope. The bottom of the bottom row of wall tiles should meet this mark.
The reason for this method is simple. The installer floats the floor mortar to the bottom edge of the wall tiles automatically establishing the proper slope for the floor.
Use this mark to establish the lower working lines where the ledgers will be fastened. In this case the desire was to have an area below the ledger large enough for a trowel to pass once the lower tile were to be installed after the ledgers were removed.
For this tile installation, the distance needed to be two tiles; if placed too low, the fasteners for the ledgers might penetrate the shower pan. The distance was marked off on the back-wall and a spirit level was used to establish the level line.
Next the line was transferred to the side-walls in a similar fashion.
Next the ledger boards were attached to the back and side-walls with 2” drywall screws.
What's important here is to have straight ledgers and screws that you can easily remove later.
Mix the thin set mortar according to the Manufacturers instructions and “key in” the thin set to the wall with the flat edge of the appropriate sized notched trowel.