How to Retile a Shower Area

How to Retile a Shower Area. Bathroom renovations are often difficult, but the results of even a small project can be tremendous. Retiling a shower area is a time consuming project, but it can be done in a weekend. Learn how to retile a shower area by following these steps.

  1. Use a grout removing tool, found at hardware stores, or a putty knife to remove the grout between the old tiles. This make it much easier to remove the tile and save the wall behind the tile.

  2. Insert the putty knife under the tile as far as it can go and pry the tile up. Use a small hammer to tap the back of the putty knife for more force. Work in small areas at a time to remove all of the tile.

  3. Observe the condition of the wall/floor after the old tile is removed. If there is adhesive stuck to the surface, use paint remover to loosen and remove it. A smooth surface is needed to begin the new tile.

  4. Check the condition of the drain and floor area of the shower. If anything is chipped or damaged from water, now is the time to make any repairs.

  5. Mix thin set mortar for the new tile. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely. Apply the thin set to the walls and floor where the new tile will be placed. Only apply enough thin set to cover a space that can be tiled within 15 minutes.

  6. Comb the wet thin set before adding the new tile. This helps the tile adhere better than to a flat surface of thin set. Place a row of new tile on the combed thin set and beat it in gently. Do this by placing a flat board on the tile to keep them even. Hit the board evenly with a rubber hammer to ensure the tiles are the same level.

  7. Align the tiles with spacers to keep the distance between them even. Remove the spacers once the tiles are all in place. After installing a few rows of tile, go back to check they are the correct distance from one another.

  8. Allow the thin set to cure before grouting the tile. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when mixing the grout. Apply the grout over the tile and use a grouting trowel to apply the grout between the tile. Wipe the tile with a wet sponge to remove excess grout.


Removing tiles can be dusty and dangerous. Always wear safety goggles, heavy gloves and an air mask.