How to design and tile a shower floor in a wet room

That tiling task was not as bad as I thought it would be. First, I had many sleepless nights worrying about it and did a lot of planning.. I used a 120cm x 90cm shower former and 60cm x 30cm porcelain tiles. Please note, they are all multiple of 30 which I think helps when tiling the shower former.

1. Work out where to place your tiles to get the most pleasing end result, laying them on the floor as accurately as possible and making sure you would not end up with very small pieces of cut tile along the edge.IMG_3329 (1024x683) Below, you can see what I was trying to achieve. I wanted the tiles to run along the floor and up the wall like a “road”, so I had to ensure the tiles would also look nice around the window.

bathroom tiling aligning

2. When, you are happy with the location of the tiles, cut the tiles to fit the space available. Please note how the tile line runs right across the centre of the drain. I also made sure that the drain was roughly in the middle of a whole tile (again, to avoid having very small pieces of cut tiles).

wet room - cut tiles to fit space3. Work out where roughly you want your slope lines to be. The shower former is virtually flat so you have a bit a room deciding where you want your lines. I wanted the slope to extend more into the room so I made one of the lines longer. Whatever you do, make sure that the slope tilts sufficiently for the water to drain away.

wet room - work out slopes

4. Before drawing the cutting lines, lay your tiles down as accurately as possible using the plastic spacers (I used 3mm spacers). Starting with the drain, I left one tile out so I could see the drain underneath. My other tile was positioned exactly across the centre of the drain (it does not look perfectly in the middle in my picture, this is only an optical illusion!), I was able to draw a mirror image of the drain onto my tile. Then, I drew the slope lines on that same side.

wet room - draw cutting lines

4. Place the missing tile over the drain and draw the other half of the drain like a mirror image. Make sure you number every single piece of tile as they will become like a puzzle when cut.

wet room - draw and number tiles

5. Cut your tiles, lay them down again to make sure that they all fit nicely (I did it about three times!). Now is the time to check slopes. I like to write “comments” on tiles like “+A” or “++A” to remind me that I will need to put a bit more adhesive on that specific place.

wet room - cut drain

6. Once you have checked that all tiles would correctly slope towards the drain, you can start laying them with adhesive, making sure you have waterproofed your floor to protect from water damage. There is plenty of information on tanking so I won’t go into details.

wet room - tank floor

7.  Before mixing your adhesive, make sure that you have all tools at hand and your tiles are arranged in the order you would feel more comfortable with.

wet room - prepare before laying with adhesive

Knee pads or a piece of foam to protect your knees. A suction cup in case you need to remove a tile with minimal disruption. A bucket with a large sponge and clean water. And most importantly, the solution to your puzzle.

wet room - prepare for puzzle

I drew my “tiling map” onto the polystyrene tile guide to know exactly which tile goes where so that my piece of paper would not be in the way or worse, would get lost!

Below, my shower floor after laying the tiles with adhesive.

wet room tile laid 8. Now, time for grouting, fitting the drain grate and put silicone sealant in the right places.wet room shower 2

9. We placed the bath panel last as we wanted to make sure there was no leaks!

IMG_3707

2 thoughts on “How to design and tile a shower floor in a wet room

  1. Great job and write-up thanks. You didn’t say what you did with the edges of the diagonal cuts, which I’d imagine are very sharp esp with porcelain tiles.

    Also, when cutting e.g. tile 3 diagonally into 3.1 and 3.2, I assume you have to lose a tiny bit of each piece to create a diagonal grout gap between the pieces. That must be tricky!

    • Hi, thank you! You raised a good question! I simply filed the cut edges with a manual tile file but watch out as it gets really hot (wearing those common yellow dishwashing gloves will help protects your skin from the heat and also from sharp edges as well as the adhesive which dries out the hands).
      As for cutting the diagonals, I run the diamond blade perfectly in the middle of the pencil line. The thickness of the blade itself removed enough material to create the necessary grout gap. Although, I did have to remove a very small slither on a couple of triangles. But before taking off any material, the tiles should be placed into position as accurately as possible. I hope this additional information makes sense. Kind regards,