How Long Does It Take to Tile a Shower

Saving on labor costs by taking on the shower tiling project over the weekend seems not a bad idea. However, an interesting and crucial question to ask: How long will it take? And is it a worthy investment of your time? 
How long does it take to tile a shower?

Let’s go over how much estimated time it might take to tile a shower for a professional and a DIYer. Additionally, we have discussed the critical factors that significantly influence the project’s overall duration.

The Time Required to Tile Your Shower

Completion of a total tile work project requires a substantial amount of patience and time. However, before committing to a fixed timeframe, you should understand that the shower tiling project involves different steps and processes. That’s why many factors come into play when determining the duration, including the shower’s size, tile type, and design, and the installer’s experience.

In general, it may take 2-3 working days for an experienced or licensed professional to complete the tiling work of the shower. If you are willing to take responsibility for the project, it could take anywhere from 5 to 7 days or even longer to complete the tiling of your shower walls and floors properly.

That said, many variables influence the project’s timeline, as it involves a series of complex tiling tasks, including preparation, planning, mortar and grout application, and installation. Therefore, in the upcoming section, we’ll explore the factors that impact the duration of shower tiling.

Shower Size

The shower size is the first and most important consideration upon which duration is highly relied on. So it is no brainer that tiling a larger shower or bathroom will require more time comparatively.

Additionally, a larger and more spacious shower needs an additional number of tiles to cover the surfaces, in addition to other materials such as adhesive and grout. This is to say that you need to lay out and align more tiles when dealing with a larger shower.

Besides, the larger bathroom has more complex shapes and angles, which may require more cutting and fitting of tiles. This process can be time-consuming, particularly when intricate patterns or designs exist. 

A bathroom with marble floors and a bathtub.

Tile Sizes

Tile sizes are also a crucial matter of consideration, which affects the time span of project duration. Larger-sized tiles can cover up more space, reducing the installation duration.

On the other hand, with smaller tiles, you will need more tiles to be placed and grouted to cover the same area. On the brighter side, smaller tiles are easier to handle and work with, offering greater flexibility in contouring and creating intricate patterns. Moreover, smaller tiles are ideal when it comes to cutting tiles and working around corners to adjust.

However, that doesn’t mean that you will only use the tiles that save time or are easier to work with. 

For the shower floor, 1-inch square tiles are suitable and recommended. Because smaller tiles have more seams between them, a greater quantity of grout is applied to that seam. These grouting lines provide increased friction and grip to flexibly move around the wet shower floor. It reduces the risk of falling and slipping. 

When it comes to the wall,1 square inch to 4 square inches is recommended for a small shower, and 4 square inch tiles and 15 by 30 square inch rectangular tiles are ideal for moderate and large shower walls.

Preparation Work

Preparation before tiling requires a significant amount of time. The exact time required can vary a lot based on the shower’s current condition and the design’s complexity. If you intend to tile on an existing shower, remove the previous tile setup or materials. And this is a big and lengthy step of the project. 

Not only do you need to remove the older tile setup, but you may also need to repair any damage brought about during the demolition process. Applying a waterproofing membrane to the shower walls and floor and measuring the shower area to determine the layout of tiles are also crucial parts of preparation and take up a lot of time in the project. Apart from these things, the installer must do many things as preparation. 

Who is Up for the Task

The time it takes to tile a shower may also depend on how you approach it, whether you hire a professional tile contractor to handle the job or are doing it yourself (DIY). It is safe to say any experienced DIY’er can actually take less time than a beginner because they have the expertise to cut corners on time without compromising the overall quality of the project. 

However, DIY can also be a good way to go if you are an experienced DIYer and have enough time and patience to carry on. On top of that, you are saving your money on tiling the shower. 

If the shower is large and has complexity in design, it will be wiser to allocate the job to a professional. Because not being an experienced or regular DIYer makes the preparation work, such as demolishing existing tile, waterproofing, substrate repair, and cleanup, feel labor intensive.

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