How Long Does it Take to Tile a Shower? (A Guide)

In general, someone with a lot of experience can finish tiling a shower anywhere between six to eight hours, but someone working on their tile with no prior experience can take up to sixteen hours or even days. It will take longer if you need to source tiles you like first.

So how long does it take to tile a shower? Below is everything you need to know about tiling a shower.

What To Consider When You’re Tiling Your Shower

There are a lot of factors to consider when tiling a shower, and how long it can take impacts them. The size of the shower space you’re looking to tile, how much preparation you need before you start, if you have tiled a shower before, and the type of tiles you’re using.

Shower Size

The surface area you’re planning to tile is a major component of whether the process will be lengthy or short. If you’re tiling a single-stall shower, the process won’t take nearly as long as a larger shower. 

If you need to tile all three shower walls or the shower floor, it will add time. It will also take longer if your shower has built-in shelves.

Preparation

Preparation can add a lot of time. If preparing for tiling includes removing old tiles or starting your project from scratch, you have your work cut out for you. 

The preparation process can sometimes be the longest step to complete because it relies on different factors. 

Demolition of an old shower is a project in itself, but choosing the tiles and preparing your shower for tiles is a part of the tiling process. 

Experience

As we previously stated, if you’re going into this project blind, it will most likely take you longer than someone who knows what they’re doing. Reminding yourself of every step will add time, but if you do research prior, you may be able to cut some hours off the project. 

Type of Tile

The type of tile you choose for your shower is one of the biggest factors regarding how long the tiling process will take you. There are all kinds of options you can choose from that have different sizes and shapes. 

If the tiles are bigger, they can shorten the time you need to grout them, but if they have a more complex design, they can take longer to ensure you’ve grouted every space.

What Are the Different Tile Options

How long it can take you to tile a shower is impacted by the multiple tiling options available to you and which one you choose. The type of tile you’re installing can change the length of the process by shortening it or elongating it. 

These are the most popular tiles right now. Whether or not they are easy, hard, or average in the time it takes to grout them depends on what they’re made of and the shape they take. 

Glazed Ceramic

Glazed ceramic tiles are generally straightforward in their installation process. 

These tiles can be:

  • Rectangular-shaped
  • Square-shaped
  • Be a unique shape, such as an oval

They usually also have a beautiful sheen due to the glazing process. It’s up to you which tile choice you prefer, but larger tiles with simple patterns are the easiest to install. 

While the process seems simple, straight edges can be some of the most difficult tiles to grout. This difficulty is because they are designed to be level and perfectly perpendicular. Attaining the desired level of perfection can take time and patience. 

Glazed Porcelain

Glazed porcelain tiles are very similar to the ceramic ones mentioned above. But these tiles are more expensive due to the higher level of durability and water absorption. They’re offered in the same shapes and therefore take a similar time to install.

Natural Stone

Natural Stone has a lot more popular shapes than the glazed tile options. Natural stone can come in straight lines of rectangles and hexagons. It can also be rounded and multi-shaped. 

This type of tile won’t need as much attention to detail because it banks off on the non-uniformity of the stone. The goal is that the spacing between tiles is even, but they don’t need to be level like the glazed tiles.

For uniformity, use spacers while placing the tiles and measure before you begin grouting.

Glass

Glass is a popular shower tile, but the level of detail and care it requires during grouting makes it one of the longer installation times. Similar to ceramic tiles, most glass tiles are straight-edged and require levelness. 

The Steps in Tiling a Shower

How long it takes to tile a shower ultimately comes down to the steps and how long it takes you to complete them. Tile shape plays a role, but the steps don’t change even with the type of tile you’ve chosen. 

Preparation

Preparing to tile your shower is one of the longer steps you have to follow. It can also be one of the more time-consuming ones depending on what needs to get done. Removing old tiles, cleaning up the demo, and installing a backer board take time and effort. 

If you’ve started from scratch, you need to prepare the plumbing and other holes required in your shower for the shower head and handle. 

Preparation also includes choosing your tile and planning the pattern you want it to take. Once this is complete, you can begin the process of installing your shower tile.

Applying Mortar and Setting the Tile

The mortar is essentially the glue you use to attach your tiles to the wall. You want to apply an even coat, which won’t take long, but setting the tile can be time-consuming. 

This step is where the shape you’ve chosen can impact the time it takes you to complete this process.

It requires patience and attention to detail to complete this step, but once you’re done, you’re in the home stretch. 

Applying Grout and Cleaning the Tile

Once your tiles are set, grouting and cleaning won’t take you long. After spending so much time perfecting your shower tile, grouting feels easy, and cleaning is rewarding. 

You don’t have to worry about keeping the tiles level as you grout because they are already placed.

Sealing and Replacing Fixtures

Sealing your tile with caulk will make it fully waterproof and is the last step before replacing any fixtures you removed to complete the process. These include reattaching the shower head and handle.

Sealing won’t take long since you only have to seal the edges. The grout seals between the tiles, and the caulk gets the perimeter. Replacing your fixtures is the last step once everything has dried. This step is relatively quick.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still wondering how long the tiling process will take? Take a look at these commonly asked questions.

Can you tile a shower in one day?

Yes! As long as you’ve picked your materials and have done your research, you can finish the tiling process within a day.

Can you lay grout and tile on the same day?

We don’t recommend laying grout and tile on the same day. Rather, wait until your tiles are completely dry.

Final Thoughts

Tiling a shower is a lengthy process with or without experience, but it should usually take less than two days. If you’ve done your research and chosen your tiles, you can expect to finish tiling your shower in around 10-16 hours.

No matter how long it takes you to tile your shower, it’s a rewarding experience, and your hard work and time dedication will pay off.

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