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Tile installation materials for a shower

Before jumping right into installing a tile shower, let's make sure you have all the tile installation materials.

Quick Tip

Tile projects need three key installation products: Mortar, grout and caulk.

A shopping list of what tile installation materials to buy for your shower tile installation project.

The worst thing is getting into the middle of installing a tile shower and realizing you don't have all the tools you need. Or worse, realizing that you bought the wrong products. When buying tile installation tools, remember these important tips:

  • Your tile is only as good as what's underneath it, so you may need to buy product to level your surface first, especially your shower floor. It will save you hours of headaches later.

  • You must purchase a mortar that corresponds with your type of tile. For example, If you have porcelain tile, purchase porcelain mortar. If you're working with glass tile, refer to these specific glass tile installation instructions.

  • You must choose a grout depending on your grout joint. Unsanded grouts are used for grout joints 1/8" and smaller. Sanded grouts are used for grout joints 1/8" and larger. Grouts come in a variety of colors to complement your room design.

  • Purchase a caulk that exactly matches the color of your grout.

Beyond mortar, grout, and caulk, there are a couple more things to consider. Do you have the right trowel size to install your mortar? The packaging on your mortar will indicate the correct trowel size that you need to buy, in addition to the basics. The above picture lists the things that will be handy to have during your shower tile installation. You may need all of these items, or you may not. But you can get most of these items at home improvement stores, like Lowe's. In fact, you can rent mortar and grout mixing drills, tile cutters and even wet saws at select Lowe's locations.

Now that you have completed your shower tile installation pre-project planning and have purchased the tile installation materials you need, it is time begin waterproofing the shower and preparing shower substrate.

Our diy Expert

Ron Sheldon

Ron Sheldon is a tile and floor installation guru. He has far too much knowledge on obscure topics like grout and floor leveling. A passionate tile contractor by trade, Ron’s spent the past decade dedicated to educating people about tiling, and has great advice on how to perfect your project.

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Waterproofing a shower and preparing shower substrate