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Wearing safety goggles and gloves, cut along the edges of the tile of the shower surround with a reciprocating saw to remove the tile and backer board. Be aware of the depth at which you are cutting in case there is plumbing or another wall behind.
Once all of the tile is removed, and walls are cleared of debris, install new backer board with the factory edge at the bottom. Maintain a ½” gap between the backer board and the top of the shower pan to prevent water from wicking up into the backer board.
Apply thinset evenly to the backer board with smooth edge of a notched trowel. Use the notched edge to create ridges in the mortar. Work in sections so mortar won’t dry before the tiles are applied.
Install the tiles applying uniform pressure and slightly twisting them into place to embed them in the mortar (Image 1). As you tile, cut tiles to size with a wet saw to fit corners and around plumbing fixtures (Image 2). Always wear eye protection when working with power tools.
TIP: Consider using manufactured stone. It’s about half the price of natural stone and gives you the same great look.
Place plastic spacers in between tiles to maintain a consistent space between joints.
Let tiles set for 24 hours before grouting.
Remove the spacers and spread the grout on the tiles with a grout float. Press firmly to push grout over the tile and into the joints. Remove excess grout with the float, then wet a sponge and wipe diagonally across the tile. Squeeze out excess water before wiping again and change water if it becomes dirty. If a haze remains on the tile surface after grout dries, use a soft cloth to buff it out.
After grout has cured completely, use a small sponge brush to apply sealer to the grout joints.