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How to Tile a Steam Shower

DIY expert Amy Matthews shows how to tile the walls in a steam shower.

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Step 1: Mark the Height of the Chair Rail

Measure and mark for height of chair rail so it falls between the niches. Transfer that measurement to the other walls.

measure and mark for height of chair rail

Step 2: Check for Level

Place a few tiles against the wall and check for level. If the floor is not level, you can shim the tiles and build up the grout line.

place a few tiles against wall and check for level

Step 3: Make Reference Lines and Set the Spacers

For a standard brick pattern, use a level to make two vertical reference lines. Set spacers on the floor for a grout line.

Step 4: Back Butter and Set the Tiles

Back butter the tile with thinset using a 1/4" x 1/4" square-notched trowel (Image 1) and set tiles working your way up to the chair rail (Image 2).

Step 5: Set the Chair Rail

Back butter the chair rail corner pieces and set in place (Image 1). Find center point between the two pieces, then center the first chair rail piece on that mark (Image 2). Set the chair rail working out toward the corners (Image 3). Any pieces that need to be cut will then be the same size on both sides.

Step 6: Set the Accent Tile

To set the accent tile, lay out the field tiles and set the accent tile on top. Trace around the accent tile (Image 1), then cut the field tiles on a wet saw. Start setting the field tile (Image 2).

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