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Tile Selection Tips:
After removing the old existing tile and drywall, screw new panels of water resistant backer board directly onto wall studs forming the surfaces of the bath and shower areas.
After screwing on a straight board called a batten, which temporarily creates a level brace for the tiles, load a toothed trowel with thinset mortar and spread it onto the backer board. The key to the process is keeping the trowel at slightly less than 45 degrees to achieve a uniform bed.
With a small section of mortar applied, place a few tiles onto the batten board as close to final position as possible and shimmy each into place to create a suction bond. As you set each tile, insert plastic spacers for uniformity.
Before moving on to the next row, run your fingers across the seams to ensure the surfaces of the tiles are flush.
Once all the full-size tiles have been set, use a wet saw to cut any remaining tile to exact dimensions. Once positioned, allow the tiles to set for 10 hours before applying grout.
To prepare the grout, hand-mix it with water in a small bucket until achieving the consistency of toothpaste. Next, load a small amount of grout onto a rubber float and fill between the tiles using a wiping motion perpendicular to the seams. If any pinholes form, immediately fill them using your finger.
Once a small area is sufficiently grouted, gently wipe across the tile surface with a damp sponge to pick up any excess residue. Approximately 12 hours later, wipe clean any remaining grout film.
To further protect against water seepage, finish the tile work by running a bead of bathroom caulk between the tub, shower basin and along the newly tiled corners