spread on thinset and with a notched trowel
set tiles with spacers in between
Shim in spacers between the tile rows
Begin Setting the Tiles
Choose your setting material and prepare it. Mix enough thinset for the bottom row. Follow the directions on the bag of thinset as to what type of trowel you will need. At your designated starting point, trowel on some thinset and spread it with a notched trowel (Image 1). With the notched edge of the trowel, comb the material into ridges. Then set the tile into it by twisting slightly while pushing into the thinset. Remove the tile to make sure you have good coverage on the back. Reinstall and keep setting the tiles (Image 2) using spacers in between. Let the bottom row set for up to 24 hours. Pick out the right trowel for your thinset and tile size, also pay attention to spacing recommendations and use the right spacers. To achieve an even tiling job, use consistent measurements for the space between your tiles where the grout will go. This measurement may vary depending on what you prefer, but 1/8" is a good standard. Shim in some spacers between your tile rows (Image 3). How many and where will vary depending on what kind of tile you're using, so find out what your tile manufacturer suggests. Since most adhesives set in 20 to 30 minutes, quickly wipe away any excess. With thinset mortar, use a sponge and water. Repeat the procedure, setting each row of tile on top of the last row of tile. Continue until you reach the top of the shower stall.