Master Bathroom

The Shower Tile Installation Is Finished!

Note 12/3/21: All is well with us! I just reached a point of absolute burnout with the DIY projects, and needed a bit of time to step away and refresh. I had intended that to last just two or three days, but then three days turned into a week, which turned into two weeks. 😃 But we’re fine, and I hope to get back to it this weekend. ❤️

I was beginning to think that I wouldn’t see this day until sometime in 2022, but I finally finished installing all of the tile in the master bathroom shower last night. It still needs to be cleaned up and grouted/caulked, but that should be a relatively quick project compared to the actual tiling.

Earlier this week, I still needed to tile the shower niche…

bathroom shower progress 11-15-21 - 3

…as well as the narrow wall of the shower (i.e., the wall where the bathtub will sit just on the other side).

bathroom shower progress 11-15-21 - 5

Well, as of last night, both of those areas are done, which means that all of the shower tile has been installed.

Here’s a look at how I did the niche tile…

shower tile installation finished - 1

That’s not quite what I had planned, but I tried about ten different tile layouts with three different tiles used individually in various layouts, as well as in combinations with each other (the shower wall tile, the glass penny round accent tile, and the shower floor tile), and I just wasn’t happy with any of them. Of all of the options, this simple vertical application of the wall tile was the one I liked the most since I felt like the vertical arrangement was a nod to the smaller vertical tiles around the bottom of the walls. Of course, all of this will be a lot less noticeable when it’s all grouted, so everything will look a lot more subtle than it does now with the dark (shadowy) grout lines showing.

And here’s the entry wall with all of its tile…

shower tile installation finished - 2

That wall took a long time because I hadn’t yet installed the vertical tiles along the bottom, and each one of those has to be measured and cut individually. In other words, it’s not like I can just cut a batch of tiles at 4.5 inches because that floor is sloped. And since I’m not a tile pro, I’m pretty slow at the specialized cuts. But once I got that bottom row done, the rest was pretty simple and straightforward.

Sadly, that’s the wall with the main water control that requires the 8-inch back plate that I somehow managed to lose. So I had to order another one, and the shower won’t officially be finished until that arrives. But since that control is on the side wall, we can use the shower even without that plate installed.

When I finished that, I was just about to empty my mortar bucket and get everything cleaned up, and I realized that I had enough mortar to finish up the floor in the toilet area. It has looked like this for quite a while now…

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 6

I’ve been dreading this for a while now because the unfinished area at the entry to the toilet area was narrower than the area at the back. And it wasn’t just a little off. It was just over an inch off.

toilet area floor tile installation finished - 3

So instead of just installing full, intact sheets of the 2 x 2 tiles, I ended up cutting the sheets into strips of tiles (6 tiles on each strip), and installing the strips very carefully so that the grout lines gradually got wider towards the back wall.

toilet area floor tile installation finished - 1

I was both shocked and very pleased that that plan seemed to work out just fine, and I’m confident that once it’s grouted, no one will be able to tell that there’s anything different about those grout lines from front to back. In fact, I can’t really tell with it as it is.

So I’m very excited to have that tile installed as well. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I should be able to get all of this (the whole shower and this floor) cleaned up, grouted, and have the shower fixtures installed this weekend. I will feel such a sense of accomplishment to finally have these things done!!

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42 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate S
    November 19, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Hooray for you! An inspiration for all of us… and thanks be to the Good God 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather Gillett
    November 19, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Great Job, as usual!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Melody
      November 30, 2021 at 11:34 am

      Amazing Kristi! And I would never know you spaced that floor tile!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Leah
    November 19, 2021 at 11:10 am

    So darn proud of you!

    For all of it: your vision, your determination, your ability to think on your feet and change course if necessary.

    This bathroom is going to be an absolute haven!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane
    November 19, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Congratulations, Kristi! That was a lot of hard work! Hope you will take next week off to enjoy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    elle
    November 19, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Oh my!! It looks so very nice. The vertical tile in the niche is a great repeat of the bottom row of til — it looks so intentional (because it is!). And the toilet floor too! That was a great fix in there, to widen the grout lines slightly from front to back. Just wow! And it isn’t finished yet and it still is wow!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    RAinNC
    November 19, 2021 at 11:19 am

    YAY and congrats!!!!!!!!!!!! Lookin good.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Terry
    November 19, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Congratulations!!! Do you feel 20 pounds lighter now?
    We were all cheering for you, and knew you would get it done. Take a break and eat some turkey!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
    P.S. I forgot to say you did a wonderful job, and it gonna be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Valentina
    November 19, 2021 at 11:22 am

    The email just popped up in my inbox, I read the title and had a big smile on my face 🙂
    Great job Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pam
    November 19, 2021 at 11:22 am

    amazing! well done – love your updates, you’re getting there!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marla
    November 19, 2021 at 11:27 am

    You can’t see me, but I’m doing my happy dance for you right now!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nichola
    November 19, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Congrats, it’s looking so good!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tina B
    November 19, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    That was an absolutely BRILLIANT idea with the floor tiles in the toilet area! It looks fantastic.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura
    November 19, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    It looks wonderful! I like the tile in the niche. Your solution to the floor tile in the toilet area was genius!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vivian
    November 19, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Well done. Your spa retreat is almost complete.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shirley
    November 19, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Great job! It looks wonderful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy
    November 19, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Wow! Great work! You are an inspiration!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Terrillr
    November 19, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Yay Kristi! Beautiful job, now you can enjoy Thanksgiving with your family.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    November 19, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Wow congratulations on that accomplishment! It looks wonderful. I love how you did the niche – looks like it belongs, yet a little different and interesting. Also I admire your solution to the less than perfect square toilet area. What a genius you are! 😂 It is fantastic that you can roll with things, and figure out solutions. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    November 19, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    I’m so proud of you, Kristi, and of Matt for spurring you on during those tough days. We can all relate to how you handled the frustrations in the bathroom and in the gym and the solutions you thought of for each of them— now that I think about it, that was true in many other spaces in the house, as well. It really is encouragement for us, your readers, to stick with our projects to the end, just as you do repeatedly.

    You both will enjoy this shower space so much. And then the thought of you soaking in that beautiful tub as you enjoy the lovely mural makes me especially happy for you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    November 19, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    What?! How super awesome is this!! And how great the niche looks with the vertical tile, and how clever the fix is with the floor tiles on the bathroom side! See, a little brain resting works wonders to find solutions when it gets fried. The bathroom is looking so good, Kristi! Hoping the rest all goes smoothly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen Shinn
    November 19, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Genius solutions, love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mona Keegan
    November 19, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Fantastic installation! You are a star for sure.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    November 19, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    You’ve done an absolutely incredible job Kristi. It was a big, difficult and tedious job, but you’ve stuck to it, done it and it looks fantastic. You should be so proud of your achievement, as we are of you. Well done!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Disch
    November 19, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Nice fix on the last toilet area! I realized that tiling is largely a ‘trick of the eye’ and if your eye sees tiles as even and straight and correct, then it will be so, even if you know the truth about those grout lines! I did a similar trick on the only bath tub I have so far tiled to have full tiles all the way up to the ceiling, with just a little wider grout lines above the band. Worked like a charm…. Congrats on getting the tiling done, you’re an inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca B
    November 19, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Looks great, I can’t tell that there is a difference in width. You came up with a clever work around

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    November 20, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Awesome, Kristi! Your bathroom is looking so good! But I never had any doubt! You always come up with a solution to whatever the problem is! And it always looks great! I know you are so happy to have it done! <3

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andy
    November 20, 2021 at 3:29 am

    Blimey!
    I feel exhausted just following your progress, let alone doing it.

    It has been a fantastic lesson in the good the bad and the ugly of tiling and decision making. Actually far more informative and useful than a DIY book.

    Hat’s off : great job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    sally
    November 20, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    I am sure you already told us the answer to my question and that I just missed it, so please forgive my asking: what is your plan for the very top of the walls and ceiling in the shower?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      November 20, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Crown molding. I hadn’t mentioned it in a post because I knew I’d get some objections to putting crown molding in a shower. 🙂 But that’s the plan.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Alta Craig
        November 21, 2021 at 7:53 am

        They make polystyrofoam molding now, that would be perfect for the shower. Congratulations on finishing the tiling; that was a monumental effort. It’s looking more and more beautiful each day, and will give you many years of usefulness and pleasure. Hope you and Matt have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill
    November 20, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Holy cow!! We’ve doe a whole shower bath very soon
    Olaf time this. It’s work! You have an amazing talent and capability for these tough projects! Guess what?…I’m five feet tall too Very hard worn and it looks amazing!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    November 21, 2021 at 7:47 am

    I love the solution on the toilet floor, it is one of these things that you only learn from experimenting (or being able to watch somebody else doing the experimenting…) thank you for that information, who knows when this might come in handy!
    Thanks to following you for a long time now, I am so bold as to try and install a water faucet with the aid of my hubby and our neighbour who offered his help – and if we succeed we will save big, but more so, I will feel so empowered! I’m so glad for you sharing your experience!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Adele
    November 29, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I like your niche solution. I never understand why people get all fancy on the niche tiling when it is just going to be covered up with bottles of shampoo and other products, even if they are decanted in to prettier vessels. Looks good on Instagram, though!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue2
    December 3, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Hope you and Matt are ok. Haven’t heard from you for awhile.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      KellyG
      December 3, 2021 at 8:35 am

      I hopped on this morning and thought the same thing. Saying a prayer for ya’ll!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      December 3, 2021 at 10:02 am

      We’re fine!! I’m just in a DIY slump, feeling so burned out. 🙂 I didn’t meant to be away for so long, but one day turned into five, and one week turned into two. But all is well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maryann P
    December 4, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the update. I’ve been checking everyday and was really getting worried.😊 Glad its just normal DIY burnout!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele
    December 5, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Your solution for the toilet room floor tile is brilliant!
    All of the tile looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see it when it’s all completed.
    Hope you are enjoying your time off during this holiday season. God bless. <3