How Long Does It Take To Tile A Shower? (Explained!)

How Long Does It Take To Tile A Shower

The deadline to make the new apartment ready-to-handover is too close. The only job left is to tile the showers. Some tile installers are claiming to finish the job within hours. Some are talking about days. Now you are wondering, how long does it take to tile a shower?

From putting up the backer board to sealing the grouts, tiling a shower needs around 3 days in total. There is no shortcut to glory. Tile-setters may say otherwise, but to enable the shower to be used for years, there is no alternative of investing adequate time in tiling it.

However, in this article, I will explain how long it takes to tile a shower and why. In addition, I will also answer some frequent questions about tiling showers.

How Long Does It Take To Tile A Shower? Step-By-Step Timeframe:

The exact time you will need to tile up a shower depends on how big or small the shower is and also on what tools you are using to do the job. In the following table, I have shown the approximate time needed to tile up the shower with a standard area:

Number Of StepsProcedureTime Needed
Step 1Putting up the backer board 1-2 hours
Step 2Install the tiles and wait1 day
Step 3Grout the tiles and wait 2 days
Step 4Seal up the grouts1 hour

7 Factors To Determine The Time Needed To Tile A Shower:

Now let us examine all the factors that play a role to determine the timeframe to install tile into a shower:

1. Tile Sizes

The bigger the tiles you are installing in the shower, less the time it will consume to be installed. Big tiles cover more spaces of the shower area, and smaller tiles do the opposite.

So, if the tiles are big themselves, the number of tiles reduces. the number of tiles reduces the time to install them.

2. The Shape And Size Of The Shower Area

If the shape of the shower area is a basic one, it will not take much time to install tiles there. But if it has some unique curves or some architectural twists, it will take more time to install tiles there.

You will need to cut the tiles to the exact shape to fit the unusual shower area. It will increase the time needed to install the tiles.

3. The Direction Of Installation Of The Tiles

Installing tiles vertically or horizontally is comparatively easy and takes less time. But the new trend of installing tiles is putting them in a diagonal direction.

To install the tiles in a diagonal direction, you need to do some extra calculations and cut a few more tiles in the process. Finally, the overall time to tile a shower increases.

4. Professional Or DIY Installation

Nowadays a lot of handy-but-small construction tools are available in the market. They are so easy to operate that more and more people are getting involved with the “Do It Yourself – DIY” movement.

A common drawback of DIY installations is it takes remarkably more time to do a job than a professional. The same goes for the installation of tiles in a shower. If you are doing it yourself, make sure to keep some extra time in hand.

5. Preparing The Wall

Putting up the backer board takes only 1 to 2 hours. But if the wall is not even or not clean enough, it will take some more time to prepare it.

While the plaster of the shower area is being done, instruct the workers to make the walls even. Make sure it is cleaned enough to start the tiling instantly. Otherwise, the total time of installing tiles in the shower will increase.

6. Type Of The Grout

There are mainly two types of grouts used in installing tiles. They are sanded and unsanded grouts.

Sanded grouts are more durable than unsanded grouts. Whereas, for vertical installations, many people prefer to use unsanded grouts for their better grip.

If you are using sanded grouts, you will need 2 days to get the grouts dried up. If you are using unsanded grouts, you have to wait an extra day for the grouts to get dried up. Only after the grouts are dry, you can apply the grout sealing.

7. Type Of The Grout Sealer

Before buying the sealing agent for the grout, carefully read the manual to know the exact time it needs to dry. Because the time to dry for grout sealer can vary a lot.

Some of the grout sealers take around 2 days to dry before you can use them. Fortunately, some other grout sealers in the market take only 2 to 3 hours to dry. So, your installation time for tiles in a shower can be frustratingly long if you fail to use the right grout sealer.

3 Tips On Installing Tiles In A Shower:

Now I will share 3 tips with you regarding the installation of tiles in a shower. I believe they will be helpful.

1. Check The Width Of Tile Joints

The type of grout you need to use while installing tiles in a shower depends on the width of the joints of the tiles. If the width is less than ⅛ inches, you should use the unsanded grout.

If the joint width of the tiles is more than ⅛ inches, you should use sanded grouts. Otherwise, the installation process will go in vain.

2. Check The Compatibility Of The Tiles

Not all tiles are made to be wet randomly. To be used in the shower, the tile has to be rated for wet application. You must make sure that you are buying the tiles that are usable in showers.

3. Do Not Make The Grout Watery

If you mix too much water in the mixing of the grout, you will have to face some negative consequences.

Too watery grouts will take much longer to dry up. So your estimation of installation time will fail and you will try to seal the grouts when they are not ready yet.

At the same time, if there is excess moisture in the grout, it will eventually come out in the process of evaporation. While it’s way out, the moisture will leave little holes in the grout, making them useless.

Commonly Asked Questions About Tiling A Shower:

Sanded Or Unsanded, Which Grout Takes Longer To Dry?

Sanded grouts need 2 days to get dry enough before sealing can be applied to them. On the other hand, unsanded grouts need around 3 days to dry up.

Different chemical compositions of the two types of grouts are the reason behind the difference in time to get them dried up. For a vertical tiles installation, many experts recommend using unsanded grouts.

How Long Should You Wait After Grouting A Shower?

You should wait at least 48 to 72 hours before using a shower after it has been grouted. Then you have to apply the grout sealer and wait another 2 hours before taking a shower.

It is very important to follow the timeframes of installing tiles in a shower. Otherwise, the durability of the tiles is challenged.

Can You Tile And Grout On The Same Day?

Generally speaking, after grouting the shower tiles properly you have to wait from 48 to 72 hours. So, it is not possible to tile and grout the shower area on the same day.

But there is a new technology available in the market. Some new types of shower tiles come with a ‘rapid set thin set’. It helps them get set within hours. If you are using this newly introduced technology, you can tile and grout the shower on the same day.

What Happens If You Grout The Tiles Too Soon?

You simply cannot grout the shower tile sooner than they are supposed to be grouted. You have to give it at least a day before you can grout the shower tiles after installing them.

Otherwise, very soon after the installation, the sealing of the grout will shrink and you will find some hairline cracks in the grout.

Can You Wait A Week To Grout The Shower Tiles?

You should grout the shower tiles after 24 hours they have been installed on the backer board. Waiting as long as a week may cause some problems.

Grouts work as a support for the tiles to stay in their positions. Tiles fitted in the walls vertically need more support than the floor tiles. So, if you wait for a week to grout the tiles, they may get displaced. The whole installation of shower tiles may get hampered if you delay grouting the tiles.


Showers are meant to be used for years. If there is a simple fault in their installation process, they might not last for long or work properly. It will harm your reputation too.

When thinking about the time it takes to tile a shower, you should also consider its durability.

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