wikiHow to Create a Mosaic Shower Enclosure

Five Parts:Preparing The SurfacePreparing the DesignTiling the WallFixing and GroutingFinishing Up

Creating a mosaic shower enclosure is time consuming, but it's doable. It's a great way to spruce up your bathroom decoration!

Part 1
Preparing The Surface

  1. 1
    Select your wall. In this example, it's a stud partitioned wall.
  2. 2
    Put up some waterproof ply. Alternatively, you can use special shower cladding material; no need to use marine ply though. It may be a good idea to build some sort of access panel should access be required to the controls, but being a mosaic this isn't going to be that useful.
  3. 3
    Ensure your cladding is complete and ready for tiling.

Part 2
Preparing the Design

  1. 1
    Create a template using brown paper. Ideally, use the thick variety, but as long as it is strong it can be normal wrapping variety. Make sure it fits but isn't too tight. On the back of the paper draw circles, the more the merrier. This will help you match up your planned design accurately when you put it on the wall.
  2. 2
    Flip over the brown paper. Draw the design on the other side. Before you go too far, offer up the paper to the wall; the design should be on to the wall, the circles should be visible when the template is on the wall.
  3. 3
    Start with the border. If the design has a border do the borders first. Stick the mosaic to the brown paper using soluble PVA glue, with the side of the mosaic that needs to be exposed face down.
  4. 4
    Finish the borders all the way around, where you want them.
  5. 5
    Move on to your design. If there are any designs running through the design, do those first.
    • This design had gold and silver swirls as well as a scattering of gold and silver.
    • On this design there are seven colour bands ranging from dark blue to lighter blue, then light green to dark green, so start laying the tiles following the design.
  6. 6
    Improvise with your design as needed. The good thing about mosaic is you can't really get it wrong. You can start from both ends and make sections bigger or smaller depending on how many tiles of each color/design you have.
  7. 7
    Build up the design. Take your time!
  8. 8
    Complete your pattern.

Part 3
Tiling the Wall

  1. 1
    Use a scalpel or Stanley knife to chop the design up into manageable sheets.
  2. 2
    Apply tile adhesive to the ply and offer up the first sheet. You'll be applying the design "backwards" so that the brown paper is what you see (you'll remove it later). If you have some play at the bottom, start at the top.
  3. 3
    Add the other sheets. Use the circles that were drawn on the back to ensure the design is properly aligned.
  4. 4
    Let your work dry. Once the whole panel is in place, leave for at least 24 hours for the adhesive to dry.

Part 4
Fixing and Grouting

  1. 1
    Remove the paper. After twenty-four hours use warm water and soak off the brown paper and soluble PVA glue so you are hopefully left with the mosaic pattern. If you have used just the right amount of adhesive, the mosaics will be stuck but the adhesive will not protrude beyond the tile gap.
  2. 2
    Fix any tiles with too much or too little adhesive. If not enough adhesive was used you may have to manually re-stick a few individual tiles that hadn't got enough adhesive. If too much adhesive was used then the excess may have squeezed too far between the joints in which case it needs to be cut chiseled back; either way take time to tidy it up.
  3. 3
    Double check everything looks as you want it. Get ready for grouting!
  4. 4
    Smear on the grout. You have to then time it right so that the grout between the joints is dry enough to stay put but not so dry that you can't wipe off the grout from the tile face. For example, some grouts may allow two hours, but when you first smear on the grout you do need to have faith that you are going to be able to clean up the tiles.
  5. 5
    Complete the grouting. This is what you should be left with after grouting.

Part 5
Finishing Up

  1. 1
    Review your work. The panel will hopefully match any existing panels.
  2. 2
    Consider tile sealant. After the grouting has dried you can add some grout and tile sealant but if you have used high quality grout it is probably not necessary but it will help to keep the tiles clean.
  3. 3
    Replace all the shower fittings. Apply sealant to the bottom where the grout meets the shower tray.
  4. 4
    Enjoy your shower! When the sealant has dried the shower is now ready for use.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproof ply or shower cladding, measured to shower's requirements, plus nails, etc. for affixing and items needed for finishing the surface to readiness for tiling
  • Large sheet brown paper, sized to shower area you're adding a mosaic to
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Ruler (for straight lines)
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Mosaic tiles
  • Scalpel or Stanley knife
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grouting and applier
  • Tile sealant (optional)

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