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New shower - tile first? or install shower first and tile round?

I have a new shower to be installed, plus I'm re-tiling the en-suite room.
What's the best order to do this?
Obviously I remove all tiles and shower fittings first -
Then should I tiles the wall first? If so, is it best to mark the position of the new shower unit and tile to overlap, still leaving an area of plastered wall behind the shower, or should I tile everywhere and mount the shower over the tiles?
Or should I install the shower first, and then tile up to and around the shower?

18Oct - Whilse in an ideal world I kinda agree with Kelly plumbing and others, and while it would be great to spend a few hundred quid on a plumber (times "x" for the number of jobs), some of us don't have that kind of money to spare right now!
Thanks to London Lofts for actually answering the question, guys! That is exactly what I wanted to know.
Be assured, I look to the professionals when I'm out of my depth, but then that's why these question forums are here?! If you've never done it before, then how do you know?

18Oct - Just realised that London Lofts answered the question relating to the shower tray, but it's the wall shower itself that I was speciifically asking for?
It's a co-ordination problem, really - if I get a plumber in to install the shower, should I leave the tiling until afterwards, or should I tile the whole wall first, or should I mark the shower location and then leave a gap in the tiling?

7 Answers from MyBuilder Plumbers

Best Answer

Too many people not willing to give advice and just saying if u don't know that give me the job. It's called ask the tradesman either give the answer or sshhh.

Tile floor 1st, fit shower tray then tile the walls. Having the tiles under the tray means if the silicone cracks its much harder for water to get under the shower tray

Hope this helps


Answered 18th Oct 2012

Very much depends on what type of mixer assembly, (shower valve), is being used. Also as to whether there is any access behind the proposed shower valve and indeed the construction type of the wall itself. I.E. Dry linded / blockwork ?

In some cases, (not ussually ensuites), the shower location may well back on to a cylinder / airing cupboard. In this case the walls could be fully finished first, and then the pipe-work routed through the wall to the new mixer. Assuming that is you are choosing a surface mount mixer.

If you are using a concealed mixer / semi-concealed mixer then, chase out the walls, install suitable Hot & Cold ppe-work to the correct centres, typically 150mm, but check and if necessary ' Dry fix' the mixer first. liven up the pipe-work to checks for leaks before plastering and tiling the wall.

Tip : use solered end caps on the end of the pipe-work coming out of the wall. These will allow you to drill holes in the tiles and fix over.

Once tiling & grouting is finished install mixer / outlets / riser rail.

N.B. If the walls are plasterboard, I would suggest replacing them around the shower area with a cement based board. Like Baker Board.


Adrian Hagger
southsea plumbing.


Answered 19th Oct 2012

tile first and fit shower after


Answered 11th Feb 2014

I sometimes tile the walls, then fit tray assuming wall square than glue tray in with a tube or two of silicone no water can get through that.
And another silicone bead on top. Also there is no chance of damage to shower tray when using big tiles, if it done with the tray fitted first there can be movement damaging sealant


Answered 15th Nov 2015

if you dont know that, then get the pros in! post the job!



Answered 17th Oct 2012

With kelly plumbing on this.This kind of job by diy,always goes tits.In response to london lofts,ADVICE is what we have given! When this goes wrong,or looks shabby as s*** and the guys small budget has been wasted,a few kind words will mean little.


Answered 19th Oct 2012

Tile first, shower later.


Answered 2nd Jun 2021

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