Tile before or after attaching shower cubicle to wall

23 May 2008
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I have seen conflicting views on tiling a shower cubicle where the walls around the shower are not to be tiled. Some say install the shower then tile inside, others say tile the wall then install the shower on top. The former sounds easiest, the latter may look a bit odd as the tiled area will be slightly larger than the shower cubicle - is there a definitve answer?
Sponsored Links
Whichever option you chose, the "water-tightness" against the shower enclosure will depend on a silicone seal, so do it whichever way you want.
I've done it both ways for customers, but in my own house, I have tiled the walls in the shower area out to the nearest full tile and finished the edges with a chrome trim. This went out beyond the size of the shower cubicle by about a third of a tile. I then had the enclosure fitted and sealed. With the white tiles, silver trim and the enclosure, it sets it all off and looks smart. ....I think it looks more odd the other way where you put the tiles on to suit the internal dimentions of the enclosure....... You also get people who tile along the exact length/width of a bath, again, if there's room, I like to tile to the nearest whole tile, or one tile beyond the bath, and then tile down to the skirting board. It encloses the bath within the tiling and looks neater, as long as it doesn't interfere with the bath panel.This is all my personal opinion here. ;)

If you tile first you get a solid flat surface to silicone the enclosure and tray to and a more reliable seal. If you are good at it, you can also bring the corner to square if it is slightly off.
You don't risk damaging your new enclosure while tiling either and will have less to clean once finished.
Measure your enclosure and calculate where you start tiling so that the edge is flush with the enclosure, remember to allow for the thickness of the tile installation.

For me this makes the answer definite, surely there will be other opinions :)
Sponsored Links
Thanks for all your opinions, seems there is no one best way. I suppose one reason I wouldn't tile first is that the tiles are quite small (about 6 x 6cm) and I would be worried they would crack when drilled. On the other hand, I think it would look better.
Ah well, will have to do what I always do at times of indecision - get Mrs jon92 to decide.
Oooo small tiles in a shower environment - I hope the missus is good at cleaning grout. Also hope you tanked the wall.
Appreciate your concern. Tanking is on the agenda.Can't vouch for the grout cleaning but point taken anyway.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local