How To Tile A Shower Without Threshold

Modern showers can now come with a curbless design. It looks current and makes the bathroom look wide. But you may wonder how to install tiles in a shower without a threshold and the difficulty with curbless showers. We researched this topic to provide the answers to you.

Here's a guide to tiling your curbless shower:

  1. Spin the drain out of the base.
  2. Tip the drain upside down and back butter using a modified thin-set mortar. It protects the drain from cracking while stepping. You'll also need to butter around the drain with the thin set without covering any holes or openings.
  3. Spin back the drain to the shower floor or its base. Make it tight and aligned with the drain.
  4. Sample fit the tiles on the shower floor with the plastic covering still on and cut the tiles with the correct measurement when done. The plastic covering will hold the tiles together while you're cutting them.
  5. Dry-fit the cut tiles with an allowance of between 1/8 and 1/4 inches for contraction and expansion joints. Complete the dry-fit throughout the shower floor.
  6. Label each cut tile to determine the order of installing the tiles.
  7. Apply a modified thin-set over the shower floor from the flat side to the edges.
  8. Carefully lay each cut tile in place without tamping or pressing down yet to ensure alignment and bonding of the tiles.
  9. After laying all the tiles, considering the expansion and contraction joints, press the tiles down with a grout float. Flatten the surface and feel it with your hands to detect any crumbles or unevenness.
  10. Use a sponge to clean the tile layer and a paintbrush to tidy up the gout joints.
  11. Back butter the rest of the smaller tiles to be placed near the drain and secure them in place.

There's a lot to think about tiling a curbless shower. It may seem challenging, but it will be worth it in the end, especially if you want to upgrade your old bathroom to a stylish one. Read more for tips about tiling a shower without a threshold.

Building site, installing new tiles , How To Tile A Shower Without Threshold?

Building site, installing new tiles , How To Tile A Shower Without Threshold?

Tiling A Shower Without Threshold

A threshold in the shower is that small wall you need to walk over before entering the shower area. It prevents water from spilling out of the shower area while you bathe.

Meanwhile, a shower without a threshold or a curbless shower has a seamless bathroom design between the shower and the bathroom floor. Often, there's a glass door or wall as a divider instead of a curb.

We've gone through the steps on how to tile your curbless shower, but you'll need to prepare for it first. Here are some tips to look at before starting your project.

Tools To Use

Tools To Use - Spreading wet mortar before applying tiles on bathroom floor.

Use proper ">tools to flawlessly put the tiles without harming the shower floor. They will also contribute to a clean and smooth result. Here are the things you'll need:

  • Modified thin-set
  • Floor trowel
  • Measuring tool
  • Tile cutter machine
  • Marker
  • Painter's tape
  • Grout float
  • Sponge
  • Paintbrush

Click this to view this modified thin-set mortar on Amazon.

Choosing Tiles

Choosing Tiles - Frame of various decorative tiles samples

Selecting tiles for your curbless shower is necessary to get the proper slope of your subfloor as well as match the drain's placement and floor safety of your shower. Here are things to follow in choosing tiles for your shower:

  • Size of tiles. An integrated drain needs smaller tiles since larger tiles can't make room for curves. Thus, you need smaller tiles to accommodate the limited space.
  • Support the slope. Choose tiles that support the proper slope for the exact drainage.
  • Safety. The tiles should be anti-slip. It's better to place smaller tiles in the shower and then opt for larger tiles for the wall.

Curbless Shower Considerations

Curbless Shower Considerations - Tiled wet floor of a bathroom with shower head spraying water. Metal drain.

Tiling a curbless shower demands a lot of planning. These are the things to consider in putting tiles in a shower without a threshold:

  • A sunken subfloor. The depth should be enough to lodge the overall thickness of each material to be put under the tile.
  • Shower dimensions and drain placement. They are essential in deciding the needed depth. It will also rule the level of thickness of the floor slab, foam shower base, and other materials in developing a curbless shower.
  • A suitable installation method. Choose a kind of installation for your bathroom. It often varies in thickness, but take note that it is easier to set up thinner designs.
  • Flange and linear drains. Joining the drain can result in a thinner shower base which requires 3/4 inches maximum for the predesigned pan or mortar bed.
  • Drain location. The most effective place to put your drain is off from the shower entry. Notice where water will flow; that's where you should ideally place the drain.
  • Additional drain. Consider thinking of constructing another drain to prevent water from stagnating throughout the bathroom floor in case there's a large outflow of water from the shower. It is recommendable for open-style or spacious showers.

Advantages Of A Shower Without A Threshold

Advantages Of A Shower Without A Threshold - Hand of man wearing orange rubber gloves is used to convert scrub cleaning on the tile floor.

A curbless shower not only serves as a modern stylish looking bathroom but is also beneficial in different ways. Here are some of the advantages of having a shower without a curb.

  • Convenient. It allows you to move freely from one area to another in your bathroom. It is also friendly to persons that have difficulty in mobility, like the elderly.
  • Roomy. It makes the curbless shower spacious and neat-looking without a halt in the middle and putting glass walls or doors. It gives room for ventilation and a little luxury.
  • Clean. It is easier to clean since it does not have a lot of curbs and sides to brush. It does not provide many places where bacteria or dirt can hide and quickly grow.

Cost Of Installing A Curbless Shower

Cost Of Installing A Curbless Shower - Floor and wall tiling work of a bathroom wet room installation

The cost depends on what kind of installation you want to have. Are you trying to install a curbless shower from the ground up? Or are you replacing your old bathroom with a new shower without a threshold?

Nevertheless, the installation is not cheap; the larger the plan, the more expensive the cost. But, on average, it can cost between $15,000 to $18,000, or even more.

How Do You Waterproof A Curbless Shower?

Waterproofing is advisable not only for curbless showers but for bathroom renovation. Over time, the materials of your subfloor can be prone to cracking and straining. That's why you also need to be strategic in the kind of subfloor materials you use.

Porcelain is not recommendable in bathrooms since there will be cracks and water infiltration due to gaps and fissures. It will result in rotting and drainage damage.

Click here to view this Schluter 5" x 33' on Amazon.

How Do You Finish The Outside Edge Of A Tile Shower?

How Do You Finish The Outside Edge Of A Tile Shower - Detail of a cannula applying silicone to the seal of a bathroom sink

It's unpleasant to see rough edges on your wall or shower floor in installing a shower. Proper installation with the important materials is the key to smoothening the edges of a tile shower.

Read this easy guide on how to even out the edges of your shower's tiles:

  • Caulking agents should be applied thinly on every corner to finish and seal the tiles. This is recommended for raw edges and stones, mosaics, and porcelain. It is also cost-efficient.
  • You can use rail moldings for various types of tiles and your drywall.
  • Metal edges have a variety of designs and polishes. You can install it both indoors and outdoors since it is versatile.
  • Custom bullnose edges are suitable for natural stone and other porcelains, which are stable throughout. Pound, smooth, and finish the tile edges to make a rounded edge.

Summing Up

Laying tiles in a curbless shower may look similar to tiling a curbed shower. Tiling needs exact measurement, flattening the surface, leaving enough space for contraction and expansion joints, and choosing the right tiles for your shower.

Find out more about shower floor fixes in these posts:

How To Fix Uneven Pebble Shower Floor

Bathroom Floor Tiles Are Moving – Why And What To Do?