How to Tile a Bathtub Surround: A Step-by-Step Guide for a Stunning Bathroom Upgrade


Hey there, Reader! Are you ready to transform your ordinary bathtub surround into a stunning focal point in your bathroom? If you’ve been dreaming about upgrading your bathroom’s aesthetic, then learning how to tile a bathtub surround is the perfect project for you. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of achieving a professional-looking tile job that will leave your guests in awe. Get ready to elevate your bathroom’s style and take pride in your DIY skills!

how to tile bathtub surround

Choosing the Right Tiles

The Importance of Tile Selection

Before diving into the tiling process, it’s crucial to choose the right tiles for your bathtub surround. Consider the style and aesthetic you want to achieve in your bathroom. Are you going for a sleek and modern look or a rustic and classic feel? The type of tile you choose will greatly impact the overall design. Ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone are popular choices that offer durability, versatility, and a wide range of design options.

Getting Creative with Tile Patterns

While traditional horizontal or vertical tile layouts are always an option, why not have some fun and get creative with your tile patterns? Consider creating a herringbone, chevron, or subway tile pattern for added visual interest. These unique designs can instantly elevate the look of your bathtub surround and make it a true showstopper.

Preparing Your Bathtub Surround

Ensuring a Clean and Smooth Surface

Before applying any tiles, it’s crucial to prepare your bathtub surround properly. Start by thoroughly cleaning the walls to remove any dirt, grease, or soap scum. Use a mild detergent and a scrub brush to ensure a clean surface. Next, inspect the walls for any cracks or imperfections. Fill in any gaps with a waterproof sealant and sand down any rough areas to create a smooth canvas for the tile installation.

Measuring and Marking

Precision is key when it comes to tiling, so take the time to measure and mark your bathtub surround accurately. Use a level and a pencil to create a reference point for the first row of tiles. This will serve as a guide to ensure that your tile installation remains level and straight throughout the process. Additionally, measure the height of your bathtub surround and calculate the number of tiles needed, accounting for any cuts or trim pieces.

Tiling Your Bathtub Surround

Applying the Thinset

Now it’s time to apply the thinset mortar, which will act as the adhesive for your tiles. With a notched trowel, spread a thin, even layer of thinset on the wall, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Be sure to work in small sections to prevent the thinset from drying before you can install the tiles.

Installing the Tiles

Carefully press each tile into the thinset, starting from the reference point you marked earlier. Use tile spacers to ensure even spacing between each tile. Continue this process until the entire bathtub surround is covered with tiles. For any necessary cuts or trim pieces, use a tile cutter or a wet saw to achieve precise measurements.

Grouting and Finishing Touches

Grouting the Tiles

After the thinset has cured for the recommended time, it’s time to grout the tiles. Choose a grout color that complements your tile selection and mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a grout float, spread the grout over the tiles, making sure to fill the gaps completely. Remove any excess grout with a damp sponge and allow the grout to cure before proceeding to the next step.

Sealing and Cleaning

Once the grout has fully cured, it’s important to seal the tiles and grout to protect them from moisture and stains. Apply a tile and grout sealer according to the product instructions and allow it to dry. Finally, clean the tiles with a non-abrasive cleaner to remove any remaining grout haze or dirt, revealing the stunning result of your hard work and dedication.


Congratulations, Reader, you’ve successfully learned how to tile a bathtub surround! With a little patience and the right techniques, you’ve transformed your bathroom into a luxurious oasis that will impress both family and friends. Enjoy your newly tiled bathtub surround and be proud of your DIY accomplishment. If you’re eager for more inspiring home improvement projects or need further guidance, check out our other articles for valuable tips and tricks. Happy tiling!

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