How to Tile a Shower with Subway Tile…Plumbing Wall Tips

Today’s video shares tips on how to tile a shower wall, specifically the plumbing wall of a subway tile shower. We show how to start the first row of tile, what tools make this easier, and why we do what we do.

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The Montolit CGX Diamond blade we use can be found at

We started the first row of subway tile by finding the center of the wall and positioning our laser level roughly 4 inches above the shower pan.

Then we copied the subway tile patter that was on the opposite wall. This establishes symmetry in the shower. For example, the first tile we set was a full tile positioned just to the right of the center mark.

Always leave a gap between the first row of tile and shower pan tile for expansion and contraction. Same principle holds true for any change of plane, e.g. at vertical walls and shower curbs.

As we worked our way up the wall we staggered all the subway tile. The biggest challenge for some people is how cut notches in the tiles for curbs or mixing valves. Our video shows how we do that with Montolit’s CGX115 diamond blade

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  1. Josh Saavedra
    May 26, 2018

    Thanks for that great video. 👍

  2. Scott LaMantia
    May 26, 2018

    Love your videos!! Not sure if this has been addressed, but how does Steve handle covering outside corners with respect to using a tile that is "multi-dimensional"? I know, and have used, the aluminum trim rails, and they work great for flat tile…but I'm curious as to if anything is available for tiles with "waves", etc. in them. Thanks, and keep up the great work!!

  3. Sox4Life
    May 26, 2018

    Where is your laser level positioned in this video?

  4. Sox4Life
    May 26, 2018

    Specifically when you are working on the first course

  5. John p
    June 10, 2018

    Great video.. What size grout joint are you using?

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