Tub Walls

(Also see Shower Walls)

Tiling a wall above a bathtub can help turn an outdated bathroom into a fresh and renewed space in your home.

For a beginner-level installation project, choose small ceramic wall tile such as 3″ x 6″ subway tile with lugs (lugs are like built-in spacers that allow tiles to be placed tightly together with a predetermined small joint for grout). A premixed tile adhesive, such as MAPEI’s Type 1 mastic or MAPEI’s Premium Mortar for tile and stone, works well for small ceramic wall tile over cement board. Using a premixed grout, such as MAPEI Flexcolor CQ, adds additional convenience and simplicity to the installation. If you decide to add a layer of waterproofing over the cement board, then you will need to use a polymer-modified, cement-based mortar such as MAPEI’s Ultraflex 1.

If you are an experienced installer, selecting a large 12″ x 24″ porcelain tile for tub walls will create a sleek, contemporary appeal. MAPEI’s Keraflex Plus and MAPEI Ultralite Mortar are recommended mortars for large and heavy tiles on walls. MAPEI’s Ultracolor Plus FA is a good choice when grouting large tiles. An epoxy grout, such as MAPEI’s Kerapoxy CQ, is the best choice for wet areas and is also the easiest to maintain.

Glass or mixed-material mosaic tile on walls above a bathtub can turn a drab bathroom into a sparkling retreat. Adding a layer of waterproofing over the cement board, such as MAPEI’s Mapelastic AquaDefense, will extend the life of the installation. MAPEI’s Adesilex P10 Mosaic & Glass Tile mixed with MAPEI’s Keraply is the proper setting material for glass or mixed-material mosaic tile over MAPEI’s Mapelastic AquaDefense waterproofing membrane. An unsanded grout, such as MAPEI’s Keracolor U, is typically recommended. Adding MAPEI’s UltraCare Grout Maximizer to MAPEI’s Keracolor U will help to reduce the porosity of the grout, help to keep the grout clean and reduce staining.

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