How to Repair Shower Floor Tiles

Newly installed ceramic floor tile in shower stall.
Newly installed ceramic floor tile in shower stall.


Repairing shower floor tiles is one of the most difficult task you can do. But like everything else, its not impossible. You will need a concrete chisel and a hammer to start the job. The fact that you need to change the shower floor tile means that there is a leak somewhere in the grout lines of the floor tile or in the area where the wall tiles meet the shower floor tiles. Regrettably, you can’t change just a few pieces of shower floor tiles, you will have to remove all of them.I like to use a wide concrete chisel, but first use a small one to remove one shower floor tile. Place the chisel on the side of the shower floor tile; you do not want to damage the cement underneath, just remove the shower floor tiles. Remember to wear safety glasses as pieces of tile will break off and can land in your eyes. Once you have removed some of the shower floor tiles, you can use your wide chisel to remove the rest of the tiles. This can take some time; do not crack the concrete underneath because it can be repaired and reused to install the new shower floor tiles. When you are finish removing all the shower floor tiles, you should notice that the concrete is higher all around the edges and lower towards the direction of the drain. This is for the water to lead towards the drain and away from the tile walls. This is very important that the concrete is shaped in this manner.


If your concrete floor is badly damaged, you may have to remove all the concrete. It would be a good idea to check and see if you have damage in your shower drain pan. This shower pan is what stop water from going through which prevents water damage below. But if it has holes, water will leak and cause water damage below. At this point of time you will need to replace the old shower pan with a new shower pan, a new shower vinyl liner, or a fiberglass or acrylic shower bases. If you install a shower base, this would take the place of installing shower floor tiles. But you will have to make many moderation to accomplish this. If you install the shower pan or shower vinyl liner, you will need a mud job. A mud job is a cement job that is shaped to its proper slope so that all water goes away from the outside of the shower toward the drain which is usually located in the center.

TIP: It might pay for you to hire a tile repair specialist who has experience in mud job.


Once the mud job is formed, you are now ready to install shower floor tiles. Shower floor tiles usually come on a mesh 12″ x 12″ sheets. The size of the shower floor tiles can start at 1″ x 1″ or go up to 3″ x 3″ or larger. The shower floor tiles are made of a flexible mesh so it can take the shape of the concrete base. The shower floor tiles are installed with thin set mortar which is a cement. I like to use white thin set and mix some matching color grout with the thin set. I do this so any thin set that settles between the shower floor tiles pass through the mesh will match later when I grout the shower floor tiles. This saves you time of trying to remove dry thin set before you grout. For shower floor tiles, you can use a grout sealer which can further prevent any water from penetrating through the grout lines and going through the concrete. As time goes on you may want to re-grout the shower floor tiles just to ensure further protection.