Step 5: Drill for Tub or Shower Supply Pipe

Drill for tub or shower supply pipe
Photo by: Webb Chappell
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Finish setting the tiles in the other quadrants of the back wall.

Extend the horizontal layout line to the end walls, draw the plumb lines, then set the tiles for these walls using the same procedure as above.

At protruding fixtures, such as the tub and shower supply pipes or the mixer valves, you'll have to use tile nippers to carefully create notches in several tiles to fit them around the rough plumbing. Or, if the pipe or valve body falls within a single tile, drill a hole with a diamond-grit hole saw.

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    Tools List

    • notched trowel
      Notched trowel,
      used to apply tile mastic
    • grout sponge
      Grout sponge,
      for wiping tiles clean
    • rubber trowel
      Rubber trowel,
      for applying the grout
    • drill
      Drill with diamond-grit hole saw,
      for drilling holes in tile
    • tile nippers
      Tile nippers,
      used to notch tiles to fit around plumbing
    • margin trowel
      Margin trowel,
      used to mix mortar and grout
    • tile cutter
      Tile cutter,
      rents for $15 to $20 a day
    • two-foot level
      Level and straightedge
    • drywall knife
      4-in. drywall knife,
      to embed joint tape in mortar
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun with siliconized acrylic caulk

    Shopping List

    1. GLAZED CERAMIC TILE

    2. LATEX TILE MASTIC

    3. UNSANDED TILE GROUT

    4. CEMENT BACKER BOARD

    5. BACKER BOARD SCREWS

    6. FIBERGLASS-MESH JOINT TAPE

    7. THINSET MORTAR

    for skim-coating the backer board



    8. LATEX-BASED GROUT ADDITIVE

    to strengthen the grout