Tile showers should not only be leakproof, but they should also be visually appealing. In this shower wall tile installation, I've protected against leaks by replacing DensShield for drywall and by waterproofing the floor, all seams at corners and niches, and all fasteners using a liquid membrane that I've applied to the entire project.
How to Tile a Shower in a Bathroom
1. Design the Tile Layout in advance.
I always design the layout ahead of time to ensure that the tile is centered and symmetrical on the board. The goal is to make the tiles at the bottom and top as large as possible while avoiding using thin pieces. Because the ceiling is rarely completely level, I avoid utilizing a full piece at the very top of the piece. By cutting the top course of cheap tiles for sale on all three walls at the same time, I am able to maintain the joint width consistent across the space.
In this particular scenario, I had to take into consideration two different niches. Having planned ahead of time, I made certain that the picture-frame trim tile at the top and bottom would fall on the horizontal seams between full wall tiles  in order to ensure that they would be symmetrical. As a result, the courses at the ceiling and shower pan are approximately similar in width at 6 inches.
2. Apply butter to the tile rather than slathering it on the wall.
It is usually my preference to use thinset mortar rather than mastic to buy tile for shower walls in showers and other damp places. Mastic simply turns into liquid when exposed to water, which can cause the tile to break and finally come off the wall.
To apply thinset to the wall, I prefer to use a 14-inch notched trowel  to butter thinset onto the back of each tile rather than spreading it on the wall. Maintaining a clean and orderly work environment decreases the amount of mortar that is worked into the joints, making grouting much easier.
3. Do not use the spacers between the tiles.
I start with the long wall, working my way outward from the centerline and toward the corners as I go. First, I lay down the first full course on a temporary ledger that I've leveled and fixed around all three walls. After that, I'll move on to the next course. After all of the wall tile mortar has dried, I will remove the ledger, set the floor tile, and then fill in the course of cut tiles at the shower pan with the remaining mortar.
I'm spacing these tiles 1 inch apart , but I don't want to use spacers because they look unprofessional. After many years of tile setup, I've gotten very adept at estimating the spacing between the tiles and spacing them by eye. More importantly, because the size of some tiles vary, the use of spacers will result in misaligned grout seams in some cases. Although the porcelain tile margins are slightly uneven due to the -inch grout joints, this is not a problem. I can use 1/8-inch or even 1/16-inch joints with tile that is more uniform in appearance.
4. Keep the tile in the plane of the board.
I use a 4-foot level to ensure that the tile is smooth and in plane when the first course is completed, with the exception of the cut pieces at the corners . Because variations in tile thickness or bulges or depressions in the wall might skew the corners and create a lip at the joints, this is especially critical when using larger tiles in a running bond pattern. I make any necessary adjustments by tapping the tile or resetting a tile after it has been mortared.
5. Look for the level
Despite the fact that this initial row of tiles is set on a level ledger that is screwed to the wall, I double-check it with a level . Due to the fact that crooked tiles will result in the entire wall being crooked, the first row of tiles must be perfect. Shims can also come in handy in this situation, as previously stated. Shakers are used to ensure that the tile tops are absolutely flush with each other and the level.
6. Double-check your measurements and cut your tiles. Once the shower wall has been painted, cut pieces are required at both ends of the first course. For this reason, I always measure cuts at both the bottom [6A] and the top [6B] of the shower wall, because shower walls are notoriously out of plumb. In order to accommodate -inch grout lines, I shall cut the tile 14% shorter than the measured length.
7. Verify your skill level on each course.
After cutting the tiles, allow them to dry.
In order to create the running bond or brick pattern, the second course is offset by half a tile width from the first course. I take measurements from both sides of the centerline [7A] to ensure that this tile is properly aligned because it serves as a template for the rest of the courses that follow it.
8. Dry the Tiles After They Have Been Cut
Thinset will not adhere properly if the tiles for sale are moist from the saw when they are cut. Whenever there is any wetness on them, I wipe them down with a rag . After I've positioned the cut pieces in place, I use a level to double-check their alignment.
9. Work on the sidewalls of the shower remodel from the outside in.
 When installing the sidewall tiles, begin at the outside edge and work your way inward toward the corner. In an ideal situation, only full and half tiles will be used to begin the outside border of the sidewalls. Similarly to the back wall, lay as much tile as you possibly can before making a trip to the saw to make the necessary cuts.
10. Make a rough sketch of the shower wall's corner cuts.
When designing the sidewalls, it is important to avoid having small slivers of tile on each side of the corner. When working with larger tiles, such as the ones I'm using here, I aim to create the illusion that the tile is folding or bending around the corner . To make a long cut tile on the rear wall die into an awkward corner, a short cut tile should emerge from the corner of an awkward corner on the sidewall.