How to Make a Bathtub Out of Tile – 6 Simple & Effective Steps to Follow


If you’re planning to create the tub from tile and understand the steps involved, then you’re on the right track! As a home inspector, I’ve been able to inspect many bathtubs and showers. However, the tiled tub is unusual. The significant aspect of tubs made from tiles is that they can be made in any shape you’d like! You can create an additional long tub that is deep or make it very long. Homeowners can put in stunning tiles or stones to give it a unique look. In this article, you will be taught how to build the tub using tiles using two different kinds of waterproofing. Installing thick half” cement board and more! Continue reading to learn the primary steps to make a bathtub out of tile.

How to make a bathtub out of tile: Things need to know

Making a bathtub from tiles is more challenging than installing a standard bathtub. There are more dangers of leaks from water or leaks, as well as over-budgets and even damage to the bathroom. But, one of the benefits of creating a bathtub made of tiles is that you can create unusual shapes for the tub. Furthermore, tiles just seem cool. Using any tile you like in the tub, like river stone, is possible. Installing a tiled tub and surround isn’t for those who aren’t confident. The homeowner should have some knowledge and experience.

This job isn’t one for the novice. This guide is designed to quickly overview the most important steps to take. I won’t cover every detail of plumbing as well as other aspects. It is essential to keep in mind that building permits will also need to be obtained from the local building department. A certified contractor should be approached or employed if homeowners are unsure about building a bathtub out of tile.

Did you know how to snake a bathtub drain? If you don’t then learn more

How to make a bathtub out of tile

Below tools, you’ll need to make a bathtub out of tile

  • 2×4 Lumber2x4 are required for the construction of the wall and tub enclosure and curb
  • 1/2″ Cement Backerboard Concrete boards will be utilized over the framing to give rigidity and resistance to moisture.
  • 1/2″ Plywood: A thick piece of plywood is used as the subfloor for the tub.
  • Anti-Fracture Membrane Anti-fracture fabric is installed on the tub from the bottom at the line of water as well as around plumbing penetrations. It is a different level of waterproofing.
  • Waterproofing compounds liquid elastomeric waterproofing material such as Green Barrier will be used over the backer board made of cement.

See more: How to unclog a bathtub drain effectively

Step 1

Take measurements and construct the tub’s frame and curb using 2x4s. It is essential to make the curb and floor more durable than standard, compared to a standard bathtub curb or floor. Installation of the frame with 12 inches spacing is suggested to increase strength.

Step 2

Set the pipe for the faucet and drain. Protect the tub’s chute with a plastic bag to keep debris out of the pipe. Install a 1-inch layer of green treated plywood over the tub’s floor to provide extra durability. The homeowners shouldn’t skip this aspect and opt for the smallest piece of plywood. A 1-inch layer can make the tub sturdy and help avoid future problems. Also, you will need to cut the plywood to allow the drain to go through.

Step 4

Put 1/2 inch cement backing board onto the framing and over the floor of plywood, strengthening the structure and stopping water and mold damage. Cement board is water-resistant and is commonly utilized in bathtub enclosures and bathrooms. For shower enclosures in general, it is recommended to use 1/4-inch concrete panels. Generally used. However, since you require more strength in this tub tile, it is suggested to use 1/2-inch boards.

Step 5

Use a waterproofing product on the backer board of cement. A waterproof membrane, such as Green Barrier, a brand name Green Barrier, will make the cement board vulnerable to water damage and intrusion. They usually come in 5-gallon buckets . one bucket should be sufficient to fill the tub completely.

Step 6

Install anti-fracture membranes on areas that are susceptible to water intrusion, such as around the faucet and areas around tubs’ corners. The highly flexible fabric can be bent 90 degrees, but it will not fracture, stopping water intrusion. The homeowner should install the anti-fracture membrane over the tub and until above the level of the tub. A membrane that prevents fracture and an elastomeric coating is essential waterproofing techniques for building a tiled tub. Homeowners are advised to conduct a leak test after all is finished, excluding the tile. The water leak testing can identify any water leakage areas, so you can address them before the tilework is completed.

How to build a drop-in tub surround that allows full access

Step 1

It is beneficial to have your bathtub ready before this stage so that the actual heights can be measured off of the existing tub you’ll be installing. Install a tub surround of 2×4. The tub shown was elevated by 3″ on blocks to ensure the drain and overflow plumbing could be installed from above. In addition, the subfloor needs to be removed underneath the drain and overflow area. All connections will have to be made through the crawlspace or basement.

Step 2

The front panel is attached to the studs of the surround with 4 screws, which means the front panel is accessible into the apparatus. Solid Walnut was the material used for this project. However, be aware that wood needs a finishing to prevent water from being put on. Tiles and other waterproof flooring products are suitable. If you’re tiling on the skirt of your vehicle, do it at the end of the process and make plans for an access panel to maintain the pump and the equipment.

Step 3

If needed, remove the tub and finish with your upper deck. Once you have finished, you’re ready to put the tub in its final location. The tub’s lip is not supposed to rest on the tub’s surround. Leave a 1/16″ – 1/8″ gap so that the whole total weight of the bathtub rests on the feet or floor within the tub. Shims can be positioned beneath the tub to achieve the exact height and level in the way you want them. A 1/8″ gap should be left between the tub’s lip and surround. The gap needs to be filled using a waterproof caulk. This should keep your tub’s top to stop any movement.

Step 4

The wooden blocks were screwed into the subfloor. We then chose spray foam that expands to be used as glue to ensure the tub stays in the correct position. We do not suggest using concrete because it is prone to shrinking and cracking the tub’s shell. Spray foam, combined with top calk, is strong enough to withstand any movement for a long time. Lifting the tub up on blocks permits the drainage system to be pumped out of the bathroom rather than the crawl space or basement.

Step 5

It is recommended to utilize the 3/4″ valve to fill your bathtub so that it will fill quickly. For more giant tubs, we suggest that the drain and faucet be placed on the front to avoid crossing the tub to drain and fill it.

If you’ve decided to create an access panel that can be removed from the front, you are now ready to be installed. If you’ve decided to tile your show, now is the best time to tile it. Include an access panel that allows access to pumps and equipment. Local building codes typically require access panels for the jetted tub’s pumps. This is not the case for soaking tubs.


Making a bathtub using tiles is a highly excellent idea. These bathtubs that are custom-tiled are extremely rare, and they look stunning. Tiled bathtubs can be built in almost any shape, like extremely deep tubs, long tubs, or oddly-shaped tubs. The most crucial factor to be aware of is to install multiple layers of waterproofing that stop any damage from water. It is vital to inspect leaks before putting in any tile. You may also want to conduct the test at night or for 24 hours to ensure. I hope you enjoy this article and learn how to make a bathtub out of tile.

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