Advice on installing ceramic on shower ceiling [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-08-2007, 12:27 PM
We're having our shower redone with a 10 X 16 ceramic tile on the walls. Supplier advises a 2 X 2 on floor which we're fine with but advises the same size on ceiling. No 2 X 2 match for wall tile is available so we have to find something close in colour. Could we use the 10 X 16 on the ceiling or a 13 X 13 trimmed to allow a closer alignment of grout lines? If these sizes are too large could we quarter the 10 X 16 and use that as a ~5 X 8?

Thanks in advance,

Dave Smith

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03-08-2007, 12:45 PM
Dave, Welcome to the Forum... :)

If I was doin the ceiling, I wouldn't try cuttin tile and try to match lines.
Problem is, that cut edge will always show up as different and noticeable.
I usually do a diagonal on the ceiling , trying to match up lines could be a PITA. :D

Others here will weigh in too with their thoughts...

Scottish Tile and Stone
03-08-2007, 01:21 PM
Dave, what Mike said. Usually install them on a diagonal or use smaller or larger tiles. If your shower isnt square, and you try to line up 3 walls with grout lines to the ceiling, you ceiling might look crooked.

03-08-2007, 09:55 PM
Dave, what Mike said. :scratch:

03-09-2007, 10:47 AM
Frank, Scott and Mike, thanks for your help and the welcome to the forum.

I have an unfortunate tendency to try to attempt things the most difficult way possible. But I'll take your advice about the ceiling. I have enough problems without trying to make all three walls match the ceiling lines. :bang:

If we do the ceiling diagonally can I use a 13 X 13 tile on it or are they too heavy to use on a ceiling? Would it work if we used Megalite or a similar product?

Thanks again,


Scottish Tile and Stone
03-09-2007, 03:37 PM
make that what Frank said... LOL

Run a good bead of thinset around the perimeter of the tile staying off the edge a bit, and smoosh it on the ceiling. You should hear a bit of air release. Then its stuck for good.

03-09-2007, 06:48 PM
13x13's are ok for the ceiling.. Megalite is fine.. I still am with the convention that puts the thinset all over the tile and then squishes it.. I use MegaFlex..

I would make not make the thinset to the runny side of peanut butter but instead the other side a little - but not stiff or dry... :)

irish tileguy in michigan
03-09-2007, 11:38 PM
when u thinset the tile and thinset the ceiling and then smoosh the tile up it creates a suction which should hold the tiles in place, if not u can use braceing, good luck.

03-10-2007, 01:39 AM
Hello Dave,
13" tiles are fine for the ceiling, like everyone has already said, but they do require some care when installing. Megaflex and MEga-Lite are both really good materials but they may be difficult to find anywhere but through a tile distributor. Because their are many different formulas of "modified" or "fortified" thinsets, and many different brands, I think it might be better to steer you away from them to another product category.
The newest waves in the evolution of thinset mortars is "no sag" technology and the "Lite" technology. If you ask for a "no sag" thinset through your distributor, you'll be certain to get a suitable product as all of the "no sag" thinsets are highly modified thinsets. I just used Laticrete's "255 Multi-Max", which is a "no sag" thinset to stick 13" porcelains to a ceiling and 20" porcelains to a skylight lightwell with absolutely no slipping.
The trick is to mix the thinset to the correct consistency. Too much water and it will sag. Too little water and it won't stick. What I look for when mixing thinset for a ceiling is for the thinset to peel away from the sides of the bucket while I'm mixing it but to still remain creamy. It should hold a peak in the bucket when you pull out your paddel and slump slightly when you kick the side of the bucket with you boot. Then let it rest for 5-10 minutes and mix it up once again without adding any more water.
When I first mix up a bucket of pookie for a ceiling, I'll test it with my first tile before spreading a larger area. "Burn" a coat into the surface of you ceiling with the flat of your trowel and then go back over it and comb the area, leaving full and pronounced ridges. Next, burn a coat into the back of your tile. Here's where some people will lay a bead of thinset around the edge to form a vaccuum seal but with 13" tiles I don't think that needed if you use a "no sag" mortar correctly mixed. And now, with the surface combed and the tile back-burned, set the tile into the bed andpress it into place with a slight wiggle at the end. Step back. Is it moving? CAN you move it? With the Laticrete 255 that I just used, most of the tiles I set didn't want to even move a little bit after I pressed them into place. If I was lined-up wrong on a joint, it was slightly difficult to nudge the tile back into alignment at times. :D
As a last word, be very careful. Even though I was completely confident with my materials and my technique, I still wore a hard-hat any time I entered the shower and I barricaded and posted a warning on the shower at night to make certain that nobody entered it unaware. The next day everything was set up solid, but you can never be too safe. :tup2:
Best of luck,

03-11-2007, 01:14 PM
I am trying to decide if I should use tile on the shower ceiling or just paint it. The glass walls will come right to the ceiling so the only escape for humidity will be above the glass door. I think the tiles would look much nicer but I am concerned about the difficulty (and mess) of installation and when I was showering I might always be worried about a tile falling on me. At first I figured I would go with small tiles because they would probably be easier to get to stick but then I was thinking the larger tiles would require less grouting which I imagine cannot be much fun (especially for someone like me who has never tiled before). I was just curious though, since the cbu manufacturers all say that their products are not rated for ceilings what do you use for a backer?


03-11-2007, 04:15 PM
Steve and Shaughnn, thanks for the very good advice. I'm going to go with the 13 x 13 on the ceiling installed as you suggest.

Best regards,