How Long Does It Take to Tile a Bathtub Surround?

When it comes to tiling a bathtub surround, the first question that often comes to mind is: how long will it take? Time is of the essence for many homeowners looking to spruce up their bathroom, so having a clear understanding of the timeline for this project is crucial. In this blog post, we will break down the process and outline how long it typically takes to tile a bathtub surround, so you can plan accordingly and set the right expectations.

Preparing the Surface

Before diving into the exciting world of tiling your bathtub surround, it’s crucial to prepare the surface adequately. This step sets the foundation for a smooth and successful tiling project. Start by giving the area a thorough clean to remove any dirt, grime, or old adhesive. Inspect the surface for any damage, such as cracks or holes, and repair them promptly to ensure a sturdy base for your tiles.

After cleaning and repairing, it’s essential to apply a suitable primer to the surface. A primer helps the tiles adhere better and ensures a long-lasting finish. Take your time during this step to allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the tiling process. While preparing the surface may add a bit of time to your overall project, it lays the groundwork for a beautiful and durable bathtub surround that will stand the test of time.

Measuring and Cutting Tiles

When it comes to tiling a bathtub surround, precision is key. Before you can start laying tiles, you need to measure the area carefully to ensure you have the right amount of tiles and minimize waste. Selecting the right tiles for your project is crucial, whether you opt for classic ceramic tiles or trendy subway tiles.

Once you have your tiles selected, you may need to make cuts to ensure a perfect fit around corners, fixtures, and the bathtub itself. While cutting tiles may seem daunting, with the right tools and technique, you can achieve professional results. Take your time during this process to avoid mistakes and ensure a seamless finish.

An additional unique insight: Consider investing in a tile cutter to streamline the cutting process and achieve cleaner, more precise cuts. This tool can save you time and effort, making the task of cutting tiles a breeze. By taking the time to measure and cut your tiles accurately, you’ll achieve a stunning bathtub surround that will be the envy of all your friends and family.

Setting the Tiles

First things first, before you start setting the tiles on your bathtub surround, make sure you have all your materials and tools at the ready. Once you have your adhesive mixed and ready to go, it’s time to start placing the tiles on the wall. Don’t rush this step; take your time to ensure each tile is level and evenly spaced. After all the tiles are in place, allow them to dry completely before moving on to grouting. The drying time can vary depending on the type of adhesive used, but typically it can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. Remember, patience is key when it comes to setting tiles – rushing through this step can result in uneven tiles and a shoddy-looking finish.

Grouting and Sealing

Now that your tiles are securely in place, it’s time to grout and seal them to finish off your bathtub surround. When it comes to grouting, take your time to ensure the grout lines are filled evenly and smoothly. After applying the grout, allow it to set for about 10-20 minutes before wiping off any excess with a damp sponge. Once you’ve cleaned off the excess grout, let the grout dry completely – this can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. After the grout has dried, it’s time to seal the tiles to protect them from moisture and stains. Applying a sealer is a quick and easy process, usually taking around 1-2 hours to complete the sealing of the entire bathtub surround.

Additional Tip: Consider using a high-quality penetrating sealer for your tiles, as it can provide long-lasting protection against moisture and stains.

Remember, taking the time to properly set, grout, and seal your tiles will ensure a beautiful and durable bathtub surround that will last for years to come.

Drying Time

Alright, so you’ve finished tiling your bathtub surround, but now comes the waiting game – drying time. Patience is key here, my friend. Typically, it takes about 24 to 48 hours for the tiles to fully set and dry. Now, don’t go getting all antsy and start using your bathtub before the tiles are completely dry. Trust me, you don’t want all your hard work to go down the drain (literally). So, put on your favorite show, grab a snack, and let those tiles do their thing.

And here’s a pro tip for you: if you’re in a humid environment, it might take a bit longer for the tiles to dry. In that case, consider using a dehumidifier in the bathroom to speed up the process. Remember, good things come to those who wait.

Cleanup and Finishing Touches

After the tiles have dried and set, it’s time to add those finishing touches to really make your bathtub surround sparkle. The cleanup and final touches phase is crucial in achieving that polished and professional look. So, grab your cleaning supplies and get ready to put the cherry on top of your tiling project.

First things first, remove any excess grout or adhesive that may have seeped out during the tiling process. Then, give those tiles a good wipe down to get rid of any residue or dust. Next, seal the grout to protect it from moisture and ensure longevity. This step is essential in maintaining the appearance and durability of your newly tiled bathtub surround.

And here’s a handy time estimate for you: the cleanup and finishing touches phase typically takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete. So, put on some tunes, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to admire your handiwork once it’s all said and done.

Extra Tip: Invest in a high-quality grout sealer to protect your grout and keep your bathtub surround looking fresh for longer. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

For additional resources on how to properly seal grout, check out this guide from The Spruce.

Total time

The good news is that on average, it takes about 2-3 days to tile a standard bathtub surround. This includes time for preparation, installation, grouting, and allowing the tiles to set properly.

If you’re a seasoned DIYer, you may be able to tackle this project on your own over a weekend. However, if you’re hiring a professional, they may be able to complete the job in a single day, depending on their schedule and workload. It’s always a good idea to get a timeline estimate from your contractor before they begin work so you can plan accordingly.

Maintenance and Care

After you’ve invested the time and effort into tiling your bathtub surround, it’s important to take proper care of it to ensure it looks great for years to come. Regular maintenance is key to preserving the beauty of your newly tiled space. Here are some tips to help you maintain your tiled bathtub surround:

  1. Clean Regularly : Wipe down your tiles with a mild soap and water solution to remove any soap scum or buildup. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the grout or tiles.

  2. Seal Grout : It’s a good idea to seal the grout lines every year to prevent water damage and staining. This will help prolong the life of your tiles and keep them looking fresh.

  3. Repair Damage : If you notice any cracked or loose tiles, be sure to repair them promptly to prevent further damage. Ignoring small issues can lead to larger problems down the line.

  4. Avoid Abrasive Cleaners : Stay away from abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch the surface of your tiles. Stick to gentle cleaning methods to preserve the finish.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your newly tiled bathtub surround stays in top condition for years to come. Remember, a little care goes a long way in preserving the beauty of your bathroom.

And for more in-depth information on tile care and maintenance, check out this helpful resource from The Tile Council of North America: (

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!