Top 8 Reasons Tiles Fall off a Shower Wall

man installing white tile on the wall of a shower

If you have spent time, money, and energy tiling your shower wall it can be extremely frustrating to find that they are beginning to fall off. There are many reasons that tiles won't stay up. This guide will tell you the common faults and problems that can lead to tiles falling off a shower wall.

1. The Plaster Underneath Isn't Primed

The plaster underneath your tiles needs to be properly primed in order for the tiles to properly adhere to the wall. When you are putting tiles up make sure that you not only prime, but prime the area well. The primer will waterproof the area with a thin, long-lasting layer that will firmly hold the tiles in place and also protect the walls from the water.

Tile primer is usually latex or oil based which gives it a water repellent quality. The primer should be applied over the whole shower wall area with a thick brush before the tiles are placed.

2. The Tiles Have Not Been Cleaned Properly

worker installing a wall tile

Before you put up shower tiles, you should wipe them off before you apply them as they may still have chalk dust on them. The chalk dust will stop the tiles from adhering to the wall.

3. Adhesive Has Not Been Applied Properly

Make sure that the tile adhesive that you use is water resistant. The adhesive needs to be applied evenly and on every tile. If no adhesive is applied then the tiles will fall off.

4. Grouting Has Been Done too Early

You should leave the tile adhesive to set for at least 24 hours before grouting the tiles.

5. Incorrect Tile Grout Used

When you are grouting your shower walls, you need to make sure that you use the correct type of tile grout. You will require waterproof grout for bathroom and shower tiles that will repel the moisture.

6. The Tiles Have Not Been Properly Grouted

man grouting wall tiles

If the tiles are not grouted properly then water will get behind them. The tiles will quickly become loose and fall off. Wet grout needs to be pressed all around the seams of the tiles evenly without missing any spaces. The excess then needs to be scraped away. Once the tiles are grouted, they need to be left alone for at least 24 hours for the grout to set properly.

7. Grout Sealant Has Not Been Used

Once the shower tiles have been grouted then every tile seam should be sprayed with grout sealant. If you don't seal the seams then water will be able to get behind the tiles and they will eventually fall off. It is worth investing in a good sealant that also has antifungal properties as this will prevent any mold and mildew from forming. You might also want to invest in specialist sealing strips for the areas around faucets and shower attachments.

8. The Tiles Have Not Been Left to Set

Before the shower is used, the tiles need to be left to set properly on the walls. The grout needs to be fully dry or the water will penetrate through to the wall.