How to Install Granite Marble Slabs in a Shower

Written by megan cook, c.p.a., c.f.e., c.m.a., m.accy
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Granite marble slabs are a high-quality element that will make your shower look very rich. This type of stone works well for shower walls, but may not be ideal for shower floors because they can be very slick. Installing your own granite marble slabs in your shower will help you save money in terms of the overall cost of the project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cement backerboard
  • Utility knife
  • Thinset mortar
  • Helper
  • Mortar comb
  • Granite slab
  • Plastic spacers
  • Duct tape
  • Sealant

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  1. 1

    Completely remove the old tile or shower wall coverings. Any debris behind the cement backerboard or slab will weaken the bond holding the slab to the wall and could cause damage.

  2. 2

    Install a cement backerboard on your shower wall using thinset mortar. The backerboard will help prevent moisture from damaging the drywall behind your shower wall. You may need to cut the backerboard to fit pieces of slab around fixtures, such as the shower head, or to accommodate angles or curves incorporated in the shape of your wall. If you need to cut the board, score the back side with a utility knife and then break it off. When you are finished installing the board, allow it to sit for 3 days before installing the slab.

  3. 3

    Mix thinset mortar and apply the granite marble slabs to the wall. Make sure to apply a thick layer of thinset on the wall to hold the slabs. The marble is very heavy, so be sure that you have help while performing this task.

  4. 4

    Situate the granite slabs to minimise movement during the drying process. The mortar will hold the slabs to your wall, but you will need to minimise the slab from slipping downwards. Use plastic spacers and duct tape to help hold the material in place. The spacers will make sure that pieces of slab don't fall too close on top of one another, while the duct tape will help keep the slabs in position. Any movement during the curing process will weaken the bond holding the slab to the backerboard.

  5. 5

    Allow 2 to 3 days to allow the mortar to cure. Remove the material you used to anchor the slab in place. Since your slab will be in a moist area, apply a sealant to the slab---even if it was pre-sealed in a factory. This will minimise the stone absorbing water over time. Allow to dry 2 to 3 more days.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are not comfortable doing this project yourself, contact a contractor.
  • Don't apply granite marble slabs to your shower floors, because the slabs can be very slick.

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