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My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.

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Entries in Tiling (4)

Wednesday
Jul302014

Still Tiling...

When I last left off with sharing my bathroom tiling exploits I had finished the back wall of the shower enclosure along with the shampoo/soap nook. From there I proceeded to start working along one of the walls. I lined up my ledger board snugly under the bottom tile on the back wall, placed a level on top, adjusted the ledger board until it was level and then screwed it into the wall.

From there I set about tiling up the side wall just as I had the back wall. Once I got to the chair rail I used my 45 degree miter attachment (which came with my saw when I bought it used) on my tile saw to cut the miter for the corner on both pieces and set them in place.

Tiling the field tile with no special cuts actually proceeded fairly quickly.

My intention was to tile the shower enclosure up to the ceiling and stop the tile around the rest of the room at the chair rail. To make sure that my line was straight at the end of the shower enclosure I used a level to align a piece of painters tape plumb along the wall. I then used this as my guideline for the tiling.

With the slanted ceiling I had to make some tricky cuts so I bought a new attachment for my wet saw, a 90 degree protractor. I am sure that a professional might have a better way of setting it but I simple held it face back to the wall snugly up to the ceiling and the adjusted the arm until it was parallel with the top row of the tile I had laid. This seemed to do the trick and I was able to use the protractor to cut the correct angle on the top of the tiles.

On the second row of tiles that needed to have the angle cut I had a slice of a tile that was smaller than a full tile. In order to cut that tile I used a scrap tile against the protractor followed by the tile I was intending to cut. By doing this I was able to get a clean cut on the small tile slice. If I had just lined it up against the protractor the blade of the saw would have hit the metal of the protractor instead of continuing through the scrap tile.

Next, I needed to provide a finished edge to the shower surround. Since the regular bullnose tile was a little too wide for my tastes, I used bullnose tile that I trimmed down to the width of the liner bar (the same way that I did for the border of the nook) to create a clean edge. In order to keep the slender pieces in place I used painters tape to hold them in place until the thinset cured.

With one side wall completed I can start to see how the bathroom is going to shape up. It is a very laborious process with about 500 tiles laid on the walls so far, but I think it is going to look fantastic when it is done. I just need some more free time to devote to it!

For other related posts about this bathroom renovation check out the history of my downstairs bathroomfixtures for my bathroom renovationplumbing in the downstairs bathroominstalling the floor tile underlaymentinsulating the ceiling, installing the vapor barrier for the shower, installing drywall and cement board, tiling a vintage mosaic border, mudding, taping, sanding and painting, taping the cement board joints and tiling part 1. If you are interested in my completed master bathroom renovation check out master bathroom renovation recap. 

Wednesday
Jun182014

Tiling Progress in Downstairs Bathroom 

Between work and traveling, finding time to work on the bathroom has been tough, but I am inching along and made some headway on tiling the shower surround. I last left off with taping the cement board joints and setting the first two rows of tile. Since then I broke out my tile saw and pretty quickly I had set six more rows of subway tile plus the black liner bar.

At this point things got a little more complicated as I had to tile around the niche and had to modify my tile spacers to work with the chair rail tile. The chair rail tile is dimensional so the flat spacers wouldn't fit. I used some wire snips to trim the arcs off of one side and then put them in perpendicularly under the chair rail tile. I used the snipped off part between top of the chair rail and the next course of subway tile. Whatever works, right?

The other complicating factor was that the chair rail is just a smidgen under 6" so I couldn't line it up with the subway tile. I ended up offsetting it a bit from the subway tile to disguise the mismatch in length. 

I used painter's tape to keep the row that spanned the top of the niche in place since it had no support below. I had to work quickly at this point before the thinset set up too much make small adjustments in order to make sure that the rows that stacked up on the right side aligned with the row over the niche.

Next, I tiled the back of the niche, making sure to line it up with the surrounding tile.

At this point I had used up the batch of thinset that I had mixed up so I decided to pre-cut some of the tile that I would need for the rest of the niche before I mixed up the next batch. I wanted to trim out the niche with some bullnose tile but I didn't like the thick width that was available so I cut down my own from some tile that I had with a bullnose edge along the top.

I set the rip guide on my saw to the width of the black liner bar tiles that I was using and cut a bunch of thin bullnose pieces. It is hard to get the rip guide in the exact same spot again so I always cut a few more pieces than I will need just in case.

I also pre-cut the mitred corners for the niche before I mixed up the next batch of the thinset. To get the 45 degree angle I butted my tile up against my small speed square. When I am doing something like this I like to make the mitre cut first and then I cut the squared end down as I fit the piece when I am setting the tile.

I feel like at this point I should mention that I absolutely love my tile saw. I bought it used from Craigslist for $100 (a strange story in itself) back when I was tiling the master bedroom shower and it has been worth every penny and more. I couldn't even imagine doing this with tile nippers, plus I feel like everyone should own their own wet saw.

Back to the tiling, I mixed up some more thinset and tiled the top, bottom and sides of the niche trimming it all out with the thin bullnose I had cut. Again I used painters tape to hold the pieces without support in place. By the time I had the niche finished the row above the niche had set enough that I could remove the painter's tape that was supporting it and finish tiling to the ceiling.

I'm not going to lie, the niche took me a while with all of the cuts and it isn't perfect, but I really like it and think it was worth the effort. With the niche out of the way I don't have a lot of complicated cuts left so tiling the side of the shower and wainscoting should go fairly quickly. I can't wait to get the tiling done!

For other related posts about this bathroom renovation check out the history of my downstairs bathroomfixtures for my bathroom renovationplumbing in the downstairs bathroominstalling the floor tile underlaymentinsulating the ceiling, installing the vapor barrier for the shower, installing drywall and cement board, tiling a vintage mosaic border, mudding, taping, sanding and painting and taping the cement board joints. If you are interested in my completed master bathroom renovation check out master bathroom renovation recap. 

Monday
Mar242014

Vintage Mosaic Tile Border For the Downstairs Bathroom 

One of the things that I have been really excited about doing in the downstairs bathroom was the floor tile. Since my house is over 130 years old I wanted to use mosaic tiles to create a vintage look with a border around the perimeter of the room. I looked at bunch of images for inspiration and found that American Restoration Tile was a particularly great resource. I love the look of the Greek key border, but since the area I have to tile is small I needed a smaller border and settled on creating a square jogging border design.

I bought one sheet each of 1"x1" black mosaic tile and 1"x1" white mosaic tile and tested the pattern to be sure that I liked it. I was sold so I went back to the store and bought enough sheets for the project.

To get started I used a pair of scissors to cut through the mesh backing of the mosaic sheets to create some strips of the black that were two tiles wide and one tile wide and then some strips of the white tile that were one tile wide. I also peeled a bunch of the tiles off from the mesh backing to use to piece together the jogging square.

After I did a dry fit to confirm everything I used a 3/16" X 5/32" V-notch trowel to spread thinset in sections along the perimeter of the floor. This was my first time tiling with mosaics and I really had to be careful with the amount of thinset I was using to make sure that it wouldn't squeeze up between the tiles.

I laid a strip two wide strip of black tiles against the wall followed by a strip of white. I then used the individual tiles to create the jogging square and then added another strip of white and black. I thought a while about how to handle the corners and decided that I liked a simple square the best. There weren't any spacers that I could find that matched up with the spacing on from the mesh very well so I used a combination of eyeballing and a straight edge to keep my spacing even as I went along.

After I finished the border I went back with my 5-in-1 Painter's Multi Tool to scrape up the extra thinset so that I would have a flat, even surface for when I go back to add my field tile.

I had two extra columns in the width of the room and one extra in the length of the room so I had to adjust the pattern a bit in the corners. The most visible corner is the one in front of the tub across from the toilet (in the bottom right corner of the below picture) so I kept that one with the proper spacing. On the corners that are on the wall with the door I added an extra white column on either side of the corner square. For the remaining corner I added an extra white column next to the square and in the first pattern but it will be behind the toilet so it will be hidden. I wish that it worked out to have the exact number of tiles I needed for an even pattern but overall I think it looks balanced.

I'm really excited with how the border has come together and I am excited to bust out my tile saw and add the hex field tile to the floor.

For other related posts about this bathroom renovation check out the history of my downstairs bathroomfixtures for my bathroom renovationplumbing in the downstairs bathroominstalling the floor tile underlaymentinsulating the ceiling, installing the vapor barrier for the shower and installing drywall and cement board. If you are interested in my completed master bathroom renovation check out master bathroom renovation recap.

Thursday
Sep052013

Preparing the Bathroom Floor for Tiling

After the building inspector approved me to close up the floor I was excited to do just that. I cut some pieces of 3/4" subflooring to size and patched the areas of the floor that I had previously left open for the plumbing.

With the subfloor complete I moved on to preparing the floor for tiling. Having a properly prepared underlayment will make sure that you don't have issues with cracking down the line.

I chose to use 1/4" HardieBacker for my floor. The sheets are 3' x 5' so I needed two for my floor. You need to have a small gap from the edge of the HardieBacker to the walls and since my framing was just a smidge over 5' it was perfect for me to lay one full sheet in the front of the room.

The first step was to spread a layer of thinset over the floor with a 1/4" square notch trowel. Since I was laying a full sheet I marked on the subfloor where 3' was so I knew how far I needed to spread thinset.

I then carefully laid the HardieBacker into position making sure I had a small gap to all of the walls. I then scraped up the extra thinset that extended past the HardieBacker since I didn't want it to dry while I was screwing in the board.

To firmly anchor the HardieBacker to to subfloor I used 1-1/4" screws designed specifically for cement board. HardieBacker has handy little circles on the boards to indicate the spacing you need for your screws. After about a million screws I had the first board in place.

Next I moved on to the second piece which had to be cut down. For the straight edge I simply scored the board a few times and snapped it like drywall. For the toilet drain hole I used my jigsaw. Because of the particulate from cutting cement board with power tools you need to be very careful to use a face mask.

I did a dry fit of my second piece to make sure it was the right size and then spread down more thinset. I put the board in place, again making sure of the small gaps to the wall, tub and first piece of HardieBacker and then screwed it down again. I still need to tape the seam between the boards before I tile, but that is for another day.

Here is a sneak peek at what I am thinking of for the tile floor. I am planning to make a border around the room with black and white square tiles and then have 1" white hex for the field tile. I think it will add some fun to this small bathroom. I can't wait to start tiling!

For other related posts about this bathroom renovation check out the history of my downstairs bathroom, fixtures for my bathroom renovation and plumbing in the downstairs bathroom. If you are interested in my completed master bathroom renovation check out master bathroom renovation recap.