Gah! I’ve been radio silent on the master bath front, and I’m SO sorry! I’ve actually had much of the space done for a couple of weeks, and I’m waiting on ONE piece of art to photograph and share the reveal! Last time I gave you an update, I was talking about patching the subfloor, which meant I was ready for tile! Like any DIY, the preparation is 75% of the challenge. Tiling is no exception.
Tile Preparation Step 1
Sweep and vacuum the subfloor.
Tile Preparation Step 2
Mix your mortar according to package instructions. (Fill a pail with water and then add powder… mix with mixing drill bit until consistency of peanut butter.)
Tile Preparation Step 3
Apply mortar to subfloor and place concrete backer board on top. Use screws intended for backer board and drill through backerboard into subfloor. Leave 1/8″ gap between sheets of backer board. To cut the backerboard, use a scoring tool like this (affiliate)… use a straight edge, score the backerboard and then snap along the score line.
Tile Preparation Step 4
After 24 hours, go back and tape the seams between the backerboard sheets. If left untaped, these seams can cause cracks in your tile… no bueno. Taping the seams is quick and easy. Using a pallet knife, scrape a thin layer of mortar over the crack. Place your backerboard tape over the mortar and go back over with another layer of mortar. Using the pallet knife you should be able to get a thin smooth line.
This video is probably more explanatory…
Onto the tile! Again, the video at the end is probably more helpful than this written tutorial, but I’ll outline the steps here for you to read through first.
Tiling Installation Step 1
Snap a guideline. Run a chalk line from the middle of the each parallel wall to get an intersection point in the middle of the room.
Tiling Installation Step 2
Dry fit your tile to determine layout, fit and pattern. If using a tile with any variegation or pattern within the material, consider opening up all your boxes and shuffling the tiles… there can be quite a bit of difference between each batch.
Tiling Installation Step 3
Mix thinset or…. use premixed thinset. I used the premixed just to save the extra step of mixing.
Tiling Installation Step 4
Use a pallet knife or your trowel to spread a thin layer of thinset over the backer board. Select a trowel with notches that correspond to the size of your tile and pull the notched edge across the thinset. This will leave behind enough thinset to adhere your tile to the backerboard, but not so much that it oozes up between your tiles.
Tiling Installation Step 5
Lay the tile onto the thinset and make sure it’s aligned with your grid lines. Press down firmly to set in place. Wipe away any thinset that may have come up and over the tiles.
Tiling Installation Step 6
Place appropriate sized spacers around your tile, spread more thinset, and continue to lay down your tile. (Note: This process will be the same whether you’re working with smaller tile on mesh sheets or larger individual tiles.)
Tiling Installation Step 7
At some point, you’re going to reach an edge or the wall and it will be necessary to cut your tile. There are a couple of different affiliate options. Option 1. Tile nippers. For small thin tile like penny rounds, these are perfect. You can apply pressure on the tile and the clippers will break the tile in a smooth line. Option 2. A tile scoring tool. This is a little more cumbersome, but easy to navigate if you don’t have too many tiles to cut. Run the sharp wheel back and forth over your cut line a dozen times or more to score the tile. Then, flip over the tool and pinch the tile to snap along the line. Option 3. A tile wet saw. I chose this method and am so glad I did… Using a tile saw is much the same as any other saw, you simply need to ensure that the special diamond blade is always moving through a full reservoir of water beneath the cutting surface. Unlike a regular saw, a tile saw isn’t cutting through the tile, it’s *grinding* through and a dry blade can cause chipping and splitting.
Let tile set up on thinset for 24-48 hours without walking on the floor.
Tiling Installation Step 8
Grout! Grout is when a tile floor becomes a tile floor! If using tinted grout, premixed grout will prevent any disparity in color between batches. Otherwise, mix grout much as you did your mortar: fill bucket with water and then add grout. Mix until the consistency of toothpaste… you want the grout to stay on your pallet knife unless you flick it off. (Note: grout dries FAST… only mix as much as you are able to apply at a time.) Using a pallet knife or trowel, scoop grout onto your tile. With a grout float at 90 degrees, ‘pull’ the grout across your tile therefore filling all the gaps between your tile. Immediately go back over the tile with a sponge and fresh water to remove any residue or haze.
I know I know… SO much information in one post. I definitely think the videos are a little more helpful- seeing these steps is a little more informative, in my opinion.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment. And COME BACK TOMORROW for the full reveal!!!