Everyday I’m Tiling

But still not finished. I must have put in the equivalent of 5 full 8 hour work days over the course of last week, doing any last minute prep and then tiling the shower surround and bathroom walls.

As far as last minute prep: I caulked the seam around the window opening between the cement board and old window frame (which becomes the rough opening for the new replacement window) and then painted the waterproofing membrane over top once the silicone was dry – one cannot be overly waterproof. I also caulked the joint where the cement board meets the tub, running my finger along the bead of silicone to make sure it wouldn’t dry proud of the cement board and effect the tiles adhering flat.

And then it was time to bust out the wet saw and mix up mortar. I also purchased a manual tile cutter, because I thought it might be faster for straight cuts on these small tiles, but a wet saw is the only way I know how to cut corners or grind rounded shapes in a piece of porcelain tile. And sometimes I just need to shave the slightest sliver away from a cut, and the wet saw is the best for this also.

For mortar, the tile store sold me Full Flex Premium thin set mortar. They explained that it would be the best product to use for everything – the shower walls, bath walls, and floor. I roughly followed the mixing ingredients, until it was about the thickness of cake icing. Although the professionals will trowel it onto the walls in a small section at a time, I kept finding it would dry too quickly that way (lots of cutting tiles, then re-cutting tiles, and before too long the mortar wasn’t sticky any more). So I switched to using the back-butter method, where I lather up each tile, scrape with a notched trowel, and then push the tile into place. It goes slower, but I felt it was cleaner and gave me more control.

The large areas went fairly quick.

P1030746 B

I started with the tub side wall, under and around the window. Rather than get fancy with the corners, I simply tiled the side wall all the way to the corner and then butted each row of the front and back wall up against the corner once again. Once its all grouted, it will just be a straight line in the corner rather than a weave that a professional might make by doing one row at a time and alternating each row.

P1030738 B

Above is the closeup of the corner. I also left an 1/8th inch gap between the bottom row and the lip of the tub, as instructed by the TileMasterGA via YouTube. Rather than grout this line, it will be filled with white silicone to seal the space and create a waterproof line so water cannot get beneath the tile or behind the tub.

P1030753 B

The wood trim attached to the wall provided a straight edge to begin tiling this wall, level with the ledge of the tub. This way, each row would meet in the corner and the grout lines would be aligned.

P1030760 B

The second wood piece is just slightly below what will be the top edge of the vanity cabinet. Since I expect the cabinet to be pretty permanent, I went all cheap scape and decided I didn’t need to tile the area that would be hidden behind the cabinet. Seemed like a waste of tile and time.

Around the window, I cut the ties flush with the inside edge of the wood frame. The new window will be a snug fit inside this frame, and once the window is installed I can place the marble ledge for the window sill and use bullnose edge tiles up the sides to finish the inside edges.

P1030741 B

It took several long days, hundreds of trips outside to the wet saw to cut (and then re-cut – and then cut my fingers on sharp edge of the tile), but the large areas went pretty fast.P1030771 B

Above is a sneak peak of my floor tile, I plan to start that next week. Although it will have a simple border along the walls, it should go much faster being 12×12 inch sheets and a simple square floor area. It was the trim pieces and corners and anything needing cut after cut which took longer. A few days later, and this is the result:

P1030774 B

This last photo shows the top details where the tile meets the painted drywall. Black line, mini subway tiles, a 2nd black line, and then a decorative chair rail cap. I finished the wall tile late tonight, but I still need to scrub some excess mortar out some of the joints so that the grout will be even. I’m thinking super pale gray grout for the walls (just slightly off-white to provide some contrast), and medium gray grout for the floor tile to give that antique floor look. But I’ll get the floor fully tiled first, and then I’ll begin the grouting step. My inspiration for the floor:
1223a6d589650fe6f79c86fa5bff742c

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by Nate on April 4, 2016 - 2:31 PM

    That’s an amazing and beautiful tile job! Your attention to detail is impressive. Well done.

  2. #2 by Adam A. Ries on September 2, 2016 - 11:15 AM

    Thanks, Nate! Tiling is one of my favorite projects, and I researched a lot of old craftsman homes to find the right pattern of black and white tiles I wanted. I took some liberties with the smaller size subway tile frieze, but overall I think I achieved a period look.

  3. #3 by Kate on November 6, 2016 - 2:24 AM

    Adam it looks great! We are somewhere in the middle of a similar project – hex tile floor done (phew). Subway tile tub surround to go. I have two questions for you: 1. What grout width did you use? We’re waffling between 1/8″ and 1/16″. Question 2 – What is your wall paint colour? It looks great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s