Last weekend we got some motivation in the form of an out-of-town guest. My goal was to get the toilet back into the bathroom before her visit. And for that we needed a floor!
I wanted my friend to be able to use the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to walk through our bedroom. Talk about awkward!
Here's a run down on our steps to tiling the bathroom floor. Much easier than tiling the shower!
To get the toilet in, we had to finish the floor. A while back Matt ripped out the particle board that was under the laminate. You can’t tile on particle board. The glue/chemicals that hold it together will warp with water and since the thinset used to set tiles is wet, it will get all messed up if done that way.
My BFF tile master Carey at HD let us know that we can thinset backerboard right onto our tongue and groove subfloor.
Even though that sounded easier (and less expensive), I was still worried about it. Our subfloor isn't flat.
Whoever did the floor in our other bathroom tiled on an uneven floor and now some of the tiles and lots of the grout is cracked.
To calm my worries, we tore up one tile to see how it was done in the other bathroom. Are we planning on redoing that floor? Not now. Do we now just have a random missing tile in the corner? Yes. But at least my nerves were calmed. And now Matt's pot committed (what does that mean?) so we'll redo that bathroom... eventually. For now a strategically placed basket will hide that spot :)
They had tiled over laminate in that bathroom so at least we weren't repeating that mistake.
We didn’t need to build up the height of the floor too much after removing the particle board, so we didn't need anything on top of the subfloor. If you end up ripping out a bunch of old flooring and you do need to build up the height of your floor, use plywood.
No particle board. Repeat after me, no particle board!
We just put thinset on top of the subfloor and made the little lines with the trowel (this is different than prepping a wall for tile. For that info go here).
Then we used a million screws to screw it into the floor. (There are special screws to use with backerboard, since you’re basically going through a layer of concrete. Get those).
We put the screws in a grid about every 6 inches. Seriously, a lot of screws.
I purchased a level to make sure our floor was flat. I was really concerned about this. Home remodeler extraordinaire Katie Bower has warned me about not tiling on a flat surface (so can I
After the backboard was all screwed in, we put tape and a little more thinset on the seams between pieces (more on that here).
We then marked off where the vanity will be. This served two purposes. The first is that the 2x4s will raise our vanity a little since it was low by today's standards. The second is that so we don't have to tile under it (so we'll save a little money).
We weren't sure how to start the tiling placement. In the shower, we just made sure the bottom of the tile was level since they were going horizontally. The diamond pattern threw us for a loop.
Our room isn't square (don't you love older houses?) so we just ended up starting in one corner and tracing the shape of the tile onto the backboard and drawing a line from that tile diagonally across the entire room. As long as one tile is in the right place and perpendicular to the wall, the tile spacers will help the whole floor keep a consistent diamond pattern.
The hardest part for
We didn't take pictures of the actual tiling because both of our hands were covered in thinset, but we basically followed the same steps as we did in the shower.
The day after we laid the tile I grouted (full tutorial here). We chose a darker grey to contrast with the light tiles and we thought it'd hide dirt a little better than something light.
Once the grouting was finished I celebrated by rewarding myself with my friend Red Wine and watched some Workaholics. Have you guys seen that show? Some of the jokes are terribly inappropriate but its hilarious (or I'm childish, one of the two).
I still need to seal the grout. You have to wait at least 72 hours in between grouting and sealing so I haven't gotten there yet.
Here's a pic of the Before & After of the floor. Notice the molding isn't in yet. After that gets put into place I'll reveal the new vanity!
|Diego was helping.|
Did you get any nagging projects done over the long weekend?
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