Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hit the Floor

Bathroom remodel progress continues at the Newcomb household. We are like a tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race! Problem is, I think we're more about the slow part and not as steady :)

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!

tile  bathroom floor

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.

 tongue and groove subfloor

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.

tile on subfloor

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.

tile on subfloor

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). 

thinset under backerboard

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.

backerboard 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 blame thank her for the missing tile in our other bathroom?).

After the backboard was all screwed in, we put tape and a little more thinset on the seams between pieces (more on that here).

tile on backerboard

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).

diagonal pattern tile

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.

cut porcelain tile

The hardest part for us Matt was cutting all of the diagonal tiles. The 12" tiles barely fit on our tile saw so it took a while to get it right. Matt did all of this work. I napped :) I'm a lucky girl!

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

grout tile floor

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. 

grout floor 
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!

tile floor before and after
Diego was helping.

Did you get any nagging projects done over the long weekend?

Thanks for visiting Newcomb Home! If you are new here and enjoy your visit, I’d love for you to subscribe for free via email or RSS to stay updated on the latest. Thank you!

Linked up to these inspiring parties: Handy Man Crafty Woman, Home Stories A to Z, Thrifty Decor Chick, and I Heart Nap Time. Pin It


  1. It looks great! not going to lie, doesn't look like a lot of fun :(

  2. That looks so great! I can't wait to see the final product!

  3. Wow! That looks great. That wine is well deserved. I didn't know you had to wait to seal. I'm trying to remember if I wAited. Yikes.

  4. It doesn't look like you all are moving too slow...looking great!!
    Looking forward to seeing the reveal. Have a great week :)

  5. Katie, what does Pot committed mean?? hmm... Also don't let workaholics get in the way of ENTOURAGE! Also, the floor looks good.

  6. Nice work! I like how you say nagging projects! Well looks like I am not alone!

  7. Unknown said...
    Good job with the wine after all the hard work! Someday when I'm re-doing a house, you'll have to come live with me :)

  8. that's so much work! it's coming out great! Thanks for linking it up to our Wicked awesome wed link party.

  9. Impressing job! You look like a pro at tiling! I'm also very concerned that the floor isn't flat! I'm about to have the groundfloor retiled... I hope it will turn out as nice as yours.

  10. Nice. Very, very nice. You did a great job! Thanks for sharing. My motto when it comes to grout is "Always use grout that is the color of dirt and use the thinnest grout lines possible." Life will be so much simpler.

  11. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away
    for free. Thank you for sharing.

    Paving DC & Paving Alexandria

  12. Useful information like this one must be kept and maintained so I will put this one on my bookmark list!

    Asphalt Repair Atlanta
    & Concrete Contractor Atlanta

  13. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

    Best Shoreline Restoration in FL & Rip Rap Installation in FL


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP