Tile Picked up 120 sq ft of 13x27" tile and 2 bags of LFT (large format tile) thinset. The LFT is supposed to have better adhesion.
Tile The glass tile will be cut in 3rds and used as a trim strip around the shower and as a backsplash for the sink. Don't forget a soap tray for the shower
Design Dry laying the tile to see how it looks. I ended up not staggering the tile.
Preparing the threshold The door swings in so the tile should be showing on the inside of the door up to the vertical door frame trim
Preparing the threshold Trimming the carpet and padding back with a razor knife
Preparing the threshold Trimming the doorframe so the underlayment and the tile will slip under
Preparing the threshold Using a chisel to complete the notch
Preparing the threshold With the underlayment nice and flat I drove a few screws in to hold it down
Masking tape on the shower base This will protect the shower base from getting full of thinset when I start laying the tile
Layout I have to establish a vertical line as a guide for laying the tile. Now I can measure the pieces I need on the right and left.
Cutting Tile It was 66 today so I setup my tile cutter outside.
Laying out the floor When you lay tile you have to establish a line as a starting point. I'm using the shower base. The T square gives me a good perpendicular line to work with and guarantees the tiles will make a nice line when they meet the shower
Laying out the floor vent I premarked the end of the vent on the bottom of the wall. With the tile in place I drew lines using a square that mark the end of the vent
Laying out the floor vent I slid the tile over to the left along the T square making sure it didn't move vertically. Now I mark the horizontal vent cutout location
Special Cuts Move the 2 tiles that surround the toilet flange so they're just under the flange. You can extend the center and the tangents of the circle to the tile using a square. I drew the circle with a compass
Special Cuts I marked the cutout for the vent on the back as well as the front
Special Cuts I use a grinder with a 4" diamond wheel. I flooded the area with water from a hose to make the cut easier. You first score the surface which helps to prevent chipping
Special Cuts The piece will fall out leaving a little material in the corners which is easily removed
Special Cuts I took the tile in to make sure it was cut accuratly
Special Cuts The vent drops right in
Special Cuts Run the saw back and forth going deeper each time
Special Cuts I'm using a diamond hole saw to cut the hole for the toilet water supply
Special Cuts Too start the hole make a cut with the saw tilted so it can dig in to the tile
Special Cuts As the saw is turning bring it up to a vertical position keeping it flooded with water.
Special Cuts Here's the whole floor dry laid out.
I painstakingly lined up the first row of tile in the shower and made sure each tile was perfectly level using shims on the bottom of the tile between the shower base. It has to be perfect because everything else depends on it
Mixing Mortar I mixed up a half bag of LFT (large format tile) thinset which is stickier than regular thinset. It keeps thei tile on the wall from slipping down when you set it. I mixed it up a bit on the thick side to get good adheasion
I spread the thinset on the wall and buttered the tile as well to guarentee good coverage. As I applied each tile I made sure it was perfectly level. Always remove excess mortar from the joints so 2/3 the depth of the joint is available for grouting. I used a piece of wood I broke off of a paint stirrer. For thin joints you can use a piece of cardboard or a razor knife.
Tiling I had a bunch of thinset left after I did the first row on the wall so I laid 2 rows of the floor. I used a square off the shower base to ensure they were true. The whole floor is referenced off these rows. I'm going to let all this setup for a day and do more tomorrow.
Tiling About an hour later I carefully scraped the mortar out of the joints and cleaned up the tile surfaces with a damp sponge before the thinset really hardens
Tiling I'm doing the rest of the floor next so I stacked the pieces in the order they go down
Cleanup Make sure the floor is clean
Cleanup Mixing the thinset mortar is very hard on a drill. The red drill on the ground is my Harbor freight sacrificial drill and it literally smoked. I brought out my trusty skill drill and used it till it started to smell pretty bad. I finished up with my Milwaukee. I was only mixing about 30lbs. I started to mix small batches to save my drills.
Tiling The tile is lined up and I'm ready to start the wall
Tiling Two rows down. I'll let this setup and move to the floor
Tiling The floor is easier. I spread the thinset on the floor, draw the notched trowl through the thinset and lay the tile. I don't have to back butter the floor tile.
Tiling I use a square to make sure my tiles are perpendicular to the shower base. As I go I insert spacers on each side of the tile. Carefully make sure the tiles stay lined up and spaced correctly
Tiling After the floor was complete I had enough thinset to do most of the third shower row. By this time the work area was a real mess
Tiling After a couple of hours I carefully vacuumed the area and wiped the thinset off the tile before it sets up hard. I also scraped the thinset out between the tiles so there will be room for a full depth of grout. I'll do the rest tomorrow.
Cutting Tile 60 degree weather in December couldn't last forever. I took the trusty tile saw out in the snow to make the cuts for the soap dish
Tiling I cut a 2" notch out of the pieces behind the soap dish
Tiling Testing to see if my cuts worked
Tiling Starting with the 2 side pieces
Tiling Butter the back of the soap dish. Put enough on so the mortar is in contact with the dish and the back of the wall
Tiling Comb over the thinset with a notched trowel held perpendicular to the wall. The grooves allow air to escape and level the layer of mortar when the tile is placed.
Tiling Place the soap dish into the corner making sure you have enough mortar to contact the wall
Tiling Place the pieces of tile behind the soap dish. It's difficult but move the tiles around so they seat against the wall and make sure they are square. You may have to support the soap dish with a piece of wood to keep it from falling out till it sets.
Tiling With the corner in I'm setting the next piece
Tiling I like to fill in the ends where the tile isn't tight to the wall. These end pieces overlap the bathroom wall where the backer board wasn't even with the existing wall. I put mortar on my finger and forced it into the void until it's filled
Tiling I'm out of mortar so this is it for the day
Cleanup Cleaning up in the snow is a chore
Progress Now it's starting to look like something
Layout I located the center of the circle cutout for the shower valve by putting the tile up on the wall in place with the spacers and marking the valve stem vertically and horizontally. I put a piece of masking tape on the tile so the point of the compass doesn't slip
Layout Since I don't have a 2-1/4" diamond hole saw I used my 1" saw and cut a bunch of overlaping holes. I did it outside and poured water over the cut while I was sawing
Tiling the accent stripe This is a 12x12 mosaic tile I'm using to make the accent stripe. I want the tiles in the stripe to be vertical to offset the large horizontal tile in the shower. I'm using a razor knife to cut the backing so I get 3 strips from each piece
Tiling the accent stripe When you spread the thinset on the wall for the mosaic you'll end up spreading mortar above the top of the mosaic. The wet mortar will run down and fill the joints between the tiles of the mosaic. You don't want this because the joints have to be open for the grout. The masking tape marks the top of the mosaic. After I spread the mortar I scrape all the mortar off above the masking tape.
Tiling the accent stripe I started setting the tiles to complete the lower row. I always make sure they are level.
Tiling the accent stripe Applying mortar for the first section of the mosaic trim stripe.
Tiling the accent stripe Once the mortar is applied remove the masking tape which will take the extra mortar with it.
Tiling the accent stripe Applying the first section. Start on the outside and work your way in. That way full tiles will be in the front where they are more visible. Any trimming will be in the corner. I used 1/8" spacers under the mosaic.
Tiling the accent stripe When I got to the end of the first wall I laid the first piece on the ajoining wall to make the corner. This way I would have the correct spacing so I would know exactly what size mosaic I needed to fill the space. I cut some contrasting tiles off one of the sheets to fill the gap. In this case I buttered the back of the individual tiles
Tiling the accent stripe After applying the mortar to the wall I learned that it made less of a mess if I skimmed the mortar off the masking tape before removing it
Tiling the accent stripe I still got thinset mortar in the grout joints. The joints are very narrow so I used a piece of the cardboard backing that came with the tile to scrape out the mortar.
Tiling the accent stripe I had thinset left over so I decided to set the 3 pieces above the trim strip. Before I did this I put spacers every 3 inches under the trim to support the weight of the new tile
Tiling the accent stripe i also put lots of spacers between the mosaic and the tile above
Tiling the accent stripe I spent at least an hour wiping down all the tile with a damp sponge. I set the last tile 4 hours ago so I removed the spacers so I could clean out the thinset in the grout joints easier.
Tiling the accent stripe The last row of tile didn't cover the intersection between the original drywall and the Hardie backer. I ran another row of tile 3" tall around the top.
Cutting Tile I setup in the garage because it was too cold outside. It does create a mess. I ended up having to hose out the garage
Cutting Tile I finished up some inside corners with my 4" diamond saw.
Trimming tile edging I discovered that a company named Schluter makes all kinds of edge treatments for tile. I only wish I had known sooner so I could have installed this stuff on the vertical edges of the shower. ``
Trimming tile edging The edging material comes in plastic and metal. I used a tin snip to cut it. I'm using Schluter white PVC Jolly. Strange name
Trimming tile edging I like using tile instead of wood trim around the floor. It never gets damaged by humidity and is easy to keep clean. I dry laid the tile and am sizing the piece that will go on the top of this row. The edging fits behind the edge of the tile and gets mortared in
Trimming tile edging Too cut the long 8' pieces I laid it out on the floor and measured with a tape.
Trimming tile edging You can see how the edging fits behind the tile. Here I am trimming another piece
Mixing Mortar It finally warmed up so I brought the mess outside.
Mixing Mortar This is what a proper mix of thinset mortar looks like. I like to make it a bit stiff for tiling walls
Applying the Edging Scrape the excess mortar away from the top of the edge strip. Embed the strip into the mortar.
Applying the Edging Once the tile is set over the strip make sure there is no excess mortar between the strip and the top of the tile. Sponge off any excess mortar remaining on the strip itself
Tile complete It's a mess but it's done
Tile complete The tile in the right corner under the pipes is set at the bottom level of the wall hung vanity I ordered. There is still one piece of tile missing that will have to be cut when the vanity is in place
Tile complete Once the mortar is dry and all the joints are clean I'll grout the tile. With this thinset you have to wait a minimum of 24 hours
Remove the old tape I carefully removed the masking tape I put down at the beginning to keep the thinset mortar off of the shower base. I will caulk the area between the tile and the base to keep it water tight.
Painting and caulk I decided to paint the ceiling because the beige didn't go with the grey. Before I painted I patched some drywall with a knockdown finish.
Painting and caulk I decided to paint the ceiling because the beige didn't go with the grey
Painting and caulk After cleaning the thinset out of the joints I caulked the intersection of the two walls with silicon. The rule is you use caulk whenever you have a transition between dissimilar materials or the intersection of two walls. If you use grout it will eventually crack. I should have planned for a larger gap at the inside walls.
Painting and caulk Prepping for caulking between the shower base and the tile. I ran the masking tape so it was even with the front of the tile
Painting and caulk I injected clear silicone into the joint and smoothed it over with my gloved finger. The clear silicone matches the grey tile when it dries.
Painting and caulk Once the bead of silicone was smoothed out I wiped the excess off the tile with a paper towel soaked with denatured alcohol. I just found out that you can clean up wet silicone with denatured alcohol or possibly mineral spirits. Don't let the masking tape stay on too long or the caulk will stick to it when you pull it off
Painting and caulk I had to chisel out some of the thinset that got caught between the tile and the front of the shower base to make room for the caulk. I used a shop vac to clean out all the chips
Painting and caulk I ran some masking tape to keep the shower base from getting full of caulk. The crack was pretty deep here because I held the Hardie backer away from the shower base. I used a lot of silicone to fill the gap
Grouting I masked wherever I was getting close to a wall with the grout which mostly was where a perpendicular grout line touched a wall
Grouting I mixed the grout outside because it got up to 52 today. This is my new Harbor Freight sacrificial mixer drill. This time I got a bigger one and a 2 year warranty. I'm using Mapei Keracolor sanded Silver G 29K grout.
Grouting I mixed up a little more than half a 25lb bag of MAPEI Keracolor sanded Silver G 29K grout. Turns out I mixed it a little too thick. It was a lot of work pushing it into the space between the tile. According to the mfg the pot life is 1 hour which is way shorter than the thinset. Depending on the size of the job you might consider mixing a couple smaller batches
Grouting I worked up a sweat and had to get a headband to keep it out of my eyes. You want to cover up the shower drain to keep grout from going down. The grout surface should be flush with the tile edge. To aid in spreading the grout, slightly moisten the tile or stone surface with a damp sponge just before application.
Grouting I have a big mess but all the grouting is finished. After I completed the shower the grout was getting stiff which is normal according to the directions. I didn't think I was going to be able to do the floor. I started to do a couple lines and it ended up working out fine.
Grouting Sponging off the surface and cleaning the grout off the tile really makes the job. As I work the sponge, usually at an angle to the line, what looks like a sloppy job starts smoothing out and looking great
Grouting I went over the whole job 3 times each time dumping the bucket and getting clean water. I also shop vacced the area a bunch of times to get all the sand out.
Grouting Once the tile was pretty clean I removed all the masking tape and wiped down the surrounding spots
Grouting Finished at last. I have to wait 48 to 72 hours before I can seal the Mapei Keracolor sanded Silver G 29K grout.
Sealing the grout I had to wait 48 toi 72 hours for the grout to dry before I sealed the tile. I had a cap left over from some foam insulation I used as a disposable cup for the 511 impregnator sealer.
Sealing the grout Paint the joints with the sealer so they/re saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe off the excess with a soft towel before it dries. You can walk on it immediatly but keep it dry for 3 days.
Sealing the grout Just about done. I worked from the shower back to the door.