There are ten(10) easy steps to installing Tile in Bathroom Showers. Please use this blog as a guideline for your project.
1. Demolition/Preparedness: Upon the completion of demolition of the old tile, install a cement backer board in the shower area. In most cases you would have a professional install the shower membrane and shower pan appropriate for the space.
(Photo Source: Apartment Therapy.com)
2. Selecting Tile Size: Most contractors use two types of standard bathroom tile sizes, 2×2″ or 2×4″ tiles, which come on pre-spaced on mats. On the ceiling and floor of the shower, its best to use 2×2″ tiles and on shower walls its best to use 2×4″ tiles. Before you decide what you want where, start setting the tiles, and in the process take some measurements and see how the tiles will all lay out. After you set the tiles, begin to dry lay the tile panels, including any decorative borders, to see the way it’s going to set vertically on the wall. This allows you to see how many panels can fit, where you need to make cuts and where you should start setting. Lastly, you’ll need to get an accurate measurement, space out exactly how you will set the panels and after dry laying each segment, determine the best place to start setting tiles working from bottom to top.
3. Starter Board Introduction: Use a starter board as a straight edge whenever you do a vertical tile installation to ensure that each of the panels are straight and level. (Keeping the tiles straight and level makes the job look clean and level, which become key selling points down the line). You’ll want to screw the starter board directly into the cement board and remove it after completing a series of panels, after which you’ll then make sure the board is level before starting to set panels along this edge.
Once the board is level you’ll next use a notched trowel to spread the thinset which creates a suction to hold the stone in place as the mortar dries. Place the panel onto the thinset using the starter as a guide. Use a level to make sure tiles are straight. Once in place, push the tiles evenly into the thinset. Use your hands or a grout float to apply pressure. Without pressure the tiles have a chance to skew and slide. Wipe the tiles with water and a clean sponge as you set them, checking each row so that they are level before you set the next one.
4. Getting Around the Shower Door: When it comes to working around the door you’ll want to measure the width of the shower walls on either side of the door. Next you’ll, dry lay the panels and measure them to see where you need to make cuts. Set the tile panels on the side walls with thinset, similar to the way you had done so for the back wall by using the starter board. Clean the tiles with a sponge and water as you work. At the corner where there are gaps, fill in the spaces with the previously cut tiles.
5. Making Wet Saw Cuts: Once you finish setting the panels and making sure they are level, make cuts for the edges of the walls. Use a wet saw to prevent tile from breaking or splitting. Mark the tiles with a pencil where cuts are needed. Hold the piece firmly in place and gently slide it under the wet saw blade.
(Photo Source: How To Specialist.com)
6. Use A Sanding Stone to Smooth The Edges Out: Most of the cut pieces will have a straight edge that will contrast with the tumbled marble look of the tiles when set against the exposed edge of the shower wall.In order to prevent this from happening, use a sanding stone to soften the edge, rendering a tumbled look. After that, you’ll set these cut pieces individually along the edge, using the same thinset as before, making sure the pieces line up straight with the outside edge.
7. Creating A Border: Most contractors tend to create a decorative 3″ to 4″ mosaic border at the top of the shower walls between the second and third panel from the top, in an effort to add some visual (and very creative) context to the project. Because the border tiles tend to be thicker than the other tiles, you’re going to apply a thinner layer of thinset.
(Photo Source: WeddingBee.com)
8. Finishing Up Your Tile Sets: When you’re almost finished setting the tiles on all sides of the shower with thinset, you’ll want to check back over your work. If you find that you’ve applied too much thinset and it begins to come through the joints, simply a screwdriver and scrape the excess thinset out, wiping clean the area of any excess with a wet sponge. Be sure to complete this before the extra thinset dries, if you aren’t on top of it you’ll have a difficult time removing it and most likely it will not match the color of the grout.
9. Finishing Up The Shower Floor: One of the last things to do is to finish setting the shower floor with thinset. The shower floors are tiled with the 2×2″ tiles and setting the floor tiles is the same as the walls: you’ll thinset on the floor, and then slide tiles into place and pat them down with the rubber grout float. If the floor has been poured perfectly, you don’t have to worry about the pitch because all of that work has been completed for you already. When it comes to the angled tiles around the drain, you will need to use a special tool to get the right shape. Mark the tile where you need to cut it. Use a tile nipper and chip away at the mark, and although a bit time consuming the tile nipper does a great job.
10. Applying The Grout: When the tile has set, mix the grout for the shower walls. Use a mix of 75 percent sanded grout and 25 percent non-sanded grout, both of which are available at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. Sanded grout, which in most cases, is difficult to get into small joints, can be mixed non-sanded grout, since the non-sanded grout helps thin out the sanded grout, so it can be applied a bit more easily on walls.
Lastly, you’ll want to use a rubber float to apply the grout by starting at the bottom and work your way up, keeping the float at an angle to the joints. Once all the joints in a section are filled, let them dry for a little while (20-30 minutes), then wipe the grout off the surface with a sponge and clean water.Once the tiles have been cleaned allow them several hours to set and dry.
Your finished product should look something like this:
Half bathrooms can be a challenge for any homeowner, how to add style and organization along with functionality! Powder rooms typically will serve not only your family but also any guests that arrive to your home. With a few simple tips and ideas you can take your powder room from boring to amazing!
A small space DEMANDS organization in order for it to function as the space it needs to be. Organization comes in many forms, but in the powder room one of the most under-utilized space is above the toilet. Use the vertical space for storage and you will be able to maintain organization in a small area. There are large variety of bathroom accessories such as towel racks, towel bars and rings, towel shelves and racks and even robe hooks that can make organization and functionality work in a powder room.
This small space can handle a variety of colors and textures. Choose carefully but have fun. Wallpaper or dark colors tiles will go in small spaces. If you choose a patterned wall paper, ensure that the rest of the items in the bathroom are simple with clean lines. While the pattern will look fabulous, overwhelming this small space with too much character can happen quickly.
Choose funky or sleek but this is an area where you can splurge and really bring some style and flash into the powder room. Since the only hardware you will be installing is on the sink like toilet paper, toothbrush holders, and soap dishes be creative! Using bold drawer knobs and handles can also be worked in your small powder room to give you more sylish effects.
Instead of a boring flush overhead light, choose something daring. Flank the mirror with two lights or choose a small chandelier to add style. Lighting will make or break your space so take your time in this choice!
SPACE SAVING SINK AND FUN MIRROR
One of the most important items in the powder room is going to be the sink and mirror. Choosing a sink that fits the space correctly is important. Storage space can also be found in the sink if you choose a vanity over a pedestal sink. A funky mirror can also really make the space unique and one of a kind. A pedestal sink will add the illusion of space due to the fact that it is not bulky like a full vanity. The mirror in this picture also adds some style and charm to the small space.
Powder rooms can add charm and uniqueness to your home with a few simple steps! Explore ideas and be bold in your choices, for a couple hundred of dollars your powder room can be completely revamped andreinvented to fit your individual style.
Kitchen countertops are the pride and joy of any great kitchen, which means picking the right countertop material, is an important task. Asking yourself (or the cook of the family) some important questions will help in the search for the perfect countertop. What is the priority in the kitchen; style, durability, usability, green factor or maintenance. All of these items should go into choosing the correct countertop for your new kitchen.
Let’s start with the “green” options for kitchen countertops. While no material is completely green due to the energy factor, there are better choices when it comes to countertops. Recycled paper countertops are one of the cheaper options for green countertops. Starting at around $30/sq. ft. and a savings of close to 80% on install, the paper and resin countertops are not only stylish but help to reduce the use of non-renewable sources such as granite or marble. The resin mixed with the paper makes the countertop extremely strong with very little maintenance for the future.
Reclaimed wood is another option for a green choice. Everyone loves the butcher block look, so why not achieve that look with reclaimed wood? The cost starts at $40/sq. ft. and does require upkeep. The wood must be sealed periodically to ensure that it maintains it durability. These countertops will last a life time meaning money is well spent, however, wood should not be close to the sink or dishwasher meaning that you will have to have multiple countertop types within your kitchen. Recycled glass is a stylish way to add color and depth to your kitchen but comes at a steep cost of $50/sq. ft. Recycled glass runs relative to granite countertops in price, but because of the recycled glass makes this a better option than granite when searching for green products.
Not interested in going green?? There are many options to meet your needs and desires. Granite is a durable surface that is heat and scratch resistant making it a great option for a family who uses and loves their kitchen. With relatively low maintenance (sealing once a year) granite is a great option starting at $50/sq. ft. Marble is another stone material that can be used in the kitchen. While marble is a bakers dream due to the kneading of dough, it can be a nightmare in the kitchen. Marble stains and chips easily and needs to be sealed more often than granite. One option for someone who is desperate for marble is to simply have only one area that has marble while the rest of the kitchen is a different material, such as butcher block.
Concrete countertops are both stylish and eco-friendly; being poured on location makes this source of material a low impact on the environment. Concrete can also be dyed any color which allows for a unique and custom kitchen. Concrete is a porous material and does require more maintenance than other countertops, it needs to be sealed periodically and waxed every 2-3 months. Quartz is another material that is stylish but durable as well as more consistent compared to granite and marble because it is an engineered material. The color options are wider than a natural stone as well as being more resistant to stains and needing to be sealed only once year.
Kitchen countertops define the style and feel that you wish to portray not only in your kitchen but your home. With the kitchen being the heart of your home, choice of countertop is vastly important. Remember to decide what the priorities for your kitchen are and then get to work choosing your countertop! Enjoy!!
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 and has grown in popularity from an environmental movement that only hippies cared about to a global movement to save and clean up the Earth. Trees are planted, parks cleaned up, green is made “cool” for one specific day. Citizens of the world give up time and energy to help make the Earth a little more beautiful.
Hangrohe is a product that is offered at Plumbtile that not only offers green products but has also made green manufacturing plants to help the environment. Founded and based in Germany, the environmental standards for this company are extremely stringent. Earth Day is something that should be celebrated daily, what a better way than ensuring that products used in your home and office are manufactured green and help to reduce waste.
Want to find a cost efficient way to go green in your house? Install a Duravit low flow toilet to minimize the amount of water wasted when using the bathroom. In the 1980s, Duravit had already harmonized the geometry of the body of the toilet with the flushing volume and reduced the amount of water consumed by its toilets to six liters as opposed to the nine or more liters that were standard at the time. Thanks to ongoing research and development, Duravit is today able to offer toilets that flush hygienically using just six, four and a half or even less water (see Dual Flush). At international level, Duravit offers toilets that also flush efficiently with a low flushing volume and that carry the “EPA WaterSense High Efficiency Flushing” label.
Who says that luxury and green can’t go together?? Graff products are not only ergonomically efficient but bring luxury and class to your home. Choosing green products does not mean giving up style. Style can be found and used in the best ways, by saving the Earth and meeting all of your design standards!
American Standard is another great company really thinking about the environment. Save money and more than 33,000 gallons a year simply by installing water efficient American Standard toilets, showers and faucets. American Standard is a proud recipient of the WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Their commitment is to pioneer water-saving solutions and educating people across the country about protecting the earth’s water source. American Standard WaterSense certified products offers water savings of 20 percent or more. You can conserve water without sacrificing style or performance.
Celebrate this Earth Day by doing something great for the Environment. Chose a product that will help to bring style to your home and reduce waste in the process. Visit Plumbtile and shop for your favorite green products.
Need a casual and easy going eating experience? An eat-in kitchen might be the answer to all of your problems. In today’s fast pace and busy families, an eat-in kitchen can allow for a busy family to still eat together without the need for formal dining. There are really three options for an eat-in kitchen; counter dining, breakfast nooks or a tradition eat in kitchen with table. Convenience is a driving factor for most families who are looking for a more modern take on the family dinner concept.
This is the most popular option of the three and can accommodate almost all families. If there is already a bar or peninsula in your kitchen, simply adding stools or chairs to the area will turn it into an instant eat-in kitchen. However, this is not always convenient or safe with families with young children or older members of the family, due to the bar stools that usually needs to accommodate a bar setting. This kitchen is a great example of how easy it is to convert an island into an eat at counter. Most people are looking for space in the kitchen and may not relish giving up space for eating; however, unless someone is currently sitting at the island, you lose no space. This is a great compromise of using the space for more than one purpose; it is house multi-tasking at its best!
A breakfast nook can add comfort and style to any kitchen, finding the space however can be a challenge. Using a window as a back drop for this type of eat-in kitchen is key to keeping the space open and bright. A breakfast nook is a great option for a busy family or one with young kids. Benches are safer than stools for kids and a wheelchair could easily be rolled up to the table for an elderly member of the family. Benches can also add for additional storage which is always needed in a kitchen space. This space also allows for cooking and cleaning to be accomplished while keeping the family together at meal time. Kitchens tend to be the congregating location in a home and with a nook; kids can do their homework while their parents cook dinner. Keeping the family together is a large reason that people are searching for eat-in kitchens.
TRADITIONAL EAT-IN KITCHENS
A traditional eat in kitchen is one in where you are able to actually have a table in the kitchen with chairs. This picture depicts the perfect eat in kitchen, a mix of style, functionality and convenience. The table is able to be located at one end of the kitchen allowing for an easy flow in the kitchen. The biggest challenge of a table in the kitchen is to keep it out of the main traffic flow while still having it feel like a part of the kitchen. The main positive for this layout is that the table can double as extra work space when cooking or prepping food. Don’t be afraid to allow your personal style to dictate the type of table you have, it can be formal or eclectic, classic or modern, any style will work.
Eat-in kitchens have always been in style, however, the style of eat in is what has changed. Whether you choose a bar, a table or a nook, your eat-in kitchen will be the envy of the neighborhood if you place your family’s needs first when designing and laying out your plans. Bon Appetite!
After months and months of searching, you have finally found your dream home. You’re walking through the kitchen, and you’re thinking of all the wonderful dinner parties you will have, in your new, beautiful kitchen.
As you’re walking around the kitchen you see three broken tiles near the base of the wall. You think to yourself, “I can fix that”, nothing is going to stand between you and your dream home.
The first thing on your ‘to do’ list, after you purchase your home, is to fix those three broken tiles. Now where to start, how to get them out, without breaking any other tile? Follow these simple steps, and before long you will be having your first dinner party.
Steps to Repair Tile Backsplash:
1 Pull a grout saw along the edge of the joint to remove damaged grout, but do not mar the tiles. Cut into the good grout slightly so the new grout can bind to a solid surface. These devices either have serrated teeth that you use like a saw or abrasive-textured blades.
2 Place painter’s tape along the edges of tiles you don’t plan to remove. This helps protect their edges as you remove adjacent tiles.
3 Insert the tip of a small chisel into the joint with the tip facing the broken tile you need to remove from the backsplash. Tap gently on the chisel with a hammer to loosen and remove the tile. If you have multiple tiles to remove, pop them all out in this manner. Some may break as you remove them.
4 Continue using the chisel to remove any thin-set mortar that remains on the substrate behind the tile. Wipe the substrate clean with a damp sponge.
5 Dry fit the new tiles into the openings. If the new tiles have spacers, you may need to remove them, using tile nippers, to get the tiles to fit. Smooth rough edges with a sanding stone.
6 Mix thin set mortar with latex additive until the thin set resembles mashed potatoes. Let the mortar set for a few minutes for any air bubbles to dissipate.
7 Apply the thin set mortar to the substrate with a trowel. Butter the back of each tile with the mortar as well, placing more thin set in the center of the tile’s back. Reset tile into position on the wall, taking care to keep joint lines straight and even. The tiles should be level with adjacent tiles as well. Allow the thin set to dry for 30 minutes before proceeding. Remove the painter’s tape.
8 Mix un-sanded grout with enough water to make the grout resemble mashed potatoes. Wipe the grout into the joints diagonally with a grout float. If you can’t push the grout into the joint with the float, push it in with your finger. Smooth the joints so they resemble the existing joints. Wipe off excess grout with the float. Allow the grout to dry for 10 minutes.
9 Wipe the tiles with a clean, damp sponge. If a haze develops, polish it off with a soft, dry cloth.
If completely replacing your backsplash tile is not in the budget, these repair steps will get you by!
For a homeowner, there is nothing more satisfying then to walk in to a room, and see a beautiful finished home improvement project. A project, that you, the homeowner, completed yourself.
Fed up with looking at that same old tired paint on the wall? Want something beautiful; elegant that’s also easy to clean? Install a tile backsplash, a backsplash that makes your kitchen or bathroom look fresh and new.
Follow these simple steps to achieve the desired effects, without paying a professional to do it.
If your countertop is tiled, plan the layout so the backsplash grout veins line up with the countertop grout veins. If you don’t have a tiled countertop, start the first tile in the center of the base of the backsplash.
Turn off the power to electrical outlets in the area where you’re working. Remove electrical outlet covers.
Clean the area with warm water and allow to dry.
Apply the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive with a notched trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and spread a very thin layer. Work in small 3-foot-by-3-foot areas to prevent the adhesive from drying out.
Lay the first tile in the center at the base of the backsplash. Position the tile using a slight twisting motion. Use a level to make sure the tile is square. Place a spacer on each corner of the first tile. Cut one end of the spacers off in order to fit them between the countertop and the bottom of the tile. Push the spacers into the adhesive.
Working out from the first tile, continue laying the tiles in a row, flush to the spacers. Wipe off any excess adhesive that oozes up between the tiles. Leave enough space to fill in with grout. Occasionally check to make sure the tiles are level. After one row is complete, begin with the next row and follow the same pattern. Apply adhesive as needed.
If you need to cut tiles, score the tiles with a tile cutter. Don’t score the area of the tiles that will show. Use tile nippers or a saw to cut away the area carefully.
When you place the tiles around an outlet, be sure the outlet cover hides the tile edges. Continue tiling as usual.
When you’ve laid all the tiles, wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. Use a rounded stick to clean between the tiles.
Allow the adhesive to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the adhesive sets, remove the spacers.
Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Since grout may irritate eyes and skin, wear safety goggles and latex gloves. Apply the grout using a rubber float. Spread the grout diagonally at a 45-degree angle across the tiles, packing the grout between the tiles. Wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge when the grout becomes firm.
Shape the grout joints using a rounded stick. Clean the tiles again and smooth the joints with a damp sponge.
After the grout dries and a haze forms, wipe off the tiles and shine them with a clean cloth.
Replace the electrical outlets and switches. You’ll need longer screws to replace the outlet covers. Use 1-1/4-inch to 1-5/8-inch screws with plastic washers behind the outlet to bring the outlet flush with the tile.
***If you have to cut tile, mark the proposed cut on the glazed side of the tile corners. Don’t mark on the clay side. The ink can be absorbed and bleed through to the other side.
Follow these tips for installing tile countertops or backsplash and your kitchen or bathroom will have a whole new look and appeal!