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Tips On Installing Bathroom Tile  
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 1718 times:

I learned a few years ago not to ask my girls how they managed to break something that I would probably be sporting bruises if I had broken it so with that out of the way.....

The girls somehow broke the tiles just above the tub in their bathroom. I had a deal with one contractor but have not heard from him in over a month. After reading about how it all goes together I am tempted to just do the work myself and replace all the tile rather than try and find a suitable matching tile. Any tips on what to watch out for or ways to make things go easier? I have never tried this kind of work and never have worked with grout before so any tips on making that an easier job would be greatly appreciated.

And no DL and ANC, no bobcat is involved in the project.  laughing 

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1406 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

I helped my Dad re-tile the shower here a few months ago. Replacing one tile shouldn't be too difficult. Try to chisel out the old broken tile and any residual cement and grout on the wall so you have a nice even surface and edges. Butter the hell out of the back of the new tile and the wall with the cement to ensure it sticks. Try your best to keep it straight and even, maybe even get a few spacers. Wait for it to harden then throw on some grout and you should be good to go. Good luck and let us know how you make out!  Smile

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11607 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 1697 times:

The most difficult bit is getting the old tiles out. I tend to scrape out the grout around the cracked tiles before trying to remove them, as this then makes it less likely that others will pop off, and also, it gives me a gap into which I can pop a flat headed screwdriver to get some leverage on the tile which needs to come out. Try to case minimul vibrations to thew wall, as depending how well they were first put on, more can come off. Helps to put a cloth or soft material over the tile that you will be pivoting against, so that you don't damage it. Again, once it's out I use an old flat headed screwdriver to get rid of any remaining tile cement, make sure that you work away from the good tiles on the wall though, so as you don't slip and take more off by accident, and use it gently with a hammer should there be any really resilient bits left on. If it's a big area you can use a paint/wallpaper scraper, then give it a rub down with a wire brush to remove the dust, can sometimes help to wash it down and score the wall slightly to give a bit more grip if it's too smooth.

It helps to use spacers to stop them from slipping on the wall, and then apply a generous (but not overly so) set of daubs with the cement on the back of the tile and push firmly onto the wall, adjusting it so that it matches the profile of the rest. I always leave it much longer than the recommended drying time, just in case its not set, before grouting. You can get grout ready mixed, or if it's powdered I find it best to mix it up in an old food container, then I apply it with a sort of artist's pallet knife, although it can be done with pretty much anything. Doesn't need to be too runny, or it will not stay in place, then once finished wipe the work area down with a very slightly damp cloth, running it over the grouted gaps to give it a nice smooth finish and saving you the job later of getting set grout off your new tiles!

Hope this helps,


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29784 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 9 hours ago) and read 1684 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 1):
I helped my Dad re-tile the shower here a few months ago. Replacing one tile shouldn't be too difficult. Try to chisel out the old broken tile and any residual cement and grout on the wall so you have a nice even surface and edges. Butter the hell out of the back of the new tile and the wall with the cement to ensure it sticks. Try your best to keep it straight and even, maybe even get a few spacers. Wait for it to harden then throw on some grout and you should be good to go. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

Thats about it.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 8 hours ago) and read 1667 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 1):
Try to chisel out the old broken tile and any residual cement and grout on the wall so you have a nice even surface and edges. Butter the hell out of the back of the new tile and the wall with the cement to ensure it sticks. Try your best to keep it straight and even, maybe even get a few spacers. Wait for it to harden then throw on some grout and you should be good to go

That's about it.

It's very putzy work. Use new, sharp tools and, whatever you do,  alert  don't rush it.  alert 


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 8 hours ago) and read 1660 times:

Maybe I wasn't clear, I'm going to replace all the tiles now, not just the broken ones. I don't think I'd be able to find matches as the bathrooms have not been updated in 20 years or more. I'm most interested in, is it easier to just bash out the tiles and the wall board behind them and replace everything or try and bust the tiles out while leaving the orginal wall board in place? The grout, do you just wipe it on or do you have to use a putty knife?

Sorry if I was unclear before and thanks in advance.


User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1406 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1654 times:



Quoting RJdxer (Reply 5):
Maybe I wasn't clear, I'm going to replace all the tiles now, not just the broken ones. I don't think I'd be able to find matches as the bathrooms have not been updated in 20 years or more. I'm most interested in, is it easier to just bash out the tiles and the wall board behind them and replace everything or try and bust the tiles out while leaving the orginal wall board in place? The grout, do you just wipe it on or do you have to use a putty knife?

Sorry if I was unclear before and thanks in advance.

My apologies, I misread your post. Replacing all the tiles will actually be easier then replacing one or two. The process is basically still the same, except you do it a few times over. Spacers may help to keep them all even and spaced and make sure to get off all the old cement and grout, as you'll want a flat surface to put the new ones on. Also, use lots of cement as you don't want them falling off anytime soon. Be prepared for lots of dust though as removing and busting out old tiles can be messy work! I suppose the decision to replace the board behind them is up to you depending on the condition of it and how much work you feel like doing. Wiping the grout in with a cloth is much easier and less tedious then trying to do it with a putty knife.

Good luck!


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8440 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1647 times:
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Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 6):
you'll want a flat surface to put the new ones on.



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 6):
you don't want them falling off anytime soon

A good way to prevent them falling off is to chip the wall so that there is more area for the adhesive to grip on to. Just make sure you remove all the dust.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1642 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 6):
I suppose the decision to replace the board behind them is up to you depending on the condition of it and how much work you feel like doing.

A co-worker and a neighbor of mine just redid their tiled bathrooms this summer and both had to replace all of the drywall as well. My bathroom also needs tile but I'm kicking extra money aside because I know once it comes down I'm opening a can of worms.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29784 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 1636 times:



Quoting Andz (Reply 7):
A co-worker and a neighbor of mine just redid their tiled bathrooms this summer and both had to replace all of the drywall as well.

I wouldn't use drywall behind tile. That is what wonderboard or cement board is for.

Quoting RJdxer (Reply 5):
I'm most interested in, is it easier to just bash out the tiles and the wall board behind them and replace everything or try and bust the tiles out while leaving the orginal wall board in place?

It would depend on how soft you think the wallboard is behind the tile. If you think the water of the tub have soaked through it, then it is probably smarter to go ahead and replace the wallboard with something like wonderboard.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13940 posts, RR: 63
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 4 hours ago) and read 1615 times:

The most important thing is to get the old plaster as smooth as possible. Any bumb will cause an uneven tile surface.
Draw a horizontal line on the upper edge of the propesed tiled surface for the first row and work your way down, cutting the last row it the bottom. Don't use these little plastic crosses, use your eyes to align the new tiles.
Put the fresh tile mortar on using a teethed scraper.
After putting the tiles on, wait for a day to let them set before sponging the grout into the gaps.
Oh, did I mention that the wall has to be perfectly even?

Jan


User currently offlineTrident3 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1588 times:

If the existing tiles are just cracked and not loose,and the plaster underneath is still in good shape you could lay the new tiles directly on top of the old ones. Make sure you use a good waterproof adhesive ( Unibond is good) and avoid 2 in 1 adhesive & grout, I find it does not grout very well. It is also worth re measuring and working out new levels as you will find that the new tiles may be a slightly different size than the old, no matter what anyone says a 150mm x 150mm tile is not the same size as a 6" x 6", As has been mentioned previously make sure you remove excess grout when it is still wet, as you will struggle when it is dry.
Good Luck!



"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1575 times:

Thanks for all the advice and tips. I have a feeling the wall board will probably need replacing since even though I went overboard with the tape to temporarily cover the broken out tiles I'm sure some water has leaked through. I'm printing this thread off and will refer to it while doing the job.

User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1562 times:

I've done several thousand square feet of tile over the years so hopefully I've learned a few things about it. Here's a couple of tips:

1. Given the age of the shower, it's highly unlikely that it has backer board behind the tile but there is a possiblity that there's an old fashioned lath and mortar backing. If so, then it might be possible and desirable to carefully remove the tiles and re-use it. More likely, it's drywall and it's almost certainly in bad shape after all these years. In fact, this could be why the tile cracked. If the board gets saturated then it loses all strenth and something as simple as propping yourself against the wall could crack the tiles.

2. If it's standard 4x4 bathroom tiles, you may well be able to find matches even after twenty years, particlularly if it's a simple basic color, i.e. white or yellow. However, this is really not a desirable option unless you happen to have a good solid backing behind the tile and cracked tiles indicate that it's highly unlikely.

3. Be sure to use HOT DIP galvanized or stainless screws or nails to fasten backerboard to the walls when re-doing things, don't even consider using the moisture resistant sheetrock. GP also makes a commercial product that looks like sheetrock, works like sheetrock, but is completely impervious to water. Can't remember the name of the product but it's very good - even used for exterior work.

4. Betweeen tub and tile,at the corners, and arround plumbing fixtures use color matched caulk - Do not grout these joints as they will open up and begin leaking within a year or two.

5. Don't use mastic to mount the tiles, it's just not as durable as mortar and it's generally a bit messier as well. Also, be sure to use a mortar with acrylic/polymer in it. This will give it more flex as well as make it a bit more water proof. Same goes for grout.

6. When working around the shower valves, don't do the typical cut the tile in half and nibble a hole out thing. The tile split in this situation is notorious for leaking. Instead, invest in an appropriate sized tile hole saw. Note that this doesn't really apply if you have a Delta Monitor or similar integrated mixing valve this may not apply. If you don't, then you should evaluate the condition of the supply plumbing - this is the time to replace it if anything's questionable at all.

7. I highly recommend the book "Setting Tile" by Michael Byrne. He covers materials, techniques, etc. completely and clearly and it's worth every bit of the $20 I paid for it.

8. Buy a cheap laser that will throw vertical and horizontal lines. It really helps with getting a starting course right and you'll find a million other uses for it as well.

9. If you use natural stone then be sure to use a compatible mortar and grout. Using the wrong ones can cause a wide variety of problems.

10. Don't even think about using mortars like SpeedSet, etc. These are for pros who can set tile insanely fast. Unless you're very experienced, you'll end up with a bucket of rock hard mortar and a mess of a few tiles.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
Don't use these little plastic crosses, use your eyes to align the new tiles.

If you're using larger wall tiles with a 1/8" or larger gap for grout, they're very useful for preventing sag but all you use is one of the four pointswith it oriented 90 degrees from what the manufacturer intended, typically two between each pair of tiles. They're also pretty handy for gentle mortar removal when a bit too much oozes between two tiles. Otherwise, I agree with you on this.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
Put the fresh tile mortar on using a teethed scraper.

And be sure it's appropriately sized - the width and depth of the notches are specific to the size of the tile being set - Generally larger teeth for larger tiles.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
Oh, did I mention that the wall has to be perfectly even?

Even more so if larger tiles are used.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3353 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1522 times:



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 13):
5. Don't use mastic to mount the tiles, it's just not as durable as mortar and it's generally a bit messier as well. Also, be sure to use a mortar with acrylic/polymer in it. This will give it more flex as well as make it a bit more water proof. Same goes for grout.

Big No-No!!! Mastic + Water = Mold

I am one of those types that watch Reno shows and this product while expensive seems to be a no brainer in a shower. If any of you have ever watched Holmes on Homes he uses Kerdi (a waterproof membrane) quite frequently. You can check it out here.

http://www.schluter.com/8_1_kerdi.aspx



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1406 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1508 times:



Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 14):
If any of you have ever watched Holmes on Homes

I love that show! I had strep throat over the holidays and I laid on the couch all Boxing Day. HDTV had a Holmes on Homes marathon on all day, I think watched it for about 5 hours straight.


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