Bathroom renovations can be expensive, and anything you can do yourself rather than hiring a professional to do will cut down on the expense of upgrading the bathroom. Many common bathroom renovations, including laying tile, are not difficult tasks, and with a little foreknowledge you can easily lay bathroom wall tiles or floor tiles with just a few simple tools. If you are unsure about your abilities, you can practice on a large sheet of cardboard before attempting the project in your bathroom.
Measuring and Planning
Measure the length and width of the space. Use graph paper to create a drawing of the space you need to tile and to find out how many tiles you will need. The measurements can also help you determine how much grout and cement you will use. Use the graph paper to help plan the design for your floor.
Creating a subfloor
Tile requires a sturdy subfloor that will not buckle or shift. Do not use solid tiles on pier and beam foundations, as the shifting flooring will cause the tiles to crack. However, you can use small, flexible tiles on pier and beam foundations. Cement backer board is often the best material for the job. Remove any existing flooring and cover the base of your floor with cement backer board. Use nails or cement to hold the backer board in place.
Start laying the tiles in the middle of the floor. This will help keep the design in tact and place any tile cuts near the edges of the room. Spread a thin layer of thinset mortar with a trowel and lay the first tiles in place. Use tile spacers to keep the tiles apart evenly. Work your way toward the edges of the room. If you must cut any tiles, use a tile cutter to cut the tiles to the right size. After laying the tiles, remove the tile spacers and allow the cement to dry for 2-4 hours.
After laying all of the tiles, use a grout float to work the grout into the spaces between the tiles. Mix the grout into a thick paste and work the paste between the tiles. Holding the float at a 45 degree angle will help keep the grout in place. Wipe off any excess grout with a damp sponge before it dries. This will prevent the tiles from getting cloudy. Allow the grout and tiles to dry for 24 hours before using the bathroom again.
If you lay bathroom tiles yourself, you can avoid the high cost of labor that a professional will charge. Of course, laying the tiles yourself will take much longer, but you can have the freedom to change the design or give the project close attention that a professional probably would not do. With a little foreknowledge and preparation, you can save a bundle on bathroom renovation by laying new tile yourself. Grab a friend or family member, and the project will go faster and be more enjoyable for all.
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